Orientalism - to Fetish and Back Again
The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing the Orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work. -Edward Said, OrientalismRead more…
Linguistic Relativity and the Tyranny of the Compiler
The idea has been floating around in Linguistics for about a century, that language affects one’s thoughts. Known as linguistic relativity, aka the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, this comes in two flavours: the strong version, where language determines and limits thought; and the weak version, where language only influences thought.1 For human languages, linguists largely agree that the strong version is false, and instead hold to the weak version. We can propose a mechanism to explain this starting from two premises: humans are capable of abstract thought in the absence of language, and are capable of modifying their languages.Read more…
Why Decentralised Applications Don’t Work
TL;DR: Misaligned profit motives.
This has been on my mind for a while, and with a couple of things lately stoking my ire (the NFT resurgence, and Signal integrating MobileCoin), I’ve finally pushed myself to put it into words.Read more…
I guess I have this site now? I should probably write something for it.