A friend of mine recently mentioned he has back-ordered “On Bullshit” (by Harry Frankfurt) and I thought “oh neat – maybe I can borrow it sometime for a day or two”… but then I realized something.
Bullshit is not rare or special or in any way particular. It is widespread. Everywhere you look, you can see bullshit converging in on you. I am no more interested in studying bullshit than I am in investigating the tons of junk and/or fecal matter that might arrive at any number of dumps on a daily basis across the planet. I don’t care about the meaningless 99%, I want to know what makes the 1% especially meaningful.
My gut feeling tells me that in order to cut the crap a person must care about something in particular. I was trained by the Strunk & White school of thought which dictated that words must be chosen wisely and also with both precision and accuracy. Rationality is a very surgical matter, and errors are simply unacceptable.
This reminds me of another thought I recently had whilst wallowing through yet another quagmire of apparently endless streams of text: if you want to write something meaningful, then the meaning you want to write down is enough. I don’t need to know whether it’s your birthday or whether something else happened – just tell me what you want me to know or think or feel or whatever.