Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Phantom blog posts, word people, number people, symbol people, and code people

I read a blog post this morning on Blogspotting, and then a couple of hours later I checked the Blogspotting blog again and that post wasn't there. I considered the possibility that I had imagined the original blog post, but then I discovered that I had left the original Blogspotting window up, and there in fact was the "phantom" blog post. I suspect that it was posted and then removed for some unknown reason, possibly the fact that it roughly duplicated another blog post by the other Blogspotting correspondent, but it looks fine to me as a separate post. In any case, here is the text from that phantom blog post:

January 11, 2006

Search engines vs. media

Stephen Baker

Jakob Neilsen says that search engines are leeches. (Thanks Performancing). This is a battle that's sure to rage between content creators and search engines. It pits writers and artists against tech people. In some senses, it's a battle between word people and number people. I'll lay out my bets later.

09:26 AM | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Note that although the post doesn't appear on their blog, the permalink I gave above still takes you to the phantom blog post itself.

Caveat: All of this is subject to change if the folks at Blogspotting change their minds and restore the post to their blog.

My only real comment on the post is that I disagree with the simple bifurcation of word and number people. There's at least a third category, symbol people, of which I am one. I'm not a true word person since I don't care for lengthy or elaborate prose or anything labeled "literature" or "journalism", and I simply despise having to deal with bare numbers or most math. What originally attracted me to computer science was the idea of working with symbols rather than raw words or raw numbers. It doesn't surprise me that a mere journalist (i.e., a "word" person) is unaware of even the existence of us symbol people.

Some symbol people are in fact code people, the kind of people who think in terms of reducing real world activity into the actions of computer code within a computer. They're the kind of people who wear T-shirts that say "Life would be so much easier if only we had access to the source code."

-- Jack Krupansky

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