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Education Books

University Offers Course To Help Sniff Out and Refute 'Bullshit' (engadget.com) 402

An anonymous reader shares an Engadget report: There's now a course at the University of Washington, "Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data" that helps you find bad information and show others why it's bad. The instructors, Professors Jevin D. West and Carl T. Bergstrom, jokingly write that "we will be astonished if these skills do not turn out to be among the most useful ... that you acquire during the course of your college education." They add that the intention is not to be political, as "both sides of the aisle have proven themselves facile at creating and spreading bullshit." The intention, then, is to arm students (and the public if they want) with the tools to combat a scourge of misinformation that's aided and abetted by social media.
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University Offers Course To Help Sniff Out and Refute 'Bullshit'

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  • Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:23PM (#53906173)

    They already had this. It's called citing your sources and peer review. We also used to have open discussions but those got shut down in favor of safe spaces. Now you can't say shit without some snowflake getting their feelings hurt because, you know, feelings are more important than the truth and stuff.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Now you can't say shit without some snowflake getting their feelings hurt because, you know, feelings are more important than the truth and stuff.

      I sexually identify as a snowflake, and this triggers me!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I sexually identify as a gun. Trigger me all night long, baby!

    • For many of us, a peer group can sometimes be biased as well. Being able to tell which is and which is not is refreshing.
    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:02PM (#53906489)

      Back when I was in middle and high school, we were taught basic aspects of conducting research, such as differentiating between primary and secondary source materials. We were also taught how to cite sources appropriately, and when our papers were graded, the biggest penalties (short of plagiarism) were for things like failure to cite, or to present opinion as fact.

      Of course, being just lowly teenagers not yet at a university, things like peer review didn't really apply. At the end of the day, our projects were still shitty essays on familiar topics that were not even remotely close to being candidates for publication anywhere except the confines of the classroom. But my point is that these things are skills that can be taught, and are for the most part, generally taught to varying degrees of success, but in this day and age, I am not entirely sure it is enough, because I believe that students frequently fail to make the connection between the critical thinking processes behind academic research, and the critical thinking that should be applied when evaluating issues we encounter in real life.

      And this, I would argue, is how educators should help their students to bridge this gap. Mere access to information is inadequate, because citing your sources and having peer review is not sufficient when one is not able to discern what is reliable and unreliable information. More information is not necessarily more ACCURATE information.

      As for your emotional screed about safe spaces and "snowflakes," I find it quite telling that you chose to go that route, as it suggests an ideological agenda on your part. It certainly does not reflect a dispassionate or objective means to address the difficulty that the general public would appear to have in distinguishing what is credible information from propaganda.

      • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gtall ( 79522 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:27PM (#53906651)

        Citing sources is no panacea, the BS artists will only cite each other in circular jerk of stupid citing.

        Whether we like it or not, it comes to chains of trust. Sources such as proper news organizations need to be properly compensated for the money it takes to properly vet stories. And right and left wing-nuts shouldn't have any gravity associated by the rest of us with opinions about "fake" news from those sources they don't like.

        The push for private grade school and high school education over public education will only make the problem worse. Many of those private schools are only interested in providing thought silos so that kids cannot ever get honest opposing views. Hiding behind "religious freedom" becomes merely a term for hiding behind ignorance.

        • Many of those private schools are only interested in providing thought silos so that kids cannot ever get honest opposing views.

          Kind of like how the public schools and colleges have been doing for decades now with the progressive views and agendas....?

          Hell, you try to espouse anything remotely conservative in one of the public school "thought silos", and you get shouted down and silenced. At colleges, the situation is even more harsh where you risk violent protests and physical violence at worst, or pos

    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by racermd ( 314140 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:04PM (#53906501)

      Back when I was in school (when the Earth was still cooling) this was called, "Critical Thinking." It wasn't given its own dedicated program as it was intertwined with everything else being taught. It's not just citing sources and peer review, though. It requires one to analyze why someone is saying what they're saying. Put another way, it's critical to question the motivations of the communicator as much as it is to question the veracity of the message, itself. The best bullshitters are able to use cherry-picked, real, verifiable facts to back up their claims. Their messages only fall apart if one questions their motivation and looks for additional data to fill in a larger picture.

