Wikimedia chair, lawyer at Creative Commons, tech policy geek, FLOSS advocate, bassoonist, violist, nerd.
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Hyak on Hyak

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I recently fulfilled a yearslong dream of launching a job on Hyak* on Hyak.

Hyak onHyak

 


* Hyak is the University of Washington’s supercomputer which my research group uses for most of our computation-intensive research.
M/V Hyak is a Super-class ferry operated by the Washington State Ferry System.
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mindspillage
4 days ago
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Mountain View, California
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Today I learned - Guy Allen was a famous cowboy who won the rodeo championship eleven times. A...

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Today I learned - Guy Allen was a famous cowboy who won the rodeo championship eleven times. A twelfth win would have given him the world record for most rodeo championships won.

Instead, he was defeated by another cowboy named Buster Record.

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mindspillage
25 days ago
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Mountain View, California
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mindspillage
34 days ago
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Mountain View, California
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Name Dominoes

5 Comments and 8 Shares
In competition, you can only play a name if you know who the person is. No fair saying "Frank ... Johnson. That sounds like a real person! Let me just Google him real quick."
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mindspillage
34 days ago
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How did he not title this "nominoes"?
Mountain View, California
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3 public comments
bakablur
34 days ago
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Hey, why does Potter Stewart match with Stuart Little?
olliejones
33 days ago
Yeah, and Garnets may be made from rubies and sapphires, but is Garnet a person? Is she? Is she?
alt_text_at_your_service
35 days ago
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In competition, you can only play a name if you know who the person is. No fair saying "Frank ... Johnson. That sounds like a real person! Let me just Google him real quick."
alt_text_bot
35 days ago
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In competition, you can only play a name if you know who the person is. No fair saying "Frank ... Johnson. That sounds like a real person! Let me just Google him real quick."

Have you ever played tabletop roleplaying games (e.g., D&D)?

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I played it once, a long time ago, and was (before I even knew what munchkinning was) the worst kind of munchkin.

The DM said we could start with level 10 characters, which was cool, since throwing stones at kobolds for six months sounded really boring. I designed a Bard who was basically 100% optimized for Charisma and Bluff.

The campaign involved some attempt to get some artifact. I told the person trying to keep the artifact from us that we were the rightful owner, and made my bluff check, so they told me where it was. The artifact was guarded by some guards, but I told them all we were authorized to enter their super-secret area, and made my bluff check, so they waved us through. Inside there was some labyrinth of tunnels or sewers or something, with some kind of (sapient) monster guarding the artifact. The monster was just totally unwilling to let anyone through, and was clearly stronger than we were.

So I told it I was the Tarrasque.

It was…dubious. My character was this wispy, incredibly attractive woman (remember, I’m optimizing for Charisma at the expense of everything else) who didn’t even look like she could open a can, let alone be a Tarrasque. Also, we were were in a cramped tunnel system.

It asked me if I was sure. I said I was…and made my Bluff check.

The monster ran away in terror, everyone was really angry at me, and I haven’t played any D&D since then. RIP Kahe Kalirion, you deserved a longer and more storied legend.

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mindspillage
45 days ago
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Mountain View, California
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benito-cereno: Okay, so: Latin has this word, sic. Or, if we want to be more diacritically...

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benito-cereno:

Okay, so:

Latin has this word, sic. Or, if we want to be more diacritically accurate, sīc. That shows that the i is long, so it’s pronounced like “seek” and not like “sick.”

You might recognize this word from Latin sayings like “sic semper tyrannis” or “sic transit gloria mundi.” You might recognize it as what you put in parentheses when you want to be pass-agg about someone’s mistakes when you’re quoting them: “Then he texted me, ‘I want to touch you’re (sic) butt.’”

It means, “thus,” which sounds pretty hoity-toity in this modren era, so maybe think of it as meaning “in this way,” or “just like that.” As in, “just like that, to all tyrants, forever,” an allegedly cool thing to say after shooting a President and leaping off a balcony and shattering your leg. “Everyone should do it this way.”

