Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Entries for month: August 2010

Emotion vs Rationality

August 25, 2010 ·

Phenomenal post on Tech Liberation this morning.  A friend and I often lament the inability in our current cultural environment to have a reasoned discussion on almost any topic.  The link below is a great dissection of the Rational vs the Emotional discussion, in this case specifically around technology and "privacy" issues, but certainly extensible to various topics of the day.  There's some good stuff in here that I think challenges the value of content:  not that it has no value, but that it has value in ways we don't always think of.  Some good gems:

"Think of Google Street View, which has generated investigations and litigation around the world, particularly in Germany where, as Jeff Jarvis pointed out, Germans think nothing of naked co-ed saunas."

This next one is thought-provoking, because I question his assertion that government has to be the data collector in order to resolve the paradox:
"We need regulators to protect us from corporations; we need civil rights to protect us from regulators."

So, given all the emotion around the web, and the fact that companies make more money if they can stir up More Emotion, "how does a company develop a strategic plan in the face of unpredictable and emotional response from potential users, the media, and regulators? ... the rational vehicle of planning simply crumples against the brick wall of emotion."

"Tangible property obeys the law of supply and demand, as does information forced into tangible containers.  But information set free from the mortal coil obeys only the law of networks, where value is a function of use and not of scarcity."

"But increasingly I believe that the property metaphor applied to information is doing more harm than good.  It makes every conversation about privacy a conversation of generalizations, and generalizations encourage the visceral responses that make it impossible to make any progress."

The point of view from Harper in the comments is also interesting, in terms of framing the theoretical debate on the nature of information.


Tags: politics

Social "Science"

August 03, 2010 ·

Just thought this was really interesting.

Tags: politics

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