jomc + language   60

William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was' | Books | The Guardian
“I was actually able to write Neuromancer because I didn’t know anything about computers,” he says. “I knew literally nothing. What I did was deconstruct the poetics of the language of people who were already working in the field. I’d stand in the hotel bar at the Seattle science fiction convention listening to these guys who were the first computer programmers I ever saw talk about their work. I had no idea what they were talking about, but that was the first time that I ever heard the word ‘interface’ used as a verb. And I swooned. Wow, that’s a verb. Seriously, poetically that was wonderful.

“So I was listening to it as an English honours student. I would take it back out, deconstruct it poetically, and build a world from those bricks. Consequently there are other things in Neuromancer that make no sense. When the going gets really tough in cyberspace, what does Case do? He sends out for a modem. He does! He says: ‘Get me a modem! I’m in deep shit!’ I didn’t know what one was, but I had just heard the word. And I thought: man, it’s sexy. That really sounds like it could be bad news. And I didn’t have anybody to read it and … I couldn’t Google it.”
language  scifi  cyberpunk 
6 weeks ago by jomc
Did you mean, "male lawyer"? On language translators and gender bias | Privacy SOS
“Dear Doctor” translated to “Querido Doctor,” masculine. “Hairdresser” translated to “peluquero” because, of course, only men are hairdressers. Housekeeper translated to “ama de casa,” which basically means “housewife.”
ai  gender  google  bias  language  translation 
november 2018 by jomc
Lore on Twitter: "I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that robots don’t use contractions because programmers don’t like escaping single quotes."
I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that robots don’t use contractions because programmers don’t like escaping single quotes.
language  automation  ai 
october 2017 by jomc
How ‘Privilege’ Became a Provocation - The New York Times
‘‘Privilege saturates’’ — and privilege stains. Which might explain why this word pricks and ‘‘opportunity’’ and ‘‘advantage’’ don’t. ‘‘I can choose to not act racist, but I can’t choose to not be privileged,’’ a friend once told me with alarm.
race  language  privilege 
july 2015 by jomc
Talking the pain away
" if you can name a troubling emotion, you can immediately calm yourself and your brain down. "
Brain research indicates putting problems into words eases emotional distress.
emotions  language 
march 2015 by jomc
I Can Text You A Pile of Poo, But I Can’t Write My Name by Aditya Mukerjee | Model View Culture
My family’s native language, which I grew up speaking, is far from a niche language. Bengali is the seventh most common native language in the world, sitting ahead of the eighth (Russian) by a wide margin, with as many native speakers as French, German, and Italian combined.

And yet, on the Internet, Bengali is very much a second-class citizen – as are Arabic (#5), Hindi (#4), and Mandarin (#1) – any language which is not written with the Latin alphabet.
language  unicode  standards 
march 2015 by jomc
The Rules and Hazards of Presenting Flowers in Ballet - NYTimes.com
“Sometimes it can be a little delicate,” Ms. Farley said. “If flowers have arrived for a corps de ballet dancer or soloist, but the ballerina hasn’t received any, we won’t present them onstage.”

She added that not every offering makes the cut. “A bouquet has to be a decent size,” she said firmly. “If something arrives that is too small, we’ll just send it to the dressing room.”

The bouquets must also be constructed in such a way that they are easy for a dancer to hold as she curtsies during curtain calls.
flowers  protocols  language 
november 2014 by jomc
Legal experts dissect the US government’s secret drone memo: a round-up | The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
CIA agents could claim the public authority justification to kill a US citizen overseas, the memo adds – even though, as ‘unprivileged belligerents’, they wouldn’t enjoy the same immunity from prosecution overseas as a soldier participating in a legally recognised war.

And despite his status as a US citizen, Awlaki’s Constitutional rights to due process would not prevent his targeting with lethal force, in the context of a war where he posed a ‘continued and imminent threat of violence or death’ to US citizens, the memo states.
citizenship  drones  law  language  imminence 
june 2014 by jomc
#22667 replaced occurrences of master/slave terminology with leader/follower by fcurella · Pull Request #2692 · django/django · GitHub
The docs and some tests contain references to a master/slave db configuration.
While this terminology has been used for a long time, those terms may carry racially charged meanings to users.
This patch replaces all occurrences of master and slave with 'leader' and 'follower'
trolls  language  github 
may 2014 by jomc
Celebrating Heathers’ Cynicism on its 25th Anniversary – Flavorwire
##like clockwork orange

