Off track

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Fri May 1 11:16:36 BST 1998

At 09:52 01/05/98 +1000, Marcus Carr wrote:
[... in response to others ...]

>Nothing in the sense that you are thinking of - what I meant was that a
>small <disclaimer>albeit it open, etc.</disclaimer> group of people are
>decisions that are going to have a profound impact on many millions of
people for
>some time to come. I believe we are preparing to unleash a new culture on
>everyone; I wasn't referring to any particular cultural or ethnic group or

We are undoubtedly part of a very radical process in human history. When
Faraday was asked about the use of one of his discoveries (I think it was
electromagnetic induction) he is reputed to have said:
"Madam, what is the use of a new born baby?". [BTW without electromagnetic
induction there would be no XML...]

I am very grateful to be part of a virtual community which is international
and includes many disciplines, especially those related to linguistics. For
example the curators of the TEI hold much of the world's heritage in their
care; the quotation from Cicero is an example of the thread that binds us
over space and time. [BTW I favour return to Roman monumental inscriptions
- no case-sensitivity and no whitespace, and the *practice* has remained
future-proof for 2 millennia.] Although it is confidential, the discussion
about i18n and especially case-sensitivity on XML-SIG relied heavily on the
members' knowledge of non-ISOLatin languages and cultures, and the SIG/WG
possibly suffers through that not being  widely known.

I am very conscious of the separation of the world - I spent two years in
W.Africa and am very grateful for the insight I gained into
neo-colonialism. The information revolution has the power to bring great
benefit to the world, especially in making education more easily available.
I am sure that XML forms a major platform for the educational technology of
the future - we have a clear responsibility to use it wisely.


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS, Virtual Hyperglossary

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