Guide for Becoming a Philosopher
January 4, 2003 12:05 AM   Subscribe

Guide for Becoming a Modern Day Philosopher 12 essential techniques.
posted by Voyageman (13 comments total)
"Hi, my name's Brook Sadler...and I used to hang out in a clique."

"Hi, Brook."

"Hi, Brook."

"Brook, huh? That name's familiar...were you ever on USENET?"

posted by Smart Dalek at 12:59 AM on January 4, 2003

It's funny 'cos it's true.
posted by PenDevil at 1:06 AM on January 4, 2003

But (and this is the hard part) refuse to be identified with any of the available philosophical positions...Always seek to evade the possibility that someone might reference your argument as your actual view.

Oh...oh dear...I weep in gleefully horrified self-recognition.

So what's the history with this Brook Sadler?
posted by hippugeek at 1:23 AM on January 4, 2003

Someone has been reading Baudrillard!

I came up with this exact list while reading Baudrillard this week. I have read my fair share of philosophy and social theory, but he has to be the worst offender in my book.
posted by Quartermass at 7:12 AM on January 4, 2003


baudrillard must have a good weed connection.
posted by muppetboy at 11:10 AM on January 4, 2003

that's not to say, btw, that i haven't thoroughly enjoyed some of his twisted rants!
posted by muppetboy at 11:11 AM on January 4, 2003

This is what has often left me frustrated with interpersonal communications on the Internet. Many of the approaches Brook Sadler lists in the referred document, though presented humorously by him, can at times be used effectively to support an opinion. He has of course exagerrated some points, and when others argue a person's position be it on USENET or elsewhere (in here for example), those arguing the person's position tend to argue how that individual chose to structure his argument, rather than pointedly taking on the argument itself.

Recently I read somewhere that the underlying thing that really hurts intercommunication on the Internet is that everyone is talking, but no one is really listening to one another. We spend more time trying to shoot down each other's delivery and debate strategy, and not enough time actually trying to understand and appreciate one another's opinions and ideas.

It's rather frustrating really. Not sure what can be done about it if anything, but I don't know if making fun of how we share ideas with each other is at all helpful. Funny? Yeah, but responding to what others say with punchlines, it's just adding to the problem. And yeah, I'm guilty of doing that too. Attacking the messenger instead of the message. Maybe it's something engraved into the human psyche. A temptation that for so many of us is impossible to avoid.

I'm sure my words can be broken down by someone into one of the twelve mentioned 'techniques.' I'm sure someone could probably do that for any post anywhere in MetaFilter. So are we making fun of the entire concept of interpersonal communications? Is it pointless to say a word to one another? Maybe Brook Sadler is just saying we should all just shut up? That there IS no proper way to share opinions and ideas that can't be ripped to shreds, dissected and turned into targets for juvenile humor? This post will either be ignored or people will find something in it, quote it, and turn it into a punchline. Yay. How inspiring and novel of us.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that Harpo Marx was the most wise of us all.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:36 AM on January 4, 2003

So are we making fun of the entire concept of interpersonal communications?

Obviously. :)

Is it pointless to say a word to one another?

If you expect to be taken seriously by every single person who reads you words in a public forum like MetaFilter (or, gods help us, Usenet), then yes. But if you can endure the slings and arrows of outrageous flaming, maybe someone (or more than one someone) will understand you and you've done something good.

Or maybe not. You can never tell these days.

But clearly, discourse is necessary, or what else is there? Communicating ideas is arguably part of what makes us human. Laughing at other people's ideas is another part.

Nice link, Voyageman, thanks.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:21 PM on January 4, 2003

Communication is assault: rhetoric is its soothing, custodial suppository.

"It's in the very trickery that it pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein."--Seneca the Younger

(A brief demonstration of a couple of useful techniques.)
posted by Opus Dark at 1:58 PM on January 4, 2003

Opus Dark, your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by RylandDotNet at 4:32 PM on January 4, 2003

Well, RylandDotNet, consideration for membership is usually restricted to those who have published within the last eleven years (to a circulation which exceeds 47 households), but I sense that you are sincere and studious, so welcome to Vicissitudes and Vexations - a Lyrical Analysis in Six Colors. (That'll be $39.95.)
posted by Opus Dark at 5:10 PM on January 4, 2003

I for one wish to bid welcome to our soothing, custodial suppository overlords.

sorry. couldn't resist. it's still funny on this side of the glass.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:18 PM on January 4, 2003

Someone has been reading Baudrillard!

Hell, someone's been reading Metafilter.

and I still inexplicably like the inside jokes...
posted by Vidiot at 2:57 PM on January 5, 2003

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