Vocabulary

Here is a list of interesting vocabulary that I picked up here and there.


echo chamber

Definition from Wikipedia:

In news media an echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented. The term is by analogy with an acoustic echo chamber, where sounds reverberate.

Added in June 2016, source: Hacker News


astroturfing

Definition from Wikipedia:

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by a grassroots participant(s). It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is derived from AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to resemble natural grass, as a play on the word “grassroots.” The implication behind the use of the term is that there are no “true” or “natural” grassroots, but rather “fake” or “artificial” support, although some astroturfing operatives defend the practice (see Justification below).

Added in June 2016, source: Hacker News


pusillanimous

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Lacking courage and resolution, marked by contemptible timidity

Added in Sep 2016, source: Hacker News


contrarian

Definition from Wikipedia:

A contrarian is a person who takes up a contrary position, especially a position that is opposed to that of the majority, regardless of how unpopular it may be.

Added in Nov 2016, source: Trump’s Climate Contrarian: Myron Ebell Takes On the E.P.A. (The New York Times)


raison d’être

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

reason or justification for existence. Example: Art is his raison d’être.

Added in Dec 2016, source: Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making


Orwellian

Explanation from TED-Ed by Noah Tavlin: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-orwellian-really-means-noah-tavlin

Added in June 2017, source: Hacker News


Doublethink

Explanation from Wikipedia:

Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts.[1] Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Also related is cognitive dissonance, in which contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one’s mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance—thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.