The referenced Wikipedia page contains a perfectly valid explanation for the term "elliptic curves", and a little googling reveals that it was Legendre who's responsible for "this idiocy".
You can tell him I said that.
The confusing fact which Mark Dominus means is however, probably the fact that the term "Elliptic curve" seems to be a merger of the name "algebraic curve" and the defining equation
y^2 = x^3 + ax + b
1 = (x/a)^2 + (y/b)^2
(Yes, the terminology is stupid and should be changed. But as long as we're stuck with it, this helps.)
Just say things like "right yes" or "wrong no" and I'll understand. The only problem with that way of speaking is that it doesn't sound fancy.
OK. So s/false/right/ and s/right/true/ and s/negative/no/ and s/positive/yes/.
Does that work for you? Positive and negative are about the outcome of the test - did it report whatever or not? True and false are about if this result corresponds to reality or not.
It might just be me, but "wrong yes" sounds like it's claiming something very specific about the test. It's claiming that test said something was present and it wasn't. It's possible that this might not align with how the test works. Calling it a false positive would seem to make it clear that it's positive from the test's perspective.
But I may be wrong! This is clearly just opinion.
There are actually three dichotomies here: was the test mistaken, what was its boolean value, and which boolean value means which thing in the world. Saying yes/no still requires a decision about the latter; though it seems clearer to me about this (both the need for interpretation and on suggesting a default), but it is subjective. And of course, any of these are better than Type I/II.
I do kind of insist that right/wrong or correct/mistaken clearly means the first question, where true/false is more ambiguous. To really resolve things maybe a better idea is like wrong/present and right/absent.
Po‑si–t—ive & Ne‑ga–t—ive.
po‑si–t—ing & ne‑ga–t—ing.
Po‑si–t—ed & Ne‑ga–t—ed.
Po‑si–t—ive‑ly & Ne‑ga–t—ive‑ly.
Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of 'positive' and 'negative' numbers, doesn't it?
Those have the same problem, don't they? I think you think you're replacing the positive/negative with right/wrong, but you're actually replacing the true/false. So, if you get a "wrong yes" result, is that "yes" supposed to be a good or bad thing? It's still ambiguous.
Maybe "true good" or "false bad" are better...
Then again, if both results are neither good or bad, then which is which? Maybe true/false positive/negative is indeed the less ambiguous. You just need to be clear on the question that's being answered. "Is there cancer?" "positive" means yes, "negative" means no.
But here's how I'm thinking of it: a test says yes or no: is the thing present or not? And right/wrong is the correctness of the test. I can't see people easily getting confused and thinking "wrong yes" means that a test correctly said that the thing is not there. Anyone would think it means that the test incorrectly said the thing is there (among all the four possible meanings we're concerned about). OTOH false and negative could each more easily mean either wrong or absent.
But I may be wrong! This is only my best proposal.
just 2 chars...........
Now we just need to go back in time and convince Euler and Grothendieck to pretty-please either discover fewer things, or change their names every couple of years or something.
Type I: True -> False
Type II: False -> True
Meaning something was True (H_0) and our results say it's False (Reject H_0), and vice versa.
Type I Type II
On another note, I think I just met someone with both a power systems and functional programming background today. Small world :).
I literally can't understand what mental process led them to do this, or not realise.
Another thing I detest is mathematician's fear of brackets. They'd rather use a tower of unstated precedences than just bracketing the fuckers. Fine, I suppose, if you know the subject but I was trying to learn something recently, something with quantifiers and implications nested densely, and was left mentally bracketing the various subexpressions to (try to!) work out what was meant. If I have to fight the syntax I'm already being blocked from understanding the semantics.
Mathematicians really do make things hard sometimes.