He’s said that he created his own slang to keep the dialogue from immediately dating itself — the window between shooting and release is about a year, an eternity in slang time, and with a script written on spec with uncertain timelines, the lag was presumably even longer. So expressions like “It’ll be very” and “What’s your damage?” were ahead of their time, rather than of it. But the writer also had an ear for blunt turns of phrase — like “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw,” “They all want me as a friend or a fuck,” or “Quit pullin’ my dick” — which would pack an extra punch when mouthed by the seemingly squeaky-clean likes of Shannen Doherty or perky, blonde Kim Walker.
language  slang 
march 2014 by jomc
Oliver Sacks: The President's Speech (or, why aphasiacs laugh when people are lying)
And what dogs can do here, aphasiacs do too, and at a human and immeasurably superior level. 'One can lie with the mouth,' Nietzsche writes, 'but with the accompanying grimace one nevertheless tells the truth.' To such a grimace, to any falsity or impropriety in bodily appearance or posture, aphasiacs are preternaturally sensitive. And if they cannot see one-this is especially true of our blind aphasiacs-they have an infallible ear for every vocal nuance, the tone, the rhythm, the cadences, the music, the subtlest modulations, inflections, intonations, which can give --or remove-- verisimilitude to or from a man's voice.

In this, then, lies their power of understanding-understanding, without words, what is authentic or inauthentic. Thus it was the grimaces, the histrionisms, the false gestures and, above all, the false tones and cadences of the voice, which rang false for these wordless but immensely sensitive patients. It was to these (for them) most glaring, even grotesque, incongruities and improprieties that my aphasic patients responded, undeceived and undeceivable by words.

This is why they laughed at the President's speech.
lying  laughter  language  psychology  empathy 
march 2014 by jomc
How chemistry decides the success of a first date | Life and style | The Observer
And while talking a lot may point to a good date, Ireland says their study showed it wasn't the strongest factor. "If you are on a date with somebody who is relatively quiet and maybe you are a relatively quiet person, too, that doesn't matter as long as you are using similar speaking styles," she says. According to Ireland it isn't an easy effect to fake – not only is it difficult to consciously pick up on function words but it is also tricky to deliberately manipulate them.
language 
february 2014 by jomc
Language of Flowers - Flower Meanings, Flower Sentiments
ACACIA, Yellow
Secret Love

CHRYSANTHEMUM, Red
I Love

COREPSIS, arkansas
Love at First Sight
language  workingon 
november 2013 by jomc
Time binding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Time binding can refer to

human progress as seen from the perspective of general semantics, an educational discipline created by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s
time bind, a sociological concept relevant to family and labor, introduced by Arlie Russell Hochschild in the 1990s

>>Time binding: The human ability to pass information and knowledge from one generation to the next. Korzybski claimed this to be a unique capacity, separating people from animals. This uniquely human ability for one generation to start where a previous generation left off, is a consequence of the uniquely human ability to move to higher and higher levels of abstraction without limit. Animals may have multiple levels of abstraction, but their abstractions must stop at some finite upper limit;
toread  language 
august 2013 by jomc
Europe.view: Whataboutism | The Economist
SOVIET propagandists during the cold war were trained in a tactic that their western interlocutors nicknamed “whataboutism”. Any criticism of the Soviet Union (Afghanistan, martial law in Poland, imprisonment of dissidents, censorship) was met with a “What about...” (apartheid South Africa, jailed trade-unionists, the Contras in Nicaragua, and so forth).
language 
august 2013 by jomc
Words banned from Bing and Google’s autocomplete algorithms. - Slate Magazine
As Google writes in its autocomplete FAQ, “we exclude a narrow class of search queries related to pornography, violence, hate speech, and copyright infringement.” Bing, on the other hand, makes sure to “filter spam” as well as to “detect adult or offensive content,” according to a recent post on the Bing blog. Such human choices set the stage for broadly specifying what types of things get censored, despite Google’s claims that autocompletions are, for the most part, “algorithmically determined … without any human intervention.”
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What exactly are the boundaries and editorial criteria of that censorship, and how do they differ among search engines? More importantly, what kinds of mistakes do these algorithms make in applying their editorial criteria?
language  automation 
august 2013 by jomc
Code name ‘Verax’: Snowden, in exchanges with Post reporter, made clear he knew risks - The Washington Post
He said semantic analysis, another of the NSA’s capabilities, would identify him by his patterns of language.
language  semantic-analysis  surveillance 
june 2013 by jomc
Tom Chatfield – Language and digital identity
Onscreen, today’s torrents of pixels exceed anything Auden could have imagined. Yet the hyper-verbal loneliness he evoked feels peculiarly contemporary. Increasingly, we interweave our actions and our rolling digital accounts of ourselves: curators and narrators of our life stories, with a matching move from internal to external monologue. It’s a realm of elaborate shows in which status is hugely significant — and one in which articulacy itself risks turning into a game, with attention and impact (retweets, likes) held up as the supreme virtues of self-expression.
writing  language 
june 2013 by jomc
digital divide: contemporary art and new media - artforum.com / in print
“With the rise of the Web, writing has met its photography.”¹² It is telling that two of the works I cited earlier, by Trecartin and Stark, make language central to their aesthetic.....

