notable emanations

  • WORM (adj.): Write Once, Read Many (times). A particular use pattern in databases, that allows for faster but less safe NoSQL systems.

  • bitterant (n.): bitter chemical, applied to things like antifreeze to stop children and other animals eating them.

  • bruxism (n.): excessive grinding of teeth. Apparently it is not painful, but still horrendous to me.

  • relevance engineer (n.): A data scientist focussing on search or recommendation. (I note keenly the shifts in terminology which imply any devaluation of the hot and silly coin in my pocket, "data science"; on the recent StackOverflow survey a large chunk of people responded "machine learning specialist".)

  • incentive compatibility: One of the most important ideas in economics, but I never learned the name in 4 years of indifferent study. "I don't agree with him at all, but we are incentive-compatible."

  • to die in harness (v.): Melodramatic version of death in service. It is the official term in Indian government, inherited from the Raj.

  • data room (n.): an exhaustive dump of backroom information about a company. Assets, cap table, contracts, disclosures.

  • metis (n.): nonpropositional knowledge; hunches, feels, heuristics, Simonian bon sens. If intelligence is the trait that leads to knowledge (scientia), phronesis leads to metis. Rationality leads to wins.

  • ganzfeld study (n.): An experiment that tries to detect ESP in a particular science-esque way.

  • gentleman ranker (n.): a disgraced, discharged officer who re-enlists as a private. But see also the case of John Hume Ross.

  • remittance man (n.): a disgraced scion, sent off to Canada or Australia or Morocco, and sent a monthly stipend just so long as he doesn't come back.

  • memory pressure (n.): in distributed systems, the risk introduced by maxing out allocation.

  • data enrichment (n.): just adding more columns. But expensively.


incentive compatibility

We live together: you dislike mess more than you dislike cleaning; I dislike cleaning more than I dislike mess. Mess happens: obligate social grooming rears a silent scowling face.

A current account runs to deficit: cogwheels backlash. I could offer you money for doing my part, if I was stupid; or if you were a different species. As you are this is a grave insult: cleaning you undertake yourself is home-making, comfort behaviour, preening, an act conceived in freedom and ease. Receiving money for it makes you a cleaner: low-status. Offering you money called you low status: I signalled superior wealth. Negotiations sour: you don't hear my offer instead to cook, or do the bins. But we are grown men; there must be a solution.

Yes: I skip the lease under cover of night, free-riding the axle of a Scania bound for the orient. In the morning: notes stuffed under your door.