      It seems as though this basic skill stopped being taught in primary and secondary schools and replaced with ignorant structures that teach only to standardized tests.

      Basic comprehension and competency isn't really enough. A good education teaches you facts and provides knowledge. A GREAT education teaches you how to teach yourself. Having an open mind and being willing to admit being wrong in the face of new evidence is what separates the latter from the former.

      • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:45PM (#53906735)

        Back when I was in school (when the Earth was still cooling) this was called, "Critical Thinking."

        Indeed. "Critical thinking" used to mean recognizing logical fallacies and other flaws in reasoning. Unfortunately, the term has become meaningless through misuse. Today, it is often used to describe normal deductive logic and problem solving, which is not the original meaning of the term. Wikipedia lists nine different definitions [wikipedia.org], some of which contradict each other.

      • And they called it that. Recently there's been a movement to cut down on this kind of teaching in favor of more on the job training. This is a reaction to that.
    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:10PM (#53906533)

      Protip: if your "truth" winds up offending lots of people, there's a good chance it's actually just your own shitty opinion. And, y'know, it's fine to have shitty opinions, it's even often fine to spout your shitty opinion out loud, it's just not a good idea to delude yourself into thinking that shitty opinion is "truth".

      Furthermore, if you then feel the need to call people who object to your shitty opinion "snowflakes", there's a good chance that you're actually as sensitive, if not more so, than the people who are telling you where to stick your shitty opinion.

      • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by octothorpe99 ( 34654 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @03:02PM (#53906833)

        Protip: if your "truth" winds up offending lots of people, there's a good chance it's actually just your own shitty opinion. And, y'know, it's fine to have shitty opinions, it's even often fine to spout your shitty opinion out loud, it's just not a good idea to delude yourself into thinking that shitty opinion is "truth".

        Furthermore, if you then feel the need to call people who object to your shitty opinion "snowflakes", there's a good chance that you're actually as sensitive, if not more so, than the people who are telling you where to stick your shitty opinion.

        Was this true when a minority spoke out about slavery, or segregation, etc?

        • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @03:53PM (#53907115)

          "Good chance" != "Absolute certainty". I'm not saying every unpopular opinion ever has been wrong. I'm saying that, probably, an offensive "truth" is, in fact, just an unpopular, and shitty, opinion.

          For example: I think you're trolling. I'm not saying it's true that you're trolling... I haven't done an extensive double-blind peer-reviewed independently-verified to confirm it, I'm not saying anyone who disagrees is an idiot, I'm just basing that on my (possibly inaccurate) perception that you're using those who fought against slavery as a defense for those who fight for racism. It's my shitty opinion, that's all it is, and I'd be an idiot to assume more right now.

          If, in a few hundred years, society has rebuilt itself around a shared, accepted belief that you're trolling, then hey; maybe it turned out this shitty opinion was a truth. That doesn't mean I get to call it truth now.

    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:14PM (#53906555)

      They already had this. It's called citing your sources and peer review.

      Having read countless research papers that fit your criteria, I can tell you that citing your sources and being peer reviewed are not nearly sufficient. They're necessary steps, to be sure, but I've read more than my fair share of papers from conferences or journals, some even associated with reputable organizations, that were nothing but complete bunk. What you need are citations to trustworthy sources and to be reviewed by trustworthy peers.

      And that's the crux of the issue: this is about establishing a network of trust. Citations and peer reviews are an important part of that process, but the notion that they are sufficient in and of themselves misses the point. After all, how is a layperson supposed to know that the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a reputable professional society that has strict ethical and legal obligations, and that the information attributable to it is likely to be trustworthy, but that the American Association for Mechanical Engineers (AAME, which I hope is a fictional entity, but who I apologize to if they actually exist) is a front that's been created by a group to push its own agenda? We see this sort of thing happening all the time in medical, environmental, and other fields that are overshadowed by partisan politics.

