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notable nudniks

  • imeldific (adj.): ostentatious; extravagant to the point of vulgarity. Coined by Imelda Marcos, which tells you something about her relationship to herself.

  • Professor the Lord (UK pron.): Honorific for someone who is both a university professor and a peer. cf. Professor the Lord Vice Chancellor Winston and Professor the Lord.

  • privately rational (economics adj.): Tyler Cowen's new term for economically rational. I think I'll taboo the latter from my speech, since the former is so much more evocative.

  • senolytic (bio n.): agent that kills only old, malfunctioning, cancer-prone cells. Just beginning applications... Lit: age destroyer.

  • elephant's breath (pretentious n.): beige-grey.

  • do-calculus (stats/CS n.): Judea Pearl's causal identification framework; a symbolic logic for deriving all the observational implications of a model.

  • turbocode (electronics n.): particularly good way of encoding signals to get forward error correction.

  • to wallhack (gaming v.): to make textures transparent so that you can cheat and see enemy players through walls.

  • Solutrean hypothesis (archaeology n.): claim that proto-Europeans settled the Americas. Heterodox, but not crank?

  • Spoken Soul (academic n.): Cringey term for African-American English; 'ebonics' except nasty people appropriated that.

  • obesogenic (pej adj.): obesity-producing. Standard modern diet, transport and environs.

  • shrouded attribute (economics n.): hidden cost; like booking fees.

  • hige (n.): that pattern on well-worn jeans:

  • VASIMR (engineering n.): the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket; an electric engine for space. Crawling towards a full test after 40 years of funding cuts.

  • to stan (v.): to obsess over, particularly over a celebrity. See also parasocial interaction.

  • retpoline (low-level n.): return trampoline. An infinite loop in assembly language. Coined for Google's nearly-performance-neutral Meltdown fix for pre-2015 processors.

  • nudnik; נודניק‏ (Yiddish n.): pest; naysayer.

  • punim (Yiddish dim. n.): face, especially a child's.
  • to hypermile (gearhead v.): to jury-rig a car for mileage; weight reduction, streamlining, batteries...

  • thermal rectifier (nanotech n.): diode allowing heat to flow in one direction on net. Currently barely exist, but the logical conclusion is Maxwell's demon but for real.

  • parchment barriers (n.): all that law is, in the absence of general consent / overwhelming force.