toothycat: (sunkitten)
[personal profile] toothycat
Thanks to xkcd's post about the Saturn V rocket, explained using only the thousand words most used in the English language, and Theo Sanderson's Up-Goer Five text editor:

I work on problems people have with their ears. Some people lose their hearing as they get older, and this is what I study. People can lose their hearing for lots of reasons, like being hurt or being sick, but there can also be problems with how the body is put together.

Inside every person is the stuff that tells their body how to work. It tells the body how tall it should be, that sort of thing. Sometimes this goes wrong, and people have problems. There are many kinds of these problems, but the ones I study are the ones which make people lose their hearing when they get older. I would like to be able to find ways to help people so they don't lose their hearing.

... it's not that difficult, except that most of the interest and complexity involved - which I don't think is that hard to explain, but which requires more than the thousand commonest words - is lost. An interesting exercise, though :)

Date: 2013-01-20 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fun! My job comes out as:

There are people that I work with who tell computers how to talk to lots of other computers, to get things done much faster than if there was only one computer. I look at their work and make sure it's all done right. I tell our computers how to check that the work these other people do is all okay, so our computers can check this every day. (So I tell computers how to tell other computers to talk to lots of /other/ computers.)

As you say, it's hard to convey the *interest*. But still a fun exercise. I like your explanation of genes!

Date: 2013-01-21 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I turn a long reel of paper or a collection of diamond shaped sheets of paper (blanks) into envelopes.

The reel method requires 'programming' via gears, paper width and angle, to achieve a particular size. The blank method omits this part.

Whichever method you use you slide various parts of the machine around to achieve the folds of the envelope and to enable the machine to feed them properly.

Glueing them simply requires you to select the correct size and angle of gummer, and flap gum (the licky bit) simply width.

There is a bit more to it than that, but would take thousands of words to explain exactly each process and how it works. It's not as complex as genetics or coding but still...

One wrong move and you'll turn your yellow into green, have an environmental disaster, or waste a few grands worth of paper... ;)

Date: 2013-01-21 09:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I work on things which are very small, too small to see. They have a name but I can't say it here. They are used in computers and every kind of thing which can do stuff on its own. They are made of lots of tiny tiny little bits on top of one another.

I don't much care what the ones I make are used in (but I do know): it's my job to look at them when someone else has made them and see if they are good. And if they are not good I have to see if I can find out why they are not good and work out how we can fix that.

The thing about the ones that my friends and I make is that they don't have glass in them. Almost all of these things have glass in them. Ours don't and we are very good at making them.

One day someone will give us some money for one of them and we will all be very happy.


I was some way into a stab at an explanation of charge transport in organic semiconductors when I realised that I was having to cheat (use words that I knew were on the list but I wasn't going to use as metasyntactic variables) and gave up.

Date: 2013-01-21 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok, Take two. ;)

It's actually hard to describe something like an envelope, you can't say square and rectangle or machine. :O

lol, pretty much my entire description was banned.

I turn a big roll of paper or pieces of paper into letter or greeting card sending things.

To make it work you have to change bits of stuff and move things about, and then you put them in boxes. There is a bit more to it than that, but would take lots of words to explain exactly how it works. It's not as hard explaining why people go wrong or computers go wrong or how they talk to each other.

But one wrong move could be very bad for people, animals, and the trees and or my work might lose a lot of money.

Bad things don't happen too often though.

November 2013

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