It’s like…

Let’s say you had one of those huge keyrings, with 50 keys on it. (Let’s say 41 keys – number chosen either randomly or bc its the current number of capabilities) On the plus side, when you want to let someone use one, you can magically, instantly make a copy to give to that person. On the down side, that person can do the same (give a copy to *anyone*), once you hand it to them. Further on the down side, well, you have 41 keys.

Now if you want to send the valet to take your car out, you have to give him a key to the elevator, key to the garage entry door, key to the car door, key to the car ignition, and a key to the garage-exit. You’ve done this yourself plenty so you know what keys to give.

But other parts of the building were designed by other people, who have placed gates in various places you’ve never visited, and know nothing about. So now you need the maid to go clean the fifth bedroom. How do you know what keys to give her?

You can start her on her way with the key to the elevator and the key to the bedroom. But she needed a key to pass a gate in the first hallway. So she comes back… all she knows to say is EPERM! She can’t even tell you where the gate is. So you walk with her to the first gate (strace), see the gate, figure out which key it needs, give it to her. Send her on her way.

Of course she hits another gate, comes back, and says EPERM!

Now, you’re not a quitter. And this is important. So you’ll keep trying until you figure out all the keys she needs. Unfortunately, there are 30 other people – chauffeurs, mechanics, janitors, butlers, maids, some delivery people, a gardener… They all need access to various places.

It gets worse. Some gates are only locked at certain times. So you think you’ve gotten them sorted out, but at 2am it turns out half of them are newly blocked. Oh, and next week the person in charge of the second floor decides a few more gates are really needed. Hopefully their newsletter will tell you where, and which keys they’ll use – but they’re busy, so probably not.

So, sure, you’re not usually a quitter, but it sure will be temping to give the full 41 keys to anyone who comes by.

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