Practice in the face of Personality Politics

Anchor for this item  posted Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 1:03 pm MST

Eric's Archived Thoughts: W3C Change: Introduction
"When I posted about the W3C, a few people responded with, “All right, fine, you’re angry with the W3C. So what’s your alternative, smart guy?” A fair enough question.

While I applaud the efforts of the WHAT WG and the microformats community, I’m not advocating a complete dismissal of the W3C.


If the W3C can get back on track, I wouldn’t want to see it replaced. If it can’t, then it will be replaced, no matter what I or anyone else has to say. That doesn’t mean it would cease to exist, of course. It would simply become less and less relevant."

My reply (off the cuff):

If you get blown off … what happens to those of us with considerably less “star power”? *shakes head* Personality politics … social pathology … HeyHo.

Eugene Kim posted an interesting letter written by Frank Lloyd Wright, about his (Wright’s) relationship to professional associations. I’m thinking about “Leaving W3C QA Dev“, of course. I’ve never been one to suffer fools gladly (which cost me) and now, in my later years, I’m even less willing to bend and take it with a smile (if you know what I mean). And yet entities such as associations and committees are the bullwarks of civil society. Until and unless we synthesise alternatives, which isn’t likely any time soon.

My work started with using punched cards to create a database (No, not COBOL, no computer involved: sorted and searched by running knitting needles through holes along the cards’ edges.) and continued through VRML and Indymedia. Today I’m grinding away like Spinoza working a lens … there’s just nothing simple about “drawing attention to effects of the basic problem”. With all the tech we’ve marshalled it’s still (and always?) a matter of discourse. So I’m betting on “People of good will sharing deeply about simple things”.

To become “less and less relevant” … that’s merely evolution, no? And evolution is the process of selecting adaptive processes, yes? So I suggest it falls to the charismatic and gifted individuals in the community to stand fast as principled practitioners as we create means to reduce the noise (I did DSP for fun … ham radio, yuh know?) and methods that enhance the signal. More: I’ll suggest we’ve good will enough.

I can just hear the voices … you’re "just angry" and Joel has gone mad … yoiks!

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