4/16/2016 08:53

Reuters' Website

Reuters has changed their front page. That put me into a long and semi-depressive mood, worrying about how the entire world is changing and in such ways that I will surely be left without the full benefits which civilization is supposed to provide.

Or, at the very least, be forced to change along with the rest of the world.

I suppose this was inevitable. I've been complaining in the quietness of my own home how unhelpful the front-page photos have been these past 10 or 12 months, and how stupid it is that I am effectively being forced to download them and navigate around them to no good purpose. Now they have replaced many of the photos with a placeholder image which blends into the background.

Under sufficient duress I will admit that the change Reuters made is in the direction of ameliorating my rivate complaints. But I had no input or control -- not even any warning! And therefore I feel totally powerless.

Which of course I am, if the question is how the Reuters home page is designed.

During my shower (overlong since I was pondering deep philosophical puzzles and because the hot water did not run out) I was thinking about how all human relationships include an element of power. The infant crying in order to force attentions from a nearly all-powerful adult, the desk worker sloughing off with the intent of adjusting his productivity to match his new pay rate, the minions of large corporate creditors obfuscating the financial situation of Puerto Rico so as to manipulate legislation, the grocer saying thank you to every customer.

At least in the case of the Mason Brothers, the grocer and the customer are both actual human beings in unmediated communication.

I conclude that the issue in the actual reality game is not power per se but whether the players are striving toward equity in their relationships. The adult holds all the power, including the power (most of the time) to make the infant comfortable and engaged with the world. The worker and the employer together have the power to reach a fair accomodation on both sides. I have the power to view Reuters in Lynx, which has no pictures at all, or to seek out other news sites which may for a while be more to my taste. And the grocer and I have a well-developed and equitable weekly exchange of value.

It is bad strategy, I say, to focus on the power; good strategy to focus on the parity.