the prestige hierarchy of domain names

please slide your eyeballs on up to the top of your browser window and look at the url in your browser.

language in the realm of computers is particularly interesting because of its ability to command. one writes to a computer and, by doing so, actually acts. some liken this to the ancients' belief in the mystical power of language in the form of runes or charms.

the url is a particularly interesting example of computer language because it's not just words, or even just a command--it's both those instances of language, and a location as well.

everything between the http://and the next / is the name of/location of/directions to a particular website or server. after the /, each term is a directory or file. for instance, the website where i work runs a server machine called FireRescue1, which is our domain name. on that machine are folders corresponding to each of our topics: /products, /ems and so on.

as with any system of language, this one has a grammar that lets us understand the relationships of the parts. in many ways, they go from larger to smaller as you read from left to right, and the smaller parts are contained within the larger ones.

and of course, as in any system of language, even language that's seemingly written for machines, where there is hierarchy, there is prestige.

i recently laughed when a friend recently directed me to his old website, "phoenix web." "oh," I said, are you phoenixweb.com? and he said, "no, phoenix-web.us." and i was immediately struck by what a drop in prestige this was. similarly, this blog would be all the more professional if it were located at inuse.com. but of course, that kind of prestige costs money...

the basic idea for this post came, actually, from a woman's email address i saw: herfirstname@herhusband'slastname.com. would it ever be the other way around?


Introducing The Interrationale

Another shameless blog plug: I have recently started a new blog as a creative outlet as well: The Interrationale.

Unfortunately, I don't think it is very accessible, at all, since it is essentially just place to put detailed research notes as I read up on some schools of thought that I didn't get to study in college.

The result is all the clarity and cohesiveness of Western Marxist social theory expressed in the vivid, dynamic idiom of analytic philosophy.

That said, I would treat it as a personal favor if anybody read and reacted to it. It actually is going to have a lot to do with language and rhetoric, since one of my main sources is Habermas' The Theory of Communicative Action.

Ultimately, one goal I have is to build to a rigorous answer to this question: how is computing and especially the internet communication changing society?


Introducing Invented Versage

invented usage has, in more ways than one, spawned an offspring called Invented Versage (www.inversage.blogspot.com). inverse.blogspot was taken, so Invented Verses was out. No matter for the denizens of invented usage--we just make it up as we go along.

as of right now, my plan is to make Invented Versage a home solely for my poems and commentary about them. i'm in a narcissistic mood about them because i just participated in my first san francisco poetry reading last night at a bar in the mission called, forebodingly, 'amnesia.'

my poetry, to my great excitement, was pretty well received, and i met a few very nice people--including fellow readers--who asked whether my writing was online. so, now i was no longer lying.

i've only posted one poem so far, but my plan is to quickly post the bulk of my existing work and then be inspired to write more. and have the energy to maintain invented usage more than i have been... though, i may as well say, it's been harder to think deep thoughts about language since i was informed that i didn't get into berkeley. maybe i'll write some tragic poetry about it.

Invented Versage