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28 November 2008 @ 07:45 pm
I know it's rhetorical, but:  
Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective

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Stephen Harrissweh on November 29th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Not particularly interesting, really. Cases 1 through 7 are trivial straw-men arguments. In 20+ years I've never seen a database where men and women are stored in separate tables. It's highly inefficient for most cases (schema duplication requirements, "unions" needed for most common select statements). Case 8 makes an interesting point; "other" is required in the spec. 9 and 10 are actually irrelevant to "gay marriage", and are more a question of sexuality, but they do lead to point 12. Which is closest to any schema I've seen. Points 13 onwards are, once again, irrelevant to "gay marriage" in that they deal with polygamy.

So what do we have? We have a seemingly sensible statement; yes, gay marriage may require some database schemas to be reviewed. Sounds perfectly sensible. But we have a lack of supporting logic for that position, the logic consisting of straw men so dry that they'll go up in flames spontaneously. Which is a shame, because I'd be interested in seeing a good treatment of the issue.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on November 29th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
I'm not sure the early examples are strawmen -- perhaps from the POV of database engineering, they are, but from the POV of using database engineering as a metaphor for understanding social constructs, they're useful.