Saturday, December 5, 2015

In the Land of the Hard Sell Bullshit is King

This piece from Vox on why people fall for bullshit is certainly interesting, and I recommend reading it, even if the researcher looking into the question might have narrowed his focus a bit much.

I say that that because there was so little indicated on how he might have looked into the larger aspects of what living inside an info-sphere who's main reason for existence is to sell us on one thing or another.

I would also question the degree to which his statement that "...The difference between bullshit and lying is that bullshit is constructed without any concern for the truth. It’s designed to impress rather than inform. And then lying, of course, is very concerned with the truth — but subverting it..."  might be true.

It seems to me that bullshit and propaganda have quite a bit in common, and, as anybody who's studied propaganda will tell you, the best propaganda always has some bit of truth in it. In this instance, however, it is only truth concerning something you care about, or are concerned about, and then how the puffery does a bait and switch on the solution to that care, or concern. And, of course, sometimes the selling is greater acceptance of the person as product, or merely a product in the more traditional sense.

And let us also not forget the degree to which the control of information flow has on how well we can discern propaganda from unvarnished truth. If your economic system necessarily has to limit the flow of information, precisely because it and money are the same thing, and the whole point of that system is net gain, just how free can that flow of a vital commodity be?

Why people fall for bullshit, according to a scientist