Re: why debian
On 14 Nov 2004, Antonio Rodriguez wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 13, 2004 at 07:27:25PM -0900, Greg Madden wrote:
> > The core user base (Debian devl) is not necessarily the democratic
> > majority of users. If you like to believe in the social contract,
> > users, afaikt, are anyone who uses Debian. There are far more 'users'
> > than developers but no representation of the non-developer-users. Until
> > Debian will accommodate impute from non-developers it is just an
> > exercise for the developers.
> The failure of 'democracies' (even this quoting will not hold it for
> ever) is in the fact that everybody believes to be entitled to judge
> everything, and to issue a directing opinion on every matter and
> aspect of life. As a result, the average level constantly is lowered,
> to accomodate the least capable that voices a desire. Evidence of that
> is overwhelming if you can see. A masterpiece of English literature
> would be considered a failure now, for containing too long paragrapahs
> and thus ideas too heavy to be handled by the average reader.
Well, this is certainly getting off-topic, but I can't agree that the
complexity of an argument has any close relation to the length of the
paragraphs in which it is contained. In fact, the more complex the idea,
the more it benefits from having its component parts arranged in
different paragraphs. Which isn't to say that we should go to the
lengths of the tabloid press and make every sentence a new paragraph.
To some extent this is a question of custom, of what we are used to.
It's true that in former times people tended to use long paragraphs.
Come to that, ancient Greek inscriptions didn't separate the words,
never mind the paragraphs. Both word separation and reasonably short
paragraphs seem to me to improve readability. Good paragraphing is part
of the equipment of a competent writer.
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