5 thoughts on “They Probably Seemed Like Good Ideas at the Time

  1. DNS, of course— that was what my thesis was about! There are better way to perform the same service, once you get a clear picture of what it should be, anyway. DNS experts have this strange dualism where DNS is a “distributed semi-consistent database”, not a naming service, and yet we can’t alter it in any useful way because it’s a “critical part of the Internet infrastructure”— for its use in naming.

    But, timezones would be my second choice. I would be perfectly happy living on UTC.

  2. Strunk & White, no contest. DNS is clunky but it more or less works. Time zones are useful, even if they’re annoying in some ways — I prefer knowing that folks generally work “9 to 5″, even if 9 and 5 aren’t the same in all places. When I fly somewhere, I’d rather reset a watch, or restart my phone so it syncs to the local tower, than try to figure out what the new time is that I need to get up. (I’m not convinced Daylight Savings is a good idea, though, and might have picked that if you’d listed it.)

    Strunk & White is a bunch of bullshit prescriptive grammar, full of rules that are obviously wrong relative to common sense, observed usage, and what I perceive as graceful style.

    Joseph M. Williams’ Style: Towards Clarity & Grace blows S&W out of the water.

  3. I would be happy living in UTC too.

    *Style: Towards Clarity and Grace* is my favorite book on writing. I just wish I knew of a good “Style 101″ book to recommend to people first. You can’t crack open Williams until you at least know enough to be dangerous.

  4. I don’t know. Anyone who dares write a style guide is going to be hounded by the bullshit prescriptivists for the rest of his or her days.

    Make that, “rest of *their* days.” Woo singular they! Go go Team Descriptivist!

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