I've been doing a lot of reading recently and sometimes wonder at the author(s) sanity.
Some of the news articles on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, etc. are so obviously written with a conclusion in mind, backed up by furiously "spinning facts", that it's hard to believe that any objective person would give credence to the pieces.
Less "biased" are the articles on BBC, Daily Mail (UK) and sometimes on CBC and RT.
I like to read a variety of sources. When they all point to the same perspective, then I find it more "believable" - but don't necessarily accept it at face value.
Particularly when the articles are "predictive" rather than based on events that have already occurred, I wonder why the authors think the readers should believe the author's "crystal balls".
Authors write for a multiplicity of reasons.
They want to "spin" something for the political candidate or a policy they favor.
They want to "impress" an audience with their "wisdom" and "profound insight" into the human psyche.
They believe in the "gobblegook that they spew forth" and want others to believe it too.
and more I'm sure...
So I did a little research this morning while sitting "gingerly" at my desk, with my temporary good friends Percocet, Motrin and Local Pain Med OnQ Catheter which arrived in my life Thursday afternoon following surgery - perhaps not the best day for objective research - but nevertheless, I'm going to share my perspective.
I see this behavior not just in the news, but elsewhere in "life in general", whether it's self proclaimed "gurus", or even sometimes here in the 'Rain.
Typically these "thoughts" are presented with somewhat obscure reasoning, sometimes including "jargon" understandable to the author (who holds the definition close to their chest), and presents a variety of seemingly unrelated statements that leap to a conclusion, and contain comments if their article refers to others as the "others" being "ill informed" and "less wise" than the pundit.
So, I found some interesting definitions that describe this behavior, much of which I found at this article by Stephen Law.
Pseudo-profundity is the art of sounding profound while talking tosh (that's British for BS). Unlike the art of actually being profound, the art of sounding profound is not particularly difficult to master.
Jargon can further enhance the illusion of profundity. Make up some words that appear to have meanings similar to those of certain well-known terms, but that differ in some never-fully-explained way.
A lofty, pompous, or bombastic style or manner
A deepity involves saying something with two meanings – one trivially true, the other profound-sounding but false or nonsensical.
A statement that is obviously true and says nothing new or interesting.
Pseudo-profundity’s greatest enemy is clarity. One of the most effective methods of disarming it is to translate what is said into clear, plain English.
Such a translation will typically reveal that what was said one of three things: (i) an obvious falsehood, (ii) nonsense, or (iii) a truism.
Those who spout it are often aware, at some level, that clarity is likely to unmask them, and will probably resist your attempts to rephrase what they mean in clear and unambiguous terms.
They will almost certainly accuse you of a crude misunderstanding or “Moving The Goalposts”.
Of course, they still won’t explain clearly what they do mean.
They’ll just keep giving you the run around by changing the subject, erecting smokescreens, accusing you of further misunderstandings, and so on.
My approach is to call them on it when I see it. They are fooling themselves.
Others applaud them for their "oh so profound" remarks, particularly if the remarks appear to support the readers beliefs.
Others respond with anger, particularly if the remarks criticize the readers beliefs, or personally attack the reader.
I believe the best way to expose and discredit these "Pseudo-Profound Authors" is to meet them head on.
I'm always open to being convinced that what they have written is, after all, accurate, but not if it's littered with jargon known only to themselves, disjointed "arguments" that result in unrelated conclusions, personal attacks on beliefs and/or individuals, and articles rife with "negativity" - the "oh woe is me syndrome" and "these villains, liars, etc. are doing xyz" therefore the "sky is falling".
I don't know what drives the behavior, but I do know it's not useful - to anyone.
Just my 2 cents.
What say you?
And now it's time for my next Percocet!
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