Difference between revisions of "Anal paradox"

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{{a|negotiation|}}A theory of {{tag|negotiation}} which posits that as the number of people involved in negotiating a {{tag|contract}} goes up, the contract’s brevity, comprehensibility and utility ''goes down''. The longer a negotiation continues, the more complicated and tedious the contract will become, even though its meaningful content will stay constant or, more likely, decline.  
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{{g}}{{a|negotiation|}}A theory of {{tag|negotiation}} which posits that as the number of people involved in negotiating a {{tag|contract}} goes up, the contract’s brevity, comprehensibility and utility ''goes down''. The longer a negotiation continues, the more complicated and tedious the contract will become, even though its meaningful content will stay constant or, more likely, decline.  
  
 
Briefly stated, however anal it may be to “[[Adding value|add value]]” through qualifications, clarifications, [[for the avoidance of doubt]]s, [[without limitation]]s and other forensic {{f|celery}}, once these “correctives” have been made it is even ''more'' anal to try to remove them again, seeing as, [[Q.E.D.]], they make no difference to the legal or economic [[substance]] of the agreement either way. So, inevitably, one won’t [[I’m not going to die in a ditch about it|die in a ditch about it]], however appealing by comparison that experience might, to a [[prose stylist]], seem, and the agreement will silt up to the point where its original intent is hard or impossible to make out.  
 
Briefly stated, however anal it may be to “[[Adding value|add value]]” through qualifications, clarifications, [[for the avoidance of doubt]]s, [[without limitation]]s and other forensic {{f|celery}}, once these “correctives” have been made it is even ''more'' anal to try to remove them again, seeing as, [[Q.E.D.]], they make no difference to the legal or economic [[substance]] of the agreement either way. So, inevitably, one won’t [[I’m not going to die in a ditch about it|die in a ditch about it]], however appealing by comparison that experience might, to a [[prose stylist]], seem, and the agreement will silt up to the point where its original intent is hard or impossible to make out.  
  
Hiring a dredger is expensive, and since the operating assumption of all [[Mediocre lawyer|lawyers]] is that no-one ever got sued for writing an unintelligible agreement<ref>“[[What the eye don’t see the chef gets away with|What the eye don't understand, the chef gets away with]]”.</ref>, you leave it (perhaps tossing in a [[disclaimer]] for good measure) until one day your {{tag|contract}} nears the [[event horizon]] of intelligibility, beyond which it risks collapsing in on itself, taking you with it, and precipitating the [[boredom heat death]] of the universe.
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Hiring a dredger is expensive, and since the operating assumption of all [[Mediocre lawyer|lawyers]] is that {{maxim|no-one ever got sued for writing an unintelligible agreement}}<ref>“[[What the eye don’t see the chef gets away with|What the eye don't understand, the chef gets away with]]”.</ref>, you leave it (perhaps tossing in a [[disclaimer]] for good measure) until one day your {{tag|contract}} nears the [[event horizon]] of intelligibility, beyond which it risks collapsing in on itself, taking you with it, and precipitating the [[boredom heat death]] of the universe.
  
 
It almost happened in [[2008 ISDA Master Agreement|2008]], so don’t joke about it.
 
It almost happened in [[2008 ISDA Master Agreement|2008]], so don’t joke about it.

Latest revision as of 10:00, 9 September 2019

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A theory of negotiation which posits that as the number of people involved in negotiating a contract goes up, the contract’s brevity, comprehensibility and utility goes down. The longer a negotiation continues, the more complicated and tedious the contract will become, even though its meaningful content will stay constant or, more likely, decline.

Briefly stated, however anal it may be to “add value” through qualifications, clarifications, for the avoidance of doubts, without limitations and other forensic celery, once these “correctives” have been made it is even more anal to try to remove them again, seeing as, Q.E.D., they make no difference to the legal or economic substance of the agreement either way. So, inevitably, one won’t die in a ditch about it, however appealing by comparison that experience might, to a prose stylist, seem, and the agreement will silt up to the point where its original intent is hard or impossible to make out.

Hiring a dredger is expensive, and since the operating assumption of all lawyers is that no-one ever got sued for writing an unintelligible agreement[1], you leave it (perhaps tossing in a disclaimer for good measure) until one day your contract nears the event horizon of intelligibility, beyond which it risks collapsing in on itself, taking you with it, and precipitating the boredom heat death of the universe.

It almost happened in 2008, so don’t joke about it.

See also

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References