Bollocks might be true, but it is still bollocks

Author: joe

Thursday, 06 March, 2008 - 17:33

I've had something of a realisation over the last few weeks. I managed to relieve some of the pressure in my work that had built up due to absence and illness, which gave me the chance to step back and think about things.

I used to write posts on this blog about how the elitism and jargon that is associated with academic work and cultural and media studies just mystifies the subjects, works as a barrier to newbies, and generally disappears up its own postmodern arse.

Then I registered for a PhD.

So, looking back on the post I wrote 3 weeks ago about Habermas and Gadamer makes me realise that I've been rimming the sphincter of elitism as much as anyone I've ever criticised. I consider this a direct consequence of registering for a PhD: before, intellectual work was all about pleasure and discovery, and doing it for its own sake; after, it's been about validity and legitmacy, what is true and how we know it is true. Of course those things matter, but fuck me, it doesn't matter if something is true if it is also bollocks. I need to remember this: bollocks might be true, but it is still bollocks.

So I'll try and rewrite the truth and method thing some time so that it makes sense to a human. In the meantime, I also need to figure out how to do a PhD without it decaying into a level of tedium that will make all living things wither. Otherwise, it's just bollocks, isn't it?

Categories: elitism, bollocks, phd,
Comments: 2


Hi Joe,

Randomly browsing and hit this post.

I think if you manage to come anywhere near finishing a PhD then it most definitely won't be bollocks. Unless you make it bollocks.

I think you need a scientist's point of view...

Re: Theory vs practice, theory is what we think we know, practice is doing it. We may not know the principle but a theory is a working model. When we are 100% confident then we call it a law.

Research is all about using creativity to find out the new thing. If we can't be creative we are bounded by our own limitations.

I think there are 2 definitions of art; one is something creative that makes us think in a new way and the other is a kind of perfection, e.g. a martial art.

As an engineer doing scientific research I find that I try to make my work satisfy both these definitions of art.

There you go, solved it for you ;)

Author: Lyndon Sent: 2008-07-09 16:13:13

Hey Lyndon

Thanks for solving it for me! I'm really looking forward to feeling 100% confident. Then I can be a law-maker! Yay!


Author: joe Sent: 2008-07-21 09:25:48

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