In the Beginning God created the ones and the zeros that there might be data upon the face of the earth. In this data his subjects found information and from the firmament of the user partitioned file system BBN produced electronic mail, that their chosen people might communicate amongst themselves even though they be not all in the same room at the same time. And God looked and was well pleased because, by any common measurement, much information was exchanged.
These early Users were blessed with the opportunity to evolve the email system to fit their needs and desires. ARPAnet line-oriented teletypes became Wyser character terminals with random addressing which made the using of Mail all that much more fulfilling. A few of the chosen were granted the power to bend mh to their will and thus became sendmail gurus worshiped by all their bretheren, for it was only then that Messages could be re-ordered and saved to arbitrary folders, which was seen to be a great good as they had been fruitful and multiplied unto the ends of the earth. And, by most common measurements, much information was shared throughout the globe, all the while using 1200 baud dialup.
But one day a snake slithered through the Parc into the academic grove of Elm and Pine and up the Apple tree. And that beast did offer the issue of POP and Eudora a bite of the knowledge of GUI. Thus were MCI and Compuserv linked to the Internet and HTML, with all its fonts and sizes in both bold and italic, was injected into email. The Outlook seemed grim as executives everywhere woke up to find their memos appearing to be more professionally composed and therefore, imposing. Yea, though it was at 9600 baud, by most common measurements, the same amount of useful information was transmitted.
And in this way it came to pass that a great wickedness was loosed upon the land. The people worshiped the false idols of variable-width fonts and in-line images and the imagination of their hearts was no longer pure. Through the Gates of ISDN and 28Kb modems were unleashed the twin scourges of Spam and Attachments, and thus the chosen people were driven from the garden of communication delights into the online world. But even then, by most common measurements, the same amount of useful information was available, it just required more filtering to be found.
For now, behold, email was available to all the peoples of the earth and Word was made manifest and distributed indiscriminately, thus fulfilling Bloat's adaption of Parkinson's Law of Work: Software expands to overload available capacity. And the population began to mock the chosen with photos of their pet rabbits and multi-megabyte movies of other people's grandchildren. Thus was Plain Text forever lost amongst the myriad attachments that were forwarded throughout the net. And so, by most common measurements, about the same amount of useful information was received using a 100Mbit connection to a 2GHz Pentium containing 500MB of memory and a disk greater in size than all of the early adopters combined.
The moral of the story is this: Anyone who believes that a perceived quality of design is evidence for, or against, the existence of an Intelligent Designer, has never worked in the Software Industry.
xxx© 2007 M. Schippling