Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Why bullshit is no laughing matter

In this era of fake news all around us, detecting is a major concern, and it looks like we are not very good at it.  I like the definition:

“…bullshit is something that is constructed absent of any concern for the truth.”

As the article explains below,

“Bullshit is much harder to detect when we want to agree with it.”

Why bullshit is no laughing matter

Gordon Pennycook |06 January, 2016 | aeon Continue reading


January 1, 2017 Posted by | brain, decision making, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

On Pseudo-Profound Bullshit

Excellent scientific paper “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit“, nicely summarized for the layman in “Link found between low intelligence and falling for pseudo-profound statements. And conspiracy theories.”  Worthy of nomination for the Ig Nobel prize.

There is indication that people whose pattern-recognition is in overdrive (i.e. see patterns where there are none) are more likely believe in conspiracy theories.  Finding meaning where there is none may be an extension of that.

I think I am going to go and re-watch Peter Seller’s Being There.

December 3, 2015 Posted by | behaviour | , , | Leave a comment