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Bootstrapping

In general, bootstrapping usually refers to a self-starting process that is supposed to proceed without external input. In computer technology the term usually refers to the process of loading the basic software into the memory of a computer afte ...

Cabin fever

Cabin fever refers to the distressing claustrophobic irritability or restlessness experienced when a person, or group, is stuck at an isolated location or in confined quarters for an extended period of time. A person may be referred to as stir-cr ...

Catch-22 (logic)

A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations. The term was coined by Joseph Heller, who used it in his 1961 novel Catch-22. An example is: In needing experience to get ...

Chinese sun and moon mirrors

The yangsuì 陽燧 or sun-mirror was an ancient Chinese burning-mirror that concentrates sunlight to ignite tinder and the fāngzhū 方諸 or moon-mirror was a device that collects nighttime dew by condensation. These two bronze implements are literar ...

Closeted

Closeted and in the closet are adjectives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT people who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity and aspects thereof, including sexual identity and sexual behavior. It can also be u ...

Coming out

Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor for LGBT peoples self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. The term coming out can also be used in various non-LGBT applications. Framed and deb ...

Endianness

In computing, endianness refers to the order of bytes within a binary representation of a number. It can also be used more generally to refer to the internal ordering of any representation, such as the digits in a numeral system or the sections o ...

Gates of horn and ivory

The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams from false. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfill" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that fo ...

Ghost in the machine

The ghost in the machine is British philosopher Gilbert Ryles description of Rene Descartes mind-body dualism. Ryle introduced the phrase in The Concept of Mind to highlight the view of Descartes and others that mental and physical activity occur ...

Gordian Knot

The Gordian Knot is a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem solved easily by finding an approach to the problem that renders the perceived constraints of the prob ...

Greek to me

Thats Greek to me or its Greek to me is an idiom in English, expressing that something is difficult to understand. The idiom is typically used with respect to something of a foreign nature, however it may be considered an insult to some. Complexi ...

Green shoots

Green shoots is a term used colloquially and propagandistically to indicate signs of economic recovery during an economic downturn. It was first used in this sense by Norman Lamont, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, duri ...

Hungry ghost

Hungry ghost is a concept in Chinese Buddhism, Chinese traditional religion, Vietnamese Buddhism and Vietnamese traditional religion representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. The terms 餓鬼 eguǐ and quỷ ...

The Imp of the Perverse

The Imp of the Perverse is a metaphor for the urge to do exactly the wrong thing in a given situation for the sole reason that it is possible for wrong to be done. The impulse is compared to an imp which leads an otherwise decent person into misc ...

Indra's net

Indras net is a metaphor used to illustrate the concepts of Sūnyatā, pratītyasamutpāda, and interpenetration in Buddhist philosophy. The metaphors earliest known reference is found in the Atharva Veda. It was developed by the Mahayana school in t ...

Invincible ignorance fallacy

The invincible ignorance fallacy is a deductive fallacy of circularity where the person in question simply refuses to believe the argument, ignoring any evidence given. It is not so much a fallacious tactic in argument as it is a refusal to argue ...

Irrelevant conclusion

An irrelevant conclusion, also known as ignoratio elenchi or missing the point, is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may or may not be logically valid and sound, but fails to address the issue in question. It falls into the broa ...

Jungle

A jungle is land covered with dense forest and tangled vegetation, usually in the tropics. Application of the term has varied greatly during the past recent centuries. Before the 1970s, tropical rainforests were generally referred to as jungles, ...

Kōan

A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement which is used in Zen practice to provoke the "great doubt" and to practice or test a students progress in Zen.

Late bloomer

A late bloomer is a person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual. The term is used metaphorically to describe a child or adolescent who develops slower than others in their age group, but eventually catche ...

List of English-language metaphors

A list of metaphors in the English language organised by type. A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glist ...

List of metaphors for languages

Sometimes a metaphor is used to designate the language of other countries. These expressions refer to national literature heroes, which build the basis of a culture, a history and a nation.

Make a mountain out of a molehill

Making a mountain out of a molehill is an idiom referring to over-reactive, histrionic behaviour where a person makes too much of a minor issue. It seems to have come into existence in the 16th century.

Mansion of Many Apartments

The Mansion of Many Apartments is a metaphor that the poet John Keats expressed in a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds dated Sunday, 3 May 1818. I compare human life to a large Mansion of Many Apartments, two of which I can only describe, the door ...

Milking the bull

Milking the bull is a proverb which uses the metaphor of milking a bull to indicate that an activity would be fruitless or futile. In the 16th century, the German painter Hans Schaufelein illustrated the proverb on the eight of bells in a deck of ...

Musical chairs

Musical chairs is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chair than players. When the music stops whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated, with a chair then being removed and the process repeated ...

