[linux-elitists] Avoiding Mailman Duplicates

Lance Simmons lance@lsimmons.net
Sat Feb 21 06:51:12 PST 2004

* Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> [040221 01:57]:
> Oh look!  It's yet another person who thinks Internet standards are
> handed down from on high, by some blessed committee or by the sainted
> spirit of Jon Postel.  How very quaint!

Standards emerge, don't they, as more and more people see the advantage
of doing things a certain way.  Those advantages include the fact that
others are also doing things that way.  But so long as a person doesn't
see the advantage, for him, of doing things the popular new way, it
doesn't make sense for him to do things that way.

One point of official standards, it seems, is to provide a special kind
of reason for people to do things a certain way, even if they don't for
themselves see why it's good for them to do things that way. Before an
official standard is declared, a person can reasonably refrain from
adopting the popular new way of doing things without having to think too
hard about it: so long as he doesn't yet see the advantage of doing
things that way, he doesn't yet have reason to do it that way.  After
the official standard is declared, the threshold goes up somewhat; he
should most likely do things that way unless he has compelling reason
not to.  As I understand it, all an official standard does is shift the
burden of proof.

Does that also strike you as quaint, or did the poster at whom you are
sneering saying something stronger than this?

Lance Simmons
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