Re: Hakim Bey

From: Dave Sill (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 06:58:16 MST

Damien Broderick <> wrote:
> At 09:45 PM 2/25/02 -0500, someone wrote:
> >eschaton? What's that?
> >techné? Huh?
> Cat got your Google?

No, but there's a limit to how far I'll go to try to read
something. I'll look up a word I don't know in a dictionary, but I
won't google for it and attempt to deduce its meaning from the

> >Is it just me, or is this guy writing to impress people with his
> >vocabulary and expressing his ideas as obliquely as possible to seem
> >"intellectual"?
> Not so fast. If you haven't even bothered trying to find out what his
> technical terminology means, why jump to the smug know-nothing conclusion
> that it must be `oblique' (or wanky, or pretentious, or la-de-dah, or
> pointy-headed, or any other convenient term to cover your insecurity by
> projecting the fault on to him)?

Not so fast. I *did* attempt to find out what his "technical"
terminology meant. I failed. I decided, based on what I *could*
understand, that it wasn't worth the effort to track down those two

> The final comment about trying to `seem "intellectual"' is unworthy of this
> list, unless you think `intellectual' is a term of abuse (`Ya ya, he's
> reading, ya ya, he's *thinking*, let's pelt the creep with stones and tear
> up his book!') or, more likely, you are claiming that he must be just
> *feigning* his intellectual culture. That would be a more compelling
> argument if you'd taken the trouble to find out what he was saying, and
> countering it with a reasoned retort.

I used "intellectual" to refer to the kind of pseudo-intellectuals who
write bloviated, obfuscated pieces in an apparent attempt to impress
themselves and other pseudo-intellectuals.

I've just taken a few minutes to google Bey, and everything I've read
confirms my initial evaluation. I think Bey is someone's idea of a
joke. He's a version of Emacs' doctor-mode that strings pretentious
words together into meaningless but impressive-looking grammatically
correct sentences.

Or maybe he's the emporer's new clothes, and everyone is afraid to
notice the nudity.

If he's real and he's got anything worthwhile to say, he hides it


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