Every now and I then I read some piece written to explain my (or related) fields in non-technical ways. The best people—think Milton Friedman in economics—explain the basic ideas in clear, simple, logical, and believable ways. The worst (who I just read, and won’t cite, but it’s laughably bad) write long, eloquent passages with beautiful metaphors. But I can never tell what they are talking about; the ideas are so confusing as to be useless to me. There is no simple, testable structure to what they are writing. It is written to impress, be vaguely scientific sounding, and to make the reader feel like an idiot, so that the reader will have to argree by authority.
It’s like listening to your crazy uncle who reads ‘deep’ books trying to explain the ideas to you. And telling you that you are not deep enough when you try to get to the bottom of what he is telling you. Or listening to the conspiracy theorists, but written much better. Or to the people in graduate school who have a grand theory of everything, that will prove the current paradigm is wrong. (I know, not all of them are like that, but I wasted so much time in grad school trying to understand these deep guys who never finished a coherent paper in their lives because the system was out to get them, man.)
powered by performancing firefox