Re: And thus..
" If you say a log can be reliably kept with nothing but ASCII, explain how you can say a coin landed edge when all you have to work with is a single bit: 1 or 0?"
uh, WHAT? [what does that have to do with a daemon logging a message into a system log]
it's like a 'straw man' argument. you invented some weird exception and then expect that to disprove the opposing position. I don't think your logic is working very well here.
ASCII text is about as free form as you can possibly want. you can be verbose or terse, use numbers or words or an entire freaking paragraph. whatever you want. I think I'll stick with that, as it's easy to use 'less /var/log/whatever'