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

Re: HTML vs socio-political correctness

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 11:30:42 -0800
Message-ID: <38AD9DE2.563748A2@eng.sun.com>
To: Daniel Hiester <alatus@earthlink.net>
CC: www-html <www-html@w3.org>
Daniel Hiester wrote:
> 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%).

Harsh generalizations are not 100% or 50% or 1% accurate when there is
no metric for such judgement. They merely represent the opinion of the
relatively ignorant, ie., those willing to make harsh generalizations. 
Remember the adage that the wise are those who realize the extent of 
their ignorance? Be a bit wiser.

> 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).
[...and on and on...]

Happening to be an employee of a large corporation that has over the 
course of its years earned plenty of money, I find little here but 
weak conjecture, based on my experience among some very intelligent
and thoughtful individuals who care quite deeply about the quality of 
the standards and specifications we produce. Certainly there are those
who jockey for profit motives, but I don't believe they are in the 
majority, and their efforts are usually pretty transparent. And even
though some of us are rather ivory-principled, we're also not entirely
devoid of pragmatism, either. Heavens, some of us have even worked in
small businesses and government, where pragmatism reigns!

Perhaps by virtue of working in larger, successful corporations we 
have the luxury of not worrying that our day-to-day efforts contribute
so directly to the company's bottom line; that among us are those who
are very concerned with doing good service to the community; that in 
the end this provides service to both that community and those 
companies that benefit from interoperable, high quality standards. 
There is no particular moral high ground gained by working in 
government, in smaller businesses, or as a private consultant, and 
no reason to believe that we in larger corporations have so little 
moral fiber as to be motivated primarily by financial reward. Speaking
for myself, money has almost nothing to do with it. 

I might take umbrage with your statements (which are even couched in
apology), but I'm guessing you simply don't know any better. There 
is no conspiracy, probably just a bunch of folks who like to get
together and argue a lot. A lot.


Murray Altheim                            <mailto:altheim&#x40;eng.sun.com>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, Inc., MS MPK17-102, 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025

   the honey bee is sad and cross and wicked as a weasel 
   and when she perches on you boss she leaves a little measle -- archy
Received on Saturday, 19 February 2000 04:24:07 UTC

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