Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

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Sonic#
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Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by Sonic# » Thu Apr 26, 21:30 2018

Akin to this article, about pretending not to know a philosopher to avoid a tedious conversation about him: https://www.thehairpin.com/2016/07/the- ... .b99as6hxj

I pretended not to know Jacques Lacan one time so that I wouldn't have to get into a conversation about the mirror stage and all the things I don't know about psychology.

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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by DarkOne » Fri Apr 27, 7:11 2018

I have, but not in the context of the Žižek Game. There was this acquaintance who was into butting into conversations to correct and fact-check people and condescendingly explain jokes. It was very annoying, not just to me. A group of my friends ended up trying to bait this person into fact-checking us (in an effort to hopefully stop it.) I scored a couple of times, but the champ came up with claims that were so outrageous I couldn't understand how anyone would believe he was being serious, but he managed to get fact-checked on "I love Take Me Home, Country Roads by Journey", "Marsupial means 'from Australia'", and "The original prime meridian went through Zurich, Germany because they were so good at making watches." Of course, everyone else pretended to think he sounded legit. This acquaintance must've thought we were all idiots.
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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by spacefem » Sun Apr 29, 7:47 2018

I don't think I can do it. Years of engineering has drilled into my head that if I know something, zomg prove I'm smart and dive in! I'm actually trying to de-program my instinct to take a stab at something I do not know anything about. It's like a switch I can't turn off.

I've never heard of Žižek so I've got that going for me though.
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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by Enigma » Sun Apr 29, 10:14 2018

I have definitely. In situations where I think I can have more luck convincing a person of for example a political idea by gently guiding the conversation rather than reveal the actual level of my knowledge on the topic. Or I've thrown in "I think"s when really I know and have read 20 books on the topic to seem less aggressive/follow the flow of conversation/not be off-putting. This is also true for work knowledge ie when correcting someone to make them feel less attacked.
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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by geldofc » Sun Apr 29, 10:34 2018

At work I act dumb alllll the time. I am actually dumb too though ahaha. But acting dumb around people with different ideas, who I know won’t understand me, who I feel insecure around, or I get a feeling they might not like women is useful. It’s part of the fun of being a woman to me.👌
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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by Skeezy » Mon Apr 30, 13:46 2018

I can think of a couple ways I play dumb.

The most used is at work. I see truck drivers from all over the country. Occasionally a truck driver will start talking racially. He'll go out of his way to describe just how non racist he is. I kind of tune out the conversation after that. With whatever he's talking about, I'll give short and uninteresting answers to try and dead the conversation. Most of the time it works and sometimes they just keep rambling about how not racist they are.

2nd. I notice theres a lot of conversation battles I dont fight anymore. Debating different subjects online has kind of guided me to believe that you can't change peoples minds. So there has been a lot of offline conversations where I just dont even try, regardless of what I know or believe.

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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by rowan » Mon Apr 30, 14:49 2018

Definitely if I'm trying to tune out a conversation like that^

But otherwise I'm pretty bad at it. I'm trying to work on just listening rather than jumping straight to "solve the problem" mode.
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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by octarineoboe » Mon Apr 30, 15:55 2018

i LOVE that article and keep hoping I'll have a chance to try it in the wild...but I also brought up Foucault on a first date yesterday so, um, I think I might be the problem. :lol:

I've definitely used the same strategy as Enigma, softening something or presenting it as sort of an unconsidered opinion when I'm actually really sure I'm correct. I also this weekend let a sort of semi-condescending explanation of something just wash over me. I didn't pretend not to know anything, but equally I didn't make a point of the fact that I already knew.

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Re: Have you ever pretended you don't know something?

Post by Aum » Wed May 2, 3:00 2018

Over the years I've learned to subdue my brilliance because a lot of people completely miss the point of what I'm saying or they take it personally. As I get older I'm becoming like a wild animal that just wants to conserve energy whenever possible, which means meaningful engagements only. I've learned not to cast pearls before swine or try to explain things that are obviously above someone's level of comprehension. I don't mean that condescendingly... it's more to do with that I have always loved sharing knowledge and teaching people things, but now I know to only do it under certain circumstances. When I was younger I gave away far, far too much of my time and energy to people who really didn't deserve it. I'd practically go out of my way for them even if they didn't enthusiastically want it.

I guess what I'm saying is that I have better boundaries now about revealing myself.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.

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