W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2000

Re: HTML vs socio-political correctness

From: Daniel Hiester <alatus@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 19:58:44 -0800
Message-ID: <005701bf7a8d$a6454c40$84beb2d1@inanis>
To: "www-html" <www-html@w3.org>
Problem: If necessity is the father of invention, then money is most
certainly his mother.

I'm going to make harsh generalizations which are not 100% accurate, but are
probably mostly true (i.e. over 50%).

In order to make decisions in major technological industries like the
Internet, one needs to either form or represent a corporation which has
worked hard over the course of several years to EARN LOTS OF MONEY.
Furthermore, any such representative of such a corporation must act in the
interests of his employer, which is almost invaribly FIND WAYS TO EARN MORE
MONEY. (btw, I'm not trying to imply that I'm yelling things about money...
I just want to be sure they get noticed).
Right now, buzz has it that what could be called "alternative Internet
devices" are The Next Big Thing (tm). This means pagers, cell-phones,
kitchen appliances, etc. There is A LOT OF MONEY to be had there.
Why sell a nice PC with a 21 inch monitor etc. that does almost everything
you could possibly want an Internet device to do (within limitations of your
bandwidth, of course), when you could sell a much larger volume of simpler
devices that are suited for only a few of the tasks that a nice PC with X
accessories are suited for?
It's brilliant! Someone could get rich! Or rich people could get richer! You
could force people to buy a web-ready pager, take that with them into their
web-ready car, and go to a web-connected grocery store, or even make them
buy a web-ready dog collar! (note sarcasm).

Now, I'm going to feel very, very bad about saying this here (I mean, HERE
of all places!) but you do realize that a lot of the corporations who'd
benefit from such technologies happen to be member corporations in the W3C.
Coincidence?

I'm not really paranoid enough to believe that there is some sort of
conspiracy, but I do believe that this "socio-political correctness" is in
fact an attempt to set the stage for a new breed of profitable products. I
also believe that a lot of the representatives to the W3C from member
corporations are highly dedicated Internet specialists who feel they have a
strong understanding of what is good or bad for the web, and they worked
hard to be chosen by their corporation to represent them in the W3C. That's
to be respected.

I feel very, very bad about typing all that. I'm having second thoughts
about sending all this.

To say something positive, I will say this: the Internet is supposed to be
about exchanging information, and if someone can't afford X-ammount of money
for a nice PC with 21-inch monitor etc. etc., that doesn't mean they don't
deserve to share in the radical cultural revolution that has occured because
of the exchange of information, ideas, beliefs, dreams, etc. over the
Internet (mostly on the web).

Sorry for such a lengthy, and even inflamatory email... this is way more
than my usual $0.02...

Apoligetically yours,

Daniel
Received on Friday, 18 February 2000 22:55:36 GMT

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