Language, Power and the Future
I wrote a piece for Quartz this past week about an issue that's been on my mind for a while: our growing inexactitude with language at a time when complexity and ambiguity are also increasing. The result is a more and more dense fog of confusion just when we need clarity of vision(s).
I picked on public use of the words "hacker," "drone," "algorithm," and "robot," but the list could have gone on and on. Phenomena such as search-engine optimization, the mad scramble for attention by a wider array of media, and an overall authority vacuum make it harder and harder to get, take, or use the time needed to properly define words and topics that are of major consequence.
From the piece:
As Rafael Osio Cabrices pointed out, this problem is compounded by the role English plays as a central, global language of technology and business, leaving other languages and cultures to deal with the semantic messes we create. The result? We stumble toward uncertain futures without a clear voice.
Thanks for the feedback and kind comments on this piece. I'm sure I'll come back to this theme again—it doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon.