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Around Christmas time I found a dictionary of postmodern terms, which I didn’t buy on the spot. I planned to buy it later as it defined Linear Thinking as “Unfortunate, controlling, impoverished, male variety of thinking that’s all hung up on logic, evidence, chronology, causation, and pedantic in-the-head stuff like that.” Unfortunately I forgot the title and couldn’t find it on Amazon. It turns out the authors of the book edit a site I’ve been visiting every so often for the past few months, Butterflies and Wheels, and the book is called “A Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense”.

The dictionary is available on site. The book has over 500 entries but I don’t think that many are available on the web. I don’t know for certain. I could count them to find out, but that would be an appeal to Empiricism (absurd notion that observation and measurement are useful in getting to know about things).

I am open to the idea that postmodernism might have something useful to say if it’s done well. However the appeal to obscurity that is tolerated in academia means that there’s no particular need to do it well. In fact for many, doing it well and meaningfully would be missing the entire point. I was tempted to try and prove this, either by adapting the Postmodernism Generator to produce archaeological theory, or else give a computer generated conference paper. However, I’ve been beaten on this last point by a couple of people who created a CompSci paper generator and got one random paper accepted at WMSCI 2005.

Is it any good? You can try it out for yourself at SCIGen.

This could potentially have very positive uses. I’ve got an experiment running which I hope to report on in a couple of weeks.