New Testament military metaphors

The New Testament uses a number of military metaphors in discussing Christianity, especially in the Pauline epistles. In Philippians 2:25 and Philemon 1:2, Paul describes fellow Christians as "fellow soldiers". The image of a soldier is also used ...

Nutshell

Most nutshells are useful to some extent, depending on the circumstances. Walnut shells can be used for cleaning and polishing, as a filler in dynamite, and as a paint thickening agent. Shells from pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, acorns, and most o ...

Panopticon gaze

The panopticon gaze is an ideological phrase, a metaphor. The panopticon gaze is the idea of a silent, unknown overseer in the society such as the government that subconsciously controlled all aspects of life. It symbolizes extreme transparency w ...

Paranoia

Paranoia is an instinct or thought process which is believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a pe ...

Red pill and blue pill

The red pill and blue pill is a popular meme representing a choice between taking a "red pill" that reveals an unpleasant truth, and taking a "blue pill" to remain in blissful ignorance. The terms are directly derived from a scene in the 1999 fil ...

Representation (systemics)

Representation, from the most general and abstract systemic perspective, relates to a role or function or a property of an abstract or real object, relation or changes. For example, An ambassador or a sport team may represent its nation. Graphica ...

Roof of the World

For the Doctor Who episode, see Marco Polo Doctor Who. For the Doctor Who audio story, see The Roof of the World. For the ancient geography of this region, see Mount Imeon. The Roof of the World or Top of the World is a metaphoric description of ...

Rota Fortunae

In medieval and ancient philosophy the Wheel of Fortune, or Rota Fortunae, is a symbol of the capricious nature of Fate. The wheel belongs to the goddess Fortuna who spins it at random, changing the positions of those on the wheel: some suffer gr ...

Salt and light

Salt and light are images used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the main teachings of Jesus on morality and discipleship. These images in Matthew 5:13, 14, 15 and 16 immediately follow the Beatitudes and are often interpreted as referr ...

Sifting and winnowing

Sifting and winnowing is a metaphor for the academic pursuit of truth affiliated with the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It was coined by UW President Charles Kendall Adams in an 1894 final report from a committee exonerating economics professo ...

Software entropy

A work on software engineering by Ivar Jacobson et al. describes software entropy as follows: The second law of thermodynamics, in principle, states that a closed systems disorder cannot be reduced, it can only remain unchanged or increase. A mea ...

Streetlight effect

The streetlight effect, or the drunkards search principle, is a type of observational bias that occurs when people only search for something where it is easiest to look. Both names refer to a well-known joke: A policeman sees a drunk man searchin ...

Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. In Darwinian terms the phrase ...

Technical debt

Technical debt is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer. As with monetary debt, if technical debt is ...

Tempest in a teapot

Tempest in a teapot, or storm in a teacup, is an idiom meaning a small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion. There are also lesser known or earlier variants, such as tempest in a teacup, storm in a cream bowl, tempest in a glass of w ...

Tone policing

Tone policing is an ad hominem and antidebate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion. Tone policing detracts from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself. The ...

Touchstone (metaphor)

As a metaphor, a touchstone refers to any physical or intellectual measure by which the validity or merit of a concept can be tested. It is similar in use to an acid test, litmus test in politics, or, from a negative perspective, a shibboleth whe ...

Tunnel vision

Eyeglass users experience tunnel vision to varying degrees due to the corrective lens only providing a small area of proper focus, with the rest of the field of view beyond the lenses being unfocused and blurry. Where a naturally sighted person o ...

Unmarked grave

An unmarked grave is one that lacks a marker, headstone, or nameplate indicating that a body is buried there. However, in cultures that mark burial sites, the phrase unmarked grave has taken on a metaphorical meaning.

Superiority and inferiority ranking method

The superiority and inferiority ranking method is a multi-criteria decision making model which can handle real data and provides six different preference structures for the system user. MCDM is a sub-discipline of operations research that explici ...

Accelerator physics codes

A charged particle accelerator is a complex machine that takes elementary charged particles and accelerates them to very high energies. Accelerator physics is a field of physics encompassing all the aspects required to design and operate the equi ...

Akaike information criterion

The Akaike information criterion is an estimator of out-of-sample prediction error and thereby relative quality of statistical models for a given set of data. Given a collection of models for the data, AIC estimates the quality of each model, rel ...

Accidental Adversaries

Accidental Adversaries is one of the ten system archetypes used in system dynamics modelling, or systems thinking. This archetype describes the degenerative pattern that develops when two subjects cooperating for a common goal, accidentally take ...

Attractiveness principle

Attractiveness Principle is one of System Dynamics archetypes. System archetypes describe common patterns of behavior in dynamic complex systems. Attractiveness principle is a variation of Limits to Growth archetype, with restrictions caused by m ...