1. Jargon is generally accused of being 1) a sign of fuzzy thinking and 2) a tool for oppression and exclusion. Sometimes even by me. It has struck me lately, though, that jargon is also a sign of people who care so much about a particular topic that they want to get their vocabulary exactly and precisely correct. Focusing obsessively about whether people more likely to be infected with HIV are best called most at risk populations, key populations, or risk groups is another form of genuinely caring about accuracy in the work you do. Is it a useful form of caring? Beats me.
2. For reasons that are probably obvious, I’ve been thinking a lot about bureaucracy lately. I continue to believe that structures and process are what differentiate a functioning organization from a cult of personality. That being said, where’s the line between the structures that help and the structures that suffocate? Probably there are papers written about this. I see Google Scholar in my future. (This happens to me approximately a hundred times a day – I have a thought and realize someone else must have thought it better. It’s a miracle I every get anything done with all the web searches I do.)
3. I was at a trilingual meeting the other day that was attempting to interface with an international conference call. The interpreter was somewhat overwhelmed by the challenge. Some problems really can be solved by nifty new tech. On a related note, I used the translate function on chrome to spend quite a while (successfully) tracking down a corruption scandal on a local web forum.