Kind of a political question: I've always wanted to ask if you think your life would have gone differently had you grown up in the U.S. with similar means. Are there things about life in Finland (politically, socially, economically) that you feel made it more or less possible for you to pursue your interests and eventually develop an O.S. kernel?
No, it's just a regular question.
Can you explain the connection between Object-Oriented Philosophy and videogame theory? From what I understand Object-Oriented philosophy is an attempt to move away from Continental, "correlationist" metaphysics -- and yet language used to explain and talk about it is very much steeped in speculative Continental philosophy. Does videogame theory require a metaphysical framework? Do you see a place for "analytical" traditions, which are leaning more heavily on cognitive and neuro-scientific findings?
They should have asked, "Is the interlocutor a thirteen-year-old boy?" Cleverbot would have won hands-down.
They ran out of gas -- the plane could never land.
Might not a better understanding of how a culture uses metaphors make it easier to create NEW metaphors to push a particular idea?
Absolutely. The term "framing" that is now so often used in discussions about political messaging actually comes from cognitive science.
Metaphors aren't just linguistic expressions or indicators of writing styles. Very often, linguistic metaphors are indicators of how people conceptualize the world. For example, people have spacial metaphors in their brains for concepts like "time" that are indicated by expressions like "going forward".
One interesting example of how cognitive metaphors shape or reflect worldviews is the current budget debate in the United States. Very often, proponents of austerity will use "family" metaphors to make their point. If the government is *not* like a family (for example, because a family doesn't have the same amount of control over its "means" as a government, or because parents don't typically fund themselves by taxing their children), then the points being made are quite possibly flawed.
Cognitive metaphors are so prevalent in the human brain that I don't think it's a huge overstatement to say that you can understand people by understanding their metaphors.
I'm an employee at a small company much like yours (I am not a contractor, though -- I took a lower salary than I wanted with the understanding that I'd benefit if the venture was successful). Here's my advice, based on replacing "I am basically indispensable for the continuation of this growth" with "my employers recognize that I am very valuable to the continuation of this growth".
1. Don't attempt to negotiate based on your past value. You agreed to be paid for what you did, you did what you agreed to, and you were paid. Everyone is even -- you are not owed anything for the past. Focus your negotiations on how you'd like things to be in the future.
2. Don't use (or even hint at) ultimatums unless you are 100% willing to follow through. Don't focus your negotiations on the idea of "fairness". Sell the idea that the future situation you want is better for everyone.
3. Don't attempt to negotiate at all unless you are willing to take risks and make significant sacrifices for future benefit. Your employers are doing both of these things, and that's why they stand to benefit most from success. It's almost certain that you need to be willing to be a salaried employee at a lower-than-desired rate, and that you need to be willing to work more hours, have higher availability, and take on more responsibility.
4. Your approach can't be about "cashing in" or "getting a piece". Evaluate whether the venture is something you want to be a bigger part of. Your employers probably view the business as their "baby". You have to be able to see it that way too.
What has NYT got that I can't get elsewhere for free?