07/13/09

My word of the day, meme, came from a NY Times article …

A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with “cream”[1]), is a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word mimema for “something imitated”.)[2]

The term Internet meme (pronounced /mɛm/, mème) is a phrase used to describe a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an inside joke.[1] The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although this concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information.

07/14/09

This word of the day, scala, has several definitions. I came across it while reading tweets from Silicon Valley nerds 🙂

1. Women’s clothing

2. (Surg.) A machine formerly employed for reducing dislocations of the humerus.

3. (Anat.) A term applied to any one of the three canals of the cochlea.

And the definition I was looking for:

Scala is a general purpose programming language designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way. It smoothly integrates features of object-oriented and functional languages, enabling Java and other programmers to be more productive. Code sizes are typically reduced by a factor of two to three when compared to an equivalent Java application.

07/30/09

Capricous. A rich word I like because it adds a certain flavor to the meaning when used:

Characterized by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable

08/08/09

Compassion is an overly abused word. Definitions like the one below
don’t do it justice, and encourage it’s misuse:

  1. a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering
  2. the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it

I found this on Wikipedia:

Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others.
More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to
an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. It is often,
though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in
the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various
expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody
by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what
you would have them do to you. [1] Ranked a great virtue in
numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in all the
major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.

Much closer to my interpretation. It’s bullshit saying things like
having compassion for puppy dogs stuck in the pound, or calling
sympathy compassion when a friend loses their job.  Compassion
in those contexts is shallow.

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