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Is intelligence and design over-rated?

intelligence over rated

Let's welcome back XML-DEV to the land of the living with some flame bait
only tangentially related to XML, but some of you might feel strongly enough
about it to say something insightful.

"Linus Says: Linux Not Designed; It Never Was:
I'm deadly serious: we humans have _never_ been able to replicate
something more complicated than what we ourselves are, yet natural
selection did it without even thinking.

Don't underestimate the power of survival of the fittest.

And don't EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than
what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a
feedback cycle. That's giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit."

I just saw a similar assertion about the success of XML and the internet in
a book ms. I'm reviewing, so I don't think it's totally off-topic here:  If
good software (and specifications?) evolves rather than being designed, what
does that say for how we should go about our lives a) in our day jobs and b)
in standards body meetings?

I had previously been struck by the notion that there's little wrong with
the W3C that lowering the average IQ of the participants by a standard
deviation or so wouldn't cure ... Maybe I'm just jealous of people smarter
than I am... but I've always been partial to "ruthless massively parallel
trial-and-error with a feedback cycle". 




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