OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]
Re: [xml-dev] Do you enjoy neighborhoods where every house looksthe same?

On Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:29:02 -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> Standardization lets (most of) us be stupid.
> You can decide whether that's good - "democratizing door 
> installation!" - or bad - "ugly doors all the same all over".


Or, given economies of scale (that certainly *are* relevant for the 
material examples then provided, though they may or may not be for 
markup), the statement might be:

Standardization lets (most of) us afford things.

The fact is, in these material things, it is perfectly *true* that the 
standardized stuff is aesthetically less pleasing. It is also true that 
it's cheaper. And cheaper means less people without doors. Or without 
roofs. Or without windows. Or without electricity. Because more people 
can afford standardized bits. It also means less expertise is required 
when (inevitably) something breaks. A masterpiece may only be reparable 
by an equal master, in some cases.

And, also passed over: the experts are still out there. You just have 
to be a damned sight richer to afford custom hand-made stuff. I can go 
out and buy a cheap chair at the discount store today, and haul it 
home. It'll be ugly, and who knows how long it'll last. Or I can build 
one myself (which is what I really want to do; the problem isn't 
stupidity or laziness it's that it takes *time* that I can also use to 
earn money to, for example, buy tools and materials). Or I can go to a 
local expert who has the chair that I really, truly want, hand-made of 
wood selected and shaped and joined by masters, with upholstery 
hand-packed and sewn (though most of the fabrics aren't hand-woven, to 
my knowledge, and I'm pretty sure that the carpenters use some standard 
tools and standard mass-produced finishes and consumables such as 
sandpaper). It costs $2000, but I *can* do it; that option remains 
available. If my recently-preggers neighbor had to pony up $2K to have 
a seat to sit on, the world would be a much less aesthetic place, in my 

I think some of this conversation has gone a bit too far. 
Standardization for the stupid is, in my opinion, too far, much as I 
generally admire your work, Simon.

Amelia A. Lewis                    amyzing {at} talsever.com
Belief is the wound that knowledge heals, 
  and death begins the Telling of our life.
                -- Teran Penan [Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Telling"]

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS