What Zen was to the 70’s (most famously with motorcycle maintenance), the Tao Te Ching was to the 90’s. From Piglet and Pooh to Physics and back, many have sought sense in applying the Tao Te Ching to something (the Tao of Physics), or something to the Tao Te Ching (the Tao of Pooh). It can be a cheap trick, but lately it has struck me that there is more than a little to be understood about web design by looking through the prism of the Tao.
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Daoism is a philosophy, like Buddhism, a way of living, of being in the world, which stems from a text of great antiquity, the Tao Te Ching, whose 81 “chapters” enigmatically sweep across human experience, but with a strong common theme, that of harmony.
For the last couple of years, for better or worse, my life has revolved more than a little around style sheets. I write software, tutorials, and guides for them; I’ve answered too many questions to count about them on newsgroups and via email; I’ve fought for their adoption with The Web Standards Project. And slowly I’ve come to understand web design entirely differently because of them, and to see a strong association between design and the Tao.