Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Don't Read Academic Papers


I've read Richard Gabriel before and I refuse to read any more from him, or any other obfuscator. You know, until now I didn't know why him and his ilk repulsed me so much. I had some vague explanations like "I'm overwhelmed with work" or "I'm done the intellectual phase of my life" but there are too many counter-examples to those.

A few minutes thinking about it in the proper framework, of this being a STALL (something I couldn't do no matter how much I wanted to because it violated my principles) and I pinpointed the reason why. It's because Truth and Understanding are core values for me which makes Clarity (related to their combination) a +2, which makes people like Gabriel a -2. Meaning, someone I HATE. The same for all the trash they write. So him, Paul Graham, and anything written in an academic paper form or on PDF are not saying anything I want to hear.

If they had anything meaningful, important and intelligent to say about the world, they wouldn't be doing their very best to appear to be two-faced flimflam artists. And every single last academic paper sounds like this because they eschew plain ordinary language in favour of pretentious passive-voiced historico-linguistic crap. Pretentious liars who want to APPEAR authoritative when I don't consider them authoritative at all.

But the worst for me are people like Richard Gabriel who show SOME of what I'm looking for. Their coming so close and yet landing so far off just makes them more frustrating.


If someone isn't CLEAR then it's because they don't understand what they're saying OR they don't consider it important OR they don't consider you important. If someone is LENGTHY then it strikes down the last possibility, leaving only the first two.

Now, if someone doesn't understand what they're saying, why should you waste your time reading what they're saying? And if someone considers what they say to be unimportant, then why would you show them disrespect by failing to reciprocate their feelings, something you do when you read what they wrote?

Writers who aren't trying to communicate shouldn't be read.

As for books, the last ones I read turned out to be nonsense so ... they follow the same rule. To be precise, two of the last four books I've tried to read (A Theory of Justice and The Art of Interactive Programming) turned out to be nonsense. The amazing part is that I ended up with ironclad proof of this after only a few chapters. And the other two books (No Contest: The Case Against Competition, and The Seven Day Weekend) were monotonous because I already wholeheartedly agreed with their central thesis and didn't need a how-to in order to walk through all the implications. The first few chapters was enough for boredom to set in. Small wonder I haven't tried to read any book in years.

Finally, there is this notion among the weak that you need to encourage "critical thinking" by not saying anything. The so-called Socratic method. When in reality, Socrates was just a flimflam artist who spewed contradictions all the time. Well, it doesn't matter, because my mind is not so weak that critical thinking can be turned off. It doesn't need to be "encouraged" or "nurtured". Which is why I have nothing but contempt for those notions outside of a K-12 classroom setting. And as I'm not K-12, it's patronizing and condescending as hell.

To summarize, if someone obfuscates in their writings then they're an idiot so their writings are worthless, they're the kind of idiot who would condescend to their audience hence their writings are worthless, or their writings are just worthless and they know it. Clarity is the hallmark of communication. Unclear communication is no communication at all.

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