why is contemporary art so reluctant to describe our experience of digitized life? After all, photography and film were embraced rapidly and wholeheartedly in the 1920s, as was video in the late 1960s and ’70s. These formats, however, were image-based, and their relevance and challenge to visual art were self-evident. The digital, by contrast, is code, inherently alien to human perception. It is, at base, a linguistic model. Convert any .jpg file to .txt and you will find its ingredients: a garbled recipe of numbers and letters, meaningless to the average viewer. Is there a sense of fear underlying visual art’s disavowal of new media? Faced with the infinite multiplicity of digital files, the uniqueness of the art object needs to be reasserted in the face of its infinite, uncontrollable dissemination via Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. If you borrow an artist’s DVD from a gallery, it usually arrives in a white paper slip, with VIEWING COPY ONLY marked clearly on the label; when a collector buys the same DVD in a limited edition, he or she receives a carefully crafted container, signed and numbered by the artist.
new-media  claire-bishop  art  language  text 
september 2012 by jomc
Hungary, Misunderstood? - NYTimes.com
During the one month that the constitution was open for public debate, the Hungarian government sent an English translation to the European Commission, as EU law requires it to do. But the English translation left out the controversial and inflammatory preamble. The preamble asserts that sovereignty rests in the Hungarian “nation” (that is, ethnic Hungarians and not Hungarian citizens of all ethnicities). It also includes potentially destabilizing references to Hungary’s “historic constitution” that implicitly laid claim to territories now belonging to neighboring states. In addition, the English version of the constitution presented to the EU was riddled with translation mistakes that changed the sense of the text.
language  translation  hungary  authoritarian 
january 2012 by jomc
Does he love you? Check his grammar for clues.
In one study of a group of speed daters, Pennebaker found that those who used function words in a similar manner were three times as likely to pick each other for a date.  Comparing language in writing is just as revealing. In looking at the letters of married poets Sylva Plath and Ted Hughes, Pennebaker found their language patterns matched up less and less as their marriage dissolved.
language  relationships  words 
november 2011 by jomc
The Secret Language Code: Scientific American
Remarkably, how people used pronouns was correlated with almost everything I studied. For example, use of  first-person singular pronouns (I, me, my) was consistently related to gender, age, social class, honesty, status, personality, and much more. Although the findings were often robust, people in daily life were unable to pick them up when reading or listening to others. It was almost as if there was a secret world of pronouns that existed outside our awareness.
pronouns  language  psychology 
august 2011 by jomc
Art Bollocks (or Stupid Kunst) « Today I Made Nothing
via andy baio - girl who made the viral art stakement video
art  language  pretentious  london 
june 2011 by jomc
Wavelength – Nothing
The Nothingists was a group created at the end of 1919 in Moscow echoing the internationalisation of the Dada movement although they didn’t use that word because in Russian Dada means “yes yes” contradicting their nihilism. They stopped all activity in 1923; Manifesto From Nothingism 1920, and Decree About the Nothingists of The Poetry 1920, both from CDs accompanying the book Baku: Symphony of Sirens.
dada  art  russia  language 
march 2011 by jomc
Statement analysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sapir says that a fundamental principle of statement analysis is that "denying guilt is not the same as denying the act. When one says "I am not guilty" or "I am innocent," they are not denying the act; they are only denying guilt."
language  lying  passivity  locution 
february 2011 by jomc
Explain yourself: George Lakoff, cognitive linguist | Explainer.Net
Our first expert is cognitive linguist George Lakoff, who did groundbreaking research on the embodiment of thought and language and the way people think using metaphors. For Lakoff, language is not a neutral system of communication, because it is always based on frames, conceptual metaphors, narratives, and emotions. Political thought and language is inherently moral and emotional. The basic phrases journalists use every day—words like “liberty” “freedom” “immigrant” “taxes”— are essentially contested concepts that have radically different meanings for different Americans.
language  metaphor  neuroscience  morality 
january 2011 by jomc
A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France - Sophia Rosenfeld
The author traces, first, the emergence of a new interest in the possibility of gestural communication within the philosophy, theater, and pedagogy of the last decades of the Old Regime. She then explores the varied uses and significance of a variety of semiotic experiments, including the development of a sign language for the deaf, within the language politics of the Revolution.
french  language  sign-language  pictograms  nonverbal 
january 2011 by jomc
Egypt's revolution began in "the Arab street." Where does that phrase come from? - By Brian Palmer - Slate Magazine
Where does that phrase come from?
The Arabs. In 2009, professors Terry Regier of U.C. Berkeley and Muhammad Ali Khalidi of York University in Canada published a paper tracking the origins and usage of the phrase Arab street (PDF). They found that Arabic-language newspapers regularly use the street as a stand-in for popular public opinion,
language  arabic 
january 2011 by jomc
One word: Neurolinguistics | Mstrmnd
The hominid brain reached almost its present size -- and perhaps even its present intellectual capacity about 250,000 years ago . Yet many of the attributes we regard as uniquely human appeared only much later. Why? What was the brain doing during the long "incubation "period? Why did it have all this latent potential for tool use, fire, art music and perhaps even language- that blossomed only considerably later?
gylph  language  Ramachandran  linguistics  anthropology  technology 
january 2011 by jomc
Nassim Taleb Outlines the Anti-Fragile Future
There is the ongoing conversation with Nassim Taleb about fragility. He maintains there is no adequate word (in most languages) to describe the opposite of the fragile. He prefers the term anti-fragility. Etymologically fragility has the roots in break or even sin. Hence Taleb’s late teacher Benoît Mandelbrot invented the word Fractals in the 70s, from the same root – fraction, to break.
language  politics 
january 2011 by jomc
Geometric Signs in Rock Art & Cave Paintings by Genevieve von Petzinger
What are Geometric Signs?


