The hip literary and philosophical kids, such as those at HTMLGIANT, love the 20th century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Deleuze was a good writer, judging solely from the translations I've read, and had some decent ideas, but he was extraordinarily naïve. His naïveté resembles that of philosophers of various nationalities, especially these days.
For example, Deleuze says in his book Dialogues II that asking questions is pointless. He means particularly in the context of an interview or public dialogue, but this is just nonsense. He makes a subtle distinction, or twenty, about framing problems and the importance of doing that carefully. I understand what he's saying. But really, somebody who refuses the format of an interview is just a twit.
When my favorite writers (Kundera, Woolf, Rushdie) offer a new idea, they try to draw the reader in, use simplicity and directness, and sometimes present their notions in familiar formats. From Kundera's interviews, to the Socratic method, to the tabloid five-question format, humanity likes Q&A. Deleuze posits a world beyond that. Really? How about a world beyond bullshit like that?
Let's set our sights on getting some good questions answered well (can literature change humanity?) and then we'll address the format of Q&A. In Deleuze's world everyone sits around asking themselves what it means to ask themselves these questions, etc. Utopianism like that is impractical at best, and dangerous at worst.
Where's the danger? It's in good people doing nothing but writing or reading stuff like Deleuze. Important work needs to happen, ignorance-slaying work requires cycles of thought to accomplish, and Deleuze is telling us that Q&As don't suit him? Whatever.
I want to move the conversation forward too, but I don't think we need to redefine the meaning of the word conversation.