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Patrick Stevens

Former mathematics student at the University of Cambridge; now a software engineer.

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(This is my first post written in Dvorak; accordingly, it is a bit shorter than I would like, since I am very slow at it. Tsuyoku naritai, and all that.)

A really nice website I’ve come across in my wanderings is Pretty Rational, a growing collection of pithy quotes about rationality, illustrated by one Katie Hartman.

Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them

This particular Jules Verne quote is expounded upon in a LessWrong post, as so many things are, but I can’t help noticing that the source of the quote doesn’t seem to appear on the Internet. If anyone knows where the quote appears, please let me know! It may turn out to be another Einsteinism - a word I hereby coin to mean “something misattributed to a(n) historical figure whom we think of as wise” - but the quote itself would be undiminished.

Another niche in the language is “evilogue” - don’t click any links on that page, as Cracked is the third-hardest website on the Internet to escape, after TV Tropes and the SCP wiki. An evilogue is claimed in a situation in which someone has asked you for your opinion of (for example) a company, and you hate that company without at this time being able to recall any specific evidence. Then you may state that you have an evilogue, meaning that if ey wants you to, you will find the evidence you were referring to, at your leisure. (Beware, of course, of being unduly influenced by your past opinion - if in the course of your research you find your concerns to be unjustified, do tell the other person and update accordingly. You shouldn’t be looking for new evidence, but finding the evidence you used originally.)

My final bestowal on the English language (for the moment) is the word “yop”, being a “yes” in response to a negative question. When asked “So I’m not the Pope after all?”, the correct answer for most people would be “No” (you’re not the Pope); the answer to “So I’m not sentient after all?” would usually (but not necessarily, according to John Searle) be “Yop” (you are sentient). This avoids the needless ambiguity of “Yes” or the prolixity of “No [or Yes], you are sentient”.