Wordle is a fascinating online service that takes a bunch of text, or an RSS feed, and then mashes it all together to create a word cloud of ideas. Here’s the Wordle mash for the Urban Semiotic Atom feed. It’s wild to see the words that pop out at you and, reading it semiotically to form sentences out of the cloud, I see “Twitter new know stream.” and “American religion good people.” What semoitic sentences does your mind form in the following pareidoliac clouds?
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Sometimes we are unaware of what we have written.
Our words always become ghosts to us and they haunt us in the quiet moments if we are not cogent of their power to harm when we create meaning by solidifying thoughts into form and placing words against each other for context.
If you aren’t aware by now how Microsoft Word saves all revision and review information as a matter of its default behavior, then you need to know any interaction you have with a Word document of your creation — or if you are reviewing someone else’s Word document — does not protect your identity unless you interactively remove your private information.
You can imagine how this Word feature/problem is haunting for those
unaware of its nefarious power. This Word document tracking issue
played a role in the ramp up for the War in Iraq:
Back in February 2003, 10 Downing Street published a
dossier on Iraq’s security and intelligence organizations. This dossier
was cited by Colin Powell in his address to the United Nations the same
month. Dr. Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in politics at Cambridge
University, quickly discovered that much of the material in the dossier
was actually plagiarized from a U.S. researcher on Iraq. Blair’s
government made one additional mistake: they published the dossier as a
Microsoft Word file on their Web site. When I first heard from Dr.
Rangwala about the dossier, I decided to try to learn who had worked on
the document. I downloaded the Word file containing the dossier from
the 10 Downing Street Web site (http://www.number-10.gov.uk/) and found the following revision log in the file…
I was raised to believe “a deal is a deal” and that means once you agree on something with someone — written contract or not — that part of the deal is done and settled and to go back later and try to renegotiate is tantamount to going back on your word.