The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit
Bullshit is the foundation of contaminated thinking and bad decisions leading to health consequences, financial losses, legal consequences, broken relationships, and wasted time and resources.
No matter how smart we believe ourselves to be, we’re all susceptible to bullshit—and we all engage in it. While we may brush it off as harmless marketing sales speak or as humorous, embellished claims, it’s actually much more dangerous and insidious. It’s how Bernie Madoff successfully swindled billions of dollars from even the most experienced financial experts with his Ponzi scheme. It’s how the protocols of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward resulted in the deaths of 36 million people from starvation. Presented as truths by authority figures and credentialed experts, bullshit appears legitimate, and we accept their words as gospel. If we don’t question the information we receive from bullshit artists to prove their thoughts and theories, we allow these falsehoods to take root in our memories and beliefs. This faulty data affects our decision making capabilities, sometimes resulting in regrettable life choices.
But with a little dose of skepticism and a commitment to truth seeking, you can build your critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills to evaluate information, separate fact from fiction, and see through bullshitter spin.
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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7