by Kim Pederson…….
The day after President Trump’s first state of the union address that for some reason they don’t call the SUA for a first timer, it seems appropriate to bring up the concept of deepity (thanks, Randy!). Deepity is a word not coined but adopted by philosopher Daniel Dennett. According to Wikipedia,
Dennett used “deepity” for a statement that is apparently profound, but is actually trivial on one level and meaningless on another. Generally, a deepity has two (or more) meanings: one that is true but trivial, and another that sounds profound and would be important if true, but is actually false or meaningless. Examples are “Que sera sera!” and “Beauty is only skin deep!”
Now that you know that, here, for your consideration, are a few phrases from President Trump’s address to Congress:
- A new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.
- We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
- I am going to bring back millions of jobs.
- The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.
- The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
- Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed.
One author who picked up on Bennett’s deepity idea is Stephen Law, who coined a term of his own: “pseudo-profundity.” He defines it this way: “Pseudo-profundity is the art of sounding profound while talking tosh. Unlike the art of actually being profound, the art of sounding profound is not particularly difficult to master.” One of the numerous ways to achieve pseudo-profundity, Law points out, is to spout deepities.
I’m guessing that many people, I among them, would be pleased as punch should the president’s promises to make our lives better, safer, and more affordable become reality. If that happens, I will be first in line at the crow deli for a big sandwich. If not, I see two choices. The first is to buy a gazillion copies of Law’s book Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole and start passing them out to everyone. The second is to order several pairs of hip waders to prepare for what’s coming. The first choice would take buckets of cash and a long-term commitment. The second would arrive in two days with free shipping from Amazon. Seems an easy choice, don’t you think?
* Hitchcock movie that introduced “Que Sera Sera” sung by Doris Day. Copyrighted by Paramount Pictures, Inc.. Artists(s) not known. – http://www.impawards.com/1956/man_who_knew_too_much.html, Public Domain,
Visit Kim Pederson’s blog RatBlurt: Mostly Random Short-Attention-Span Musings.