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   RE: [xml-dev] Capitalism and XML

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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 

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.



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