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introduction

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introduction


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Introduction  \In`tro*duc"tion\,  n.  [L.  introductio:  cf  F. 
  introduction.  See  {Introduce}.] 
  1.  The  act  of  introducing,  or  bringing  to  notice. 
 
  2.  The  act  of  formally  making  persons  known  to  each  other  a 
  presentation  or  making  known  of  one  person  to  another  by 
  name  as  the  introduction  of  one  stranger  to  another. 
 
  3.  That  part  of  a  book  or  discourse  which  introduces  or  leads 
  the  way  to  the  main  subject,  or  part  preliminary;  matter; 
  preface;  proem;  exordium. 
 
  4.  A  formal  and  elaborate  preliminary  treatise;  specifically, 
  a  treatise  introductory  to  other  treatises,  or  to  a  course 
  of  study;  a  guide;  as  an  introduction  to  English 
  literature. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  introduction 
  n  1:  the  act  of  beginning  something  new  "they  looked  forward  to 
  the  debut  of  their  new  product  line"  [syn:  {debut},  {first 
  appearance},  {launching},  {unveiling},  {entry}] 
  2:  the  first  section  of  a  communication 
  3:  formally  making  a  person  known  to  another  or  to  the  public 
  [syn:  {presentation},  {intro}] 
  4:  a  basic  or  elementary  instructional  text 
  5:  a  new  proposal;  "they  resisted  the  introduction  of 
  impractical  alternatives" 
  6:  the  act  of  putting  one  thing  into  another  [syn:  {insertion}, 
  {intromission}] 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  Introduction  ************** 
 
  This  document  is  a  collection  of  slang  terms  used  by  various 
  subcultures  of  computer  hackers.  Though  some  technical  material  is 
  included  for  background  and  flavor,  it  is  not  a  technical  dictionary 
  what  we  describe  here  is  the  language  hackers  use  among  themselves  for 
  fun,  social  communication,  and  technical  debate. 
 
  The  `hacker  culture'  is  actually  a  loosely  networked  collection  of 
  subcultures  that  is  nevertheless  conscious  of  some  important  shared 
  experiences,  shared  roots,  and  shared  values.  It  has  its  own 
  myths,  heroes,  villains,  folk  epics,  in-jokes,  taboos,  and  dreams. 
  Because  hackers  as  a  group  are  particularly  creative  people  who  define 
  themselves  partly  by  rejection  of  `normal'  values  and  working  habits, 
  it  has  unusually  rich  and  conscious  traditions  for  an  intentional  culture 
  less  than  40  years  old 
 
  As  usual  with  slang,  the  special  vocabulary  of  hackers  helps  hold 
  their  culture  together  --  it  helps  hackers  recognize  each  other's  places 
  in  the  community  and  expresses  shared  values  and  experiences.  Also  as 
  usual,  _not_  knowing  the  slang  (or  using  it  inappropriately)  defines 
  one  as  an  outsider,  a  mundane,  or  (worst  of  all  in  hackish  vocabulary) 
  possibly  even  a  {suit}.  All  human  cultures  use  slang  in  this  threefold 
  way  --  as  a  tool  of  communication,  and  of  inclusion,  and  of  exclusion. 
 
  Among  hackers,  though,  slang  has  a  subtler  aspect,  paralleled  perhaps 
  in  the  slang  of  jazz  musicians  and  some  kinds  of  fine  artists  but  hard 
  to  detect  in  most  technical  or  scientific  cultures;  parts  of  it  are 
  code  for  shared  states  of  _consciousness_.  There  is  a  whole  range  of 
  altered  states  and  problem-solving  mental  stances  basic  to  high-level 
  hacking  which  don't  fit  into  conventional  linguistic  reality  any 
  better  than  a  Coltrane  solo  or  one  of  Maurits  Escher's  `trompe  l'oeil' 
  compositions  (Escher  is  a  favorite  of  hackers),  and  hacker  slang  encodes 
  these  subtleties  in  many  unobvious  ways.  As  a  simple  example,  take 
  the  distinction  between  a  {kluge}  and  an  {elegant}  solution,  and  the 
  differing  connotations  attached  to  each  The  distinction  is  not  only  of 
  engineering  significance;  it  reaches  right  back  into  the  nature  of  the 
  generative  processes  in  program  design  and  asserts  something  important 
  about  two  different  kinds  of  relationship  between  the  hacker  and  the  hack. 
  Hacker  slang  is  unusually  rich  in  implications  of  this  kind  of  overtones 
  and  undertones  that  illuminate  the  hackish  psyche. 
 
  But  there  is  more  Hackers,  as  a  rule  love  wordplay  and  are  very 
  conscious  and  inventive  in  their  use  of  language.  These  traits  seem  to 
  be  common  in  young  children,  but  the  conformity-enforcing  machine  we  are 
  pleased  to  call  an  educational  system  bludgeons  them  out  of  most  of  us 
  before  adolescence.  Thus  linguistic  invention  in  most  subcultures  of 
  the  modern  West  is  a  halting  and  largely  unconscious  process.  Hackers, 
  by  contrast,  regard  slang  formation  and  use  as  a  game  to  be  played  for 
  conscious  pleasure.  Their  inventions  thus  display  an  almost  unique 
  combination  of  the  neotenous  enjoyment  of  language-play  with  the 
  discrimination  of  educated  and  powerful  intelligence.  Further,  the 
  electronic  media  which  knit  them  together  are  fluid,  `hot'  connections, 
  well  adapted  to  both  the  dissemination  of  new  slang  and  the  ruthless 
  culling  of  weak  and  superannuated  specimens.  The  results  of  this  process 
  give  us  perhaps  a  uniquely  intense  and  accelerated  view  of  linguistic 
  evolution  in  action 
 
