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Will’s words

By William Skidelsky   December 2007

My f avourite moment in the Coen brothers’ comedy The Big Lebowski comes when Jesus Quintana walks up to the Dude in the bowling alley and says: “Liam and me, we’re gonna fuck you up.” (He’s talking about a bowling match.) “Yeah?” the Dude replies. “Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” The exchange nicely captures the confusion that increasingly surrounds the distinction between “hard” and “soft” knowledge, or things which are and aren’t provable. Attempting to take the sting out of Jesus’s statement, the Dude ignores the fact that he is making a prediction, and instead claims that he…

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