There’s a Lot of it About (Bullshit)

There’s a Lot of it About (Bullshit)

[From the Archive: Originally posted at Jan 20, 2011]

[Update: The original source article is no longer available. This post now links to a Wayback Machine archived copy]

A key observation, and very germane to the worlds of IT, software development, product development and consulting:

Amplifyd from

Battling Bullshit 

One challenge is that “digital and media literacy” is a very broad area. Allow me to focus one small but essential sliver of the new, urgent literacy: bullshit detection.

Bullshit, you see, is everywhere. It is being produced, perfected, pontificated and pushed out at astounding rates by all manner of people and organizations. It spreads and multiplies. It morphs and mutates. People spew it, broadcast it, print it, tweet it, like it, blog it.

The bad news is there is too much bullshit. The good news — cue the theme to The Six Million Dollar Man — is we have the technology to defeat it. The strange news is that very same technology is also helping spread bullshit. Let me put it this way:

The Internet is the single greatest disseminator of bullshit ever created.

The Internet is also the single greatest destroyer of bullshit.

In between is a confusing world that is far less binary than the above construction. As that Concordia student put it, it’s a world that sometimes seems characterized by “too much.”

Which means all of us need to develop what Ernest Hemingway called a “a built-in bullshit detector.“ Universities need to teach the new literacy, to give people the tools to sniff out bullshit and practice the art of verification.


 – Bob

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