Anyway, Classical Latin somewhat lacked an affirmative particle, though you might see the word ita, a synonym of sic, used in that way. By Medieval Times, however, sic was holding down this role. Which is to say, it came to mean yes.

Ego: Num edisti totam pitam?

Tu, pudendus: Sic.

Me: Did you eat all the pizza?

You, shameful: That’s the way it is./Yes.

This was pretty well established by the time Latin evolved into its various bastard children, the Romance languages, and you can see this by the words for yes in these languages.

In Spanish, Italian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Galician, Friulian, and others, you say si for yes. In Portugese, you say sim. In French, you say si to mean yes when you’re contradicting a negative assertion (”You don’t like donkey sausage like all of us, the inhabitants of France, eat all the time?” “Yes, I do!”). In Romanian, you say da, but that’s because they’re on some Slavic shit. P.S. there are possibly more Romance languages than you’re aware of.

But:

There was still influence in some areas by the conquered Gaulish tribes on the language of their conquerors. We don’t really have anything of Gaulish language left, but we can reverse engineer some things from their descendants. You see, the Celts that we think of now as the people of the British Isles were Gaulish, originally (in the sense that anyone’s originally from anywhere, I guess) from central and western Europe. So we can look at, for example, Old Irish, where they said tó to mean yes, or Welsh, where they say do to mean yes or indeed, and we can see that they derive from the Proto-Indo-European (the big mother language at whose teat very many languages both modern and ancient did suckle) word *tod, meaning “this” or “that.” (The asterisk indicates that this is a reconstructed word and we don’t know exactly what it would have been but we have a pretty damn good idea.)

So if you were fucking Ambiorix or whoever and Quintus Titurius Sabinus was like, “Yo, did you eat all the pizza?” you would do that Drake smile and point thing under your big beefy Gaulish mustache and say, “This.” Then you would have him surrounded and killed.

Apparently Latin(ish) speakers in the area thought this was a very dope way of expressing themselves. “Why should I say ‘in that way’ like those idiots in Italy and Spain when I could say ‘this’ like all these cool mustache boys in Gaul?” So they started copying the expression, but in their own language. (That’s called a calque, by the way. When you borrow an expression from another language but translate it into your own. If you care about that kind of shit.)

The Latin word for “this” is “hoc,” so a bunch of people started saying “hoc” to mean yes. In the southern parts of what was once Gaul, “hoc” makes the relatively minor adjustment to òc, while in the more northerly areas they think, “Hmm, just saying ‘this’ isn’t cool enough. What if we said ‘this that’ to mean ‘yes.’” (This is not exactly what happened but it is basically what happened, please just fucking roll with it, this shit is long enough already.)

So they combined hoc with ille, which means “that” (but also comes to just mean “he”: compare Spanish el, Italian il, French le, and so on) to make o-il, which becomes oïl. This difference between the north and south (i.e. saying oc or oil) comes to be so emblematic of the differences between the two languages/dialects that the languages from the north are called langues d’oil and the ones from the south are called langues d’oc. In fact, the latter language is now officially called “Occitan,” which is a made-up word (to a slightly greater degree than that to which all words are made-up words) that basically means “Oc-ish.” They speak Occitan in southern France and Catalonia and Monaco and some other places.

The oil languages include a pretty beefy number of languages and dialects with some pretty amazing names like Walloon, and also one with a much more basic name: French. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, n'est-ce pas?

Yeah, eventually Francophones drop the -l from oil and start saying it as oui. If you’ve ever wondered why French yes is different from other Romance yeses, well, now you know.

I guess what I’m getting at is that when you reblog a post you like and tag it with “this,” or affirm a thing a friend said by nodding and saying “Yeah, that”: you’re not new

The Latin word for “this” is “hoc,” so a bunch of people started saying “hoc” to mean yes. In the southern parts of what was once Gaul, “hoc” makes the relatively minor adjustment to òc 

OK.

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mindspillage
50 days ago
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Mountain View, California
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