      Moreover, even if we do manage to establish a network of trust, we still need people to actually trust it in order for it to be useful. How do we do that? By teaching them to think critically and to recognize BS. When they do, they'll naturally gravitate towards trustworthy sources that provide verifiable information. With a world full of people espousing "alternative facts", the very notion of a network of trust can become political, so it's important to train people to pursue the truth even when it doesn't jibe with what they want to believe, otherwise they'll be perfectly content reading peer-reviewed nonsense filled with citations to worthless publications.

      It's a shame that fact-based reporting and analysis has become viewed as politically driven, but that's the world we live in. I do agree that citations and peer reviews are necessary, useful tools, but we need to train people to not only use those tools but to also recognize when there's a problem causing them to come up short.

    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <<mojo> <at> <world3.net>> on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:17PM (#53906573) Homepage Journal

      Holy shit dude, you didn't even read the first sentence of the summary. Is this the new normal on Slashdot, only reading the headline?

      Since you missed it, the course is called "Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data". So it's about making unfounded conclusions from big data sets. Citations won't help, peer review might but there have to be some clued up peers first and that's what this course is about.

      I guess somehow even the headline triggered you and you went off on a rant about safe spaces and snowflakes, but actually it's much more interesting than that.

      • Holy shit dude, you didn't even read the first sentence of the summary. Is this the new normal on Slashdot, only reading the headline?

        Yes, and with an ID of 196126, you really shouldn't be that surprised by this. Seems 140 chars is the new limit on attention spans.

      • "So it's about making unfounded conclusions from big data sets"

        Lets look at the syllabus. http://callingbullshit.org/syl... [callingbullshit.org]

        I don't draw the same conclusion as you. Do you still hold the same conclusion?

        I believe "Age of Big Data" is just a catchy title.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 )

      They already had this. It's called citing your sources and peer review. We also used to have open discussions but those got shut down in favor of safe spaces. Now you can't say shit without some snowflake getting their feelings hurt because, you know, feelings are more important than the truth and stuff.

      Yes, Trump (the biggest snowflake of all) and his followers are easily upset by things like the Truth and "things they don't like / understand".

    • Nice bait and switch. Citing sources and peer review, pretty much the antithesis of the new right that claims global warming is a hoax, Trump inherited a mess, U.S. have been practically inviting terrorists into the country, etc. The ones who call any news they don't like "Fake News", which now includes the entire mainstream media and select parts of Fox News.

      "feelings more important than truth" Give me a break. In what universe are you living that "conservatives", who apparently are all on Breitbart an

  • You think more curriculum and snobbery will solve this problem? Do tell!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You think more curriculum and snobbery will solve this problem? Do tell!

      Thank you for standing up and showing that ignorance is just as valuable as education.

    • To question is good. To think is good. To leave decisions to others? Follow me.
  • I call bullshit on this...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hardluck86 ( 2653957 )
      <quote>I call bullshit on this...</quote>

      Totally saw that coming and am slightly annoyed you beat me to it...
    • Universities are currently where critical thinking goes to die in in many departments. So pardon my skepticism at their ability to teach something they don't PRACTICE within their halls.

      • Universities are currently where critical thinking goes to die in in many departments.

        ... and now with Betsy DeVos the U.S. Secretary of Education ... Grizzly bears are now on notice.

        (and Mama Grizzly [wikipedia.org] is reportedly concerned about attending parent/teacher night)

  • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:29PM (#53906221) Journal

    Schools should teach all pupils to be able to spot fallacies, and encourage them to castigate those who use them. A world without fallacies would be a world where trump couldn't be president.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are formal fallacies and informal fallacies. Outside of rigidly defined formal logic like math or restructuring into syllogism, there are no formal fallacies.

      For a person with that handle you really ought to learn the difference and why it matters. Even in your post, there are several to choose from including the fallacy fallacy, non sequitur, ex post facto, appeal to consequence, appeal to popularity, appeal to ad hominem, non sequitur, and an existential fallacy.

      Formal fallacies are difficult to app

      • by VorpalRodent ( 964940 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @03:45PM (#53907063)

        I run into the same issues with my wife - who does not understand things like the limitations of the conversion of a proposition; consequently, she does not understand me, for how can a woman expect to appreciate a professor of logic, if the simplest cloth-eared syllogism causes her to flounder?

