From Four Seasons Total Landscaping Is a Perfect Trump Backdrop
via Daring Fireball. I love the scent of irony in the morning.
The photos that emerged from the event had the tawdriness of Americaâ€™s worst cityscapes and the richness of an allegorical painting. The sound systemâ€™s snarl of cables lay sloppily piled on the asphalt, the emblem of every garbled message. A Sunoco sign presided over the end of an administration desperately addicted to fossil fuels. Windows covered in blackout shades and bars recalled ICE detention centers. A rusting steel scaffold appeared to be propping up the whole derelict structure. And at the center of it all, a small man behind a cheap lectern trying to persuade a tired nation that this gimcrack spectacle must never shut down.
From PsyArXiv Preprints | Bullshit Makes the Art Grow Profounder
Across four studies participants (N = 818) rated the profoundness of abstract art images accompanied with varying categories of titles, including: pseudo-profound bullshit titles (e.g., The Deaf Echo), mundane titles (e.g., Canvas 8), and no titles. Randomly generated pseudo-profound bullshit titles increased the perceived profoundness of computer generated abstract art, compared to when no titles were present (Study 1). Mundane titles did not enhance the perception of profoundness, indicating that pseudo-profound bullshit titles specifically (as opposed to titles in general) enhance the perceived profoundness of abstract art (Study 2). Furthermore, we find that these effects generalize to artist-created abstract art (Study 3). Finally, we report a large correlation between profoundness ratings for pseudo-profound bullshit and â€œInternational Art Englishâ€ statements (Study 4), a mode and style of communication commonly employed by artists to discuss their work. This correlation suggests that these two independently developed communicative modes share underlying cognitive mechanisms in their interpretations. We discuss the potential for these results to be integrated into a larger, new theoretical framework of bullshit as a low-cost strategy for gaining advantages in prestige awarding domains.
Making semiotic sense of an annoying stylistic tic: So says more than you might want it to.
This is apparently is an example of semantic bleaching, similar to the process that turned very and really (and more recently literally) into intensifiers. The OED lists so as an “adv. and conj.” glossed as “In the way or manner described, indicated, or suggested; in that style or fashion”, with examples going back to the 9th century. Over the centuries, if the bleaching theory is correct, a sense emerged that’s something more like “in relation to the issue described, suggested, or presupposed”.
â€œSoâ€ also seems to indicate a connection between the interviewer and interviewed, a suggestion that the answer really is going to address the question. But often, the interviewed answers a different question, snd the particle becomes a rhetorical backhander. Compare it to using â€œWell …â€ in the same context. â€œSoâ€ indicates that the response is canned, being delivered by rote – which also appears in the general tone of voice and cadence. â€œWellâ€ can suggest the response is more thoughtful and tailored for the context.