Bullshit detector – A system for sorting truth from rubbish

3 min read…

We live in a world of information overload. Social and digital media are a breeding ground for fake news and misinformation. Even during this pandemic, we have received innumerable false cures, warnings of lockdown that prompt panic buying, and what not?

If you have ever received WhatsApp forwards claiming garlic can cure you of Covid19, or how steaming can kill the virus that’s already in your respiratory system, you know what I’m talking about. Probably, at some point, you’re guilty of sending a “legitimate-looking” news which turned out to be fake.

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With the advent of technology, there’s never going to be a dearth of information. We would – in one way or another – be exposed to too much data.

So, in life, how do you sort truth from rubbish? We all think we are good bullshit-detectors. In truth, we have poor systems for sorting truth from fiction and there’s no objective way to know how good/bad we are.

Nicole Reed

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, recommends using a specific system for sorting truth from fiction in his book how to fail at almost everything and still win big. The system recognizes that there are at least six common ways to sort truth from fiction. Individually, they are imperfect and inadequate but put together, they produce a valiant filter.

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While seeking truth, your best bet is to look for confirmation on at least two of the above dimensions. If someone claims they lost weight just by eating chips and chocolates but you tried the diet and just got fatter, you have at least two dimensions of disagreement. That’s a lack of consistency.

Also, to tackle any new and complicated problem, there’s one step we always do first if there’s a chance – ask a smart friend. A smart friend can save us loads of time and effort. You would already have one or two. If you do, you are lucky, and if not, fret not. You are only a Hello away from finding a friend. The world is at your disposal.

Let’s take a conscious effort to stop spreading fake news and misinformation.


We hope you liked this blog. What is your ONE takeaway?

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– Kavi & Ninja

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sri says:

    Great content. Hope you are safe 🙂

    Like

  2. Niranjan says:

    Hi Sri, thank you. I am fie, hope you are fine too. Take care.

    Like

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