ophistication is one of those personal attributes, like a sense of humor, that all persons claim for themselves whether deserved or not. Sophistication has many ironic properties and thus few genuine synonyms. Intelligence is not one of them. Knowledge does not qualify at all. Intellect comes close but watch out. Complexity works -- but for things not people.
Fasten your seatbelt: I have yet to meet a sophisticated engineer. Maybe one will come along tomorrow, but meanwhile, that let-me-fix-this-guillotine stereotype applies. The things engineers build and the things engineers do are often sophisticated indeed. So right there is one of sophistication's many ironies for you.To provide an in-depth answer to the question "What is sophistication?" might take a lifetime. My only credential in the subject is a lifetime already spent writing things and saying things and hearing the complaint, "That's too sophisticated." So apparently sophistication, unlike intellegence and beauty and wealth, is not all that good, else the expression "too sophisticated" would not make sense.
As an introduction, I shall propose three attributes for sophistication:
t appears that sophistication will be found as an alternative in any number of dichotomies -- not necessarily as one of the opposites in paired extremes, but a conceptual waypoint marking philosophical pathways with many forks and angles, thus...
rying to define sophisticaton has left me out of breath. Given the darker attributes of sophistication, I have no doubt that the larger effort will take place in the exploration of the exclamatory query "...then what!" There remains much to do...
The title question brought about the first appearance in 1996 of S:TM's department of "Never Answered Questions" and continues as a private challenge for the author.
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