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Re: [xml-dev] The Information Interchange Profession

You are right to question. Even the BCS acknowledge the legitimacy of questioning whether they should play a regulatory role comparable to what obtains in other professions. See the commentary in question A1 below.


However, in the UK Family Lawyers by virtue of the nature of their specialism have some practices and regulations (or rather lack thereof) that are quite distinct from the rest of the legal profession. For example they have to deal with abductions and authorise forensic investigations into personal affairs that would never pass muster in an alternative tribunal.  Yet it hasn't amounted to a justification why their numbers should not be bound by the regulation of the Bar Council (or the equivalent body for soliticors). Because I kind of read that as an analogy of what you are suggesting.

If some elements of the document are objectionable, is the thing to do to reject it in its entirety?. The BCS did not draw up that charter from scratch, some of what is there derogates from their being part of the Engineering Council.  I could not be so sure t there is nothing of merit for the domain you propose rather I would suggest that what is there can be adapted and is better than starting from zero.

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM, Steve Newcomb <srn@coolheads.com> wrote:
Ihe, I assume you are posting this link for a reason, but having read
the referenced...


...the reason is not clear to me.  The statement appears to me to be in
service of the BCS's institutional concerns, taking the position that
the true calling of an IT professional is to maintain the status quo,
play by the rules, etc.  Is that your understanding of it, or am I
reading it wrongly?

That kind of thing makes sense for Bar Associations, because their
members' professional calling is to serve the Rule of Law.  It makes
sense for the accounting profession, too, because its purpose is to
maintain the stability of property ownership, get public services paid
for without undermining the currency, support the formation of capital
in securities, allocate and direct resources, and so forth.

A pro-establishment mission statement makes less sense for doctors.
Doctors have a calling that can conflict with the requirements imposed
by law and by property.  I don't want to seek therapy from a doctor
whose primary professional duty is to anything but my recovery,
consistent with public health.  We expect doctors to be disruptive in
just that way.  An important global professional organization's name,
"Medecins sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders" is emblematic of my
point, here.

The flavor of the British Computer Society statement makes even less
sense for Information Interchange Professionals, whose professional duty
can very easily conflict with the interests of the status quo.  In my
own view, an Information Interchange Professional accepts responsibility
for the accurate transfer of information among diverse communities with
diverse viewpoints and diverse universes of discourse, no matter the

Such a role *must* be a disruptive one, at least from the perspective of
the establishment, but it's a life-affirming role from the perspective
of human beings, because of the stark "adapt or die" choice every
organism faces.  Humanity cannot adapt successfully if it doesn't know
what it needs to adapt to.  Indeed, I suppose the reason humanity is now
the dominant species on this planet is its phenomenal adaptability,
which in turn rests on its ability to share information of considerable
complexity, subtlety, and novelty.

And that's why Freedom of Speech (which is something that the UK
establishment's Official Secrets Act limits, BTW) and Open Source are
two things, among many others, that are profoundly wise and
life-affirming, as well as being threatening to existing interests.
They are wise things because public health demands more than clean water
and vaccinations.

On 12/04/2013 02:03 AM, Ihe Onwuka wrote:
> http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/conduct.pdf

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