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Paul Bond

Order of operations

1 min read

Whether it’s a news story, a Tweet, or a political meme we need to be able to ask ourselves: who is speaking? Who are they speaking to? What is their purpose? Oh, and what are they actually saying? from https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/are-you-kidding-me

The order of those questions is important to consider. Typically when we're looking for information we're looking for the content, but the context makes all the difference. If someone is not worth listening to (authority), then reading the content is likely a waste of time. Who they are talking to (scholarship as conversation) can color the content and impact what is said and not said, depending on the audience. Why they are talking matters as much as who is talking when it comes to evaluating information. All of these considerations feed into what is actually said. They determine the content.

I'm thinking about this in terms of Four Moves and a Habit. Specifically, "read laterally," or "get off the page." Sometimes context can be determined from content, but typically we need to step back to get the bigger picture.