20th July 2018

FAQ and other questions that bear asking

Access to two issues of the memo every month for the period while your subscription is valid. The current issue is always at angle.fyi/memo

Every issue is a set of two sections, each on a different theme, with occasionally a  bonus third section.

A new issue is up by the 3rd and the 17th of every month.

On the Account page and on the issues themselves, you will see an option to enable push notifications when a new issue is published. It is a non-obtrusive way for us to notify you without sharing your particulars with a third-party service like Mailchimp and adding to your emails.

This is a new thing, so it’s easier to first clarify what this is not.

This will not be breaking news. It is not a single-subject blog. It is certainly not a news aggregator! Topics like technology or environment or business will appear here when they intersect with others like geopolitics or sports or art.

Similarly single countries will get a mention when major developments there are connected to wider trends. The assumption is that the typical subscriber already follows national media which can cover their country far better. Angle hopes to supply those extra connecting bits that will set you apart.

Likewise, this is for people who already follow news in areas of their own interests closely. People who want to complement their reading and keep their awareness all-rounded and do not have the time to search for and read everything. People who fear that in their busy lives they might be missing out on developments not directly in their spheres of interests, and hence might miss new connections and possibilities in their own careers.

The memo will not peddle political opinions. It will cover policy research, again, mainly when it intersects with others developments. It doesn’t exist merely to share surprising facts (for their own sake).

To put it simply, this is about connections that reveal a more complete picture. It is about the big picture (the human world) and the bigger picture (the natural world and the physical universe).

But again, just see the sample, which carefully brings together from several sources at once, information that challenges intuition, to make a larger point. 

Subscribe now if you’d not like to miss another one of those!

The memo is not written to a schoolteacherly expectation of minimum word-length. It serves ideas. Some themes may need just 100 words to illustrate, others may call for more than 1000.

It is typically written in a dense style, with a lot to unpack in lines. Whether an issue appears long or short, do ruminate over it before the next. (Think about the ideas. Talk it over with friends, mentors, co-workers. See if what they got from it matches your inference. Find someone who disagrees with you.)

Parts of the Memo will progress as sort of a continued conversation with readers, sometimes building on themes from previous issues. That is also where the All Access membership has an advantage.

The Current plan subscription gets you access to the current issue, live for a fortnight. Back-issues will not be accessible online. 

The All Access plan, as the name implies, includes access to archives. What is more, archived posts will be Zotero-compatible, by way of COinS. (All works linked to or cited in the post will be automated as a collection, extracted at a click. Among the many obvious advantages, if one of the sources goes beyond a paywall, you can still get an automated and complete reference to it right here where you first read of it! Many of the sources are not even machine-readable to begin with, but we cleanup and digitise the citation for you.) Try it out at the sample issue.

Ah! It did seem odd when your enthusiasm for the All Access plan appeared to be somewhat muted.

Zotero is a free open source reference management software we strongly recommend. It is developed at George Mason University. If you are a student, journalist, researcher or writer, it is one of the few tools that deserve to be called ‘indispensable’.

Of course, as the Wikipedia page for COinS says, the data can also be extracted to – BibDesk, Bookends (Mac), Citavi, LibX, Mendeley, ResearchGate or Sente (Mac)

In a word, polysemy. (The explanation below should give a variant of the memo’s taste.)

Outside geometry, ‘angle’ can mean viewpoint. In building parlance, ‘angle’ refers to a common piece of metallic hardware used to join beams and things. That’s primarily what the memo does. It connects perspectives on new developments and ideas.

As a verb, angle refers to fishing, much as we cast far and wide to find the most unmissable and ‘connectable’ bits of information to bring to you. 

Lastly, the memo uses standard world English, and should also help inculcate a familiarity with global writing in the language, rather than forms particular to one country. Though they would not recognise it today, the Angles were the first speakers of the ancient tongue that evolved into English. The ever-mutating global language is named after them. 

And if all of that isn’t enough, back to geometry: the tightest connect between nature and maths is a unique angle: it’s about 137.5°.

‘Inter’ stands for intersection and connections, apart from international, interdisciplinary, intertextual and of course, interesting!

All of this, only FYI.

The Greek letter theta ( Θ / θ ) that denotes angles in maths, in two fonts, overlapping to depict intersection between two angles.

While the memo is premium researched content – minimum qualification for writing here is a PhD – the target readership is a diverse group in a very unequal world. It hopes to be accessible to anyone who hears of it – writers at all career stages at outlets of all sizes; students in every district. The price will rise a little in a few months and matched by a voluntary pricing option. If you genuinely feel the memo is worth more to you, the next time you renew you would be able to choose to pay a little higher and support expenditure on WRM’s eventual vision: outreach (as opposed to marketing) to those who cannot afford it.

Will that loss of exclusivity not eventually hurt the value of potential new ideas? No, because everyone who is presented with the same surprising connection has a different response. Yet another way in which the world is incredibly diverse!

We urge you to compare the two carefully:

A) excellent reported content on a single topic neatly organised (tucked away) into categories, accumulating over time.

B) a memo that sifts through it all across authoritative outlets, across categories and time, and connects all that freely available content to show a larger reason why it was all worth reading in the first place.

Some good publications offer great writing free or under freemium models. That is the first order of reporting and writing. The inter’angle memo is the second order of analysis.

We refer you back to the second answer above. B here is not in lieu of A. You still need A. When it comes to paying, for many people, B is a better value for money, certainly over a period of time.

It leaves all the leaning to archaeologically significant towers and fans of Bill Withers or Morgan Freeman.

You might find an issue lists a number of ways in which large businesses cheat. Another issue will share facts that imply  the very same firms might be the best hope for saving the world. Those facts may not feature side by side in the same memo just for the sake of ‘balance’ if there is no other connection.

In rare cases when the memo touches upon a matter where conflicting research exists and consensus doesn’t, it will link to both. In cases where facts previously covered get updated, current issues will add a sidebar to that effect. If readers come across updated research on matters covered here, we urge you to alert @microangling on twitter.