        For example, given the premise, 'all fish live underwater' and 'all mackerel are fish', my wife will conclude, not that 'all mackerel live underwater', but that 'if she buys kippers it will not rain', or that 'trout live in trees', or even that 'I do not love her any more.' This she calls 'using her intuition'.

        I call it 'crap', and it gets me very irritated because it is not logical.

    • It is a class, look at the web site.
    • Schools should teach all pupils to be able to spot fallacies, and encourage them to castigate those who use them.

      Fair enough. But let's not go too far with castigating, lest it become another logical fallacy known as ad hominem.

      In a perfect world it would be enough to point out the flaws in the argument, not the argumenter. Alas, the argumenter's reputation, good or bad, can be relevant if we want avoid wasting time on those who are disingenuous or incompetent. But when addressing an argument, let's not make the error of ad hominem or the opposite error of argumentum ad verecundiam (argument to authority.) In short:

      1.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:29PM (#53906223)

    Among members of the football and basketball teams, and pre-meds trying to preserve their 4.0.

    A so-called "classic" book called "How to Lie With Statistics" was published before I was born (and I'm old). That book has had plenty of successors.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:32PM (#53906243) Homepage Journal

    A conventional lie is detectable because of the network of falsehoods that must necessarily support a consistent sounding alternative picture of the world. Often the best way to detect a liar is to invite him to elaborate on his statements, until the entire fabric of falsehood is unsupportable.

    Bullshit doesn't try to create an elaborately self-consistent fabric of false beliefs. Bullshit doesn't even bother being consistent with itself. Bullshit persuade through the power of how it makes you feel in the moment, and as a bullshitter rattles on he keeps his audience enthralled moment by moment even as he contradicts himself.

    So to detect lies you need epistemological skills. To detect bullshit you need strength of character.

    • One has ones own perceptions, but to be able to see what is, and what is not is very useful.
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:19PM (#53906591) Homepage Journal

        As I get older I realize how big and difficult objective "truth" is. It's easy to get hold of bits of the truth, the challenge is to get hold of enough of the truth and enough kinds of truth to make sound judgments.

        That said, detecting bullshit is not intellectually challenging -- in fact I'd argue that's the defining characteristic of bullshit. Bullshit is easy to detect when it's aimed at other people. So why is bullshit so hard to resist when it's aimed at you?

        Because bullshit tempts you to believe what is easy, convenient and apparently self-serving. A person with perfect moral courage, who is incorruptibly fair-minded and objective, such a person would be completely impervious to bullshit. But all of us, no matter where we fall on the political spectrum, fall far short of that ideal.

        That's why advance-fee scams hoodwink people who manifestly have the intellectual ability to see through them ... when they're directed at other people. But as soon as the opportunity for personal gain enters the picture it becomes a struggle between greed and intellect. Even if your intellect is formidable it's useless to you once your greed is engaged.

        That's why I say detecting bullshit is an exercise in moral character.

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          As someone else said, lies are pretty easy to detect but you have to go find sources. It is amazing how media today does not provide actual sources, but layers of links to other sites repeating the same lie they themselves repeat. It is very time consuming to find actual truths, but I find it necessary today. Media has become masterful, sadly, at removing context to create a narrative based on a sliver of truth. Unfortunately, that is not the only way they lie (see below).

          You are right that good bullshi

    • The philosophy of logic - at least that is what the course was called when I took it. What you call BS others call "persuasion" - there are courses for detecting and/or implementing such techniques. You are correct in that it does not involve overt lies - but omission of fact, or redefinition of terms is definitely part of it. You are wrong when you state that you need strength of character to detect it, epistemological skills are essential.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:40PM (#53906305) Homepage
    1. College is the only means of success in modern society. trade schools and vocational professions are unsuccessful.
    2. college debt is normal, and shouldnt be questioned. you will become successful after college.
    3. college atheletes are students and not paid performers, despite lucrative contract deals with advertisers and meaningless classes.
    4. college deans command high salaries because they work hard and get results.
  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:43PM (#53906329)

    "Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies which will occupy you for two years. Together, they form a noble adventure. But I would like to remind you of an important point. Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education".

