I focus on unclarifiable unclarity in particular in preparation for a further inquiry into bullshit that addresses the question why so much of that particular kind of bullshit is produced in France.”

G. A. Cohen, ‘Deeper Into Bullshit’


Barthelme, asked by a student how to become a better writer, suggests reading the entire history of philosophy ‘from the Presocratics up through last semester’. The student worriedly replies that Barth has already advised his class to read all of literature, ‘from Gilgamesh up through last semester’.

‘That too,’ Barthelme agrees, and adds: ‘You’re probably wasting your time on eating and sleeping. Cease that, and read all of philosophy and all of literature. Also art. Plus politics and a few other things. The history of everything.’

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

Joseph Stiglitz