HOW WILL YOU AND YOUR COMPANY BEHAVE GIVEN THESE FIGURED FACTS AND BALANCED PREDICTIONS? You will need – or more properly speaking be forced - to implement a Management Control / Planning System for your national and international Search Engine Marketing - SEM, Search Engine Optimization - SEO, Social Media Marketing - SMM, and overall digital activity.
SEM’s difference from SEO is most simply depicted as the difference between paid and unpaid priority ranking in search results. Its purpose regards prominence more so than relevance. Both are what we would essentially call “inbound marketing”.
One way to start to think about pertinent incentives is to ask four questions about a particular choice architecture:
Who uses? Who chooses? Who pays? Who profits?
Other architecture doors or entrances are not effective because they violate a simple psychological principle with a fancy name: stimulus response compatibility. The idea is that you want the signal you receive (the stimulus) to be consistent with the desired action. When there are inconsistencies, performance suffers and people blunder.
This website has partly been set up with the purpose to facilitate management control understanding of Search Engine Optimization and overall Digital Marketing. One excellent academic essay from a leading university questions whether more information is the same thing as more understanding. It (the essay) does so by way of neuroscience’s favourite analogy: comparing the brain to a computer.
Logical schema like modus ponens (If A, then B; A. Therefore B.) seem natural in the abstract, but once we give them substance, they can seem less natural because casual considerations actually come into play. All clever stuff!!!
Google’s success “is about recipes, not ingredients.” The starting point of all science is collecting: animals, plants, minerals, elements, algorithms, even stars. Then, once a collection is large enough, patterns begin to emerge. Those patterns both require and suggest explanation.
Even for intellectual giants such as Philip Kotler, an erudite and pure “thinking doer”, who minced “that fifty per cent of all our marketing is wasted, albeit we do not know which fifty per cent,” uncertainty is an everlasting and necessary part of the picture. Overconfidence often leads to a lamentable lack of planning.
Mr Kotler also holds that “the organization’s marketing task is to determine the needs, wants and interests of target markets and to achieve the desired results more effectively and efficiently than competitors, in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s or society’s well-being.” Here we will emphasize the needs of middle- to top management for information in order to control and develop the Search Engine Optimization and Digital Marketing function.
Languages are not always (or even usually) perfect and efficient vehicles for a management culture; random change can leave them with too many words for one concept, and not enough for another. In this way, the flawed nature of language reflects the foibles of flawed humans and the imperfect worlds they strive to create.
All our international Search Engine Optimization and Digital Marketing cases have not necessarily an either correct or incorrect handling of management problems – or, more hopefully – opportunities. As in all cases of this type, there are no right answers.
We will hence focus on Search Engine Optimization and Digital Marketing management control information and ditto systems. We will not, however, elaborate in any detail on the techniques that are needed to control the cost and quality of the information system itself.
Such techniques are obviously essential, however, conceptually the distinction between the two is that in information processing the parameters of the desired information are taken as given, whereas management control sets these parameters. In practice there is overlap between the two because one cannot understand techniques for processing information efficiently without some appreciation of the purpose for which it will be used.
We acknowledge that the party has, in the past, not been “sophisticated enough in its wording”, and following human intuition is perhaps [not always] the best way to navigate markets. We definitely and ultimately need reliable Search Engine Optimization and intuitive Digital Marketing, forcefully combined and implemented into a functional management control system.
The nature of control. A business company, or indeed any organization, must be controlled; that is, there must be devices that ensure that it goes where its leaders want it to go. The control of an organization is, however, much more complicated than the control of, for example, an automobile or any other vehicle.
A control system is a system whose purpose is to attain and maintain a desired state or condition. Any control system has at least these four elements:
-A measuring device which detects what is happening in the parameter being controlled. This is called a detector or sensor.
-A device for assessing the significance of what is happening, usually by comparing information on what is actually happening with some standard or expectation of what should be happening. This is called a selector.
-A device for altering behaviour if the need for doing so is indicated. This is called an effector.
-A means of transmitting information between these devices. This is called a communication network.
The transmission of information from the detector to the control device is called feedback.
Collectively, these elements constitute a system because any set of interrelated units is a system. The units are interrelated in the sense that each element affects and is affected by the other elements. We must not come to believe, however, that control is automatic; as a minimum we must also know something about organizational objectives and the personality of the chief executive or the controller.
Control systems for some parts of an organization are practically as automatic as a thermostat. Examples are the process controls in a petroleum refinery, the control of the flow of electricity through a distribution network, and the production controls on an automated assembly line. These control systems, and others that have similar characteristics, are called operational control systems.
The control of the organization as a whole, and of the various units of which it is comprised, is much more complicated than that of any of the preceding examples, however. This control is called management control, the term implying that the control is exercised through managers. Basic factors causing these complications are as follows:
-Unlike a thermostat, the standard that is used as a basis for assessing the significance of what is happening is not preset. Rather, it is a result of a conscious management process, called planning. In the planning process, management decides what the organization should be doing, and the control process compares actual accomplishments with these plans. Thus, in an organization there is a close connection between the planning process and the control process, so close that for many purposes they should be viewed as a single process.
