I have come to strongly dislike (hate) labels. Perhaps you know what I mean. You buy something and the label completely covers it . I am thinking of honey. Nice clear glass container, but you cannot tell how much is in there. Same with lots of liquids and sauces. So I routinely take them off (rarely easy). And I can see them clearly to know how much is left. Otherwise I have to take them out, open and look. My life is so busy I begrudge even a tenth of a second extra time for anything.
Now the same thing applies to the Internet. You might know that I review sometimes hundreds of sites each month, and evaluate every part of every page I see. So I go to a new page (just looking at a “donate to our worthy cause” page), and it is horrible. Too many things, no real information. Usually you cannot tell who owns the page, or it is is real at all. Go to a government site and it is millions of pages, unindexed, disorganized, repetitive, no authors marked. No real organization,. style, or courtesies shown at all.
If you go to a publisher site, they repeat what others have done. And add their own comments and layers and labels. It might start out “Here are good things you might be interested in”. Then it becomes “WE are showing you things”. Then “We are the best, donate and support us, buy our things. Oh, by the way here is something real.”
I love the word “dis-intermediation”. It means to remove intervening steps. During Covid the data went through the legacy paper and human systems because those systems were set up before the telegraph was invented. When everyone in the world with a cell phone or computer could just talk directly to share their information on something, we still filter almost all things through clerks and paper systems.
I really hate “talking heads”. If you go to almost any classroom (I have to try to look at all online “classrooms”) you see talking heads using “oral transmission” as their only method of teaching. If it is about most topics, the topics can be dealt with and learned directly from the people who work at it, not ones who say “I read about this many years ago, here are my ideas”. Just take off the extra steps and show or give the real thing. I don’t want a 2D picture of a piece of furniture or food or item (not to scale) to make a purchase. Show me the thing as it would look and feel if I had it in my hand.
The world is millions of times less efficient than it could be – for solving global and systemic problems, for creating global and systemic opportunities and benefits to the human and related species. Organizations “$millions wise” and “$Trillions foolish”.
I look at a jar of olives, I want to see the olives. If it is mayo, can’t see how much because the label is too large. Mustard is always in an opaque container, what is that all about? Was it a scam from the beginning?
One final image. Those boxes that look good, but inside is a tiny tiny thing. 80% packaging and 20% thing itself. Websites all gloss and self aggrandizement, and no “meat”.
Oh, if you look closely at honey through glass, it is really beautiful – without the labels. I would embed a tiny chip to keep all the information needed. Let the computer do it.
Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation