Re: Sexy memes

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun 20 Oct 2002 - 16:36:59 GMT

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    >In reply to the message from Grant Callaghan <> about
    >"Sexy memes", it should suffice to give the URL,
    > but instead let me
    >quote the whole of that "Jargon File" or "New Hacker's
    >Dictionary" entry:
    >"SEX /seks/
    >[Sun Users' Group & elsewhere] n. 1. Software EXchange. A technique
    >invented by the blue-green algae hundreds of millions of years
    >ago to speed up their evolution, which had been terribly slow up until
    >then. Today, SEX parties are popular among hackers and others
    >(of course, these are no longer limited to exchanges of genetic software).
    >In general, SEX parties are a Good Thing, but unprotected
    >SEX can propagate a virus. See also pubic directory. 2. The rather Freudian
    >mnemonic often used for Sign EXtend, a machine
    >instruction found in the PDP-11 and many other architectures. The RCA 1802
    >chip used in the early Elf and SuperElf personal
    >computers had a `SEt X register' SEX instruction, but this seems to have
    >had little folkloric impact. The Data General instruction
    >set also had SEX.
    >DEC's engineers nearly got a PDP-11 assembler that used the SEX mnemonic
    >out the door at one time, but (for once) marketing wasn't
    >asleep and forced a change. That wasn't the last time this happened,
    >either. The author of "The Intel 8086 Primer", who was one of
    >the original designers of the 8086, noted that there was originally a SEX
    >instruction on that processor, too. He says that Intel
    >management got cold feet and decreed that it be changed, and thus the
    >instruction was renamed CBW and CWD (depending on what was
    >being extended). Amusingly, the Intel 8048 (the microcontroller used in IBM
    >PC keyboards) is also missing straight SEX but has
    >logical-or and logical-and instructions ORL and ANL.
    >The Motorola 6809, used in the Radio Shack Color Computer and in U.K.'s
    >`Dragon 32' personal computer, actually had an official SEX
    >instruction; the 6502 in the Apple II with which it competed did not.
    >British hackers thought this made perfect mythic sense; after
    >all, it was commonly observed, you could (on some theoretical level) have
    >sex with a dragon, but you can't have sex with an apple. "
    >The New Hacker's Dictionary by Eric S. Raymond, President and a founder of
    >the Open Source Initiative, www.OpenSource.Org is pretty
    >much required reading for memetics people, isn't it?
    > dpw http://www.SocialTechnology.Org/dpwilson.html

    That was all very interesting and entertaining, but I can't see what it has to do with my proposal. Was it the fact that I used the word "sexy" in my subject line?



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