Words of Wisdom

affluenza (noun):  a portmanteau derived from af(fluent) + (in)fluenza; extreme materialism which is the impetus for accumulating wealth and for overconsumption of goods; also, feelings of guilt and isolation from the dysfunctional pursuit of wealth and goods; a disease caused by consumerism, commercialism, and rampant materialism and its antidote is simple living.

AGI:  human-level intelligence or more broadly “artificial general intelligence.”

albedo (noun):  the ratio of the light reflected by a planet or satellite to that received by it.

anthropocene (noun): a word coined by Paul Crutzen (Nobel-Prize-winning Dutch chemist) for the present geological epoch (from the Industrial Revolution onwards), during which humanity has begun to have a significant impact on global climate and ecosystems. 

apsis (noun):  (Astronomy) – either of two points in an eccentric orbit, one (higher apsis) farthest from the center of attraction, the other (lower apsis) nearest to the center of attraction.

cavil (noun):  a trivial and annoying objection; the raising of such objections/(verb) to oppose by insequential or frivolous objections:  to cavil each item on an agenda

geoengineering (noun):  the National Academy of Sciences defined geoengineering as “options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry.”

IPAT (equation): I=PxAxT (commonly pronounced “eye-pat”) is a formula alleged to describe the factors and their relationship that cause environmental degradation.  In this formula:  I stands for impact; P for Population; A for Affluence (or amount consumed); and T for Technology.  It alleges that the three factors compound.  The formular was recently “rescued” kookdom by NG (Mar 2011).

levada (noun):  an irrigation channel or aqueduct specific to the island of Maderia in the Atlantic Ocean.; Portuguese for “led.”

maven (noun):  an expert or connoisseur

minion (noun): a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power; a minor official

non sequitur:  a statement containing an illogical conclusion; an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises.

plinth (noun):  a square base or a lower block, as of a pedestal; a slablike member beneath the base of a column or pier.

portmanteau (noun) or portmanteau word:  word blending the sound of two different words; a blend of two (or more) words or morphemes and their meaning into one new word, usually combining specifically the beginning syllables of one word and the end syllables of another; eg.  influenza+affluence=affluenza

scree (noun): an accumulation of weathered rock fragments at the foot of a cliff or hillside, often forming a sloping heap; also called talus

singularity (noun):  the moment when technological changes becomes so rapid and profound, it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.//The word was borrowed from astrophysics where  it refers to a point in space-time–for example, inside a black hole–at which the rules of ordinary physics do not apply.

singularitarian (noun):  a small but intense and globally distributed hive of like-minded thinkers who take the singularity serious.

squishy (adj.):  soft and wet; emotional or sentimental; related: squishiness (noun)

talus (noun):  see “scree”

wonk (noun):  a person who studies a subject or issue in an excessively assiduous and thorough manner:  a policy wonk

ylem (noun):  the original matter from which the basic elements are said to have been formed following the explosion postulated in the big bang theory of cosmology.

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