Ben Black is not actually arguing against the creation of cloud standards; he is placing constraints on the where, when, and how of such standards. Also, I would take exception with his repeated statement that "there is no SQL standard". Yes, there are many differences between various implementations with regards to syntax etc. but there is unanimity in the architecture of those implementations (data is stored in rows in a table, each row has a set of columns, etc.) It is this commonality of architecture that allows people to create abstraction layers that hide the difference in syntax.