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Copyright: Copyright 2017 Logophilia Limited and Paul McFedries

big nudging

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. The use of massive collections of personal data to suggest and optimize behavioural science techniques that subtly encourage people to make better choices in their lives.

These technologies are also becoming increasingly popular in the world of politics. Under the label of nudging, and on massive scale, governments are trying to steer citizens towards healthier or more environmentally friendly behaviour by means of a "nudge""a modern form of paternalism. The new, caring government is not only interested in what we do, but also wants to make sure that we do the things that it considers to be right. The magic phrase is "big nudging", which is the combination of big data with nudging.
—Dirk Helbing, et al., “Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?,” Scientific American, February 25, 2017

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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

v. To blackball someone temporarily or provisionally.

Uber announced this evening that it will stop using its greyballing tool to prevent local regulators and law enforcement from catching the company violating local taxi regulations.
—Jordan Golson, “Uber will stop 'greyballing' government regulators,” The Verge, March 8, 2017

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dopamine dressing

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

pp. Wearing clothes that boost one's mood.

Weve looked at serotonin-boosting food, and happiness workouts, but did you know that the so-called dopamine dressing trend, which is all about fashion choices that make you feel happy, actually has its roots in solid scientific research? " In other words, wearing "happy clothes" genuinely can make you feel happier.
—Jenny Paul, “Have You Tried Victoria Beckham’s Instant Happiness Secret?,” Lumity, February 23, 2017

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Fri, 03 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

v. To restore something to its original state and then modify it with new or improved features.

The Applied Sans typeface family takes the charm of early sans serif designs and restifies it for the 21st century....Their goal was to {i restore i} the charisma of the original sans, and {i modify i} the design to have the consistent traits and structure of a 21st century design ("restify").
—Allan Haley, “Applied Sans: A Classic and Contemporary Fusion,”, January 26, 2017

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Wed, 01 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

n. A compulsion to monitor one's health and fitness metrics, particularly those generated by apps and electronic devices.

Digital-health industry leaders such as Daniel Kraft, a Harvard-trained physician and medical-device inventor, predict that in the future, "track-a-holism" will be the norm.
—Adriana Barton, “Tracking down the root of our self-tracking obsession,” The Globe and Mail, February 27, 2017

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Fri, 24 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

n. Soothing words used to calm or distract a patient who is awake during a surgical procedure.

Verbicaine. Spoken anesthesia, as in talking a patient through a rough patch of surgery when they are awake.
—Darrell White, “Sunday 170212” (comment), CrossFit, February 12, 2017

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iceberg home

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

n. A home where what is seen at ground level is only a small part of structure, with the rest being underground.

Mr. Graham already infuriated neighbours five years ago with plans to dig four storeys below his mansion in Knightsbridge to build a swimming pool, a three-car garage, a gym, a ballroom, changing rooms, a hot tub, wine cellars, an art storage room and servants quarters. His subterranean escapade became a hot topic in London and shed light on the growing trend among the superrich for "iceberg homes," named because most of the house is below ground.
—Paul Waldie, “Canadian businessman David Graham’s home expansion enrages London neighbours,” The Globe and Mail, February 9, 2017

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Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

v. To make bland, boring, or generic; to set text in, or convert text to, the Helvetica typeface.

It was rather a skirmish between a bunch of young designers, like your age now, who were called New Wave, Postmodern, Swiss Punk, whatever, and believed it necessary to reject the status quo for something freer and more contemporary. Doing that meant criticizing old-guard designers, who believed design should be simple"clean on tight grids and Helveticized.
—Steven Heller, “The Legibility Wars of the ’80s and ’90s,” Print, December 5, 2016

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

n. Rule or government by algorithm.

In the Threat of Algocracy I used ideas and arguments drawn from political philosophy to assess the social and political impact of algorithmic governance. I defined algorithmic governance " or as I prefer algocracy " as the use of data-mining, predictive and descriptive analytics to constrain and control human behaviour. I then argued that the increased prevalence of algocratic systems posed a threat to the legitimacy of governance.
—John Danaher, “Algocracy as Hypernudging: A New Way to Understand the Threat of Algocracy,” Philosophical Disquisitions, January 11, 2017

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rug-rat race

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

n. Intense pressure put on children to achieve early educational success, particularly as a prerequisite for eventually getting into an elite university.

This striving is necessarily, and worryingly, inegalitarian. Parental investment in childrens education is an arms race in which poorer families cannot hope to keep pace. Richer, better-educated families can call on many more assets in helping struggling students or providing enriching rsum-building material. The more the rug-rat race leads parents to withdraw their children from public-school systems, the worse this trend becomes.
—Ryan Avent, “High-Pressure Parenting,” 1843, February 6, 2017

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