“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves.”
“Bullshit is everywhere. There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullshit. Not all of it is bad… your general, day-to- day, organic, free-range bullshit is often necessary. But then there’s the more pernicious bullshit… Your premeditated, institutional bullshit, designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bullshitocracy.”
“We live in an era of unprecedented bullshit production. The more polite among you might call it poppycock or balderdash or claptrap, but the concept remains the same, and the same coursing stream of crapulence washes over us all, filling our eyes and ears and thoughts with clichés, euphemisms, evasions, and fabulations. Never in history have so many people uttered statements that they know to be untrue. Presidents, priests, politicians, lawyers, reporters, corporate executives, and countless others have taken to saying not what they actually believe, but what they want others to believe – not what is, but what works.”
“We now live in a world where counter-intuitive bullshitting is valorized, where the pose of argument is more important than the actual pursuit of truth, where clever answers take precedence over profound questions.”
“I’m on a war against bullshit. Not other people’s bullshit. That war is unwinnable. Everyone lives in their own private bullshitorium and they will never leave it even to say “hello” to you. But my own bullshit — I can’t stand when I’m thinking or saying something and then I realize, “I just lost the battle against my own bullshit, ONCE AGAIN.”
“… The good news is this. Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy - and their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time, like an “I Spy” of bullshit. The best defense against bullshit is vigilance... So if you smell something, say something!”
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