University of Florida (Aaron Plewke)



Jan '05 - Feb '07

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    04. Bullshit

    Aaron Plewke
    Sep 28, '06 8:56 PM EST
    image ...on the Stansted Express from the London Underground's Liverpool Street Station to the airport, 04SEP2006...

    So, we capped off our unplanned 30 hours in London with a visit to the Tate Modern. After spending a couple of hours in the galleries and checking out the view from the cafe, we went down to the basement bookstore to pick up a few small gifts. While standing at the checkout counter I noticed a little black book with a red title block:

    I immediately recalled liberty bell mentioning it a week or two earlier, so I picked it up and read the first couple of paragraphs:

    One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, nor attracted much sustained inquiry.

    In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory...

    sold. £6.50

    The quote above - scrawled quickly into my sketchbook - made my mind wander to President Bush. "Is the bullshitter by his very nature a mindless slob?"

    Anyway, the argument demonstrates the degree of concision expected from a work analytic philosophy. I highly recommend it (as I previously mentioned on the Is there an element of bullshit? thread...

    Since I was shopping for gifts when I found this little gem of a book, here's a gift for all of you - a 10 minute video interview with the author, Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University.

    The interviewer's copy is cream colored with a green title block.


    • AP

      ^this topic, bullshit and the educated, comes up in the 9th or 10th minute of the interview.

      Sep 28, 06 10:38 pm  · 

      Q: What about education? Are more highly educated people more likely to engage in bullshit just because they have the faculties to do so?

      Sep 29, 06 10:32 am  · 

      to bullshit is human! we all want to be respected and climb the social ladder- BS is the easiest way.

      Sep 29, 06 11:21 am  · 

      I can also recommend you "how architecture got it's hump" by Roger Connah - goes into (somewhat poetic) depth on architecture and "bull"

      Funnily enough I found a bad review of it online claiming it "unreadable" which is not at all what I thought of it - much better than most architecture bullshit!

      Oct 1, 06 5:01 pm  · 

      Oct 23, 06 6:13 pm  · 

      haha brilliant!

      Oct 24, 06 5:16 pm  · 

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