Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Microsoft's Hidden (Deontological) Agenda

I just noticed that my MS WORD program recognizes Kantians as a word, but not Utilitarians, and not Millian or Benthamite. To add insult to injury (and disrespect, I should add), spell check suggests replacing utilitarians with futilitarians.

A deontological plot, no doubt.

14 comments:

Santa said...

Perhaps the team that edits the pre-set spell check figures that kantians are more popular and more likely to be mistyped than say a benthamite, which might not show up with nearly the same frequency in pop writing as kantian. Perhaps they feel those employing Mill or Bentham to be more precise typists and thinkers than those employing Kant, so they feel the need to help those whose brains might be muddled in their quest to correct Kantian in case they did not detect the mistype themselves.

Spiros said...

Interesting that you take MS's side in this... Maybe YOU'RE IN ON the anti-utilitarian plot??? ;)

Santa said...

I daresay I am not taking MS's side in this, just trying to figure out an alternative rationale other than conspiracy for the ommissions you cited. After all, some of the terms you want included are not for the "general" population that uses the product. For example, I would be chagrined if during a speed typing session when I totally botched the typing on "million" and ended up with an suggestion of "millsian". Just trying to be pragmatic about the general spelling dictionary versus more career-centric jargon, which could render the spell check totally useless if everyone had their favourite language included.

Just had a thought, are those omissions also in the UK language version spell check? Sometimes there is variance in the included terms when you switch to the "across the pond" spell check dictionary.

Spiros said...

Santa:

I don't know about the UK spellcheck-- I might have to look into it.

Mill is the greatest philosopher of the past several centuries, btw.

Santa said...

Spiros; I totally agree Mill rocks. Right up there with Pierce, Aristotle, Dewey, James, Nietzsche, & Sun Tzu as my faves to read on occassion. I know the last two or three don't float your boat.

there is also a custom dictionary in MS where you could load in your own terms and thereby defeat the deonotological agenda.

Santa said...

Whoops, sorry for the mispelling on deontological.

Spiros said...

Santa:

In my view, Peirce and Aristotle are the only two from your list who are worth a damn.

Santa said...

Ouch, harsh! When & why did Dewey fall from grace for you?

Spiros said...

Santa:

I've come to think Dewey's naturalism is ultimately a facade hiding a bloated and untenable Hegelianism. I also have come to think that nearly all of Dewey's contemporary fans are utter crap as philosophers.

Santa said...

Cool! I will have to read him now with that in mind.

Spiros said...

Cool. Let me know what you think.

Santa said...

Spiros: Definitely looking to brushing up on my Hegel to make te assessment.

As far as judging Dewey by his contemporary fans is not really a fair judging of Dewey's works. Such would be like judging the historical work of Killing Joke by the neo-hippy and "hot-topic" punk fans they seem to attract nowadays. While it is fair to judge the fans as idiots by their thoughts and actions and blind support, judging the historical work by such fandom that the work elicits seems unfair.

If a cult of Spiros came to be and was filled with a bunch of what you deemed "not up to standards philosohpically" fanboys & fangirls, you would despair that your name & work was hijacked by these lesser people. That is what I think happened to Dewey over the years, especially after his death.

Spiros said...

Santa,

The conclusion I draw from the fact that, with very few exceptions, Dewey-heads are incompetent philosophers is that studying Dewey *makes* one a worse philosopher.

Santa said...

Spiros: Wow! Now that is something I need to consider.