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masque wrote (edited )

I have more trouble with pseudo-academic "internet discourse" than I do with actual academic works. I think it's fine for highly-specific fields, be they mathematics or political philosophy, to naturally develop their own jargon suited to talking about ideas or distinctions that aren't concisely described in everyday speech.

What I don't understand is the online manifestos that read like prose poetry, where everything is expressed in metaphors and examples that seem to be united by a vibe rather than by a coherent argument.

EDIT: Making academic work accessible to people outside of the field is traditionally the domain of "popularizers" who specifically are good at expressing the debate in a way that doesn't require a background, and I think that's a reasonable division of labour in theory.

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thelegendarybirdmonster wrote

alejandro de acosta has written an essay on this phenomenon of new words emerging in activist circles.

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ruin wrote

The essay you’re referencing, if I recall correctly, opposed the overused margarine words and sloganeering in the anarchist vernacular and is critical of calls for more “common” language in theoretical discourse.

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thelegendarybirdmonster wrote

yes, he distinguishes between:

  • acid words: "new words" meant to make people think, describing something new (or renewed). They're used by the (((nerds))) of anarchism. acid because they have a ting

  • butter words: often "old" acid words, that are used by everyone, without really knowing what they mean, and without much of their original meaning. They're dissolved and are can be slipped in anywhere to make discourse slick (hence butter).

His approach was mostly from an activist side, but I feel like there's a similar phenomenon in science (the only academia I know) where new words appear. for example, I feel like "AI", "ML" were once acid words in CS, but are now butter words in everyday life.

In physics I don't have examples of words who's meaning have been dissolved (except for quantum maybe lol), but more that new words appear to distinguish different cases of some phenomena.

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ruin wrote

Cool. Thanks for the recap and posting the link. I’m definitely going to give it another read.

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masque wrote

I feel like "AI", "ML" were once acid words in CS, but are now butter words in everyday life.

I think "AI" has definitely been diluted to the point of near-uselessness, but ML is still useful for referring to an identifiable class of tools and techniques.

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masque wrote

Looks interesting so far, thanks. I might comment again once I've finished reading it.

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