-Like human behaviour, but unlike the thermostat, the system does not operate automatically. Some of the detectors (that is, the instruments for detecting what is happening in the organization) can be mechanical, but important information is often detected through the manager’s own eyes, ears, and other senses.
There can be automatic ways of comparing reports of what is happening against some standard, but usually a determination of whether or not the difference between actual and standard is significant must be made by human beings, and the action taken to alter behaviour also involves human beings.
-The connection between the observed need for action and the behaviour required to obtain the desired action is by no means as clear-cut as it is in the case of the simple control system. In the selector stage, the manager may decide “costs are too high”, but there is no easy or automatic step, or series of steps, that is guaranteed to bring costs down to what they should be.
-Management control requires coordination. An organization consists of many parts, and the control system must ensure that the work of these parts is in harmony with one another. This need did not exist at all in the case of the thermostat.
-Control in an organization does not come about solely, or even primarily, as a result of actions taken by an external regulating device like the thermostat. Much control is self-control; that is, managers act the way they do, not primarily because they are given specific orders by their superiors, but rather because their own judgement tells them the appropriate actions they should take.
Thus, control in an organization involves a variety of functions, some of which are not present in the simple situations that often come to mind when the word “control” is used. These include:
(1) planning what the organization should do,
(2) coordinating the activities of several parts of the organization,
(3) communicating information,
(4) evaluating information and deciding what, if any, action should be taken,
(5) influencing people to change their behaviour, and
(6) processing information that is used in the other functions.
Business management / computer linguistic science is a battle-ground as political, competitive, and fierce as any; most idealism of business school tempered or lost. Distinguishing between different types of academic scientific regimes is important. What is not so simple is actually isolating the factors that are key to an analysis. A culture of innovation is key to the success of our species. But what amplifies this successful genius is another skill: Language; a language that defies belief.
Language, as we argue often and elsewhere, matters immensely. Sloppy use robs terms of their meaning. It also shapes perceptions; even public perceptions... Language is the foundation of civilization; it is the glue that holds the people together. It is the first weapon drawn in a conflict, whether legal, commercial or political.
Humans form non-kin communities that do not involve direct control or acqaintance with others; we have science and mathematics and seek ultimate explanations. The introduction of language must surely be among the most important factors explaining how these remarkable capacities came to us. This conclusion makes sense on independent grounds. You cannot speculate and think about matters far and near unless you have some way of constructing an unlimited number of complex thoughts that you can detach from current circumstances and use to range over arbitrary times and circumstances.
Language gives you this capacity. You cannot organize and construct projects involving cooperation between individuals unless you have a way of planning well into the future, providing for contingencies, and assigning specific roles; language gives you that. So one reason to be interested in the science of language is because it tells us what natural languages are, what gives us, but no other creatures, language, and what explains the introduction of language and the beginnings of our remarkable cognitive capacities.
The science of language is an objective natural science that treats language as a biologically based system that evolved in a single individual and was genetically transmitted to progeny. Evolution of this sort – very different from the usual gradualist stories about evolution of complex systems – nicely explains how language came about. And there are important implications of the fact that language is a “natural object”, and that it came about by means of evolution.
One implication of the idea that the evolutionary introduction of language may have made us the distinctive species we are is that it – perhaps by itself – explains what is human about human nature. If this is so, there is a naturalistic – not religious, and not merely speculative – account of our distinctiveness and its origin. If so, and assuming that a creature’s fundamental needs are based on its nature, we might be able to find a naturalistic basis for views about “the Good Life for this kind of Creature”.
Rationalism consists of a set of proposals – a procedure, strategy, or methodology – for studying the human mind, and language in particular. The methodology is not chosen at random; it is adopted because rationalists believe that it offers the best way to proceed in constructing a naturalistic science of mind and language, a science that while it differs from physics and chemistry in its subject matter is, like them, a natural science.
It is assumed [by some] there exist two sets of observations about language and its use, and about how language and other human mental capacities develop in the infant and child. One is called the “poverty of the stimulus” observations and applies to all cognitive domains such as vision, audition, facial and object recognition, and so on. The other, the “creative aspect of language use”, is specific to language. We wonder if humans develop a language automatically, that is, if much of the human mind’s structure and “content” must somehow be fixed or innate? The answer is most likely a big yes.
It is also reasonable to hold that humans really are free in the ways in which they use language, and also to hold that if one wants a natural science of language, the only way to get it is to focus entirely on the nature, development, and operations of a person’s “language organ”, not on the uses to which its resources are put as they appear in a person’s linguistic actions and behaviours.
Perhaps the science of language should in some measure be a science of linguistic behaviour and how the mind relates to the world outside the head? These asumptions and the methodology for the study of mind dominate current research in psychology, philosophy, and related cognitive sciences. We might insist that the only methodology appropriate for developing a theory of language is that which is also employed in chemistry and physics. The study of language differs only in subject matter and experimental techniques from other naturalistic scientific endeavour.