Thankfully us programmers are so much better (sarc)
"Where did the name, dynamic programming, come from? The 1950s were not good years for mathematical research. We had a very interesting gentleman in Washington named Wilson. He was Secretary of Defense, and he actually had a pathological fear and hatred of the word research. I’m not using the term lightly; I’m using it precisely. His face would suffuse, he would turn red, and he would get violent if people used the term research in his presence. You can imagine how he felt, then, about the term mathematical. The RAND Corporation was employed by the Air Force, and the Air Force had Wilson as its boss, essentially. Hence, I felt I had to do something to shield Wilson and the Air Force from the fact that I was really doing mathematics inside the RAND Corporation. What title, what name, could I choose? In the first place I was interested in planning, in decision making, in thinking. But planning, is not a good word for various reasons. I decided therefore to use the word “programming”. I wanted to get across the idea that this was dynamic, this was multistage, this was time-varying. I thought, let's kill two birds with one stone. Let's take a word that has an absolutely precise meaning, namely dynamic, in the classical physical sense. It also has a very interesting property as an adjective, and that is it's impossible to use the word dynamic in a pejorative sense. Try thinking of some combination that will possibly give it a pejorative meaning. It's impossible. Thus, I thought dynamic programming was a good name. It was something not even a Congressman could object to." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_programming#History
A Congressman may not be able to object, but I do! It's a particular flavor of recursion, and perhaps a flavor of the term "recursion" would be called for, but "dynamic programming" is essentially meaningless. Any addition meaning that phrase may have in your head is almost certainly unrelated to what the term refers to, since we've used "static" and "dynamic" in all sorts of ways since the 1950s.
But please allow me to disagree with you. The term programming/programme predate programming as we know it, and he was free to use it in the sense of 'scheduling', much like a radio or TV schedule. The dynamic also makes sense as the schedule (or whatever) picks its next state depending on a previous/simpler state (hence a 'stage' in multistage, though I can't understand his use of 'time-varying' here). I think it's ok.
I'd rather punch mathematicians who won't bracket over mathematicians who try and protect themselves and their work from over-powerful, deeply stupid people.
> Mathematicians really do make things hard sometimes.
Hard for non-mathematicians for sure, hard for themselves often enough too; but not this time.
a, b, c...i, j, k...z do not. Alphabetical ordering is convention and no more than that.
To say, let's apply this convention to a problem to which such an ordering has literally no relevance, and ignore their value as a mnemonic, is bizarre beyond my comprehension.
I suspect some ultra smart people like Bellman, and possibly you, can attach completely arbitrary labels to things and immediately use those. I suspect that's what happened here. But I can't, and I'm pretty sure most people can't. To us, it helps greatly if the label has some relationship to the thing labelled
Part of that might be the ages of their respective fields (if I wanted to rename "bubble sort" to "triangle sort", I would only be influencing something like 50 years of established work, whereas if you wanted to change the notation we use for derivatives, that's 400ish years).
Part of it might be the relative proportion of time we spend grappling with syntax versus the conceptual domain. While programming languages themselves don't require that much learning, we still need to learn others' APIs etc. Especially in the absence of documentation, good names are extremely valuable. But math is super documented, and most of the thinking can be done in relation to domain concepts without too much regard to syntax. I am guessing that makes good names comparatively unimportant to them.
Species doesn't have an exactly bounded definition because it is not an exactly bounded thing. It's like trying to define "life". This doesn't really have anything to do with bad jargon though so I'm not sure why you brought it up.
The world is an endless adventure in ever-expanding tendrils of interest, if not gated by rote.
My German team has a running gag where, when a sentence turns out especially jargon-riddled, we translate all the jargon words into German, as literally as possible. The result is always hilarious.
Both in IT and biology a collection of trees is called a forest. In IT, if you take a tree and remove the root, the result is a forest. Biologists don't agree.
Unless it's Pando:
For a rant on this see "Hitler Learns Topology" .
Additionally, the physicists use 'i' for electrical current, while the electrical engineers use 'j'. Again, very fun trying to remember what is what during finals week.
Sir William Rowan Hamilton would like to have a word with you. I think he mumbled something about some bridge or something?
Never mind all the indices of Taylor Series.
The most beneficial thing that Einstein ever did was getting rid all the Sigmas. He did other things too, of course, but nothing really compares.
(I am the author of The Tau Manifesto.)
That manifesto should be on the front page of the NY Times