Abstract Shapes
Not immediately recognizable as a "mundane" object. This is why they are also referred to as non-figurative images, as opposed to figurative imagery like animals or humans. These signs are made using all the same techniques (painting, engraving, etc.) as the figurative art, except for sculpting.

Where do we find them?
They are found on the walls, ceilings and floors in caves and rock shelters, as well as on portable art objects. They are found in isolated locations at a rock art site, either singly, or in groupings. They are also found in association with animal and human imagery.
glyph  language  cave-paintings  archaeology  shapes  images  art  geology  history  signs  semiotics 
january 2011 by jomc
Previously dismissed 'doodles' in French caves could be man's very first attempts to write | Mail Online
#more on Genevieve von Petzinger

The lines, dots, zig-zags and semi-circles appear to indicate prehistoric man, as long ago as 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, may have been trying to communicate through symbols rather than pictures...Until now, the focus had been on the paintings in caves rather than the apparent doodles often found around them.
cave-painting  language  history  glyph  archaeology 
january 2011 by jomc
Ian Bogost - Computers are Systems, not Languages
Last year I learned about a rumor swirling around the comparative literature department at UCLA, where I did my PhD. Supposedly I had managed to get C++ to count as one of the three languages required for the degree. It's not true, for the record, but it is a topic that comes up from time to time. Many of us who work in computing and the humanities claim that knowledge of computation is essential background for all discussions that hope to bridge the two, not just for those who intend to make things for computers.

In fact, that's the basis of most justifications for substituting a computer language for a natural one in humanities graduate study. If literary scholars need to understand the languages that comprise literature, then digital scholars ought likewise to understand the languages that comprise computing.
language  programming  technology  academia 
january 2011 by jomc
Dogtooth :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews
begins with a tape-recorded language lesson in which they're taught the wrong words for things. “Sea,
...Yorgos Lanthimos' dialogue sounds composed entirely of sentences memorized from tourist phrase books.
language  film  cult-film  secret-languages  code 
january 2011 by jomc
mezangelle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
mezangelle is primarily based on hybrid words. Like the portmanteau words invented by Lewis Carroll or used in James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake, it dissects and recombines language and stacks multiple layers of meanings into single phrases. Beyond that, it is an Internet-cultural poetic language deriving much of its tension from incorporating formal code and informal speech at once [2].
net-art  language  secret-languages  code  hypertext  text  hackers 
january 2011 by jomc
Why Is Jared Loughner Obsessed With Grammar?
David Wynn Miller—or, as he styles himself, :David-Wynn: Miller. When Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown contacted Miller, he said he "absolutely" agreed with Loughner's assertion that "the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar." Miller told The New York Times that Lougher had "probably been on my Web site."

#quantum math?
politics  language  paranoia  grammar 
january 2011 by jomc
Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
Having never studied a day of Spanish, I could read a Spanish newspaper more easily than I could a Chinese newspaper after more than three years of studying Chinese.
chinese  china  taiwan  language 
july 2010 by jomc
With New Technologies, Do Blind People Lose More Than They Gain? - NYTimes.com
Louis Braille, a student at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, began studying a cipher language of bumps, called night writing, developed by a French Army officer so soldiers could send messages in the dark. Braille modified the code so that it could be read more efficiently — each letter or punctuation symbol is represented by a pattern of one to six dots on a matrix of three rows and two columns — and added abbreviations for commonly used words like “knowledge,” “people” and “Lord.” Endowed with a reliable method of written communication for the first time in history, blind people had a significant rise in social status, and Louis Braille was embraced as a kind of liberator and spiritual savior. With his “godlike courage,” Helen Keller wrote, Braille built a “firm stairway for millions of sense-crippled human beings to climb from hopeless darkness to the Mind Eternal.”
technology  history  braille  disabled  blind  language  text  code 
january 2010 by jomc

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