Each piece of writing assumes a certain level of knowledge
EVERY book is the product of a collaboration between the writer and his readers. Relying on this collaboration, the writer assumes the existence, in the minds of his readers, of a certain amount of knowledge, familiarity with certain books, certain habits of thought, feeling and language. Without the necessary knowledge, the reader will be unable to understand the subject of the book (this is the usual case with children). Without the appropriate habits of language and thought, without the necessary familiarity with classical literature, the reader will not perceive what I will call the harmonics of writing. For just as a musical sound evokes a whole cloud of harmonics, so the literary phrase moves forward in the midst of its associations. But while the harmonics of a musical sound occur automatically and can be heard by everyone, the halo of associations around a literary phrase is formed according to the author's will and can only be perceived by readers with the appropriate culture.
We are still the masters of our fate. Rational thinking, even assisted by any conceivable electronic computors, cannot predict the future. All it can do is to map out the probability space as it appears at the present and which will be different tomorrow when one of the infinity of possible states will have materialized. Technological and social inventions are broadening this probability space all the time; it is now incomparably larger than it was before the industrial revolution—for good or for evil.
The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.
It was man’s ability to invent which has made human society what it is. The mental processes of inventions are still mysterious. They are rational but not logical, that is to say, not deductive.
Over the years, the Spotify algorithms have correctly identiﬁed that I tend to like “chill” music of a certain BPM ...
When I design online ads for American Apparel, I almost always look for an angle that will provoke. Outrage, self-righteousness, and titillation all work equally well. Naturally, the sexy ones are probably those you remember most, but the formula worked for all types of images. Photos of kids dressed up like adults, dogs wearing clothes, ad copy that didn’t make any sense—all high-valence, viral images. If I could generate a reaction, I could propel the ad from being something I had to pay for people to see (by buying ad inventory) to something people would gladly post on the front page of their highly trafficked websites.