We can acknowledge that language is a very useful cognitive tool that can serve many roles and that has given humans extraordinary cognitive advantages, compared to other creatures. We might, however, resist the idea that language evolved because it improved the human capacity to communicate; further against the idea that language is some kind of social invention, an institution that was put together by us to help us serve our needs, and transmitted to the young by some kind of training or social inculcation.
Now let us take language. What is its characteristic use? Well, probably 99.9 per cent of its use is internal to the mind. You can not go a minute without talking to yourself. It takes an incredible act of will not to talk to yourself. It is perfectly true that language is used for communication. But everything you do is used for communication – your hairstyle, your mannerism, your walk, and so on and so forth. So sure, language is also used for communication.
How can we compare animal and human communication? There is a kind of taxonomy of animal cries, and human language does not even fit the taxonomy in any of the senses. Whatever those things are, they are apparently a code (cues, signals, signs); alas, there is no relationship to human language. That is not so surprising: apparently, our nearest surviving relatives are about 10 million years apart in evolutionary time; so you would not expect to find anything like human language. So animals do have communication systems, but they do not seem to have anything like a language.
There was a sudden “great leap forward” – an outburst of creative energy – in an instant of evolutionary time, during perhaps ten thousand years or so. Some small genetic change led to the rewiring of the brain that made this human capacity available. And with it came the entire range of creative options that are available to humans within a theory of mind – a second-order theory of mind, so you know that somebody is trying to make you think what somebody else wants you to think...
It is very hard to imagine how any of this could go on without language; at least, we can not think of any way of doing it without a language. And most of it is thinking and planning and interpreting; it is internal. This genetic change – this mutation in the brain creating language capabilities – must have taken place in a person, not in a group. It had to have happened in a single person. Something happened in a person that that person transmitted to its offspring. This mutation – or modification – must have had some selectional advantage.
Adding, merging, creating syntax, experiencing syllogism mean to take mental objects [or concepts of some sort], already constructed, and make bigger mental objects out of them. As soon as you have this capacity, you have an infinite variety of hierarchically structured expressions [and thoughts] available to you.
So it is conceivable that that is as far as the evolution of language is concerned. And the reason we continue to primarily use language to think [within] ourselves is that that is the way it got started, less than one hundred thousand years ago. And, after all, sixty or seventy thousand years [and maybe up to a hundred thousand] is not a lot of time from an evolutionary point of view; it is [virtually] an instant.
Now, there are a lot of more complicated theories, but there is no justification for any of them. So, for example, a common theory is that somehow, some mutation made it possible to construct two-word sentences; and that gave a memory advantage because you could eliminate this big number of lexical items from memory.
So that had selectional advantages. And then something came along and we had three-word sentences and then a series of mutations led to five...; finally you got complete syntax, because it goes to infinity. This somehow constituted an evolutionary advantage for that individuals and his or her offspring.
There are many arguments and evidence against thinking that the language and arithmatic capacities are related, albeit, it is not very clear what the evidence purports. The evidence is, in part, dissociations. You can get neural dysfunction in which you lose one capacity and keep the other. However, that is not going to tell you anything, because it does not distinguish competence from performance. It may be that those neural deficiencies have to do with using the capacity.
So to take an analogy, there are dissociations in reading a language. But nobody thinks that there is a special reading part of the brain. It is just that there is a way of using language in reading, and that way can be damaged; but the language is still there. And it could be the same thing for arithmatic. As a matter of fact, it could turn out that, whatever language is, it is just distributed in different parts of the brain.
There are so many possibilities that the evidence just does not show very much. So what we are left with is speculation, but when you do not have enough evidence, you pick the simplest explanation. And the simplest explanation that happens to conform to all the evidence we have is that it (reading) is just an offshoot of language derived by imposing a specific restriction on syntax.
In fact, there are other specific restrictions, which are much more modern. So take what are called “formal languages”, say ... arithmatic, or programming systems, or whatever. They are kind of like natural language, but they are so recent and so self-conscious that we know that they are not really much like the biological object, human language.
In natural language, you do use edge properties for scope; and you do it through internal syntax. Formal languages do not have internal syntax; but they have got to have something that is going to be interpreted as scope. So you use the same device you do in natural language; you put it on the outside with the restricted variables, and so on.
There are things that just flow from having a system with syntax inside you; and probably the same is true of music, and many other things. We got this capacity that came along and gives us extraordinary options for planning, interpretation and thought. And it just starts feeding into everything else.
The evolution of human language has got to be one of the hardest topics to study. Yet somehow we feel that we have got to understand it, or we can not go further. It is a highly irrational approach to inquiry; something that we might think of as pure science, science that aims at basic structures, without regard to applications. This is a huge step in the sciences and, in fact, a step only very recently taken.
Our tradition has been strictly descriptive behaviourism, but now the fundamental biological question arises: what are the properties of this language system that are specific to it? How is it different from walking, say – what specific properties make a system, unlike other systems, a linguistic one?
That question is, why do biological systems have these properties – why these properties, and not other properties? This was recognized to be a problem even back around Darwin’s time. Even natural selection – it is perfectly understood, it is obvious from the logic of it – alone cannot do anything; it has to work within some kind of prescribed channel of physical and chemical possibilities, and that has to be a restrictive channel.
The basic questions of what is specific to language really have to do with issues that go beyond those of explanatory adequacy [that is, with Plato’s Problem, or explaining the poverty of the stimulus facts for language acquisition]. “We should consider what is natural not in things depraved but in those which are rightly ordered according to nature,” as Aristotle advised us.
But if language is not rooted in nature, but in accident and history. There is a possibility, which is not unreasonable, given what we know about human evolution. It seems that the language system developed quite suddenly. If so, a long process of historical accident is ruled out, and we can begin to look for an explanation elsewhere – perhaps, as Turing thought, in chemistry or physics.
And there are, of course, lots of instances of what François Jacob calls “bricolage”, or tinkering: at any particular point, nature does the best it can with what is at hand. You get paths in evolution that get stuck up here and go from there and not start over and go somewhere else. Language is a pretty intricate system with highly specific principles that has no analogue anywhere else in the world, and this might lead to the end of any discussion of the central problems of biology of language – what is specific to it, how did it get there?
We have agreed that only humans have language, and language is part of communication [systems]. It has been said that Koko the gorilla knew over 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language, and used them to do everything from asking for food to joking around. Her trainer thought Koko went further still, signing in novel ways and showing complex emotions. However, linguists and experts in sign languages pointed out that these have complex grammars, equivalent to spoken languages in expressiveness. Koko’s ability fell well short of a fluent human signer, in particular when it came to syntax, an infinite capacity.
We have a debate over whether emoji constitute a language. If anything, emoji are too good at communicating to count. They are blunt and literal. A smiling emoji means a smile. Nearly all words in a human language, by contrast, are arbitrary. A dog does not make a sound like “dog”. Form has no connection to meaning.
With a few joking exceptions, emoji are like gesture and tone of voice, in that their form and meaning are inextricable; they are almost impossible to to misunderstand because they are universal and obvious. Indeed emoji are so popular because they do in writing what gesture and tone do for speech.
But attempts to “translate” (most historically known literal translations were made at a time when the derivation of the word was still understood, coming from trans-ferre, to bring across) novels into emoji are mere amusements. No one without previous knowledge of the plot could possibly understand them.
No language in the world merely strings relevant signs together like emoji, or communicates at the tourist-abroad level of pointing and making exaggerated facial expressions. That gorillas lack syntax should not blind humans to their magnificence. But the fact that Koko could communicate should not mislead observers into thinking she possessed language. Homo sapiens is an impressive primate too.
Nothing would work in the absence of communication. Flowers must communicate with bees in order for pollination to be successful. Male songbird must communicate with females if they are to mate and rear young. Lions on a cooperative hunt must communicate with each other about how they will attack their prey.
A human infant must communicate with its parents so that the needs of both are met. Great orators must use their communicative skills to captivate and manipulate the emotions of their audience. Computer programmers must design software to communicate with their hardware. And who knows, perhaps there are extraterrestrials trying to communicate with us at this very moment, although perhaps more successfully with some of us mere mortals than with others.
But why do birds sing rather than speak? Why do not human infants scream and cry when they are content as peas in a pod, but coo and gurgle when they are angry, annoyed, or in pain? These are questions about design, and what is true of all communication systems that work is that they have specific design features. The design features of a communication system are the result of a complex interaction between the constraints of the system and demands of the job required.
For natural communication systems, such as those observed in the plant and animal kingdoms, constraints can be seen at several levels including neurobiological, physiological, and psychological. These constraints are important, for they determine the relative success of the organism in responding to socioecologically relevant stimuli in the environment.
For all organisms, including humans, communication provides a vehicle for conveying information and for expressing to others what has been perceived. But organisms differ with regard to what they can convey and what they can perceive. Consequently, there are a diversity of communication systems in the natural world.
These perspectives or problems are not hierarchically structured. They represent a coherent theoretical and methodological framwork for both studying and explaining communication. Current understanding of communication exceeds many other areas of natural behaviour because the question “Why?” has been addressed thoroughly.
A close look at what we know about human language suggests that our understanding of mechanism and ontogeny is sophisticated, whereas our understanding of function and phylogeny is relatively poor. By the phylogeny of language, we are referring to the evolutionary changes in communicative structure and function preceding the emergence of language in modern humans - i e, Homo sapiens sapiens.
In fact, rarely have researchers asked whether language should be considered an adaptation and, if so, what its fitness consequences are for members of the species. There are at least four reasons for this omission. First, for some linguists, the analytical lens focuses exclusively on the problem of syntax.
