Jargon

Nocebo effect – “placebo’s evil twin.”   According to the Skeptic’s Dictionary,  “A nocebo effect is an ill effect caused by the suggestion or belief that something is harmful.”   From Wikipedia, “The term nocebo (Latin for “I will harm”) was chosen by Walter Kennedy, in 1961, to denote the counterpart of one of the more recent applications of the term “placebo” (= Latin for “I will please”); namely, that of a placebo being a drug that produced a beneficial, healthy, pleasant, or desirable consequence in a subject, as a direct result of that subject’s beliefs and expectations.”

Futility Boundary – from the pharmaceutical industry – when a drug is no more effective than placebos in randomized clinical trials.

Truck Number – According to Everything2, ” A ‘truck number’ (also known as a ‘bus number’ or ‘lorry number’ depending on one’s cultural background) is an informal metric for estimating the long-term viability of a software project. It refers to the number of developers who must be unexpectedly crushed to death under the wheels of an oncoming truck (or bus, or lorry) in order for the development team to lose some skill or piece of information that is critical to the successful implementation and maintenance of the project.”

Inspiration:
Steve Silberman‘s Wired Magazine article, Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

FLOSS Weekly 87: Extreme Programming With Kent Beck

Leave a Reply