the digital world
Our internet is unique. It's a man-made, cooperative attempt to build an entirely new world, from scratch. Over the years the web has evolved into a vast and almost endless collection of data that can be accessed from nearly everywhere, all day round. This digital world was conceived to be open and accessible by everyone, it was conceived to be robust and reliable. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that should be cherished with the proper understanding and respect for the task at hand.
The important thing to understand is that a browser is just a single way of looking at the digital reality in front of us. Sure enough it sucks to get a distorted view of reality once in a while, but it's way worse to distort reality in order to counter a browser's visual distortions. Imagine becoming really fat just so you want to look normal in a thin mirror. Silly, right? Just as human eyes distort the real world reality, browsers come with their own unique set of defects. It's crucial to realize that the fault lies with those who perceive, not with what really lies in front of us. Reality is sturdy and consistent, as it should be.
Our digital reality (ie data and html) is the core of the internet and should deserve our utmost attention. In the grand scheme of things, the rest is just visual blah blah blah, semi-intellectualized so-called wisdom that, more often than not, fails on personal taste and preferences. Not to say that there isn't room for great design and ease of use, I'm just warning to get your priorities straight.
the digital world: monetized
When companies found their way onto the web they quickly carried over their real life role. I'm not much of a real world environmentalist and I'm not too naive to understand the value of money when it comes to progress and evolution, but at the same time I'm not blind for the price we pay for this luxury, ruining nature (and even ourselves) in the process. Not to spark a discussion on real world environmentalism, but it's important to understand that companies are influencing the course of the web in a very similar way.
Companies are only out to sell you their goods and services. It's all about image and perception, everything is allowed to convince you to buy their crap. Companies don't care about the web and its ideals, they care about making money. Even big companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft only promote the "open web" and "standards" to maximize their own profits (or in some cases sabotage the profits from the competition). Sadly the web made it even easier for them to cheat the consumer. In the real world a person can judge the quality of a product based on different properties (smell, sound, feel, looks, taste), on the web there is only looks. In the real world you can distinguish a gold-plated watch and a real gold watch based on weight and sturdiness (scratch a gold-plated watch and it loses almost all of its value), on the web one can't make such distinctions.
And that's fine really, as long as we can maintain a certain balance. I'm no idiot either. I know these companies pay our salaries. They provide my luxuries and hopefully they will (indirectly) provide me with a good pension. Their support even helped the web a great deal forward, no doubt preparing it for an unfathomable future of epic grandness. But at the same times these companies are destroying the web. Rather than cultivating a digital world with quality data, they are in the business of churning out quickly degenerating garbage, hidden behind a sparkling coat of hipster paint.
Which is why we need some internet environmentalists. People in the industry warning others for blatant hypes and blind adoptions of standards no consumer really needs. People who watch the web to make sure our core data remains untainted and sturdy. People who call out the garbage others put on the web, be it for semantic, accessibility or any other valuable reason. People who make sure the digital reality maintains a certain level or real.
It would be nice if more people in our business realized that we don't really need 3d transforms, local storage or webgl to create a superior web. Except for a small percentage of people (mostly in-crowd too), people surfing the web don't care for superficial crap like that. They don't go online to be entertained by smart designs and nifty UX frivolities, rather they seek unique functionality and quick access to data. If you provide them with that, don't worry whether you're able to serve them rounded corners instead of regular ones, they'll keep coming back regardless.
Selling sound html code to our clients is difficult as there aren't too many direct advantages for the companies involved, but as web ideologists it's our job to make sure the work we do maintains a standard level of quality, even when the flashy surface is removed.If we can't do that, we'll just repeat the same mistakes over and over again.