17 August 2005

I Know Thy Lot, Old Man

      Jim Holt has in this week's New Yorker a consideration of the oh-so-topical issue of bullshit that I recommend people read, even if one may eventually begin to feel as if one is caught in a series of paradoxes worthy (ironically enough) of the 17th century Metaphysical Poets.   Indeed, I suspect many of you will either need to start drawing flowcharts halfway through just to keep track of things, or you'll throw your arms up in confusion and despair and think you were better off before you started into this elucidation.   So, be warned: keep some aspirin handy.

      As I was reading this increasingly obscure discussion of obscurantism, though, I wondered how poor Mr. Holt was going to extricate himself from his argument, how, in fact, he could finally step off the merry-go-round he'd boarded.   Some of you won't believe me, but shortly after wondering this, I knew exactly how this was going to end.   I sighed and half-shrugged, like someone watching a murder-mystery who has identified the killer thirty-minutes in: Ah, the precious inevitable, the iconic delta to which this sort of analysis had eventually to flow....   Especially those of you reading this that number yourself among my former students, actual or adopted, you will know, deeply and surely to your bones, that I'm not lying, exaggerating or even, God forbid, bullshitting.   Right?   Right.

      Oh, you white-bearded Satan, yes, it's true, that ~~ all we've said, was just instead, of coming back to you.... ~~  

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