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#306786 - 02/14/08 07:06 PM Pretentiousness?
phoenixrisen Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 176
Loc: Manchester, England
This is part of a conversation that I just had via IM with someone who I've never spoken to before (and probably won't be speaking to again). The reason I'm posting it is because it raised an ever-so-slight question in my mind about pretentiousness. I am reasonably sure that I have the right idea about what is and isn't pretentious, however...

He had just brought up the topic of post-structuralism, something which I know next to nothing about.

Simone: (me) I'm afraid I don't know much about post-structuralism.
Other person: you should research it then
Simone: I'm looking it up on the Internet... that's the best I can do for now.
Other person: incompetence is not an excuse for ignorance
Other person: at least pretend to know it, if someone should speak of it
Other person: that would be better
Other person: otherwise, you are perceived as inept
Simone: That would be pretentious. I would rather be honest.
Other person: it is not pretentious to appear knowledgeable
Simone: It is if you don't realistically have any knowledge about the subject.
Other person: [it is] only [pretentious] to feign more than the basic understanding of such
Simone: Like everyone, there are things about which I know and things about which I don't.
Other person: not necessarily true
Other person: again, confessions are weaknesses
Other person: I am simply attempting to proffer advice; that is all
Other person: take it or leave it
Simone: I don't share your viewpoint.
Other person: nor do I share yours
Other person: appreciate your viewpoint... however, I don't share it

***** has signed out.

Is this guy basically an advocate of bullshitting? Or am I missing something here?


Edited by phoenixrisen (02/14/08 07:24 PM)
Edit Reason: I edited out the other person's username.
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#306789 - 02/14/08 07:15 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
shadowraven213 Offline


Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 541
other person: it is not pretentious to appear knowledgeable
you : It is if you don't realistically have any knowledge about the subject.

It is stupid if you are called up on it later, researching something is easy and its easy to find out if someone is lying about not knowing a subject.

Honesty is not always the best strategy but better safe than sorry comes to mind.

Of course there is always the danger of meeting someone who actually does know what they're talking about, and then you would appear a little more than inept.



Edited by shadowraven213 (02/14/08 07:22 PM)
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#306790 - 02/14/08 07:16 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Looks like it to me.

This is a university student? Sounds like he's being done an injustice by his teachers.

A lot of bullshit gets perpetuated in the name of post structuralist theory, and some departments that peddle in it accommodate and reward a lot of bullshit from their students.

This is not true of all departments who draw on this theory, but it does happen.

Pretentiousness does mean pretending to be something you're not, or pretending to know something you don't. It's a Satanic sin that's all too common in all walks of life. University CAN provide a reality check, but students only get out of it what they're willing to put in.
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#306796 - 02/14/08 07:33 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: shadowraven213]
phoenixrisen Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 176
Loc: Manchester, England
 Originally Posted By: shadowraven213
It is stupid if you are called up on it later, researching something is easy and its easy to find out if someone is lying about not knowing a subject.


Thank you for your input.

I agree that it would be stupid if I'd agreed to research it and then, if/when asked later, showed a complete lack of knowledge yet again. But it was the first time it came up in the conversation and I had previously stated (very early on in the conversation; I didn't include this in what I posted here) that I have little knowledge about particular philosophical or political theories (because that's not where my main interests lie).
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La vie veut vivre.

She's not little, no minion like me--
That's why she ensnared him.

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#306798 - 02/14/08 07:34 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: reprobate]
phoenixrisen Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 176
Loc: Manchester, England
 Originally Posted By: reprobate
This is a university student? Sounds like he's being done an injustice by his teachers.


He claimed to be twenty-four, which - if it's true - means that he's most likely out of university.
_________________________
La vie veut vivre.

She's not little, no minion like me--
That's why she ensnared him.

- The Laboratory by Robert Browning

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#306799 - 02/14/08 07:36 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
God, what a dick.

You're alot nicer than I am.
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#306800 - 02/14/08 07:37 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
Rory_Rocketpants Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 1795
Loc: unknown
You know, the majority of people that worry so much about appearing weak, are.

So what, you don't know about post-structuralism, I don't even know what it is. Is that a weakness? Not in my eyes.

This person sounds like a few people that I know/have known, not necessarily bad people, but to be taken with a pinch of salt at the best of times.

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#306802 - 02/14/08 07:40 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: Shade]
phoenixrisen Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 176
Loc: Manchester, England
 Originally Posted By: Shade
God, what a dick.

You're alot nicer than I am.


Oh, not always ;\)
_________________________
La vie veut vivre.

She's not little, no minion like me--
That's why she ensnared him.

- The Laboratory by Robert Browning

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#306805 - 02/14/08 07:56 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
Risen08 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 197
I like to bullshit if the situation calls for it. The problem with bullshit is sometimes it's detected.

The way not to get caught is, be confident in what you know of, adamant in what you're unsure of, and indignant about what you have no clue of.

If all else fails say, "You should read Roger Jones and try to see my point", and walk away in a huff.


Edited by Risen08 (02/14/08 10:53 PM)
Edit Reason: qwik wiki search
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#306835 - 02/14/08 10:17 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: phoenixrisen]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
I'll agree with Reprobate's post, except I'm much more sour (and probably less informed) about post-structuralism than he is.

My worry is that because post-structuralism is often so deep in bullshit and puffery, your friend may not get called on it until very late in the game. In the meantime, then, he'd be getting applause and praise for spouting rubbish, and there's a chance he could start to buy or be proud of his own lines. Oy, if there's one thing I don't want more of in the world, especially in academia, it's PoMos and their ilk.

Many people have moments where they have to spout off the few facts they know about a subject to keep people engaged and keep the conversation afloat. I do it all the time. But, this sort of masquerade can and therefore should only be taken so far, and pushed only so hard. Don't push your luck when you know you're on thin ice.

I say, show what you know, and take responsibility for that. Be honest or keep tastefully quiet when you don't know something. Pretentious and puffed-up people end up laughingstocks with no credibility, once they get caught by people who have been doing research and paying attention.
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#306838 - 02/14/08 10:28 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: Shade]
Risen08 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 197
 Originally Posted By: Shade
Happy Valentine's Day, The Toymaker



Incredible. I am never disapointed following your links. Thank you for hours of entertainment.
_________________________
"With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade..."
(The Satanic Promise, by Anton Szandor LaVey)
It's time to kick some ass!


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#306839 - 02/14/08 10:34 PM Re: Pretentiousness? [Re: TrojZyr]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
because post-structuralism is often so deep in bullshit and puffery

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooo..............
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#306848 - 02/14/08 11:01 PM Yes. [Re: phoenixrisen]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12571
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
You are missing nothing.

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#306879 - 02/15/08 12:57 AM Re: Yes. [Re: Nemo]
Never Offline


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 187
Loc: Skien, Norway
For me it comes down to - do you gain anything from lying?
Other than some jerkholes limited "whoa"-respect?
For me, that`s a no.
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#306893 - 02/15/08 02:55 AM Re: Yes. [Re: Never]
I'mPerfecting Offline


Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 221
Loc: Florida
Yikes, It's like discordian philosophy. I can see how any one who could think through something so undefined, would need to bullsh*t thier way through it to survive. You did the right thing. If that sad creatures' is already bullying people to his views I hate to think what he'll grow up be. (please don't let it be political)


Edited by Shandra Rose (02/15/08 03:11 AM)
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