The API doesn't hold
Since my publisher finally provided clear guidance, I've been working on the new 'platform-independent' version of my courseware.
It's a different universe.
When building an EXE for use in Windows, you can count on a consistent set of API rules. The native Win functions are well defined, and the workings of C++ are well defined. Provided you understand both of these rule sets and use them correctly, you can predict what will happen when you write something like
When you put all those pieces together into a self-contained EXE, you know it will run on the Win versions that were specified in the rules. If there are problems, you can be 99% sure the problems are your own fault, even though you'll always waste time by blaming Windows first.
In the new world of HTML5 and CSS and SVG and JS, none of those certainties exist. All of those standards are only partly standardized and constantly changing, and you can't count on a package running on all common platforms. If it runs today, a version change by Firefox or Chrome may blow it up tomorrow.
In other words, 'platform-independent' really means 'excruciatingly platform-dependent.'
The platform-makers obviously love this, because they have finally reclaimed the power they lost when Windows owned the universe.
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Comes down to this pair:
When the rules are stable, ordinary people can function.
When the rules are changing all the time, only the rulemakers can function.
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I've already discussed this in the context of behavior, in my tribute to math prof Lysle Mason.
Ideas are fragile. They can only thrive when decorum stops intellectual bullies. Leninists gave us the hippie era to break down decorum so Leninist bullies could censor all other ideas.
Same thing in art and technology. Creativity functions best when you can count on the platform or medium to hold still. You can't paint on the wind with a cat.
Same thing in economics. You can't run a business, you can't save for the future, and you can't count on working for a stable business, when Bugsy Bernanke and Jamie Dimon are doing everything possible to void the basic rules of economics.
Same thing in every conceivable field of life. All of the central controllers are busily engaged in breaking the ground, moving the goal posts, and snatching away the horizon.
If you have a health plan you like, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
If you have a religion you like, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
If you have a job you like, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
If you have a house you like, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
If you have money you like, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
If you have life, you can keep it. PeriodHAHAHAHAHAJUSTKIDDING!
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I was going to write this on the basis of central vs decentral, but it doesn't really match those categories. Some of these disasters result from lack of central control and others result from trusting the central control too much. I'm still inclined
to think the problem reduces to centrality vs subsidiarity, but I don't see how it fits.
Here's the only thing that fits: Whatever it takes to infinitely enrich the Chosen Ones and kill everyone else, that's what we'll do.