Originally Posted by Val
I started reading that article earlier today and will finish at lunchtime. This paragraph struck me:

No one but me knows he fakes being well-read by thumbing through the first and last chapters of any book he hears about and obsessively devouring reviews in lieu of the real thing. He does this not because he’s incurious, but because there’s a bigger social reward for being able to talk about books than for actually reading them.

I think that it needs to be pointed out that he is essentially using the old bond trader's cheat sheet approach to social occasions.

So, it's certainly a valid technique that has a proven track record.