Exhibit C in why I love blogging and especially the commentariat

September 11, 2008

I love this stuff, really. Absolutely LOOOOOVVEEE it. The part of the blogosphere that is, for lack of a better term, Academic blogging. I’m on record with my affection for free availability of most of the benefits of those distribution/GenEd/elective courses I took in the humanities departments, lo, many a year ago. This is what absolutely addicted me to Adventures in Ethics and Science which I think was the original Sb hook set in me as a reader. Do you know how much those liberal arts college classes cost you these days? Did I mention it was for FREE? I love it.

There’s more. You know those little threads that emerge every time I talk about cannabis or MDMA? It is just exactly like the student comments in drug classes and my fading memory of a bunch of dorm-room BS sessions. Love it.
Academic nitwittery. Sure, it can become repetitive and pedantic. Sure, it can get comically hostile in a way that has you looking around frantically for the head of the pin. (Not pin-head, pin. head.) But it is just plain entertaining. For the weenie geeks anyway, and if you are reading ScienceBlogs I think you probably qualify Dear Reader.
This brings me to today’s example. In the midst of another popular recurring Academic argument (honestly, this one isn’t that boring for those who hate Academic mewling, it has breasts!) I found the following gem.
It has to do with the deeper meaning of, well, quotations. I love it.
Occasional DM visitor Stephanie Z lays it down:

PP, if the comment Zuska linked to is so incomprehensible, why has it been in the quote rotator at DrugMonkey? Is that just where you put pieces of prose that “no one ever understands”?

and a comment or two later:

Actually, I’d originally assumed that the quote was there because you understood and agreed with it and because you were grown up enough to recognize a good point even when it comes from someone you’ve disagreed with in the past.

Damn, we’re into Literary Criticism already! Zero to Sixty baby…
The guy watching The Simpsons on the couch pipes up:

Will this be Drug Monkey and PP’s first fight?

Serious Discussants are permitted to ignore such blatant trollery. It’s in the guidelines.
320px-Picador.JPGOccasional DM visitor and all-around Sb’er picador Becca:

if you really want to know why that line got put in the quote rotator, I suspect it’s because DM agreed with it (in general)….The fact that PP disagreed with it (or at least, what he thought it meant in the context of Zuska’s discussion) is not necessarily relevant.

Meaning. Very important. As is Intent. I think anyway, it has been awhile. Maybe I am writing this so someone will inform me? I don’t know perhaps that is the meta Meaning or Intent or something? If you are confused, as I am, you are doing it Right!
Wait, there’s more:

That said, the quote rotator may truly be a repository for prose “no one understands”- don’t those lines seem a little random? Actually, I think it functions as a way of manipulating people into feeling they are part of DM’s personal “sprawling, continuous scientists’ party” (complete with injokes). Or possibly those quotes are just things that struck DM as particularly valuable for one reason or another (point of interest- the source code calls them “moneyquotes”).

Did I say “Sixty”? More like Eleventy!!!.
Naturally, as with any good Academic critique, what the author or creator thinks doesn’t mean a damn thing. So I won’t venture an amateur opinion as to what I was about. (Don’t you wish your favorite musicians would just STFU when asked what their lyrics really mean? I often do.)

No Responses Yet to “Exhibit C in why I love blogging and especially the commentariat”

  1. Play “Free Bird!”


  2. Becca Says:

    I personally get warm fuzzies from feeling like a part of your personal “sprawling scientists’ party”. I’m still trying to figure out how you managed to associate me with that picture, and yet I feel flattered. Somehow, I imagine that when DM reads a becca comment there’s an announcer in his head: “Join us next time for ‘When does Greggie merit three lances?’ on ‘When Beccas attack’).
    Of course, I sometimes warmfuzzies from playing nicely at other blogs too. Even Greggie’s, this time.
    The comment contest is having interesting ripple effects.


  3. BikeMonkey Says:

    The one area where Spinal Tap missed the mark. It is nearly impossible to make a grotesque caricature of musicians talking about what their songs mean…


  4. DrugMonkey Says:

    Just so we get our attributions nice and clear like good little Academics, Becca is talking about a post from Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde who described the “sprawling, continuous scientists’ party”.


  5. River Tam Says:

    That said, the quote rotator may truly be a repository for prose “no one understands”- don’t those lines seem a little random?
    Wait?! What?! One of my quotes is in that rotator! (realization slowly dawns)…oh, crap.


  6. juniorprof Says:

    That said, the quote rotator may truly be a repository for prose “no one understands”- don’t those lines seem a little random?
    Which explains why I am not present in the random quote generator. On point and making sense all the time.


  7. Becca Says:

    1) River Tam… your quote was one of the ones I didn’t get at first… but it was definitely worth the moment of confusion to get me to read your post.
    2) DM, I think you should put JP’s “On point and making sense all the time” into the quote rotator.


  8. PhysioProf Says:

    Dude, you’re starting to get as incomprehensible as fucking Laden.


  9. Stephanie Z Says:

    Frequent visitor. Occasional commenter.
    Authorial intent actually bores me to tears unless I’m in a position to ask the (fiction) author about it. Anyone else is just blowing as much smoke as I am. But I am a total process geek. And it was the topic du jour.
    For lyrics, I totally agree. Asking a poet to explain poetry is the quickest way to hit dead, dull prose.


  10. PP, but why does my hand itch? Because ice cream has no bones.


  11. I have to say, I would go to more scientists’ parties if they included this much discussion of boobies.
    Aside from the patriarchal nature of such parties, at least.


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