Saturday, January 09, 2016

The world is reborn in humble facts

A few weeks ago, in an email exchange on science and the Upanishads--yes, this blogger will gladly dish out opinions, upon request, on all things considered!--I added the following editorial comment:
BTW, the article mentions Deepak Chopra ... I am one of those who make fun of Chopra because he is yet another in a long line of people who have sold mumbo-jumbo to gullible Westerners and made a whole lot of money. 
The likes of Chopra prove over and over again PT Barnum's old line that there's a sucker born every minute!

Chopra is fun to beat up on because he is seemingly everywhere--on television, in print, and even on Twitter.   His outpouring of wisdom has made it easy for websites to automatically generate Chopraisms; the title of this post was generated by this site, where you, too, can have hours of fun.

Oddly enough, in this more literate world, people seem to be as gullible as ever before.  It is almost as if literacy and education has got nothing to do with thinking.  But then, on many matters people prefer Chopraisms and more because they seem comforting and reassuring.  Like how perhaps alcohol and drugs could make it seem like the problems go away.

We are forever ready to accept as truth if we want to believe in it.  A few days ago, a "cousin-in-law" had posted on Facebook something about Donald Trump, just because the content put Trump in such a bad light.  It was yet another case of if something is too good to be true, well, maybe it ain't true after all.  Despite my intense hatred for the fascist Trump, I commented that it was all an urban legend and referred him to a site that had the facts on that.

People believe in bullshit all the time, it seems.  The same people who are quick to point out the bullshit in another's belief willingly submit to bullshit that is consistent with their preferred view of the world.
So, how might you – the reader – vaccinate yourself against it?
You better figure out how to vaccinate yourself against bullshit because it seems like bullshit has been increasing at exponential rates and the growth rate does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.  Because:
We live in the age of information, which means that we also live in the age of misinformation.
So, what can you do?  Be on the alert, all the time.
Bullshit is much harder to detect when we want to agree with it.
Or, at least make sure you read this blog every single day--after all, it is a bullshit-free paradise ;)


6 comments:

Narayanaswamy S. said...

"People believe in bullshit all the time, it seems. The same people who are quick to point out the bullshit in another's belief willingly submit to bullshit that is consistent with their preferred view of the world. "

Bravo!

Sriram Khé said...

Hey ... about time you commented here ;)
Thanks for the "Bravo!"

Anne in Salem said...

"It is almost as if literacy and education has got nothing to do with thinking." It is more accurate to say that literacy and education have nothing to do with common sense. Also, literacy and education imply someone thought at some time in the past, sufficient to pass exams, etc., but does not imply that person continues to think. Thinking is hard. It sometimes requires self-evaluation, which sometimes generates a negative score. Thinking certainly requires a bit of research to derive a well-reasoned answer. Who wants to do all that work when Mad Birds are on one's phone and football is on the tube? Path of least resistance . . .

Sriram Khé said...

"Thinking is hard" ... indeed. it is hard work. Way easier to mindlessly do something ... it is depressing to realize that all that time and money invested in educating a person is for nothing then ... oh well ...

Don't yell about football on the tube--Ramesh will look away from watching basketweaving championship on TV only to rant against this post ;)

Ramesh said...

Bullshit Mountain, as Jon Stewart would say. By the way, amazing that the bloke has retired into something of a farmer, of all the professions !!!

Yes, Bullshit pervades and the age of information makes it easy for bullshit to spread. Yes, this blog is mostly bullshit free, but occasionally the author does dish out his own brand of it :)

Sriram Khé said...

Oh, I recall reading somewhere that Jon Stewart will be developing his show on some pay-cable thing ... he ain't going away from the show business.

Of course, but my bullshit smells divine ;)

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