An Interview with Cory Doctorow
Subject:   a valuable guide to discourse
Date:   2005-03-07 19:36:03
From:   oddjohn
Response to: a valuable guide to discourse

Take a college course in literature with a professor who is into deconstruction. You won't understand a word he says. That's okay. Don't take notes. Just write down all his favorite buzzwords. Like trope. Trope is a good one.

Read the assigned readings in literary criticism. Most of it will seem like pure crap. Read it anyway, and after a while you will realize that they are saying really obvious things in incredibly convoluted ways.

In class discussions, you will notice that everybody seems to know exactly what they are talking about, and they talk about it with their noses in the air, using extremely elevated diction. Because of this, you pretend to understand also, and even bravely throw out your own occasional comment. You will soon become more courageous when you see your classmates nodding sagely after you regurgitate some of the crap you've read and heard.

When it is time for you to make a class presentation, you will be momentarily terrified that everyone will discover you are faking it, but if you have half a brain and have learned to be a real phony, everybody will pretend to be impressed, and the professor will give you an A. Of course s/he gives nearly everyone an A, but what does that matter?

Congratulations. Now you can fake it with the best of them. Of course, to get really good at it, you'll need a Ph.D., but one class is probably enough for posing as a member of the literati on the internet.