I just want to be a good person.

I had an ex girlfriend who told me she wasn’t cynical, just a realist. She was black and lived within an accumulation of life experiences that spoke to her about the nature of people. Not all of it was racism, but that was certainly a big chunk of it. I think about her often and her acquiescence to the idea humans are just bad. If she didn’t raise expectations, she wouldn’t be hurt or disappointed.

Image: Daly, Bill. “What Have I Wrought?” July 24, 2015. Photograph. https://flickr.com/photos/thefreerangekid/19044495680.

Something Personal

My accumulation is pretty heavy too. I’ve survived both sexual and physical abuse. I was bullied relentlessly…


I still stick to my argument regarding context.

Micah M, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I would love to know more about your company and what it does. I just don't think you have solved context in the way I'm suggesting here.

Context is very much a human-specific construct because of how it manifests in individuals. For example, a person's identity is a major contextual filter and is unique to everyone. Last year, American Black people showed the world they've had enough of systemic racial violence from the police. The discourse from this event alone brought out the ugliest in…


Context is complex and everyone needs to understand it.

An illustration from 1836 of cancel culture in 1835 where pro-slavery assholes demolished a printing press exercising the freedom to print abolitionist content. Apparently “freedom” was utterly lost on these folks violently attacking three offices and shooting E. P. Lovejoy because he would not surrender his pulpit.
An illustration from 1836 of cancel culture in 1835 where pro-slavery assholes demolished a printing press exercising the freedom to print abolitionist content. Apparently “freedom” was utterly lost on these folks violently attacking three offices and shooting E. P. Lovejoy because he would not surrender his pulpit.
Figure 1: A depiction of cancel culture in 1835 where pro-slavery assholes demolished a printing press exercising the freedom to print abolitionist content. Apparently “freedom” was utterly lost on these folks violently attacking three offices and shooting E. P. Lovejoy because he would not surrender his pulpit.

Wired published this on Monday: “Why a YouTube Chat About Chess Got Flagged for Hate Speech.”¹ It’s a great example how the complexity of language leads to the continued modeling of broken algorithms. If “black,” “white,” and “attack” are trigger words resulting in immediate content deletion of a chess discussion, then where does healthy political debate rank? Who gets to decide if political debate is appropriate or hateful? I believe content authors have a responsibility to provide context and disclose their own biases. …


Algorithms are inherently bias.

They are reflective of the UX and development world's ivory tower, isolated, self-congratulatory culture. Many decisions are made in a meeting without serious discussion outside of bottom-line thinking and vanity metrics.

If any is interested into digging deeper to the racial problems with algorithms, I highly recommend Safiya Umoja Noble's most excellent, highly researched Algorithms of Oppression.

https://smile.amazon.com/Algorithms-Oppression-Search-Engines-Reinforce-ebook/dp/B075XS7Y7D

I did write about this a few years ago after much frustration with my own industry and ethics.

https://wtfeconomy.com/about-that-shift-boss-9c28fcddfba1

Marley, none of this is surprising to me. The actual context of development and creation happen within systematically flawed…


Back in July, Tim O'Reilly posted about his What’s the Future (WTF) Conference, which is this week. O’Reilly’s article paints a picture of the world upended and transformed, hardly familiar. He then writes, “The algorithm is the new shift boss.”

That shivers me timbers. I’m truly not cynical, but those are heavy words and unintended consequences being what they are, we must consider the bad with the good. O’Reilly wants to start a dialog about technology and the future of work. …


Here in north Texas, marching bands are large and competitive with their own cultures. My daughter’s high school band has around 260 kids. They are a competitive band and the competitions are extravaganzas of massive orchestration. The complexity of the shows is stunning. My little high school band had only a couple of dozen kids and they just wore green polyester and marched in straight lines with the odd occasional left turn.

My daughter’s band, however, can take up nearly an entire football field when standing still and they quickly form large patterns like their high school’s letters while marching…


It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to actually write a serious blog post. If you don’t already know by my shameless self-promotion, I’m working on a book. As I’ve mentioned before and to many people, I don’t want my illness to be a defining thing. Yet, there are some things I’ve learned.

I nearly died, several times over. I was intubated for three weeks. It’s not like TV, where coma patients hop right out of bed and begin killing everyone who put them there, as well as zombies. So many zombies.

Instead, recovery has been arduous and…


It’s nearly impossible to provide a precise, technical definition for context. We understand it through its use rather than by identification.(1) Judge Potter Stewart famously said the same about porn.(2)

For the purpose of content strategy, I define context as the collection of influences affecting the creation and cognitive processing of content. This oversimplified definition doesn’t serve the concept justice, but it’s a serviceable start for practitioners. As an added bonus, you don’t have to wade through nausea-inducing philosophical hair splitting. Everybody wins.(3)

Context is woefully under-appreciated in professional communication. When discussed, it is usually framed around the consumer of…

Keith Anderson

Content & Knowledge Strategist, UX & Application Designer, Writer, Speaker, Almost Author. Lover of Fiction & Metal.

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