It Takes A Vexatious Spirit

It takes a good judge to know a bad judge and an even better judge to judge a judge.

None of which makes sense, although it is designed to appear as though it does, bearing the unmistakeable pretence of profundity. It isn’t too difficult to appear profound. It helps if you do think and think deeply, therefore if you are actually profound, but it is comparatively easy to fake this quality if certain conditions are met. Basically it’s easier to sound thoughtful and insightful on subjects which you don’t care an awful lot about. A degree of knowledge is not just useful but necessary. But even if the degree of knowledge is deep and impressive there will often be a sense of distance between this knowledge and the would-be philosopher. This distance, a remove from emotional attachment, allows one to speak from a position of authority without being too close. When we care too much it is hard to treat the details of the subject matter trivially, as it were, to take them apart and put them back together a different way and see if that works, because we always care (too much) and we can’t treat the topic so lightly.

So a general warning against profundity is advised. It should set off all manner of warning devices in one’s head. Unless the person expressing their opinion is truly wise – and there are some of us around – but the likelihood that your interlocutor (or the loudmouth at the next desk in the office who you can’t help but hear) is not wise at all and is only pretend profound.

Perhaps pretend profound is better than nothing. Perhaps it is better than being glib. Unless we think of glibness as a kind of witty editing of our words before we speak them – but it may be that glibness as wit is even rarer than profundity being both authentic and a sign of wisdom.

And it may be, of course, that none of this has been argued properly or makes very much sense. It may be that the words on this page bear the pretence of sentience and order and logic but they really only possess a passing resemblance to those characteristics of communication. Are people indeed attempting to be profound in any sort of numbers out there? And are most of them faking it? What sort of questions are these?

My work here is done.

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Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] from the blog, Johan Turdenmeier’s Miscellany pinpoints the innate problem with this behavior.  “I wonder when if ever the vexatious person […]


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