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Dave, excellent post, and some well made points. I am afraid that my write-up didn't convey all the humor as the session, so it's worth checking out on mp3 when it comes available. Also, I got to talk to Scot later, and he mentioned that one of the points is that his paper was "just a big joke," implying that he was just as much a BSer as the next person.

Dave, I posted about Frankfurt's microbook last year---apropos to the topic, without even reading it. But I do link to an interview with Frankfurt on The Daily Show.

I don't think Banner of Heaven was bullshit, as you suggest. Following Frankfurt's parsing of flavors of dishonesty, it was not bullshit but a lie, and a temporary one at that: we knew and cared what the truth was, and always planned to reveal it on our own.

I think you have to make your reputation on being honest, even unmerciful.

I don't know that it's quite so obvious that honesty is always a higher value than others, including mercy. Certainly great men in our history --like Abraham, Joseph Smith, Parley Pratt, the entire FP and Q12 from 1890-1904, and even God himself -- at least give us something to think about in that regard.

I just want to say how much I enjoyed linking to this from T&S Notes From All Over. I don't get to type the word "bullshit" often enough.

Hehe. We recorded "Almost Famous" on TNT and just watched it the other night. What an excellent movie. I recognized several references to it in your last few sentences...

Interesting thesis. So, what is the difference between BS and just being wrong? A care whether you are wrong or not? I have written plenty of things that in retrospect are wrong, but I don't think that it was BS.

Is it litigation that has moved American society to be the grand BSers? That plausible deniability is king?

RE #2

You wrote, I don't think Banner of Heaven was bullshit, as you suggest. Following Frankfurt's parsing of flavors of dishonesty, it was not bullshit but a lie, and a temporary one at that: we knew and cared what the truth was, and always planned to reveal it on our own.

This reveals BoH for the BS that it was.

"Lie now, confess later" rings as wrong as the "sin now, repent later" plan of prospective missionaries that the GA's keep warning are on the wrong track. In each case, the person is BS-ing himself that it is alright to sin with the intent to repent later, when in fact it is not.

How does the following quote, cited above, not describe what must have happened to you for you to write what you wrote? [B]ullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not.

I celebrate repentance by BoH's authors -- I'm repenting of much worse in my life -- but I haven't any tolerance for excuses about it.

You lied to us and BS'd yourselves that it was OK to do it.


The problem that I see here is that by the standards of some, all religion, in particular all revelation and all inspiration, is BS.

So what's the difference between BS and wanting to tell your side of the story? To highlight what you think is important?

What's the difference between BS and civility, those parts of language that help us build a common ground?

The problem with all the fake, BS discourse out there is that it then taints the well for the necessary practice of public discourse -- this is esp. true for official Church discourse.

I think looking at everyone as insincere liars is just as bad as looking at everyone as dupes to be fed BS.

Dallas, thanks for your comment. Nice to know it was a relaxed session that didn't take things too seriously.

Geoff, you get the trivia award. I figured someone would catch my allusions. I watched it last week, too.

manaen, I guess I see BoH as closer to BS than simple falsehoods, but I think one needs more refined categories when talking about fictional narratives (and BoH was essentially a fictional presentation, albeit not intially acknowledged as such). Personally, I'd dial back the "you're all a bunch of liars" rhetoric. We sort of worked through that collectively last year. However you feel about it, it's water under the bridge at this point.

William, I'll at least agree with you that insincere discourse can undermine and even discredit other participants in an ongoing conversation. But part of the book's intent is to distinguish BS from simple lying, so it won't do to just label BSers as "insincere liars." Insincere, yes, but not really liars.

#9
Dave, I agree about what's under the bridge from last year. However, my comments in #6 were my response to what I quoted at the beginning, which was written just 4 hours earlier. I meant to say that his comments *today* fit well the BS model I cited.

Love it! But with all this cussing are you going to have to ban yourself?

manean: I celebrate repentance by BoH's authors -- I'm repenting of much worse in my life -- but I haven't any tolerance for excuses about it.

If ever a statement was full of bullshit, manean, this is it. Are you just a bull-headed [person] who's determined to read history in a self-flattering light? Or do you forget that I have no remorse, repentance, or excuses to make in general about BoH. You can save your silly gloating for another topic, because you've missed the mark with regards to me.

manean: You lied to us and BS'd yourselves that it was OK to do it.

BoH will go down as the greatest hoax in Bloggernacle history, and I'm proud of my contribution to it; specifically, my portrayal of Miranda Park Jones -- the only participant who, in the end, people thought might actually be a real person. And nobody, but nobody thought for a second that Miranda was me. At the time, I'd been reviled, censored, banned, and dismissed as superficial and obnoxious by most of the key "players" in the 'nacle. Miranda was an ideal vehicle to demonstrate that their accusations and insults were the BS that plagued the bloggernacle -- not my much derided "antics." I did you a favor, pal.

But it was all much more than just my portrayal of Miranda. BoH was a great achievement because it gave those who pretend to care about the bloggernacle enough rope to hang themselves with.

Make no mistake: BoH wasn't BS; BoH was the BS-detector.

It is judgmental, "community" focussed people like you who came out smelling bad -- not the BoH conspirators. I'm as proud of BoH as I am of anything I've participated in, and I'm as proud to be associated with Steve, Brian, Christian, Allison, and Naomi in this way as I am with just about anyone. They're great people that I regard with immense respect -- more respect than anyone else in the bloggernacle, to be sure.

So don't feed me your rubbish about excuses, confessions, apologies, etc. Celebrate somewhere else.

DMI Dave,

DKL just posted a comment. I think in the interest of truth-in-advertising, you've got to change your post's title now . . .

LOL, Kaimi. I wonder if we can now call DKL an apologist. (grin)

Kaimi, surely that is a non sequitur.

Just got back from the movies…. We'll I generally like DKL's stuff and also thought BofH was great. Yeah, we all knew parts of it were "fake" from the get-go, just turned out the whole thing was. It was fun. But DKL promoting Napoleonic Steve? That’s a little tough to swallow.

Steve EM
Banned from BCC for comparing some un-named GAs to W.
Perpetually banned from T&S for being alive.

"BoH wasn't BS; BoH was the BS-detector."

The defenses of BoH were the BS. BoH as BS-detector worked really well, after it was exposed.

Steve EM,

What makes you think you won't be banned after death too?

Adam,

Actually I haven't tried your site in a long time and assume I'm still banned there. If so, since T&S hasn't figured out a plan of salvation yet, I'm afraid I'm stuck to live forever in my sins.

Speaking of BS, aren't you overdue for a pOrn rant?

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