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On this penultimate day of the year, as in the previous years, I take some philosophical question or issue and write about it; for this time, I've instead selected a pattern of thought which I've seen.

I suppose this to be common in all human endeavour, but notice it most strongly in programming: Some issue arises or has long been present and an observer, or participant, has the opportunity to wonder why; rather than rethink the current orthodoxy, instead a pet cause is selected; entire books can be written about absurd, obviously untrue explanations, for questioning orthodoxy was never considered.

In programming, I see it in choice of language and design. Utter fools will justify their decisions on language with speed, their decisions on ``mitigations'' with security, and their decisions on how to waste their worthless time with tradition or some other such thing. Anyone who critically thinks over the problem will see circular reasoning at every level, or reasoning carried out only so far as to stop at the current way. Books, presentations, arguments, and anything else will be available to support the current way and challenging any of it will eventually boil down to fallacies or insults.

One may claim to have chosen a poorly-designed language for speed; to have reduced its speed through ``mitigations'' in the name of security; and when those fail, to fall back on compatibility concerns which only that language can possibly meet. Using a different language will never be considered, as none of those reasons hold true, since truly holding them would invite critical thought and new ways of acting, and so even if a new language would qualify new reasons would merely need to be invented.

Ultimately, I suppose it boils down to the sunk cost fallacy, the unwillingness to notice one's work to be a misguided waste of time; it's hard for a man to accept being wronged, especially by himself.

I've distilled this thinking to the following sarcastic quotation, which preceded my thoughts on it: ``Since we can't possibly have been wrong about this for decades, this must instead be that cause.''