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 05:24 PM)
Edit Reason: I edited out the other person's username.
La vie veut vivre.

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

- The Laboratory by Robert Browning