Reflection of language
GeneralNews reflects language. When we speak or write, the manifoldness of the world is reduced to the linearity of language. The mechanism of GeneralNews enriches this linearity again with the semantic variety of possible other descriptions. Theses variations are displayed as animated text on the monitor.

Media and the construction of reality
If applied to news-sites, GeneralNews alters the text mediated reality, thereby roughly keeping the same meaning. Though, as extreme abstractions the content is trivialized, since only abstract "objects" relate to each other. On a lower level of abstraction, the general structures may be yielded. In the other, specific extreme, we get various alternative stories about the original incident. Concerning the selection of information and its strategic presentation GeneralNews is exposed to the mechanisms of mass media communication.

Abstraction - a powerful invention
Thinking in alternatives is important for progress since we develop new ideas by changing existing descriptions. Thereby abstraction as a thought pattern plays a major role, even though it is often used in the pejorative sense: "…too abstract". Yet, a plead for abstraction would include the following topics:

  • Language and the structure of knowledge: according to current cognitive theories we group our concepts in taxonomies. With these hierarchies we may inherit properties from the generic terms to the specific terms. This allows also to derive conclusions about the unknown. With the aid of abstractions we organize our knowledge and create a "big picture".
  • Science: According to our notion of science we need the understanding of general laws and structure, in order to create "good" i.e. probable prophecies. Most science is the attempt to formulate theses "laws" and thereby abstraction captures the variety of single cases and exceptions. Thus abstraction helps to organize the relevant information within the abundance of data.
  • Creative and artistic processes: Our actions may be described as moving up and down between abstract, diffuse and intuitive goals and concrete actions following these intentions.
The ability to abstract can only partially be realized with the contemporary means of computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. GeneralNews is the computational attempt to generalize the incoming information purely with the aid of semantics. Empirical, causal or even strategic insights may not be extracted by that method. Yet, as a meta browser GeneralNews aims at triggering our fantasies - via abstraction.

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