Satire: The Devil is in the details, Blockchain Edition

Ambrose Bierce became an early 1900s influencer when he published "The Devil's Dictionary," a book of sarcastic definitions.

He discovered dictionaries were a fantastic literary device for social commentary. He also probably realized inventing bogus definitions was an easy method to overcome writer's block and to efficiently generate content to meet deadlines.

With that in mind, this seems like a good opportunity to produce more devilish definitions that fit with our modern world. I should apologize in advance, however, because some of these definitions are 100% real, which puts this article into the strange category of fake fake news.

ALGORITHM, n. - Piece of computer software that is theoretically objective and unbiased in making decisions, except for the minor detail that it relies on data from the real world, which is neither objective or unbiased.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, n. - Branch of computer science concerned with using advanced mathematics to create algorithms that no single person can fully understand, but which will soon control every aspect of our lives.

BLOCKCHAIN, n. - A technology that, for a short time, had the magical ability to allow companies to boost their stock prices at least 10% by simply issuing announcements for a new "blockchain" product.

BOILERPLATE, n. - The predictable response given by a company's public-relations department after a security breach: "We take security and privacy very seriously." Customers don't believe it, and the company knows that customers don't believe it, and customers know that the company knows that customers don't believe it, and yet the procedure continues because of tradition.

BREAKTHROUGH, n. - Tech innovation that will forever be at least five years away from widespread practical use, such as driverless cars, drone deliveries or quantum computing.

BUZZWORD, n. - Word that hardly anyone understands, but which is nonetheless frequently leveraged in corporate messaging to move the needle in formulating disruptive strategic synergies or launching impactful paradigm shifts.

CAT, n. - Member of the species felis catus that has successfully domesticated humans into providing treats, opening doors and distributing graphics celebrating the righteousness of one cat arguing against two women.

DARK PATTERN, n. - Unethical user interface design that encourages users to mistakenly sign up for something like the "Jelly of the Month Club" when all they wanted to do was watch a video.

DYNAMIC PRICING, n. - Method of using an algorithm to quote prices in real time based on a range of variables, ensuring all customers finish the transaction with the uneasy feeling that they paid too much.

EAVESDROPPING, v. - Alleged practice of tech companies listening to your conversations to target advertisements, when in fact they already have enough data to make predictions about your behavior long before you open your mouth.

FACEBOOK, n. - Online platform originally intended as a way to rank the hotness of college co-eds that accidentally became so popular its founder is now more powerful than most world leaders combined.

FINTECH, adj. - Descriptive buzzword for start-up finance companies that have not yet had a chance to establish track records of rampant privacy and security violations, but are working on it.

5G, n. - Wireless technology with improved speeds allowing users to exceed their monthly data caps in 5 seconds or less.

INFLUENCER, n. - Person who has successfully mastered how to use social media to become famous for being famous, at least until everything crumbles when they inevitably get blocked or de-monetized thanks to yet another inscrutable change to the Terms of Service.

INTERNET OF THINGS, n. - The state of nirvana that will be reached once every home appliance is attached to the Internet, ushering in a new era of consumer benefits such as [insert list of benefits here if I can find any].

LIAM, n. - Code name for a chat bot developed by Facebook to train employees on how to deliver corporate-approved talking points when asked tough questions by friends or family (see "The New York Times," Dec. 2, 2019).

MEETING, n. - Organized assemblage of employees held with increasing frequency in an effort to determine why more work isn't getting done.

OUTSOURCING, v. - Process by which U.S. companies replace American customers with more lucrative Chinese customers by self-censoring materials to be more palatable to the Chinese government, such as removing references to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Winnie the Pooh.

PERSONALIZATION, n. - Technology that enables online experiences to be uniquely tailored to the personal preferences of Mark Zuckerberg.

PIVOT, v. - To shift a company from one money-losing business plan to another money-losing business plan, but now with a better chance of being bought out by Google.

POPUP, n. - Annoying message that appears on-screen at the exact instant an algorithm has determined you are most vulnerable. For example: "You've watched 12 straight hours of 'Orange is the New Black.' Would you like to receive a discount on a therapy session?"

PROGRAMMATIC, adj. - Type of advertisement that has been carefully scheduled to appear constantly in front of users that have already bought the product in question and have absolutely no reason to buy another "Turnip Twaddler" within their lifetime.

SCRUM MASTER, n. - Job title of a manager who tries to break up fights between software programmers and the sales manager who promised the moon and the stars and the cure for cancer.

SILICON VALLEY, n. - Headquarters of a global industry that is focused on employing the best minds available to solve the world's most pressing problems: getting people to buy things they otherwise wouldn't want and to vote for political campaigns they otherwise wouldn't support.

TECH SUPPORT, n. - System for politely not helping customers solve their problems and instead selling them on the need to upgrade to more expensive products.

TERMS OF SERVICE, n. - Document carrying the force of law but without being constrained by such obsolete concepts as elections, legislative debate or the U.S. Constitution.

TURN DOWN, v. - Eliminating an online service because of ... reasons. This euphemism was coined by Google, the world leader in turning down services once people come to depend on them.

TWITTER, n. - Social media platform founded on the bedrock principle that many users only have an attention span of 140 characters or less.