Those working on this aspect of language show little interest in the fact that syntactic structure provides humans with an extraordinary communicative tool and, as a result, show little interest in the evolutionary pressures that may have led to this form of communication rather than some other form.
Second, language is sometimes conceived as a trait that is detached from our biology – most of the interesting features of language are the result of cultural processes. Clearly, anything that is not part of our biology cannot be an adaptation, sensu strictu. Third, interest in the evolutionary origins of language has concentrated on syntax and the computational machinery that it appears to require, a machinery considered a unique feature of modern humans.
Without precursors, it makes little sense to talk about gradual evolution by natural selection. Last, evolutionary thinking has generally played a minor role in the social sciences. This statement is certainly true of most researchers working on human language. The study of human language requires a good dose of medicine flavoured with functional and phylogenetic ingredients.
Because human language is communicated via auditory and visual channels, the design features of our own communication system can be directly compared to the design features of other animals without the complications of different sensory modalities. We may search for a working definition of communication, and here are a few known dittos:
-Communication occurs when the action of or cue by one organism is perceived by and thus alters the probability pattern of behaviour in another organism in a fashion adaptive to either one or both of the participants.
-Communication is the transfer of information via signals sent in a channel between a sender and a receiver. The occurrence of communication is recognized by a difference in the behaviour of the reputed receiver in two situations that differ only in the presence or absence of the reputed signal. The effect of a signal may be to prevent a change in the receiver’s output, or to maintain a specific internal behavioural state of readiness.
-The therm “true communication” is restricted to cases in which the transmitting organism engages in behaviour that is adaptive principally because it generates a signal and the interaction mediated by the signal is adaptive to the receiving organism as well.
-The process in which actors use specially designed signals or displays to modify the behaviour of reactors.
-The term is used in a narrower sense, to refer to the behaviours by which one member of a species conveys information to another member of the species.
-Communication is a matter of casual influence. The communicator [must] construct an internal representation of the external world, and then ... carry out some symbolic behaviour that conveys the content of that representation. The recipient must first perceive the symbolic behaviour, i e construct its internal representation, and then from it recover a further internal representation of the state that it signifies. This final step depends on access to the arbitrary conventions governing the interpretation of the symbolic behaviour.
-Human communication includes forms of verbal communication such as speech, written language and sign language. It comprises nonverbal modes that do not invoke language proper, but that nevertheless constitute extremely important aspects of how we communicate. As we interact, we make various gestures – some vocal and audible, others nonvocal like patterns of eye contact and movements of the face and the body. Whether intentional or not, these behaviours carry a great deal of communicative significance.
The concepts of information and signal form integral components of most definitions of communication, including communication on the internet. Information is a feature of an interaction (i e, not an abstraction that can be discussed in the absence of some specific context between sender and perceiver).
Signals carry certain kinds of informational content, which can be manipulated by the sender and differentially acted upon by the perceiver. Signals have been designed to serve particular functions, and the function they serve must be evaluated in light of both production and perception constraints.
Constraints on the system include the energetic cost associated with generating the cheliped display, and for purposes of clarity we have to draw a technical distinction between cues and signals. Cues, like signals, represent potential sources of information. Cues, however, differ from signals in two important ways.
First, cues – also on a website or in a standardized e-mail – tend to be permanently ON, whereas signals are more plastic and can be in an ON and OFF state. A beautiful scenery in a website would be a cue, an urgent symbol (!) in an e-mail would constitute a signal. A second distinction is necessary between cues and signals on the one hand, and what we might call signs. Having an SSL secured website, showing https:// rather than http://, might to some, indicate a sign of heightened security and hence solidity.
In addition to his theory of natural selection, the comparative method is what made Darwin great. His major works are packed with comparisons based on detailed studies and anecdotal observations. The comparative method is not without problems. The problems are most acute when phylogenetic relationships are poorly documental and when variables or traits are codes as present versus absent. We will not question Darwin’s belief that the structure and function of language were shaped by problems associated with mating and survival – albeit, we ought to contemplate how this affect our electronic communicative behaviour and endeavour.
The presence – absence distinction is at the heart of most discussions of language evolution. Although there is nothing theoretically misguided about this distinction, it must be used with caution. This is particularly the case in comparative studies of communication, where the units of comparison commonly differ between subjects and knowledge of the communication system is typically asymmetric for the subjects being compared.
For example, it is often stated that a fundamental difference between human language and nonhuman communication is that the former has access to an infinite set of meaningful utterances whereas the latter is more restricted. The difference in expressiveness lies in the fact that language makes use of the combinatorial power of syntax whereas other communicative forms lack syntax. Although this distinction is currently accurate, it is perhaps premature in a predictive perspective.
Predicting short- and long-term future linguistic experience will be essential, crucial and of utmost importance. Who can claim to be a true scenario-planning expert? We, as a Digital Marketing Intelligence Group, value structure above all, without being completely averse to deviations from the tried and true. Response is not the same as creation – the latter looms larger over our thoughts – and we can never duck reality over time, especially not when it is coming broadside.
