retrofitting context


Joe: "I hold that only mammals are capable of high level communication."

Dave: "Dinosaurs likely had feathers."

Joe: "I love you too, Dave."

We all know these kinds of exchanges, where as an outsider we are left scratching our heads, lost for the context required to understand why one participant just scored argument points.

Now what if we - as writers - turned the whole thing on its head? What if we started with a random stream of back and forth arguments and only later created a context that explained the scores?

We'd need:

Sample Discussion:

Joe: "If only you sit at the river long enough..."

Dave: "Well, yes, everything must die."

Joe: "No, I meant more like: everything is relative."

Dave: "Anyone can throw a rock."

Joe: ”That is a very naive view, almost like saying: Hackers are the modern Robin Hoods.”

Dave: "Birds can imitate most any sound."

Joe: "Oh, please, God does not roll dice.”

Dave: "But dinosaurs had feathers."

Joe: "Dogma is the last resort of Ignorance."

Dave: "Well, Karl Marx never paid Helene Demuth."

Joe: "I love you too, Dave."

Now the writerly fun would be to create a back-story for this exchange, so that what these two are saying actually made sense. Points are earned for making each reply be an intelligent and thoughtful response to the statement before - as opposed to simple catch-phrase remark.

(I admit that pure randomness in selecting the lines is rather limited. I was tempted to pick and choose lines that would already create some sort of intelligent argument. Given a limited number of lines to choose from, maybe that is a workable approach.)

Update: if you want to have a sheer endless source of meaningful sounding... phrases, you might want to check out the New Age Bullshit Generator. Just hit 'Reionize electrons' button on it's top.


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