"Character sets are a peripheral matter. The only reason they loom so large in the average programmer's life is that, though trivial, they're an enormous time suck. Trivial + time consuming. Sounds like a good thing to postpone."
He has absolutely no clue about unicode. I and every other Java developer has been using unicode for more than 10 years now, and beside some i18n issues, I/O and String comparisons, they are a non issue if the language supports them.
One is always a bit sheepish about writing quick and dirty programs. And yet some, if not most, of the best programs began that way. And some, if not most, of the most spectacular failures in software have been perpetrated by people trying to do the opposite.
This renders all the discussions lately just mood. PG has no experience with software development, engineering, maintenance, or anything else except writing cute dirty hacks in Lisp. If he does, enlighten me. His release of Arc doesn't help.
Update: Take an advice from someone who has written real world applications.