Microsoft, Web Standards and the Left
Posted by: badanov
It dawned on me that this web standards problem Microsoft now has is a good metaphor for the problem US democrats have regarding free speech.
Think about it: Microsoft, Sun, SAP, 3Com ,and et al: they all want to internet to grow and thrive, so they can earn money selling products that continue or enhance the experience of surfing. At least they say they all do. The internet is a good thing,right? Who wouldn't want to continue or enhance the Internet. The all agree on that point just as their customers do.
Its like that for the left. Everyone on the left as well as the right agrees the First Amendment to the US Constitution is a good thing We all want free speech; to enhance it and to ascertain its survival and the survival of free speech. We're talking about a good thing here, right?
Now, Microsoft starts to think: Hey, we make the operating system for 90 percent of the world's PCs that are used to surf the internet. We love the Internet; we want it to survive and to thrive so we can make more money. Our operating system is so good we can use our other products we have to make the web pages our way so we can make more money, so those web standards which would be worthless without our operating system are OK, but we can make them better by having our browser display even prettier stuff that just by plain old dumb hippie inspired web standards.
Democrats and the left think Hey, we're democrats. We love free speech. Most of us work in publishing or films or television. If anyone knows the first amendment it's us. We may as well as created it except for all them rich white men, who by the way had slaves and who were less than perfect. So, we can change history and we can change how it is regarded and if that isn't god enough we can just stop teaching it altogether.
It's still the first amendment but the way we want it. A better standard.
With our standards we can impose a better standard: We will stop the use of certain words or phrases or thoughts with regard to minorities or females, as well as to history and any number of matters; it's still the first amendment but the first amendment the way we want it.
It sorta works.
Now, Microsoft is furiously trying to program a new web browser that for the first time ever only only adheres to strict web standards, but also make the other 100 billion or so web pages display they way the designer originally wanted to even with all the buggy stuff Microsoft left in their browser code.
Now, the left is trying to furiously conceal the fact that a race-baiting preacher can be forgiven or ignored his hateful remarks, but other races cannot because of the oppression thing. There is a standard, but it isn't free speech, but it is far more hateful than the actual words the paster bespoke. How can the left get by with this but without an ideologically complicit and morally bankrupt press. We have the first amendment with the press, that's the standard, but they don''t apply that standard to everyone, not even to themselves. They corrupt it until it looks like something they intended, but it isn't what everyone thinks of as free speech.
We know it isn't free speech, but we'll call it that anyway because free speech is overrated. Our standard is better than the dumb old standard inspired by rich old white guys and passed on by hippies free speech.
In both cases, Microsoft's and the American left, both parties are trying to suddenly let original standards be their guide when it should have been from the outset. The result, for both sides, is ugly and a lesson for those who want to make standards that apply to some, but not all.
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