Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Bullshit Factor

Liam wonders how he has become so jaded that he can't muster the energy to even go after the facts anymore. Given the energy he applies to posts on his blog it is a good question. As I began thinking about Liam’s question, it became clear to me that I share his problem. We don’t agree on politics which is surprising given his obviously high intelligence but that is another issue for another day. I, too, feel jaded and overwhelmed when it comes to sorting out fact from assertion.
I blame it on the media. I can remember when you subscribed to a newspaper for information. They used to collect facts and then organize them to provide background for the reader. I remember learning the five W’s (who, what, where, why, when) in journalism class (high school no less) and organizing the most important items at the top of the article. I don’t know what they are teaching anymore but what I learned doesn’t seem to be important when you attempt to learn about issues from the news and find assertions and bald claims but few facts (and these ‘facts’ are often incorrect (or misrepresented) when you go to the sources. Call it bullshiting.

DesignObserver courtesy of 2Blowhards raises the question of bullshit as a component of design. Do people buy good design or good bullshit? Is is more productive to be a good designer or a good bullshitter? Maybe the same thing goes for journalizm. Which gets you farther, good reporting or bullshitting?
And where have out bullshit detectors gone?

No comments: