Category Archives: Damn sophistry

Honest fake news

She wrote the kind of newspaper articles tourists stumbled themselves through on their improvised linguistic feet as they tried to get a sense of the place there were almost in.

She made it all up. All of it. It didn’t matter – it was the mood of the piece that mattered, not the facts. Visitors care about facts; tourists want discourse thrown at them with sufficient candor to seem like a real thing.

And she, she could sling bull with the best of them. The fact that very few had caught on attested to that, the one fact in all her articles.

Uncreative writing

This is the opening sentence. This is the second sentence, explaining why the first sentence is relevant. This is the third sentence, essentially repeating the second sentence but in other words. This is the fourth sentence, expounding further on the first sentence. This sentence closes the first paragraph, restating the opening sentence to firmly hook it as an important thing to have said.

This is the opening sentence of the second paragraph, giving some much needed background information regarding the first paragraph. This sentence, and the following sentences, goes through the same motions as their counterparts in the first paragraph, expounding and expanding on the opening sentence. This closing sentence then summarizes this paragraph.

This opening sentence moves things along by formulating some aspect that follows from the first paragraph. The rest of this paragraph follows the established pattern from the two previous paragraphs.

Paragraph four goes through additional implications brought forth by the third paragraph, and follows the pattern.

Paragraph five to how many you need follows the same pattern, opening with a portal sentence and supporting it with additional sentences. One paragraph at a time, gradually adding up to a whole that conveys what the reader needs to know in order to understand the opening sentence of the first paragraph. All the while, the closing sentences summarizes the local paragraph.

The last paragraph is, ideally, nothing but a paraphrase of the first paragraph, but with added language that the reader will pick up on and feel smart for understanding. It will close out with an imperative grounded in the new understanding brought forth by having read the above text. Know when to be creative, and when to be uncreative.

Do not trust the words of philosophers

Really, do not trust them. They are a tricky bunch, and take offense at being taken at face value. Just nodding and saying “aight, you seem to know what you’re on about, I trust you” is the exact opposite of the response they want and respect. They do not want that. They want you to be critical, look deep into what they say (and do not say), and in general engage with their words on a fundamental level. They want you to think “hmm, this could be wrong, but – oh, right, how good of you to point that out, yes, nice”. And not just once, but throughout their wordings and wheelings and dealings. From the introduction to the conclusion. All the way. Philosophy is an activity, and you are included.

You know those elaborate tea ceremonies, which take hours to go through and where every stage is defined precisely in every minute detail by convention, tradition and politeness? It is the same principle. You have not done it right if you just did the first five minutes. Gotta go through all the motions.

It is the polite thing to do.

So be very careful around philosophers. They are a tricky bunch, and they will not take your routine attempts at appeasing them lightly. Do not agree with them, but also do not disagree with them outright. Hem and haw and postpone any particular judgment for as long as possible, and you will be fine – for as much as they like to think they can discourse forever, the constraints of the world will eventually pry them away from you, and then you are free.

Just take a deep breath, and be ready to untrust any philosophers you happen to come across in the future.

The rhetorical disposition

Introductory words, making the reader feel both at home and interested.

Words words words.


Words that provide a strong mental image to focus the readers attentions and connotations.

Words words words words words words words.

Words words words words.

More words.

Words that convey a single, clear message. The punchline.

Words words words words words.



Words that root the above punchline even further in the aboveabove mental image, and provide additional arguments for the truthness of the read.

Words words words words words words words.

Birds and words.


Add words here.

Finishing words, providing textual closure and an imperative to act on the recently read words.

Be rhetorical in all things.