Earlier this week, I evaluated whether I should create a Fun with Words series on this blog in which I talk about interesting and amusing words and phrases ^1. I was looking through my open tabs in Firefox on my phone and saw an idea for a Fun with Words theme: jargon in computer science comprised of two words that are not usually next to each other. Specific? Yes indeed. Fun? Yes!
I recently learned about the term "embarassingly parallel," ^2 which refers to problems that can be more easily implemented as parallel tasks. I can see the utility in this term: distributed computing is a vast field with many tasks that are incredibly hard to coordinate across systems. The long-form definition mentioned on the afore-cited Wikipedia article notes "embarassingly paralellilizable" as a variant of the root term. An interesting combination of words.
Eventual consistency^3 is another interesting term, referring to systems where the changes made to the system (i.e. a database) will eventually be updated across all servers that store the data.
Then, there's catastropic interference [^4]. This is less of a computer science theory term like the last two. Catastrophic inferference refers to the tendency for neural networks to "forget" a piece of information they previously knew when new information is added to the underlying dataset on which a new version is trained.