Re: The Bullshitter

1

a major deficience in my intelligence: I'm super terrible at retrieving nouns

You retrieved the word "deficience" from wherever it's been hiding for the last few hundred years.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 6:56 AM
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Bulshitting with citations works perfectly well. Sure, it's a mildly different skill, but it scratches the same itch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:23 AM
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I'd like to think that I would have done OK with the fake financial terms, because I'm acutely aware of little interest in or understanding of that stuff I actually have. When people start talking about it they start sounding to me like the adults in Peanuts cartoons.

I am a bit surprised at how authoritatively people will simply string sciencey sounding words together. Especially when they're around actual scientists. Do they think it's not obvious?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:24 AM
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I am a bit surprised at how authoritatively people some scientists will simply string sciencey sounding words together.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:25 AM
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You have to be careful in some fields. Asking "Have you considered adjusting for multiple comparisons?" at a conference is the same as saying either "I just finished my first stats class" or "I hate you with a burning passion."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:39 AM
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Or "i just finished my first stats class and I hate you with a burning passion".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:45 AM
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I'm super terrible at retrieving nouns

This. I'm in my late 50s, and have been pretty bad at people's names for as long as I can remember -- on looking at that, it is not the best or at least the clearest way to express myself; some might think I mean the last 2-3 days or so. To continue, ... I can easily recall every detail I have ever heard about someone, but their name, fuggedaboutit. At some point, I think in my 30s, certainly after I became a parent, so I was uncertain whether the cause was age or the dimwittedness that kids bring to one's life, this progressed to nouns. When I noticed this, I interpreted the progression to be from proper nouns to nouns. It has since progressed first to adjectives, then verbs and more recently, adverbs. I can recall ideas and tunes and events with no problem (at least, it seems so to me), but the words for expressing them are becoming increasingly fleeting.

I have a younger sister who speaks 3 languages (including English) fluently enough to be a professional interpreter and translator at a very high level, and knows 2 other languages well enough to get around when she is in countries where they are spoken (she protests that she cannot engage in detailed intellectual conversations in them, so does not consider herself to be fluent). When I told her that I am struggling to remain monolingual, her first thought was "what do I have against learning other languages?" A moment later, she realized what I meant.

There is no history of dementia in my family, so my fears about that are not great, and I wonder how much is due to work situations of the last 20 years in which I spend hours at the computer and typically speak to fewer than 5 other people during the day, often just greetings as we pass in the hallway.

Anyway, things to look forward to.


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:07 AM
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5: In econ it's "Don't you have endogeneity problem?"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:09 AM
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...how authoritatively people will simply string sciencey sounding words together. Especially when they're around actual scientists

David Pavon Cuellar:

Actually, as language, this structure consists of nothing more than signifiers and logical oppositions between signifiers. In this battlefield of class struggle, there is no place for understanding between classes. There is no place for communication. There is no place for the sign lure.

In the sign lure, the logical opposition between signifiers becomes a mythological amalgamation that unites a communicating signifier with a communicated signified. The ensuing 'semiotic unit' would thus 'attach language to the function of communication' (Lacan, 1970a, p. 404). This is deplored by Lacan. For him, language 'is not functional'

The signifier communicates only to another signifier. Besides that, as discussed above, the signifier just communicates itself, or its symbolic value, or its communication to the other signifier, which
amounts here to the same thing. Thus, regarding 'what it communicates', the signifier of 'language is not a signal, nor a sign, nor even a sign of a thing as exterior reality' (Lacan, 1953b, p. 148). It is rather
a signifier that signifies to another signifier precisely its immanent relation to it.



Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:29 AM
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If there's one thing that makes me feel better about the assholes in science, it's the assholes not in science talking about science.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:41 AM
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I feel for M Proust.

When I was growing up my father was or became forgetful about words though he was an English professor. He would call us by each other's names or once I think the cat's name and started being forgetful enough about nouns that he would just point and things at the dinner table. Which made me impatient and grumpy and determined never to do that.

It never progressed so I guess it was, keinahora, not dementia, which is why I only in moments when I'm anxious otherwise worry about the fact that I have totally started having trouble retrieving names.

I think the forgetting names though may be why I do the Times puzzle and am learning languages again (languages I will probably never use...) because I have the likely idiotic idea I can get my brain to be a hospitable nest for words again.

Istri saya mau minum teh malam ini.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 9:09 AM
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||

Under 40 so apologies.

It appears that door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen are a thing here.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 9:10 AM
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Our man in Arrakis.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 9:13 AM
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||
Potentially relevant to the topic of bullshitting: ex-head of psychiatry department at University of Minnesota announces retirement at end of year; insists that it has nothing to do with recent scathing reviews of psychiatry department that forced his resignation as chair.

