More gold from the Sensible Bond

11 09 2008

From this post

I have a rule – and it’s one that I do not always follow! – that the credibility of a proposition is inversely proportionate to the number of abstract nouns it contains. I could get myself into trouble here, so let me just say that jargon can be an excuse for not explaining things properly, especially when the jargon has a certain fashionable valency. I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard a sentence like this:

‘Hybridity undermines and/or countermands the prevailing homogenous monolythic reading of the undeconstructed cultural syntagm.’ …

How much are our internet exchanges real ‘exchanges’, and how much are they dialogues with ourselves? Of course, that might also true of face-to-face conversations, as indeed of writing as a whole, but my point is that the internet medium helps while hindering. It puts us in contact and throws us back on ourselves. It creates a forum and leaves us isolated.



2 responses

12 09 2008

I think this is the result of the slow death of the humanities in the academy. Every specialty has its own lexicon, most especially the summit of all sciences: physics. As each branch of the hard sciences became substantiated as real science, physics, followed by chemistry, followed by biochemistry followed by biology (with Darwin’s Origen of Species), the cultural impact of the internal language of the specialty became more important.

Of course, being rooted in materalism, there’s always “a thing” at the end of the long abstract nouns that can be pointed too. “This” is what we mean.

Then there’s the humanities…you can kind of rely on material medica with psychology, because a lot of describable phenomenon is rooted in actual anatomy. But what about literature, especially one self-consciously not rooted in a traditional western narrative because of political reasons?

Well, the answer is to de-construct. But you have to construct something in oder to de-construct your father’s narrative. So, you turn to syllogisms in order to describe your new science. After all, that’s what real science does. Except for the fact that your paradigm is completely rooted in subjective experience, so the syllogism changes from one generation to the next, possible even from one partisan position within the discipline’s dialect. And you add them all together, and get a master’s thesis.

And then someone like me comes a long and reproduces the jargon for a comment box. Have I fully deconstructed this cultural syntgam?

11 09 2008
Matthew David Nelson

Like most technological “advances,” the www is a double-edged sword.

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