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Hard being objective in a world full of heuristics

Posted by Vikram Singh on 2018-12-26 at 11:29 PM

I highly recommend reading the book ‘The Information’ by John Gleick. It might come across as a slow burner of historical non-fiction at first but just wait till you get to the chapters that deal with the ‘Electric Telegraph’ and how our perception of everyday words like ‘send’ and ‘message’were a big part of a five millennium long narrative about such an important part of society – yes, Information…I mean….Imporfation? 🙂

Just imagine that a woman upon hearing that via electric-telepgraph, ‘troops were being sent to the front faster’ brought a basket of vegetables to a Moore’s office to be ‘sent’ through the electric wires. When another person went to ‘send’ a ‘message’, saw what he probably didn’t understand was his message being encoded into Morse and relayed to another station and then to another till it reached it’s destination, was flummoxed when he saw his written message then be hung over a line with a clip and sent for storage. He duly asked “why the ‘message’ had not been ‘sent’?”

This was the start of an era where people recognized language for what it was – a cipher. It was the time when Boole, while trying to figure out a short way of sending messages and pay less fees per telegraph – realized that language can be expressed in binary information using ‘logic gates and operands’ a name later used for turning a ‘if’ or an ‘or’ into pure information. You did not need an alphabet. Language as we speak it these days is just a subset – a very inefficient one at that – of methods to exchange information.
So….let’s cover some topics with the language of all languages – Math.


You can watch the video continuing on this subject on my Twitch channel by copy-pasting this link into your browser if hot-linking does not work.

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Vikram Singh

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