The added bonus is "Schulz said he discussed retirement with the medical school dean last year."... which is to say, when the university was forced to hire a panel to do an independent review of his department. This is probably not the best defense he could have given.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 9:34 AM
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I'm appalling at remembering nouns, but occasionally have flashes of idiot savant coherence that fool people into thinking I'm a functional speaker of the English language. I follow my father's practice of learning as many words from different languages for "thing," "stuff," and "hassle." This gets me through many conversations where I have do differentiate between different things neither of which I can recall the name of. Also gesticulating wildly conveys a lot of information that helps ease the burden of purely spoken communication.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 9:48 AM
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I follow my father's practice of learning as many words from different languages for "thing," "stuff," and "hassle."

Also "groovy," "happening" and "power trip."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 11:45 AM
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Sure, I miss the ability to randomly bullshit people, but having the Internet is like that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen summons Marshall McLuhan in the movie theater line.

My favorite example: A Facebook friend of mine posted something about not liking torture, and some nitwit made a comment to the effect that Daniel Pearl's wife wouldn't agree with him on that.

I was able to say, in effect, I have Daniel Pearl's wife right here: She was quoted in a Jane Mayer story saying she didn't think the suspect in her husband's killing should be tortured.

On Facebook, I use Snopes as a verb: You shoulda snopesed that.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 1:24 PM
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Ooh, I thought of another one: My niece put a picture on Facebook with some firemen in a restaurant, presumably saying grace. The caption said: Never be afraid to pray!

I said "Amen," and linked a video of that Muslim NFL player who was penalized for praying in the end zone.

As you can see, it's a salutary experience having me as a Facebook friend.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 1:35 PM
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The rise of Wikipedia has been a big issue for my Dad, who really does for real have a genuinely impressive, world-class level general knowledge and factual recall, used to benefit personally and professionally from it, and has his self-image bound up with that knowledge. But even though he was genuinely knowledgeable he could only max out to about 80-90% right, with the rest delivered in a tone of confident authority, and now people both (a) ask hin less and (b) will check things that he does say more frequently on the internet. I genuninely do think this is a big factor, combined with aging, in making him more lonely and less confident in old age.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 2:01 PM
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19 is the saddest version of this phenomenon I have encountered.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 2:21 PM
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The funniest was the guy at the bar who kept insisting that Gonzaga was in Montana. He wasn't talking about some other school I never heard of because we were specifically discussing the game on the screen in front of us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 2:47 PM
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All threads lead to Spokane.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 2:48 PM
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22: "Ms. Dolezal? According to wikipedia, you're white."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 2:53 PM
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The restaurant where I used to work was called the Va/t & Ton/sure, a name inspired by a print of a tonsured monk tending to a barrel of wine. A couple was seated at the bar one night, and as they were looking at the menu the woman asked "What's a tonsure?"; without missing a beat, the guy confidently answered, "It's a kind of salmon", thereby earning my infinite respect.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 3:22 PM
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13: stuck on the image of vacuum cleaner salesmen on Arrakis. "Now, ma'am, I guess you've noticed how that darn sand just gets _everywhere_".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 3:27 PM
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26

USUL NO LONGER NEEDS THE EXTENSIBLE BRUSH ATTACHMENT.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 3:28 PM
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Whoever did that, it was brilliant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 3:37 PM
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"I just think the spice should flow properly."


Posted by: OPINIONATED DYSON GUY | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 5:58 PM
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Sometimes I wish unfogged had a facebook style "like" button so people could register the joy they feel at reading some comments like 26 and 28 without having to repeat endlessly that a comment is great. Also image macros. I think having all debates in the form of image macros would really elevate things.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 6:05 PM
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If you can still experience joy, why are you here?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 6:27 PM
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Everything OK at the bar, Moby?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 6:50 PM
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I'm working tonight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:11 PM
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So, no?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:12 PM
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They did raise the food prices quite a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 7:13 PM
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30: If image macros don't make you feel joy then you should definitely have another drink. This is not legal advice and I am not to be held responsible for any resulting from following this advice.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:07 PM
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26 and 28 are great. And back to the OP 19 is indeed very sad.

Off to work.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:19 PM
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Have a good day at work, Barry!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:21 PM
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Thanks! (So weird starting the week on Sunday).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:33 PM
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Even if we don't have image macros, can we at least compromise on emoji? 🙈


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:36 PM
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40

Somehow it's just not the same.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 8:38 PM
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Now on what Unfogged thread was Arnold Schwarzenegger cast playing Chani in a "Dune" remake?

"Tell me of the extra suction attachments of your homeworld, Usul..."


Posted by: GnOlEd DaRb | Link to this comment | 06-13-15 10:03 PM
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Actually if I remember the books, a spice harvester is basically an immense Dyson vacuum cleaner on caterpillar tracks.
26 was me, but 28 was not.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-14-15 3:16 AM
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28 was me and took a shamefully long time to come up with.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-14-15 6:00 AM
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HAVE YOU TRIED THE GOM JABBAR MODEL?!


Posted by: OPINIONATED REVEREND GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 06-14-15 6:50 AM
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