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On Being

A discussion on thinking in your native language vs. abstract concepts somehow segued into a discussion of Heidegger (or, more specifically, his abuse of the term dasein/being). Apparently, even to a German/linguist and her philosopher husband, H-dog is still unintelligible. We did make an important discovery, though: after discussing how it was important in German academia to be completely unintelligible in your writings in order to garner respect, my coworker Susanne stumbled upon the key to German intellectual stardom:

susanne: mein dasein muss nicht immer hier sein sondern kann auch unabh´┐Żngig existieren
me: babelfish: "my existence must separate not always here its can exist also independently"
susanne: about as comprehensible
susanne: see, babelfish is PERFECT for translating heidegger!
me: thumbs up
susanne: in fact, you can become a famous german academic
me: translating heidegger for the masses
susanne: by writing in English and using babelfish to produce obfuscated German :)
susanne: if someone studies long enough, they might have a chance to reverse-engineer babelfish and figure out what you must have meant :)
me: ah, you are much wiser than i
susanne: always assuming you didn't just input gobbledygook to begin with ;-)
me: ah, but then my work would be eternal
susanne: true - people would still study it 2000 years from now :)
susanne: I think we have a plan
susanne: what field do you want to become eternally famous in?
me: ideally i would want to be rich AND famous
me: but i'm not sure how being an unintelligible german intellectual gets me both
susanne: German full profs get paid fairly well
susanne: and more interestingly, they don't have to do any work
susanne: and get a ton of respect
susanne: so you can be a little king or dictator who comes in only a few hours a week or whenever you feel like bossing everyone around
me: hmm, as long as there's Internet access i would be free to keep publishing endlesly
me: i would be prolifically unintelligible
susanne: it's self-perpetuating - you'd produce so much output that by the time someone's decided that one of your pieces is unintelligible and not worth bothering, you have 10 other publications :)
me: i could then just say, "ah, but you haven't read this work which clarifies everything"

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on January 27, 2005 6:59 PM.

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