What makes good ol’ bullshit?


Well the answer is not bulls… Last week I attended a rather academic conference, and as part of one of the keynotes (Jan Dietz) I had to listen to an academic explanation of what is bullshit… Yes, you read correctly: bullshit. So what is bullshit?

Well here is the official slide photographed…

I like the first and third comment very much. Let me repeat them here for the record.

Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about”
“Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are”

The second point makes sincerity sound like bad thing… which i am not sure i agree with, speaking truly about ones feelings, thoughts and desire can be a good thing, provided it is not about you.  However the focus of the sentence on the slide is on the shift from considering facts to personal beliefs certainly is not good…

For a much deeper discussion read Harry Frankfurt on “Bullshit”. Philosophers clearly have too much time on their hands…

Currently I am reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith‘s Trust Agents. When they discuss “trust signals” they make the following statement (p. 99) “People have very sophisticated bullshit sensors, and your intentions will be exposed, if not immediately, then later.” I could not agree more: a good reason for sincerity in the good sense of the word. So I was just wondering: if we are so good about sensing bullshit, why has it not been eradicated yet…

What characterizes bullshit for you? How do you know when somebody is bullshitting?

[PS. I hope you don’t think my blog is bullshitting you!]

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One Response to What makes good ol’ bullshit?

  1. Lizo says:

    LOL.. No Ofcourse the your blog is not bullshit. At leats here you know what you are talking about and it is true. 🙂

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