[microformats-discuss] Evolution vs Intelligent Design

Danny Ayers danny.ayers at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 03:40:11 PDT 2005

On 10/5/05, Luke Arno <luke.arno at gmail.com> wrote:
> This debate has become so religious I figured I might as well go all the way.
> On 10/5/05, David Janes -- BlogMatrix <davidjanes at blogmatrix.com> wrote:
> >
> > The creation of microformats is very much analogous to the creation of
> > English language dictionaries, where common usage was examined, codified
> > and standardized. Before dictionaries went into common use, there were
> > many acceptable ways of spelling the same word; afterwards, writers
> > looked dictionaries to find the correct way to spell words.
> >
> > Microformats are the dictionary of XHTML semantic content.

Nice, very nice.

> It's language. It's evolution not "intelligent design."

Hmm, that seems a stretch. The dictionary analogy could perhaps be
described as natural selection, a filtering of spelling that works for
people. But is that filtering something from a natural environment
(such as the Web) or an artificial design thing? Also I don't see much
mutation (I'm not sure tweaks are enough for the origin of species),
and the breeding that's taking place does largely seem to be within a
fairly closed community ;-)

In the context of software some intelligent design is needed to get
things started. I guess my concerns from the "Educationg Others"
thread could maybe be summarised as the microformats development
process being weighted towards Selection rather than Intelligent
Reaction (to borrow Adam Bosworth's phrase) to issues raised.




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