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Feb. 14th, 2012

I'm on to my next task at work, although I should talk about the presentation I'd had to skip class for. This particular task is one that lets me skip out on all programming for a couple days, but it has as a cost the reading of long, very detailed, and frankly dull documents in its stead. Worse, I have to compose a very dull document.

What's happening is that the boss has decided to apply for a patent on my project. And his patent attorney thinks there may be something valid there. So I'm being pressed to create a description that can be put forth into the starting elements of the patent routine swiftly. I like writing, certainly, or I wouldn't do so much of it. But this is a challenge.

Let me admit straight up that I have doubts about the patentability of this. I'm not going to go against the attorney's feelings, since it's his business to not waste too much time on worthless projects. But deep down I fear it hasn't got enough novelty to satisfy a reasonable interpretation of patent law, if there were ever a time in history that reasonable interpretations of patent law applied. I can accept the idea of software patents, at least for clever enough software. I'm just having trouble with my doubts that anything I come up with is clever enough. (I have a similar inferiority complex about, well, knowing stuff in general. My default assumption is, if I've heard about something, so has everybody else, so I'm taken by honest surprise when a gag about King Aethelred the Poorly Advised flies over people's heads.)

However, this is --- besides the benefit of not doing code stuff for a while --- giving me the chance to sit and really think about the structure of what I've created. And I can see more clearly the way all the pieces and elements are combined. It's almost got me ready to throw out all my code and start again so that this time it'll be perfect.

Trivia: A ``subtlety'', movable, (often) edible table decorations (often made of marzipan and sugar paste) with allegorical or symbolic models prepared for a royal feast in Paris in 1389 consisted of a model tower so large that it reportedly caused claustrophobia and panic among the guests, and a barred door had to be broken down for air. Source: Sweets: A History Of Temptation, Tim Richardson.

Currently Reading: From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches From The Advertising War, Jerry Della Femina, Charles Sopkin. (It says ``Edited By Charles Sopkin'', which I assume means more like ``Ghost Written By'' since when was the last time you saw anything about who the editor of a book was?.)

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