Jens Oliver Meiert

Web Development and Philosophy

Post from May 2, 2017, filed under and .

When I get asked about what I’m doing and where my expertise lies, and I respond that I’m a web developer, philosopher, and author, or some subset of this, people are often surprised about the mix. “Web developer and philosopher? How come?”

Inside every Kinder Surprise is a dead naked minion.

Figure: There’s a web developer for every philosopher.

Normally I’d add that the topics are rather strictly separate, that in practice, they don’t intersect. I have a strong background in web design and development, and over the years also acquired a foundation in philosophy, metaphysics in particular, and I pursue both independently. But there is indeed some curious overlap, and the most intriguing, to me, may be Postel’s Law, or the Robustness Principle:

“Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.”

That is excellent technical advice, and also excellent philosophical advice. Philosophical, here, in a pragmatist way, reflecting quite practical, certainly moral philosophy perhaps well exemplified with the dilemma of the kind person: In our dealings with other people, we do well maintaining our standards while allowing others their own, even—or especially—when these appear lower.

Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept—whether you’re coding or living and growing, I deem this great counsel.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

Comments (Closed)

  1. On May 3, 2017, 8:55 CEST, Mike Jobes said:

    Web developer and philosopher is a great combination to design a perfect website I believe. You are both

  2. On May 3, 2017, 9:26 CEST, Miranda S. said:

    I can’t see much of a connection, either.

    @ Mike, how is philosophy helpful for designing websites? Maybe I need to expand my horizon 😊

  3. On May 3, 2017, 20:40 CEST, Patrick Dark said:

    Umm… I was searching for “Plato” and somehow ended up here.

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