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Supply, Demand, Natural Language & Free Markets — Some Preliminary Thoughts & Ideas

Many if not most — or even all? — (educated) people have probably heard of supply and demand before — and perhaps also that they are the basic building blocks of free markets. Likewise, many may be familiar with the expression “supply creates its own demand” (which is a sort of shorthand for views expressed… Continue reading Supply, Demand, Natural Language & Free Markets — Some Preliminary Thoughts & Ideas

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Manufacturing Consent

Today I talked a friend of mine into watching one of Noam Chomsky’s documentary films (in this case “Requiem for an American Dream”). I have to say that Chomsky’s ideas have influenced my thinking far more than anything I ever thought would influence my thinking … and I also feel there is something unsettling about… Continue reading Manufacturing Consent

Literacy Study: The smug smile

I have been puzzling about this topic quite a bit — while the idea first came to me gradually, then in spurts, in the end what puzzled me most was how to frame it. There are probably innumerable approaches I could take — for example, how people sometimes talk about “reading a room”, “reading a… Continue reading Literacy Study: The smug smile

Information Retrieval & Algorithmic Search vs Visual Design & Brute Force

Yesterday I posted some feedback about recent changes in WordPress Reader (see “WordPress.COM Reader Design Feedback (about Featured Image & information usability)” [ search.tech.blog/2022/10/15/wordpress-com-reader-design-feedback-about-featured-image-information-usability ] ). My own feedback comes from my own reading habits, which are very text-based and also oriented towards natural language search (including algorithmic information retrieval) technology. I realize that most people… Continue reading Information Retrieval & Algorithmic Search vs Visual Design & Brute Force

Publishing Without Walls

Picking up the pieces from our previous installment (“A Deep Dive Behind the Editorial Wall“), let’s consider what publishing looks like without walls. My hunch is that there are a lot of people who are completely unfamiliar with the idea that it is possible to publish something without some kind of advertising — and here,… Continue reading Publishing Without Walls

Linguistic Empathy & Community Boundaries

Languages are abstractions — they pretend to actually exist, but in reality they are more like amorphous relationships between the language’s speakers (or users). When one person uses a word and another person interprets that word’s meaning, there is no guarantee of absolute congruency — meanings can be laden with all sorts of connotations, there… Continue reading Linguistic Empathy & Community Boundaries

Community — Compared to What?

There’s a sort of “pop jazz” song named “Compared to What?” and that’s the tune I have sort of stuck in my head as I am having these thoughts… — which thoughts? When we talk about community, it usually creates an intellectual divide between “Us and Them”, ingroups and outgroups. Yet these groups are not… Continue reading Community — Compared to What?

Literacy = ! { an on-off switch }

Literacy is not an “on / off” switch. That statement seems quite simple and straightforward, but it can be written in a variety of ways … and what’s even more astonishing is: while the proposition itself seems quite obvious (at least if you spend at least a little longer than a second to think about… Continue reading Literacy = ! { an on-off switch }

Infinity vs URL

How many specks of dust are there in the universe? Very very many. Is each speck of dust unique? Perhaps, maybe, I don’t know. Vast is a quite short word, yet it spans such breadth, so many cases, across the universe. This little four-letter word almost extends beyond the outer reaches of human intellect itself.… Continue reading Infinity vs URL