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notable notches on the bedpost of liiiife

  • to red team (US military v.): to attack your own side, to test the soundness of their defence. See also pentest.

  • rah (UK n.) or Rah-Rah (US n.): brash upper-class young man. A preppy boor.

  • the Real Book (70s, US n.): illicit book of jazz scores, including melody lines, photocopied by generations of American music students. A phenomenal playlist. The biggest jazz sheet book ever.

  • manel (n.): Man panel; public speaking session with no women. (Not including the chair, for some reason.) People are angry about this, because they take manels to constitute a claim that no women know anything about the topic. This is a bit strong.

  • government name (US gang n.): birth name; source of embarrassment for thugs with edgy nicknames. See also (UK) Sunday name: "Aye, ma name's Bet - oh bit ma Sunday name's Elizabeth.".

  • the note (cinema n.): the impression a character gives in their first scene, setting the tone for them. By analogy with a tuning fork. Hard to google.

  • nasty little problem (software n.): An irrational special case, handling which teaches you nothing. Paul Graham:
    Not every kind of hard is good. There is good pain and bad pain. You want the kind of pain you get from going running, not the kind you get from stepping on a nail. A difficult problem could be good for a designer, but a fickle client or unreliable materials would not be... One of the worst kinds of projects is writing an interface to a piece of software that’s full of bugs... you don’t learn anything from them. Writing a compiler is interesting because it teaches you what a compiler is. But writing an interface to a buggy piece of software doesn’t teach you anything, because the bugs are random [and so have no general moral]... Working on nasty little problems makes you stupid.
    I think most jobs in the world consist in NLPs.

  • controlled opposition (US n.): an agent provocateur; a protest movement actually led by government agents. The phrase is a complete shibboleth for unhinged Infowars / alt-right conspiracists.
    A drinking game: What apparently innocuous phrases get you a neo-Nazi site on the first page of results? Here's one for free.

  • so important (Tumblr / Twitter / Medium adj.): Flattering to my preconceptions. Very unlikely to be a new or deep point.

  • blackleg (UK n.): 1) a scab; worker during a strike; 2) very nasty livestock disease; their legs swell as bacteria produce gas gangrene; 3) card sharp.

  • mesostics (poetry n.): Ugh.

  • SMACK stack (n.): High-perfomance system running Spark, Mesos, Akka, Cassandra, and Kafka.

  • hot word (n.): A newly coined but extremely contagious term. Like:

  • on fleek (US teenage adj.): perfectly groomed. Sleek. Very pure slang.

  • holosexual (n.): person who is supposedly aroused by glitter or holographs, but probably they just like it.

  • boolin (v.): coolin', chilling. Supposedly from the Bloods' affectation of changing words that start with the letter C (like Crips).

  • dysnystaxis (medical n.): Half-sleep. Non-REM.