Monday, June 23, 2008

Seven Dirty Words

In memory of the great George Carlin, we present the seven dirty words you cannot say at the Complexity Conference.
  1. Constants
  2. Algorithm
  3. Application
  4. Heuristic
  5. Competitive
  6. Implementation
  7. Wolfram


  1. I don't see why 5 should be in this list.

  2. Wow, noone is infallible to ad-hominem attacks. And it seems to be the right thing to do in the research world - develop a political personality that everyone else is aware of and captivated by. Disappointing.

  3. That's a great post!

  4. I am sorry, but if these 7 continue to be the dirty words in a complexity conference, soon there will be another one added to the list.
    8. Funding

  5. If funding decreased, wouldn't that cause people to gripe about it more (thereby making it less of a dirty word, if it ever was one)?

  6. first six words were all used in various talks today...

    as for word #7, well, I doubt that our failure to mention that will bring financial doom to the field...

  7. Perhaps Mr. Fortnow, in Carlin's style---and I am not an expert on Carlin---is implying that these words do NOT deserve the distinction of being classified as dirty, just as Carlin wanted to change the status of his list of words from dirty to accepted.

    Only now does this post seem reasonable to me.

  8. If you haven't heard George Carlin's routine, here it is on YouTube. Of course, the content is offensive to many... and yes, the whole point is discussing whether these words should really be banned: link.