notable signage, postage, and oral topiary

  • incel (n.): involuntary celibate. Tends to be used by terribly bitter people. Ozy Frantz is trying to reclaim the term, since the problem is a real one.

  • foofaraw (West US n.): pomp, fuss, ruckus.

  • sinter (metallurgy v.): to fuse things into a solid without heating them to liquefaction. Think making a vicious snowball out of powder. Useful for ultra-high-melting-point things like tungsten.

  • zero-rating (telecomms n.): Offering free mobile data, usually for very limited things like app stores or Facebook. A good form of price discrimination - but legislators often ban it in the name of net neutrality, creating equality by running among fields with a running chainsaw. Common in the developing world - best of all, for Wikipedia.

  • dead mileage (n.): non-profitable movement of commercial vehicles, for maintenance or live placement.

  • to deadhead (v.): to travel, as staff, using dead mileage.

  • data sleaze (n.): customer data obtained secretly by businesses, secretly sold on. Almost all 'free' services are data sleaze operations.

  • expert beginner (pej. tech n.): Closed-minded person, who plateaus before becoming actually competent, because of bad feedback or arrogance. Often hailed as an expert by other know-nothings in their small pond. Most very experienced people are probably this. ("10 years of experience... or the same year repeated 10x?")

  • ignotum per ignotius (Lat. n.): An explanation which is more obscure than the initial concept. e.g. In which an explicand, which is to say one or more explananda, is elucidated by a kaleidoscopic but wholly inefficacious explanans, the whole taking on a manner befitting only an ἐσωτερικ or γνωστικ, thereby violating the good maxims of relation and manner.

  • language server: 1) the part of an IDE that supplies autocomplete and refactor-all and all that sugary goodness; 2) a good name for a blog.



How many hours have I spent on maths?

(or, rather, How many hours have I spent explicitly doing maths?)
  1. Formal education
    • Preschool. 300 hours of counting?

    • Primary school. (4? per week * 40 weeks x 7 years) = 1100

    • Secondary school (6 years)
      S1+S2: (3? per week * 40 weeks * 2) + homework (80), revision (40) = 360
      Standard Grade: (3? per week * 40 weeks * 2) + homework (160), revision (50) = 450
      Higher Maths: (3 per week * 40) + homework (100), revision (100) = 320
      Physics: (2 * 40 * 1) + home (50) + revision (50) = 180
      Chemistry: (2 * 40 * 1) + home (50) + revision (50) = 180
      =~ 1800

    • Higher education
      Economics = (4 hours * 24 weeks * 4 years) + homework (200) + revision (200) + thesis (100) = 900
      Cryptography = 100
      Half a BSc in Maths = 16 hours per assignment x 23 assignments + (60 hours study x 4 courses) = 600
      ~ 1600

    ~ 5000 hours.

  2. Researches
    My own writing hasn't been very mathematical so far. But I've done a bunch of recreational bits and warmup pieces, and read books like GEB and Chaos.
    ~ 200 hours.

So I am supposedly halfway to Gladwellian mastery. Sure doesn't feel that way; but then, the first two-thirds of those hours were undermined by their being coercive and applied to a formless fog of feeling, me as a child. And I have scarcely ever been 'deliberate' about it.