Jargon Stream

Hectic weekend, what with the dowager maternal parental element in hospital and the precipitation. And still recovering from oral surgery myself. Gad! I am coming to hate mashed potatoes.

So as a diversion I shall clear a few tabs. First, a rather deepening article [Link] from the Tsar of Tsmart Ass, Alan Alda. The article is an admonition from Alda, who is doing some sort of popular science program on PBS, that in dealing with the public scientists not use “jargon”. Since I wanted to make sure the ramifications of the word, I looked it up

Jargon 1. Confused, unintelligible language; gibberish. “A barbarous jargon.” –Macaulay. “All jargon of the schools.” –Prior.  [1913 Webster]

I have to admit that after reading this and trying to place it in Alda’s context, I was quite confused. Then I realized that I had to put this in the frame of a communication model. The confusion is not on the part of the scientist but the other side of the conversation.

The point is that the folks on the other side, when one is talking to the “public” are mostly bogs, hence lacking any knowledge of the discipline. But my colleague went on to say that the hard part is not learning this, it’s obvious to anyone who observes, but rather the hard part is knowing what words to use. He claims, and I agree, that a certain minimum commonality of terms is necessary for any effective communication and if one side lacks those words, communication is impossible.

I am not sure why this is so unapparent to Alda.

On a rather less frustrating azimuth I see [Link] that the Google Glasses are being implemented to take photographs with a wink. I have to admit that I consider this whole Google Glasses think jargon. Why would anyone other than a voyeur want them? And if they take photographs with a wink how do they tell it from a blink? And does this mean that society will evolve into something where everyone appears to have palsy?

I shall admit to being ORF. And I am slowly warming to my barked shin (smart) cellular telephone, especially in dealing with situations when I am distanced from a real computer. I am also increasingly alienated by the shitty nature of the software and the opacity of the OS. I find it rather crippling to have to go find a REAL computer to find out how to make my phone do what I want it to.

And it is hideously time consuming. With my desk boxes I only lose time when the power is out or I need to do a system reboot. With the barked shin phone I seem to spend a quarter of my time fiddling with unruly software and another quarter charging it. Is battery technology really THAT bad?

And followingly, an article [Link] on the most reliable box to run Winders on. Seems the result of the study, small data set, is an Apple lapbox. In fact, only lapboxes were considered. Strange. That restriction, that is, lapboxes are much less reliable than desk boxes. But then consider that the primary issue of recovery is not so much the OS but the user. Hence, given the elitism of Apple and the uberboggish nature of their user demographic, that an Apple box is reliable is no surprise. And that the average Winders user cannot recover is the same. That’s one of the reasons we call using Winders serfdom – ignorance is exalted.

And lastly, I see [Link] that Winders Ate is being rescued – by Linux. Seems that the KDE folks, who have rescued Linux from Canonical’s Unity and Gnome’s Gnome Tile GUIs, are developing a version of KDE for Winders. BOOYAH! This is a true mitzvah. Not that MegaHard or most of its serfs will recognize it as such, of course. But at least it offers a means for Winders users who can do so or have access to a wizard get some relief from the insanity that is whatever MegaHqard calls its tile GUI today.

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