Well, for one thing often you can accomplish something equivalent with 1000 lines of dumb code or with 300 lines of very smart code. Most of the programming effort is going into figuring out the 'commonalities' between potential code blocks and write customizable code ( loops, routines, classes, templates) that exploit said commonalities. But the more time a developer spends in this kind of exercise, the shorter the final code would result.
I don't say that LOC measurements are meaningless. Just that they are statistics and should not used outside of this context ( for instance should not be used to measure the productivity of a developer or even a team ).
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