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notable nolo tangere

  • citogenesis (n.): the creation of a loop of citations for a baseless fact. Coined by Randall Munroe.

  • Bradford Factor (HR n.): dumb measure of the burden of someone's sick days: (Number of occasions sick)^2 x Total days absent. Objectively badly calibrated: making an effort to come in to the office before full recovery is penalised compared to taking a whole week off. Apparently widely used in the UK.

  • dehiring (HR n.): euphemism for being fired gently; colluding with an employee you want rid of, to get them hired somewhere else.

  • outplacement (HR n.): another kind of gentle firing: in particular, outsourcing the firing process to a training-and-counselling company.

  • scripta manent (Latin proverb): 'text remains'; can I get that in writing?

  • music bread (Sardinian n.): sort of like a papadum or hardtack.

  • sea-turtle (海龟) (n.): a Chinese graduate of foreign universities who returns to China. Pun on haigui, ocean-return.

  • mensiversary (pompous n.): recurrence of the day of the month of a significant event. month-anniversary.

  • scriptless script (crypto n.): "magic digital signatures that can only be created by faithful execution of a smart contract", complicated, deferred, proven-secure protocol that could allow Bitcoin to do actual anonymity, among other arcane things.

  • Development (n.): Most often a pointless elaboration of "work" or "improvement". Software development (code work), international development (cultural and economic work), property development (lying to seven different parties until a building gets built), business development ("'growth-hacking'": market research and cold-calling), research and development (invention). Oddly, used for both very real and the very most bullshit jobs. (But then, so is "job".)

  • lorgnette (n.): opera glasses on a stick

  • druthers (South US n.): wishes. Solecism for "I'd rather": "If I had my druthers".

  • chaw (US n.): recreational chewing, pica.

  • egg cream (NY n.): ice-cream float with milk instead of ice-cream.

  • to canary (computing v.): to deploy fresh code to a small subset of users without telling them.

  • feast of reason (Georgian n.): a party hearty. From Pope:
    The World beside may murmur, or commend.
    Know, all the distant Din that World can keep
    Rolls o'er my Grotto, and but sooths my Sleep.
    There, my Retreat the best Companions grace,
    Chiefs, out of War, and Statesman, out of Place.
    There St. John mingles with my friendly Bowl,
    The Feast of Reason and the Flow of Soul:

  • maffick (Victorian v.): to party hearty; after the celebrations for the relief of Mafeking during the Boer War.

    1. Algorithmica: World in which P = NP holds or something "morally equivalent" like fast probabilistic algorithms for NP.
    2. Heuristica: World in which NP problems are hard in the worst case but easy on average.
    3. Pessiland: World in which NP problems hard on average but no one-way functions exist. We can easily create hard NP problems, but not hard NP problems where we know the solution. This is the worst of all possible worlds, since not only can we not solve hard problems on average but we apparantly do not get any cryptographic advantage from the hardness of these problems.
    4. Minicrypt: World in which one-way functions exist but we do not have public-key cryptography.
    5. Cryptomania: World in which we have working public-key crypto.