"This is an interesting avenue of thought. I should iron this out, and then write about it on that blog I allegedly maintain."
Who has time for ironing?
Can you computationally discriminate obscurantist nonsense from legitimately hard subject matter on a linguistic basis?
Kicked off by this post on Hegel. Are there linguistic (lexical, syntactic, whatever) differences between texts that are deliberately written to sound impenetrably profound, texts that are explaining something badly, and texts that are working with legitimately complex subject matter? Could you write a document classifier to discriminate between the different cases?
Related #1: is "bad communication" stylistically convergent (characterised by common amateurish mistakes), or stylistically divergent (the result of any number of deleterous mistakes, cf. the Anna Karenina Principle)?
Related #2: It's my observation that people emulate the written style of their influences. Is it possible to track this?
Why do people want to pathologically classify things?
I occasionally find myself in "multidisciplinary" study groups. Just recently I've been doing a "for fun" MOOC on political economy, and the discussion forums are particularly bad for a behaviour which I've noticed before but not thought about too much: obsessive classification. Is this an art or a science? Is this a positivist or an interpretivist approach? Is this a left-wing or right-wing idea? Is it holistic or reductionist? This seems to be universally pointless class of discussion. Why is it so pervasive?