Monthly Archives: April 2003

Silly XML hack, take 2

In a previous entry, I posted two tiny scripts for reading out a list of RSS subscriptions in an OPML file. One used regexps, and the other used the handy XML::Simple module.

Now, they both sort-of work OK, until they run into an OPML file that’s actually an outline (like the ones produced by SharpReader), where the XML::Simple script runs into a problem (the RegExp script, ironically, will probably print things OK, because it ignores the nesting and just parses whatever lines it sees).

So I did a few improvements, and here’s the result (available in plain text Perl, or SciTe syntax-highlighted HTML)

Explicitness is an act of violence

Esther Dyson and David Weinberger discuss the goodness of ambiguity in social contexts. The emphasis are mine this time:

ED: Ethics! Yes, it’s the most interesting question left [after technology, strategy, policy]. Without ambiguity, there is no free will.

DW: Explicitness is an act of violence. You think it’s archeological: You take something and dust it off, but in fact explicitness reduces things; it destroys. ….That’s why groups stay away from constitution writing.

ED: But they don’t stay away from constitution-writing. It’s more like moths to a flame. They can’t stop it. But they can’t handle the explicitness. It’s like pre-nuptial agreements.