Being positive, though, is, as always, an argumentum e silentio. An endless stream of new discoveries makes science thrilling. But, as any seasoned researcher knows, such novelties are worthless unless they can be replicated. Often, however, replication does not get done as thoroughly as it should be – or even at all. For, as any seasoned researcher also knows, replication is rarely the stuff careers are built on; studies conducted with that goal may even struggle to get published in peer-reviewed journals.
A scientist / philosopher, Wilhelm Roscher, has explicitly stated that for science the development of peoples is in principle always the same; and the category of appropriation, both of economic and scientific resources, is older than that of legitimacy.
The economic instability and political divisions - i e, constructive, creative competition - sometimes or often associated with business management- and computer linguistics (think Facebook and Cambridge Analytica) have caused some sharp minds to think of them as a curse, not a blessing. But economic thinking on this issue is also prone to division and swings in sentiment. Is business management- and computer linguistic science in fact marred by reverse casuality?
Our knowledge, and especially our scientific knowledge, progresses by unjustified (and unjustifiable) anticipations, by guesses, by tentative solutions to our problems; in a word by conjectures. Not only our knowledge, but also our aims and our standards grow through an unending process of trial and error, which must be subjected to critical tests.
A theory of experience may – and should – assign to our observations the equally modest and almost equally important role of tests which may help us in the discovery of our mistakes. Though, it should stress our fallibility, albeit, not resign itself to scepticism. It is vitally important to stress the fact that knowledge can grow and that science can progress – just because we can learn from our mistakes.
Anything that can not be reached by meagre knowledge and wisdom is beyond scientific control: it lays in the realm of genius, which rises above all rules. (Being aware that a tomato is in fact a fruit is knowledge; not putting it in a fruit salad would be considered wisdom: a small reminder for those who can not differentiate between these two words.)
I share with many the penchant for delving into the genius of the past and asking how a similar knowledge spirit might guide the future. Knowledge is somewhat paradoxical. It is most productive when freely available. But the incentive to create it depends on the ability to restrict its use. The former consideration justifies dissemination. The latter justfies control. How, then, is this balance working?
Historically, knowledge has been [considered] dangerous. One anti-intellectual diatribe published in 1526 went so far as to pronounce knowledge “the very pestilence, that putteth all mankind to ruine and hath made us subjecte to so many kindes of sinne”. Better, wrote the author, “to be Idiotes, and knowe nothinge” than to have one’s head filled with pernicious ideas.
But although such thoroughgoing scepticism was an understandable reaction to the plethora of “knowledge” then on offer, it was a hard philosophy to stick to and nobody really did stick to it. It was more plausible to employ the weapons of Scepticism in a strictly limited way. Sceptical arguments were generally used to undermine outdated or overambitious claims to knowledge, not to attack all intellectual activity.
Globalization has been helping to spread useful knowledge. This analysis sheds light on the contemporary landscape of innovation, on the current diffusion of knowledge, on the role of global value chains and on the impact of competition and use of knowledge and language. Knowledgeable technology is the process of turning the magical into the mundane, and rivalry is the best fuel for scientific language exploration.
Most people spend a lot of time inspecting a brochure’s first few pages and hardly look at distracting websites. But as time wear on, their attention starts to flag, and then it collapses completely. It is hard to accuse these people of being lazy or ignorant. They really want to pay attention and absorb information, but their attention fails them.
Communications are written by experts. Most experts love the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise, especially when their contribution is acknowledged. Contributing to the community of knowledge is in our collaborative nature. These experts feel like everyone must understand what they write because the expert does. This is the curse of knowledge.
It is a result of participation in the community of knowledge – the failure to separate what is in one’s own head from what is in the heads of others. The consummate philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that the ways things really are will always remain hidden from our view. All we can ever know is the appearance of things.
So perhaps the best we can hope is that science gives us verisimilitudinous knowledge of the universe; that is, gives us a narrative that appears to describe reality. What seems is the sensory veneer of what we see, what we hear, what people say, what people do. What is hides beneath what seems. For truth is not what happens, but how and why what happens happens.
Ignorance is not bliss, but it does not have to be a misery. For humans, ignorance is inevitable. It is our natural state. There is too much complexity in the world for any individual to master. Ignorance can be frustrating, but the problem is not ignorance per se. It is the trouble we get by not recognizing it.
Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problem (and/or opportunity) which we are trying to solve. This is how we become better acquainted with our problem (and/or opportunity), and able to propose more mature solutions; steps forward that take us nearer to the truth.
Truth is not manifest, as a rule. We may raise questions, albeit, give no answers. The simple truth is that truth is often hard to come by, and that once found it may easily be lost again. Erroneous beliefs may have an astonishing power to survive, in defiance of experience.
