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Sorry for being late to coment on this one:
> Aaargghh... can't we just discuss the acceptable straightness of a
> banana or the appropriate viscosity of tomato sauce...
You may not know it but such standards exist. They are global, and created
by the UN commission for Europe (www.unece.org) - the hosting body of
UNECE creates them among other useful things, like the unified look of
road shields all over the world allowing you to use your driving license
in US, Australia and everywhere else. The drawback is the really tasty
products disappear and get replaced by standardised ones.
We live in a globalising world, whether we like it or not. Your branches'
problem is that there is no such thing like the standardised creativity.