Ted (merovingian) wrote,
Ted
merovingian

This is our Osthuman. Notice there is no P in it. Please help keep it that way.

The Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria are the worst band ever. On purpose.

The promoter of the band is a friend of mine. She actually put the band together in an attempt to blend every possible element of bad-band-ness into a single collosal heap of suckage. Somehow, despite incredible effort, the band hasn't done well. She was sure, based on other successful bands, that the worst band ever would succeed wildly, but so far, they can only get small one-shot local gigs.

I was watching the Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria at a club near my house last night, and they put on an especially specacular show; it was utterly terrible. Afterwards, I went backstage to sneer at and deride the band members and congratulate my friend on another triumph.

On my way out, the drummer, who had just electrocuted himself while taking down his equipment, grabbed my arm. Arcs of elecricity danced between his eyes as he spoke in a detached, alien voice.



"As world population increases and microcultures emerge, one source of tension is field-specific technical language (FSTL), or, disparagingly, jargon. Increasing effort is put into creating and learning jargon, to the extent that some technical fields seem to study nothing but their own terminology and namin. Sadly, there's a loss of comprehension; jargon makes it less intuitive to explain the ideas of a field to an outsider. Why put so much effort into this? What's to be gained? Jargon happens for many reasons, but it is worthwhile to consider which is the most important or compelling reason (the causa prima or cp)

"Some propose that jargon is used intentionally to avoid comprehension, and this is not a theory to be discounted. There are real benefits to creating such miscommunication which could justify intentional barrier-talk: it creates an increased learning curve, as well group definition. Increasing the learning curve with barrier-talk sets a minimum level of commitment for membership in a group, and, by doing so, can maintain the social (and sometimes financial) security of a group. Group definition by barrier-talk is valuable because it helps FSTL users gain a sense of identity, and these clear boundaries can give a sense of comfort and comradery.

"From a practical perspective, another reason for FSTL is chunking. Cognitive scientists have found that during the learning process, a skilled individual grows to become so familiar with complex details that they become completely unconscious, and that this detachment from specifics is a significant source of improvement. A beginning Go player sees the board in terms of individual stones and their positions, but a master Go player will perceive the board in broad strategic terms without thinking about any particular stone. Similarly, an experienced driver decides to turn left, without thinking about checking other lanes, signalling, or slowing down for the turn. A learner must pay attention to such details. By using terms which assume detailed knowledge, users of FSTL can operate at a higher-level and improve skilled use.

"A fairly clear cp for FSTL is lexical evolution, or lexevolving. Sometimes, in a particular field, no word exists, or the existing word is so general that it could refer to things which must be kept distinct. Words like 'transistor' and 'fricasee' and 'quark' were created because they were needed.

"Another possible cp is framing. Using FSTL can immediately set a context for discussion, and quickly establish what assumptions are being made and what kind of actions should be taken. This can be used for clarity; for instance, using legal terms, as opposed to common terms, or scientific or business terms, can signal that it's time to talk about things from a legal perspective. It can also be used in forensic framing, specifically attempting to create a context where the assumptions and methods are advantageous to one's view. A group can create jargon which, when used, asserts the group's positions.

"Another rhetorical use of FSTL is triggering. Some words, used in any context, have a strong emotional association. FSTL may specifically attempt to invoke triggering where it would not occur - for instance, calling a particular type of exercise 'power jogging' - or to avoid triggering where it would normally occur - such as using 'terminated' instead of 'fired' when discussion someone who lost their job."



Then the drummer fell asleep and I went home.

What do you think is the cp for FSTL?

barrier-talk
4(16.0%)
chunking
8(32.0%)
lexevolving
7(28.0%)
clarity framing
4(16.0%)
forensic framing
1(4.0%)
triggering
1(4.0%)

What is your favorite element of bad-band-ness?

I've got a cobra snake for a necktie. Who do you love?

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