I am mainly dealing with the structure of business, industrial and marketing organizations in a comparative and systematic manner, at the risk of falling under the anathema “Dilettantes compare”. I do so in order to remind us all that thinking, writing and judging – being creative overall - if it is to be of any value, must always be and remain comparative, open and in the context of time, historical events and business / social development. Striking the right balance between “thinking and doing” is important, and I would henceforth like to “bend the arc towards doing”. Eilt sehr. Sofort am Schirm. Zugreifen! Time is of essence; Tempus fugit.
The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. How we think is helpful to understand why we think. Thought could have evolved to serve several functions.
The function of thought could be to represent the world – to construct a model in our heads that corresponds in critical ways to the way the world is. Or thought could be there to make language possible so we can communicate with others. Or thought could be there for problem-solving or decision-making.
Or maybe it evolved for a specific purpose such as building tools or showing off to potential mates (evolution dictates that there is no more important action than mating; some say that if life has any purpose, surely it is to propagate). All of these ideas may have something to them, but thought surely evolved to serve a larger purpose, a purpose common to all three proposals: Thought is for action!
Thinking evolved as an extension of the ability to act effectively; it evolved to make us better at doing what is necessary to achieve our goals. Thought allows us to select from among a set of possible actions by predicting the effects of each action and by imagining how the world would be if we had taken different actions in the past.
One reason to believe that this is why we think is that action came before thought. Even the earliest organisms were capable of action. Single-celled organisms that arose early in the evolutionary cycle ate and moved and reproduced. They did things; they acted on the world and changed it. Evolution selected those organisms whose actions best supported their survival. And the organisms whose actions were most effective were the ones best tuned to the changing conditions of a complex world.
The best tools for identifying the appropriate action in a given circumstance are mental faculties that can process information. Visual systems must be able to do a fair amount of sophisticated processing to distinguish a rat from a leaf. Other mental processes are also critical for selecting the appropriate action. Memory can help indicate which actions have been most effective under similar conditions in the past, and reasoning can help predict what will happen under new conditions.
Some - or many, even most – business and marketing institutions are trapped in financial constructs that makes it hard to pursue missions intelligently, albeit, it is not flesh and blood that make us fathers. Being [critical] of everyone enable us – as a Search Engine Optimization and Digital Marketing Group – to be impartial, utilizing oratio obliqua; explicit and implicit, verbal and non-verbal.
You need to own – or create – great content to differentiate yourself in the market, and it is like anything else; perseverance seems to pay off. The market gives no quarter - you need technological and/or linguistic advantages - and be reminded that while the amateur may feel like your friend, there is joy in developing expertise and craftmanship. Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end. Peel that onion of reality!
Science shows us regularly that our intuitions are mistaken. Science is constantly learning something new, and more often than not such learning means jettisoning wrong ideas. That is why science often clashes with common sense – our intuition, for example, wants Earth to be flat and still, and time to be the same everywhere. None of this is true.
Perhaps our difficulty in dealing with impermanence (or the passing of time) is at the root of our anxiety and suffering. It might have been in order to escape from this anxiety that the Greek philosopher Parmenides denied time’s existence, Plato imagined a world of ideas outside it and Hegel spoke of the moment in which the spirit transcends temporality.
In our emotional fog – with a temporal structure far removed from our intuition – perhaps, ultimately, we end up losing our own sense of time; and the emotional dimension of time is not the film of mist that prevents us from apprehending its nature objectively.
“Here-and-now” is a well-defined notion in science, but “now” on its own is not. If we call reality that which exists now, what is reality after we have realized that there is not a well-defined “now” everywhere.
The very grammar we use to talk about things, in which verbs have only a past, future and present tense, is inadequate to describe the ways of nature. Is our perception of time illusory? No, not necessarily, however it indicates that what we perceive as time may not be a simple and elementary aspect of nature, but rather a complex phenomenon with many layers, each needing to be addressed by a different chapter of science.
The full complexity of what we perceive as the flow of time has to be understood by studying the structure of our brain: evolution has shaped our brain into a machine that feeds off memory in order to anticipate the future. Time remains – also for explorers of Digital Marketing Intelligence and Search Engine Optimization – a mystery; a mystery that relates to issues of our individual identity and natural consciousness.
How do we reach a perfect symmetry between search engine optimization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, overall digital marketing and management control? To combine purpose and means is to create. Art is the capacity to create. Theory is the representation of art by way of concepts. This constitutes the whole of art, with two exceptions: talent, which is fundamental to everything, and practice – neither of which can be the product of theory. In short, even the most realistic theory can never match reality. (We will look into established rules with prescriptive powers of business management / digital linguistics research at a later section of study.)
We are not exploring the difficulties – the friction – of having decisions implemented due to uncertainty, ignorance, confusion, fatigue, error and countless other imponderables inferring with the effective application of business and digital marketing development. We are not [yet] investigating one important element in business / digital development – chance – subject to theoretical analysis. What depends upon a few persons is, in great measure, to be ascribed to chance, or secret and unknown causes; what arises from a great number may often be accounted for by determinate and known causes.
