Subject: Re: Behold! The Square Wheel From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 12 Nov 2002 22:53:05 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Patrick W | Seriously, has anybody ever presented a better case for going back to the | history books? What this stunt really tells me is that people who think XML is a great idea do so because they have never seen any other ideas. I came to that conclusion many years ago when I tried to educate people on SGML, and people went "Whoa! Hierarchical structure! Dude, that's /really/ cool!" That experience was not unlike one I had when I attended a meeting on Norway's membership in the European Union, after I had read some 3000 pages of documents and reports and had followed the legislation carefully for about a year: The speaker was intelligent and had probably done more homework than I had, but the audience? My goodness. The only reason they could believe what they believed was that they were overwhelmed by the first idea they ever met and objected to any later idea because it was different from the first and their mental capacity was limited to one idea at a time, meaning that /understanding/ their opponent's point of view without agreeing to it, which is the most fundamental requirement of a debate, was unachievable to them. It was not made any better by the fact that they were completely unable to illuminate their position to someone who did not already hold it. This applied to both sides of this ludicrous waste of time. So I became instant hero for managing to make /one/ issue clear to both sides so they could at least argue about the same thing and people flocked around me to hear what other genius ideas I had. It was downright /sickening/, not the least because these people would eventually /vote/ on the issue and our politicians had promised to listen to them... -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.