  Hacker  slang  also  challenges  some  common  linguistic  and 
  anthropological  assumptions.  For  example,  it  has  recently  become 
  fashionable  to  speak  of  `low-context'  versus  `high-context'  communication, 
  and  to  classify  cultures  by  the  preferred  context  level  of  their 
  languages  and  art  forms.  It  is  usually  claimed  that  low-context 
  communication  (characterized  by  precision,  clarity,  and  completeness 
  of  self-contained  utterances)  is  typical  in  cultures  which  value  logic, 
  objectivity,  individualism,  and  competition;  by  contrast,  high-context 
  communication  (elliptical,  emotive,  nuance-filled,  multi-modal,  heavily 
  coded)  is  associated  with  cultures  which  value  subjectivity,  consensus, 
  cooperation,  and  tradition.  What  then  are  we  to  make  of  hackerdom 
  which  is  themed  around  extremely  low-context  interaction  with  computers 
  and  exhibits  primarily  "low-context"  values,  but  cultivates  an  almost 
  absurdly  high-context  slang  style? 
 
  The  intensity  and  consciousness  of  hackish  invention  make  a 
  compilation  of  hacker  slang  a  particularly  effective  window  into  the 
  surrounding  culture  --  and  in  fact  this  one  is  the  latest  version  of 
  an  evolving  compilation  called  the  `Jargon  File',  maintained  by  hackers 
  themselves  for  over  15  years.  This  one  (like  its  ancestors)  is  primarily 
  a  lexicon,  but  also  includes  topic  entries  which  collect  background  or 
  sidelight  information  on  hacker  culture  that  would  be  awkward  to  try  to 
  subsume  under  individual  slang  definitions. 
 
  Though  the  format  is  that  of  a  reference  volume,  it  is  intended  that 
  the  material  be  enjoyable  to  browse.  Even  a  complete  outsider  should 
  find  at  least  a  chuckle  on  nearly  every  page,  and  much  that  is  amusingly 
  thought-provoking.  But  it  is  also  true  that  hackers  use  humorous  wordplay 
  to  make  strong,  sometimes  combative  statements  about  what  they  feel 
  Some  of  these  entries  reflect  the  views  of  opposing  sides  in  disputes  that 
  have  been  genuinely  passionate;  this  is  deliberate.  We  have  not  tried  to 
  moderate  or  pretty  up  these  disputes;  rather  we  have  attempted  to  ensure 
  that  _everyone's_  sacred  cows  get  gored,  impartially.  Compromise  is  not 
  particularly  a  hackish  virtue,  but  the  honest  presentation  of  divergent 
  viewpoints  is 
 
  The  reader  with  minimal  computer  background  who  finds  some  references 
  incomprehensibly  technical  can  safely  ignore  them  We  have  not  felt  it 
  either  necessary  or  desirable  to  eliminate  all  such  they  too  contribute 
  flavor,  and  one  of  this  document's  major  intended  audiences  --  fledgling 
  hackers  already  partway  inside  the  culture  --  will  benefit  from  them 
 
  A  selection  of  longer  items  of  hacker  folklore  and  humor  is  included 
  in  {Appendix  A}.  The  `outside'  reader's  attention  is  particularly  directed 
  to  the  Portrait  of  J.  Random  Hacker  in  {Appendix  B}.  Appendix  C, 
  the  {Bibliography},  lists  some  non-technical  works  which  have  either 
  influenced  or  described  the  hacker  culture. 
 
  Because  hackerdom  is  an  intentional  culture  (one  each  individual  must 
  choose  by  action  to  join),  one  should  not  be  surprised  that  the 
  line  between  description  and  influence  can  become  more  than  a  little 
  blurred.  Earlier  versions  of  the  Jargon  File  have  played  a  central 
  role  in  spreading  hacker  language  and  the  culture  that  goes  with  it  to 
  successively  larger  populations,  and  we  hope  and  expect  that  this  one 
  will  do  likewise. 
 
 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  INTRODUCTION,  n.  A  social  ceremony  invented  by  the  devil  for  the 
  gratification  of  his  servants  and  the  plaguing  of  his  enemies.  The 
  introduction  attains  its  most  malevolent  development  in  this  century, 
  being  indeed,  closely  related  to  our  political  system.  Every 
  American  being  the  equal  of  every  other  American,  it  follows  that 
  everybody  has  the  right  to  know  everybody  else,  which  implies  the 
  right  to  introduce  without  request  or  permission.  The  Declaration  of 
  Independence  should  have  read  thus: 
 
  "We  hold  these  truths  to  be  self-evident:  that  all  men  are 
  created  equal;  that  they  are  endowed  by  their  Creator  with  certain 
  inalienable  rights;  that  among  these  are  life,  and  the  right  to 
  make  that  of  another  miserable  by  thrusting  upon  him  an 
  incalculable  quantity  of  acquaintances;  liberty,  particularly  the 
  liberty  to  introduce  persons  to  one  another  without  first 
  ascertaining  if  they  are  not  already  acquainted  as  enemies;  and 
  the  pursuit  of  another's  happiness  with  a  running  pack  of 
  strangers." 
 
 




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