Udell; Extremism is dead

According to Jon Udell, extremism is dead. How silly! Sometimes, whether you know it or not, the truth is not shades of grey that requires finding a middle ground, it’s boolean. Take REST vs. Web services, for example. REST is a simply a superior architecture by all important measures, than what people know to be Web services (the definition’s so fuzzy, it’s hard to pin down a specific one to argue against). End of story. And not just in the “oh yah, I guess I’d prefer REST” sense, but in the “Web services will fail to achieve their goal, and ultimately be discarded” sense. Just because someone hasn’t done the homework necessary to properly evaluate REST, does not change this.

Extremism will live on, so long as there is right and wrong.

In the words of Henry Hazlitt (though the snippet starts slightly out-of-context);

“We Haven’t Been Good Enough”

I am going to give what is no doubt a terribly oversimplified answer to that question. In the first place, we are almost hopelessly outnumbered. Our voices are simply drowned out in the general tumult and clamor. But there is another reason. And this is hard to say, above all to an audience of this sort, which contains some of the most brilliant writers and minds in the fields of economics, of jurisprudence, of politics, not only of this age but of any age. But the hard thing must be said that, collectively, we just haven’t been good enough. We haven’t convinced the majority. Is this because the majority just won’t listen to reason? I am enough of an optimist, and I have enough faith in human nature, to believe that people will listen to reason if they are convinced that it is reason. Somewhere, there must be some missing argument, something that we haven’t seen clearly enough, or said clearly enough, or, perhaps, just not said often enough.

A minority is in a very awkward position. The individuals in it can’t afford to be just as good as the individuals in the majority. If they hope to convert the majority they have to be much better; and the smaller the minority, the better they have to be. They have to think better. They have to know more. They have to write better. They have to have better controversial manners. Above all, they have to have far more courage. And they have to be infinitely patient.

(thanks to Roger Costello for the pointer)

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