How to Prep for Surprise Zoom Questions

You are at a boring Zoom meeting, and naturally, you are napping, or playing Word with Friends, or doing shots of tequila... anything but paying attention. And suddenly, you hear "I think [YOUR NAME HERE] can comment on this..."

Do you panic? Do you ask, "What was the topic?" Do you pretend to have been in the bathroom?

No way! Because you have prepared... by keeping a book by, say, Hegel, or Husserl, or Derrida, ready at your side, and reading this blog post.

When you hear your name called, just pick up the book, flip to any page (although avoid the editor's introduction, as it might be too comprehensible), and just begin reading. For example, picking a random page from Cartesian Meditations, I would read:

"The variation being meant as an evident one, accordingly as presenting in pure intuition the possibilities themselves as possibilities, its correlate is an intuitive and apodictic consciousness of something universal. The eidos itself is a beheld or beholdable universal, one that is pure, 'unconditioned,' that is to say according to its own intuition sense, a universal not conditioned by any fact."

At this point, 95% of the other attendees will be thinking:
  1. Gene must be very smart;
  2. I don't understand a single thing he said; and
  3. I sure don't want to admit that to others.
But perhaps there is some wise guy who asks you to clarify. No problem! Just say "Let me explain," flip to another random page, and start reading again.

Two rounds of that and I promise, you will never be asked a question at a Zoom meeting again!

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