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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I wanted to write an authoritative article about trivializing as a way of life. But then I ran into a paradox for if you take trivializing too seriously, you cant seriously be trivializing any more. So, I decided to write about how to be mediocre at trivializing and suck at it. This is an excellent example of countering a paradox with another more complicated one. It is also, I consider, a brilliant articulation as it doesnt hint at excelling at trivializing (at least not at first sight) but at the same time if you suck at being mediocre at trivializing, then by implication, you would excel at it. It is like saying that you are not a truly world class loser unless your last failure is a suicide attempt.

There, I have done it again. I can do it with anything. "It" defined as trivializing. Initially, I defined it as an art mastered through years of practice. Then, I started to view it as a way of life. Almost a religion. But, now, I will attempt to reduce it down to a quasi-science.

But first, let me define it. As the prophet of trivializing, my definition supercedes all other definitions ever attempted or not attempted or thought to have been attempted. Even if it did appear in someone's brain patterns as a fleeting glimpse without being articulated, my definition supercedes it.

For trivializing to happen, three conditions have to be fulfilled. One, the conversation is either already serious, or taking a serious turn or could go serious. Two, you believe that important, though, the conversation is, it is meaningless in the larger cosmic scheme of things. And three, you are bored. When such a situation presents itself to you, you should firstly thank God and thereafter indulge in trivializing.

Now, I am going to define what exactly trivializing means. Trivializing is the art of impeding, with an ultimate aim to end, important and logical conversations (that satisfy the aforementioned three conditions) through the use of various logically consistent techniques all of which lead to the greater good but at the expense of some participant/s who have taken themselves a little too seriously. Such techniques are many eg. as a beginner, you can start by questioning the language, any word, grammer or the pronunciation. You dont even have to appear to be the master of the language as long as you can point out some unimportant flaw somewhere. But, here, I would limit myself to discussing only two very powerful techniques:

The first technique is to point out flaws that are logically consistent on a stand-alone basis but otherwise irrelevant to the topic at hand. For example, if some Indian cricket fan is arguing that Sachin Tendulkar is an all-time great based upon certain select statistics, you can respond with any of the below:

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive. What they conceal is vital.
How exactly would you define an "All-time great"?
Did you mean an "All-time Cricketing great"?
To declare somebody as an all-time great means taking a very grim view of the future.
The fact that you have to argue means that he isnt.
Let me think about it and come back by tomorrow?

Second technique is to steer the conversation away towards something frivolous using a tangential offshoot which is related to the original conversation in a manner that cannot be disputed. Using the same Sachin Tendulkar example, you can also respond as:

What kind of a name is that?
Then how come his voice is so squeaky?
I dont particularly care about the brands he endorses.
You remind me of the boy who argued too much. He is dead.
A wise man once said that when too much has been spoken and enough blood has been spilt, truth shall be known.

Now, you are armed and dangerous. Go out there and trivialize. Often, trivializing helps you and others see the bigger picture (Another paradox). But dont take it too seriously. All of us know what happened to the guy who took it too seriously. He became a politician.