Delusion

I had the unusual experience today of reading two pieces of writing that inspired diametrically opposed reactions from me.

Browsing through archives of David Emery’s excellent website, I found myself nodding vigourously in agreement with his thoughts on fluid layouts. Needless to day, he, like me, is a proponent of flexible adaptive layouts but he really nails the reason why we don’t see more of them:

The reason for the debate then? Laziness. Plain and simple. I’m guilty of it (you can find a fair few fixed width sites in my portfolio), make no mistake. It’s that simple – if making a fluid width site was as easy as making a fixed width site, I’m sure 99% would be fluid width.

Then, not five minutes later, I was reading through the transcript of the newest episode of Andy Rutledge’s Design View Show. After an amusingly OTT description of meeting Andy and Derek, he drops this ecclesiastical bombshell:

I suggest that if you cannot recognize and acknowledge that purpose in life can only be derived from God, by whatever name you call him, then I’m afraid you do not grasp what “purpose” is. And to you I’d offer my deepest sympathies.

Now my head was shaking as emphatically as it had been nodding earlier. That surely ranks as one of the more condescending passages yet to be published on a web design site.

I suggest that if you recognize and acknowledge that purpose in life can only be derived from an imaginary friend, by whatever name you call him, then I’m afraid you do not grasp what “reality” is. And to you I’d offer my deepest sympathies… but that would be quite patronising of me.

I sometimes wonder if it would be worth forming a humanist webring as a healthy counterbalance to all the god botherers*. But then I usually dismiss the idea because personal belief strikes me as being very shaky ground on which to form any professional organisation.

Instead, I’ll just continue to find purpose in making usable websites for my fellow human beings.


* Just to clarify: I’m using the term god botherer in its generally accepted sense here in the UK as a mild, almost affectionate term. Why, some of my best friends are god botherers.

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