To revisit the topic from yesterday: popularity as it intersects with clarity, and the choice as to whether to make a work accessible. Yesterday I was writing about translation theory; today the question is more general.

We went to art school. Anything that was mainstream (i.e. popular) was not cool to the art students. The same trend occurs, no doubt, in conventional academic groups: popular ideas are suspect and not cool. Because it’s always cooler to be the questioner, the anti-force, right?

Of course, what happens at these institutions is that too develop insular sheepy thinking, but it’s just layered under the “we’re better than them” theory.  It’s just one step off the mainstream.

This preference for making things hard to understand is just normal group behavior, signifiers of belonging and all that. Groups develop their languages, indicating membership and status.

When Daniel and I started climbing together a year ago, we noticed how MUCH of a specific language climbing has- I already knew most of it from climbing as a teenager, and it was just dormant, waiting for reactivation.  I must have explained a hundred new words in the first month we were climbing.

2015-04-17 12.16.07

Posted by:brook delorme

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