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notable epistemic hells

  • Politics: actions aimed at getting into power; where policy is action taken by those in power. Or: War: attempting to enact policy via embedding metal in people. Politics: attempting to enact policy via words

  • flood-fill (algo n.): Very simple connected-area algorithm used in e.g. MSPaint's bucket

  • cuttlefish suit (tech n.): active camo

  • Cx (corporate n.): customer experience, after UX (user experience).

  • Irish goodbye (US pej. n.): Leaving without saying goodbye. See also French exit, filer à l’anglaise.

  • cobot (tech n.): collaborative robot. Physical augmentation for human tasks; safe despite strength.

  • absolutorium (Polish Latin n.): academic absolution; releasing a student from their studies.

  • The Flippening (digital currency n.): the foretold point when Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin.

  • The Great Span (Kottkean n.): whoahing at how extremely long-lived people can bridge extremely different eras, or at how short recorded history is, actually.

  • bone rush (archaeology pej. n.): the present frenzy to genome sequence ancient skeletons, since they have upended large parts of our knowledge and there are legacies to be won.

  • absence seizure (neurology n.): brief loss of consciousness without noticing or getting tired.

  • infinity pool (n.): swimming pool with no apparent end, built with no edges and an optical illusion of meeting the horizon. Mark of ludicrous luxury.

  • black hole echo (): conceivable phenomenon where some of a gravitational wave bounces off the photon sphere; modelled as a resonant cavity emitting periodic signals with decreasing amplitude. This could be evidence against general relativity in favour of quantum gravity theory.

  • photon sphere (physics n.): region of space where gravity is strong enough that photons are forced to travel in orbits; outer limit of a black hole's weirdness, at 1.5 times the Schwarzschild radius.

  • to repine (arch v.): to be discontent; to fret.

  • mar-tech (corporate n.): marketing technology; called adtech by everyone else.

  • Ramism (early modern theory n.): weird C16th education cult. Hard to work out exactly what it was about; this is one of the worst Wikipedia pages I've ever seen. I think it was a partial reaction against scholasticism, but a muddled and unscientific one.

  • support (maths n.): subset of a function's domain that don't map to zero; the closure of the set of possible values of a random variable having that distribution.

  • burstiness (stats n.): intermittent increases and decreases in activity or frequency of an event. Measured by e.g. the Fano factor (variance / mean).

  • charette (French n.); a cramming session; crunch time; a sprint. Particularly for students of graphic design(?)

  • Hi-Tech (US slang n.): codeine/promethazine syrup, often imbibed with Sprite. See also purple drank, sizzurp, lean, dirty Sprite.

  • epistemic hell (philosophy of science n.): when we lack clear criteria for falsifying points of view, strongly disagree on methods, rely on second- or third-best substitute methods for causality, and are factional, relying on ad hominem attacks and politicisation to resist compromise or synthesis.

  • epistemic Heaven (philosophy of science n.): when opponents have put forward testable theories, agree on a method for testing them, and disagreement is respectful.

  • murky middle (philosophy of science n.): when theory-testing conditions are less than ideal but not yet hopeless. Adversarial collaboration is "unnecessary in heaven and impossible in hell".