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Is a lot of academia just professional bullshitting?
I'm writing an essay on Bitcoin for my rhetoric class, and I have consulted seven periodical sources and four articles in academic journals. The periodicals generally tend to be more informative and more well written. Of the four academic sources that I have read, three have been utterly unintelligent, clunky hodgepodges of prose that regurgitated near-meaningless phrases like "It's simultaneously X and Not X; the paradox of the Bitcoin is that it's Y and Not Y!" One of them was 15 pages long and had an introduction that was effectively 4 pages in length, in which it said the same thing over and over again.... which it repeated in later paragraphs. How do people take this stuff seriously? It's a bunch of fuzzy-hand waving and rapid-fire name drops.
I read one good article on the semiotics of the Bitcoin (Maurer et al); it was thoughtful and genuinely interesting, and the philosophy was precise. It never regressed into "muh paradox" and it did a wonderful job arguing that the Bitcoin is value-latent -- its ideals are inherent to the code that generates it.
Was I just extraordinarily unlucky, or is academia mostly shit?
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Ok, I got a job as a technical writer in a big company. The problem is, I have no idea about commas and propper punctuation in general, articles while listing items in a running text are a problem as well. Now, I don't want to bother you with requests of any specific advice, but can you recommend me a good grammar book? Or is there perhaps the grammar book to go to?