RE: Capitalism and XML
I want to make this clear for anyone who doesn't understand my post this morning. I don't think Matt Gertner is a money grubber, or that his company is incompetent, or their services without value. I wanted to point out that the game of savaging to achieve some kind of superior position in business or otherwise can be played by anyone anywhere anytime and someone always gets hurt. Whether we care or not may depend on whose ego gets rubbed the wrong way, whose life and soul poured into a work is denigrated, in short, who loses. We all lose. While we were exchanging those posts, a person with a bomb strapped to their body walked into a hotel in Northern Israel and killed at least 18 people, wounded another 80. Israel will retaliate. In the last few weeks, Hindus have burned Muslims in their beds, Muslims have slaughtered Hindu children, and the armed forces of my country have bombed and shot the forces of Al Qaeda and the Taliban killing both them and innocent civilians. The intensity of this is increasing. The politics of engagement have devolved to stacking up the most bodies. The Palestinians see no other way and believe their tactics are working. The Israelis see no other way and believe their tactics are working. We see no other way and continue to fight. I am told our tactics are working. We are all losing. We are a heartbeat from a global blowout. We are fighting WWIII in slow motion. Why should we bring such madness to markup? People I know and respect poured their life into making markup a reality. Most were SGMLers. To a person, they share a belief that this technology has value beyond interoperability of heterogeneous computer systems. They believe it can make us smarter, get information to places that it could not get to before, educate those who would not be educated otherwise, preserve the best of what we know, describe who we are, help save us from losing. It isn't about capitalism. It is about respect and manners. That is rant, yes, but I believe it. Even if only a small and local politic, a manner that insists all markup is just markup and that even where technologiges vary, they have the same historical roots, one that acknowledges and respects the work of those that came first, that builds on that work and improves it, that small politic lights a way. It is only good manners, but it means that while I am not obliged to give one not qualified a job, neither will I let that one starve. It says that when obligated by the past, I perceive that obligation as one to make tomorrow better by learning from it. These are small things and we are a small community. The voices raging in the distance are spreading a terrible impenetrable darkness across our world. Our technologies were designed to enable information to be shared and sustained. They can be put to other uses but of their very nature, they insist on openness and adherence to the standards that express their meaning. With this small and local politic, we can all win. I'm sorry, Matt. I really don't like doing that sort of thing. No one should. But XML is what it is because SGMLers made it that way. And I can't let voices that try to revise that history go unchallenged. Because I can't, I lose. Because I won't, I lose. Still, I refuse to deny the evidence of my own eyes. That's a personal choice. len
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