On not being deceived by bullshit

Continuation from the Dealing with BS thread.

Here’s a set of 56 lecture snippets (five to fifteen minutes each), by a tag team from University of Washington. References Frankfurt as well as people who disagree with him. Quite worthwhile IMO based on the first few.


Here’s the Cohen paper referenced in the early segments. Cohen differs with Frankfurt in being more concerned with the substance of the claim than the motives of the person making it.

Cohen- Further into Bullshit v4.0.pdf (53.0 KB)

“Second order bullshit” - good one.

A Carl Sagan book is mentioned. It’s available as a free pdf. The Demon Haunted World

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It’s all bullshit_meter-300x157

and don’t forget it! Yeah, I’m cynical. STCW; Bridge watch alarms; BST; USCG medical certificates; group-think; endless inspections; radar recert using rapid radar plotting in the age of ARPA/ECDIS; ship security officer; no self-protection weapons on ships in pirate waters;
waste-management inspections in every port; port state inspections after COI inspection in previous port; STCW leadership skills. Glad I’m retired.

Don’t get me wrong, having knowledgable and competent mariners is good. Having "inclusion & diversity?? Not so much. I use to ask this question aboard ship: "What is the benefit, in and of itself, of diversity & inclusion? How does that enhance maritime skills? I never got a satisfactory answer.

Leave the social experiments on the dock. Just have competent mariners-who know how to swing a wrench, or tie a knot!! (and all the other obvious skill-sets needed)

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According to the video what you’re doing here is “calling bullshit” which is a much broader range than bullshit as defined here. One category of “calling bullshit” is things someone doesn’t agree with.

Bullshit involves language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence.

Calling bullshit is a performative utterance, a speech act in which one publicly repudiates something objectionable. The scope of targets is broader than bullshit alone. You can call bullshit on bullshit, but you can also call bullshit on lies, treachery, trickery, or injustice.

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From Cohen:

…being a merely sufficient condition of unclarifiable unclarity, it does characterize all cases of the latter

I believe he intended “…does not characterize…”