A topic sometimes debated on XML-Dev is that "worse is better", but the real topic is "simple is often better". Not always, but often. There are lots of examples from HTML (not so simple anymore), blogging formats, and further back, T-34 Soviet tanks, and not so far back, pagers. As one reads about 9/11 it quickly becomes apparent that the more sophisticated systems failed most frequently. The simpler systems like pagers were more effective but unfortunately, least distributed.
For those of us in the public safety industry, this is a lesson to be taken to heart. Command and control are worthless without communications and intelligence. While the dispatch center does thrive on sophisticated mapping and analysis technology, a command is most effective when it is presented in its simplest imperative form, such as, EVACUATE NOW!