Saturday, August 3, 2013

Michigan Should Create a Prize for a Working Animal Abuser Registry

Michigan was marching toward becoming the first state with a registry of animal abusers, much like the registry of sex offenders. Those plans are now canceled, for reasons that surprise no one.
the proposed registry has run into resistance from state police officials and others who fear it would be expensive and cumbersome
Instead, Republican Senator Rick Jones and Democratic Senator Steve Bieda are co-sponsoring a bill that requires breeders to pay $10 for Michigan-only background checks, and animal shelters to run free background checks. Why? A quote from Sen. Jones in the linked article (emphasis mine):
It's a start. Would I like it to be in law that no breeder or pet store would sell animals to someone who had been convicted? Absolutely. But we're looking for something we can get passed, and I think this is a good step,
We hear this constantly in software consulting. A good solution is identified and estimated only to discover the solution costs too much. The right next move is to find a way that gets you to the right solution for a lower cost, usually incrementally. Often, the next move is like what's quoted above -- finish something, anything, whether or not it accomplishes the goal, so we can say we finished something.

If we want a registry by the end of the year, let's put out a prize for a working registry by the end of the year. Make the prize $100,000; a reward high enough that I'd start working tonight, and lower than any piece of current government software. End the contest on November 30 and take two weeks to select the best application, in public. Every submission must be an open source web application.

By January 2014, we'll have a registry running. It worked for the railroads.

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