Most men / women are neither capable of achieving intellectual mastery over complex areas of human activity, nor much interested in it. People are happy just to carry on carrying on. To help them through the confusion of business / digital marketing development and application, initiative and required means demand relatively firm guides.
How are these to be provided? Experience goes a long way, as does a comprehensive and scientific analysis of Homo sapiens, and of human nature as it is. Understanding [reality] as such is what matters most to us. Any logical and intellectual symmetry achieved at the expence of reality will not do.
The realm of business and computer linguistic science – of Digital Marketing Intelligence – extends wherever in psychology our intellect discovers a resource that can serve our battle. What [motivational] resource? Your initial guess is – I would say hesitantly – decidedly not as good as mine... The future lies not just in predicting our outermost behaviours, but understanding our innermost ones.
I am obsessed by this type of Digital Marketing Intelligence. It has taken years – or decades – to understand what is at stake. The great Digital Marketing Intelligence of the world must demonstrate that it / we will “serve” and not “dominate” in the scheme of things. I have seen and noticed among journalists and a few pundits the sentence that, “international search engine optimization is complex to a degree, however, it is not rocket science.”
I think this judgement, by these people, is wrong and misguided. Already the competition, which will increase, demands future natural, organic algorithms and linguistic capabilities so complicated that no one person completely understands them. Rather, different people understands different aspects of them. The complexity of human invention – and writing; think Tolstoy, Dostoyevski et al – pales in comparison to the complexity of the natural world.
We, as a communications partner, are helping clients transform their marketing model to face digital disruption and the threat of new entrants. At present the mystified theme du jour of a new technology priesthood is “artificial intelligence”, however, we would opt instead for the more limited “machine intelligence”.
When people hear the term AI, they often think about a robot taking over the world, albeit it is about increasing the efficiency of what we do across the board. Every part of our business is always being augmented by these new capabilities. Strategic distraction over denominations are not needed when content is paramount.
We must bear in mind that “artificial intelligence” is a misnomer, albeit instead perhaps call it “collective intelligence”. All AI algorithms need to be trained using reams of human-generated examples – i e, machine learning. Unless they know what the right answers (provided by humans) are meant to be, algorithms cannot translate languages, understand speech or recognize objects in images. Data provided by humans can thus be seen as a form of labour which powers AI.
We might compare AI giving Michelangelo modern sculpturing tools like laser measurement tools and X-rays to detect flaws in the marble; a more hybrid approach with substance and depth over surface.
Initially – in the 1950s – academic researchers were looking for a way to imbue machines with human-like “general” intelligence, including complex reasoning. But that remains a distant aspiration. AI/ML is about to make humans more efficient, not to take them out of the process entirely.
Buying AI/ML takes time, can feel like hard work, and the results are often imperfect, however, artificial intelligence / machine learning is likely to have a bigger impact than anything since the advent of computers, and its consequences could be far more disruptive. Being both powerful and relatively cheap, it will spread faster than computers did and touch every industry.
We used wrongly to believe that “situational understanding could be delivered on a computer screen”, albeit, we have learnt the hard way it can not. Sometimes you have to be there to understand. We advocate the merits of understanding the world both through the data and through personal experience. Numbers will never tell the full story of what internet and life on Earth is all about. Hard logic and personal impressions work best when they reinforce and correct each other.
Representing the semantics of linguistic items in a machine-interpretable form has been a major goal of Natural Language Processing since its earliest days. Among the range of different linguistic items, words have attracted the most research attention. However, word representations have an important limitation: they conflate different meanings of a word into a single vector. Representations of word senses have the potential to overcome this inherent limitation.
Indeed, the representation of individual word senses and concepts has recently gained in popularity with several experimental results showing that a considerable performance improvement can be achieved across different NLP applications upon moving from word level to the deeper sense and concept levels. Another interesting point regarding the representation of concepts and word senses is that these models can be seamlessly applied to other linguistic items, such as words, phrases and sentences.
Personally, I chiefly write for ourselves and a few global multinationals – less than ten in numbers: from USA, Japan, China, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Russia – being as linguistically stringent and creative as possible. Each project is seldom a “quicky”, but rather comprises long periods of “writing slowly”, following the template of marketing success by “the well-told story erasing scepticism by wrapping [its] meaning inside an emotion”.
Speed in itself will never be taken as an index of progress or success with ourselves! Commencement, on the other hand, of a creative writing assignment could - and perhaps should - be both rapid and immediate.
However, our corporate authors and digital art directors cover most sectors on this planet in a timely fashion. Can any one person be an expert on all the writing and linguistic systems in the contemporary digital world? Let us explore humanity’s greatest invention, putting it in context of today’s convoluted internet verbosity.
Writing is perhaps humanity's greatest invention. Without it there would be no history and no civilization as we know it. How, when, where and why did writing evolve? Do alphabets function better than hieroglyphs? Are we today, in the computer age, moving towards a "universal language" of signs and symbols?
(To be continued)...
See you at the top!
Chairman / WalWrite WEB GROUP