Re: What does "orthogony" mean?

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 00:49:26 MST

Andy Toth wrote:
> the condition of being orthogonic?
> i cannot find the word anywhere.
> Andy

It's probably a mutation of the word "orthogonal".
It would appear to mean "the property of being orthogonal".
Someone might also use it as a noun, intending to mean "a set or system
whose elements are orthogonal."

"Orthogonal" as a mathematical term originally meant "composed of, or
relating to, right angles."

In Cartesian terms, loci of points which are orthogonal can be oriented
so that they "have little or nothing in common" or "are independent", in
the sense that one locus is all X values with no Y, Z, W... component,
another locus all Y values, etc.

So in hackerdom, "orthogonal" has come to mean something like "mutually
independent, well separated, or irrelevant to". So one might pose a
question in politics/philosophy as:
"Just how orthogonal are freedom and happiness?"

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