Why do we write standards?

Len Bullard cbullard at hiwaay.net
Wed Nov 10 00:43:45 GMT 1999

Steven R. Newcomb wrote:
> * Because ISO standards are at their best when they are even-handedly
>   responsive to civilization-wide requirements, rather than merely the
>   shorter-sighted desires of some particular industry or consortium.
>   When working on ISO standards, I may not feel like I'm going to get
>   rich, but I know that I'm working to make all of our descendants a
>   lot richer.  Will ISO standards pay off in that way?  I don't know.
>   I hope so.

1.  The consortium is the inner loop of set of processes that must 
be responsive to a hundred markets.

2.  ISO is the outer loop that must be responsible to the needs of a 
single market.

When the inner and outer loops bind values in shared namespace, the 
system stays stable even while dynamic.  

We write standards because there is a process for doing so.  We use
standards as a means 
to communicate and coordinate across time through use of precisely
and shared understanding of a set of symbols/names.  You are a
musician.  You already 
know why orchestras need scores, how they evolved, and how messy 
the namespace they use is (languages overlaid over time) and how 
difficult it is to fix that (too many of us understand andante 
who would be *offended* if we read *walking speed*).

We make no progress as long as we remain hungry ghosts who 
live by draining the strengths of others.  We make standards 
so we may rise about that low realm.  Those who wish to 
remain pretas have found their own desires in accordance 
with their habits.


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