The Five Types of Technological Standard

Technological standards may be usefully divided into five basic types:

4 – Standards arrived at by consensus.
Examples: Common Lisp.
3 – Standards imposed by dictatorial fiat.
Examples: Russian railroad gauge.
2 – Standards imposed through sudden, overwhelming, and indisputable technological supremacy over the previous state of the art.
Examples: Arabic numerals.  Sildenafil.
1 – Standards which inescapably [...]

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