Archive for Linguistics in the comics

Quantum Supremacy

For the past couple of months, the phrase "Quantum Supremacy" has been on my to-blog list, based on points and counterpoints like "Google scientists say they've achieved 'quantum supremacy' breakthrough over classical computers" (WaPo 10/23/2019) and "IBM Says Google's Quantum Leap Was a Quantum Flop" (Wired 10/21/2019). My interest, at least on the LLOG dimension, was not in the argument about how difficult a particular problem is for classical computers, but rather in the use of the word supremacy.

Now I can take this one off the stack, because a recent SMBC does a better job than I would have:


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DeepPodcast

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"Knock it off, algorithms!"

An experience that's become all too common — as documented in Zits for 11/25 through 11/28:



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Useful terms from professional wrestling politics

Our current president learned the art of the "promo" during his days in professional wrestling. For those who many be unfamiliar with that culture, I recommend the Wikipedia Glossary of Professional Wrestling terms — or, as a place to start, the terminology illustrated in this strip from Pixie Trix Comix:

From the Wikipedia Glossary:

work

  1. (noun): Anything planned to happen, or a "rationalized lie". The opposite of shoot.
  2. (verb): To methodically attack a single body part over the course of a match or an entire angle, setting up an appropriate finisher.
  3. (verb): To deceive or manipulate an audience in order to elicit a desired response.

shoot

When a wrestler or personality deliberately goes off-script, either by making candid comments or remarks during an interview, breaking kayfabe, or legitimately attacking an opponent.

worked shoot

The phenomenon of a wrestler seemingly going "off script", often revealing elements of out-of-universe reality, but actually doing so as a fully planned part of the show. A notable example of a worked shoot is CM Punk's pipebomb promo on the June 27th, 2011 episode of Monday Night Raw.

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The Data Says …

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The Synergy of the Growth Hack Paradigm

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Where the magic happens

From today's SMBC, an idea about AI that's obvious in retrospect but seems to be new:

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The Iron Law of AI

Today's SMBC:

Mouseover title: "The other day I was really freaked out that a computer could generate faces of people who DON'T REALLY EXIST, only to later realize painters have been doing this for several millenia."

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Language change as extortion

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Literary opinions

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "If I really focus, I can distinguish between John Steinbeck and John Updike, or between Gore Vidal and Vidal Sassoon, but not both at once."

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Universal metacomments

The latest xkcd:

Mouseover title: "NPR encourages you to add comments to their stories using the page inspector in your browser's developer tools. Note: Your comments are visible only to you, and will be lost when you refresh the page."

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Qualifying fluency

The current xkcd:

Mouseover title: "[20 minutes later] ", hi.""

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Self-aware autoreply

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