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Statements like this -- saying that x86 is either good enough or as good as anything could possibly be anyway -- sound to me like a lack of imagination, lack of perspective, or not wanting to stir up any cognitive dissonance given that market forces have caused x86 to dominate.

Would you also say that there probably couldn't exist a significantly better OS than Mac, Windows, or Linux, or else we'd know about it? I admit "better" can be hard to define; what would make a 10x better car, or IP protocol, for example? It strains the imagination, because what makes these things "good" is complicated. But ask anyone who was around during the early proliferation of computer architectures and operating systems, and they will tell you that what ended up winning out is markedly inferior to other things that could have been. Paths get chosen, decisions get made, billion-dollar fabs get built. The market doesn't pick the best technology.

It's like web standards -- accept them, but only defend them to a point. We may be stuck with CSS, but that doesn't mean it's any good or that it succeeded on its merits.

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