Slytation: Form of "citation" - An unsearchable reference that may be used to support any claim, reasonable or unreasonable, to advance the point-of-view of the author.
How to produce a good slytationEdit
First, start with a good claim. A good claim is one that nobody understands in the first place. This makes people think they're stupid and that you're smart. If you can throw in a little Latin or French, that's great. Nobody can dispute claims that only God would know - like what someone felt, or what motivated them to think or act a certain way.
A good slytation has the following qualities:
- It's an obscure book, magazine or newspaper article. Something that is out-of-print is a good choice. If you have the only surviving copy, that's better yet.
- It's written in a foreign language. The more obscure the language the better. You can always argue technical points about the quality of the translation. Better yet, provide the translation yourself.
- It's was written so long ago, nobody living could possibly have a copy or even care what it says.
- Self-referencing sources also make good slytations.
- Especially important: abundant opinion can be placed right in the slytation itself so that it appears to be part of the book or article that nobody can read. Don't worry, nobody's really going to check.
Example of a slytationEdit
Gut feeling: Rudolf Steiner was a racist.
Claim: (from our good friends at Wikipedia): "(Rudolf) Steiner believed that humanity is made up of individuals first and foremost, each of which exists sui generis (as a unique entity unto him or herself); and that each individual's evolving soul and eternal spirit pass through successive physical incarnations in changing settings and races. For Steiner, of these three elements of every individual, body, soul and spirit; race and ethnicity are thus transient characteristics, associated with the body used for a particular incarnation, rather than essential aspects of the individual. Moreover, even in a given lifetime's bodily sheath, racial differences are minor influences compared to more individual factors."
Slytation: Nevertheless, racial differences present in the physical body are "mere trifles by comparison with differences in individual gifts and skills"; "We are equal as human beings" through all bearing a human countenance and form. "... as regards ... what is independent of our bodily makeup we are all individually made; each one of us is his or her own self, an individual. With the exception of the far less important differences that show up as racial or national differences ... but which are (if you have a sense for this you cannot help noticing it) mere trifles by comparison with differences in individual gifts and skills: with the exception of these we are all equal as human beings ... as regards our external, physical humanity. We are equal as human beings, here in the physical world, specifically in that we all have the same human form and all manifest a human countenance. The fact that we all bear a human countenance and encounter one another as external, physical human beings... this makes us equal on this footing. We differ from one another in our individual gifts which, however, belong to our inner nature." Steiner, Education as a Force for Social Change Hudson 1997, lecture of 23 April 1919.