    - John Alexander Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Oxford University, 1914.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      It seems like this particular wheel gets regularly reinvented; when I was in higher education the most often cited work on this was the chapter of Carl Sagan's 1995 work "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" entitled "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" (PDF link) [fu-berlin.de] which, rather fittingly, opens with a quote from an even earlier passage on the subject:

      The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

        It seems like this particular wheel gets regularly reinvented

        Indeed. The college-prep school I attended in 7th grade back in 1980 had a unit in the Social Studies class everyone had to take and pass on Propaganda [wikipedia.org]. Roughly the same thing, as near as I can tell.

  • At last! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:43PM (#53906331)

    Now I can get my official degree as a bullshit-detector.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:50PM (#53906387) Homepage

    Part of the problem is that people can't detect BS. The other part is that they don't care. Once people have chosen a side, they tend to ignore information that disproves their assumed position. How do we deal with that problem?

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      How do we deal with that problem?

      Name-calling seems to be the preferred method - "Alarmist", "Denier", "Racist", "SJW", and of course "Deplorable".

  • by BenBoy ( 615230 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @01:54PM (#53906415)
    This seems like a good exercise in critical thinking, but it's a bit late ... shouldn't this be taught as a part of, say, language arts, sciences, etc. in the earlier grades? Even math should be poking at fallacious "divide by zero yields anything" proofs. Still, better late ...
    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      It definitely ought to be in the mandatory curriculum somewhere before students get to their mid-teens, and science classes are probably the best fit, or maybe whatever class any debating skills get put into where you are (if any). On the other hand though, putting it into religious education classes would actually be far more likely to get some interesting debates going that would help more students realise why it matters - not to mention providing some absolutely *hilarious* videos for YouTube! Sadly, t
  • This kind of course is amazing for those who are already looking to stretch their minds and fact-check their own beliefs. For people who are new to the idea and attend the course, it could potentially inoculate them against falling for stupid shit again and again.

    The big problem is that this inoculation is non-transferrable. This course will not be as helpful as you would think in showing your "casually racist uncle ... why a claim is bullshit." It won't help with the constant stream of false, gut-reacti
  • If kids could detect bullshit, wouldn't that undermine the entire student debt serf system?
  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:05PM (#53906505)

    What we need is AI that can do automated story/fact credibility analysis.

    Google is in the best position to develop this these days, maybe in a collaboration with IBM.
    Then is should be released as OpenAI so that people will believe the system's results.

    The system should consider factors such as:
    1) Logical/factual compatibility of statement/story elements with scientific/subject expert well accepted consensus knowledge.
    2) Logical coherence of statement/story
    3) Use of terms with clear unambiguous meanings from well-accepted theories/models of the world or aspects of it.
    4) Utterance theory: a theory of people and organizations as motivated actors with preferences and goals.
    Of course in human society one way to achieve one's goals is to influence the focus of attention, beliefs and behavours of other people and organizations.
    Uttering particular statements or stories (in particular situation contexts) is an effective way of influencing focus of attention, beliefs, and behaviours of others.
    So any system assessing credibility of statements/stories must be able to reason about who the utterer / source is, what their situation is, what their goals for attention, belief, behaviour influence are, and what the situation, disposition, and prior knowledge of the intended audience is.
    5) Theories of framing as a means of belief crafting and attention focussing and behavour influence. This is a particular sub-part of 2.

  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:05PM (#53906507)
    Happy that someone has stepped up and offered something meet an obvious need.
    Sad because the need exists. When did basic critical thinking stop being something that even freshmen university students came already equipped with?
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:08PM (#53906525) Homepage

    Next year we find out that everyone who took the course has since dropped out of college...and no one bats an eye at the irony.

  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:08PM (#53906527) Homepage
    When I was in college in the early 1990's, students had the choice of two instructors for the Intro to Psychology course: the instructor who taught it straight up or the instructor who screamed bullshit all the time. I took the instructor who taught it straight up and enjoyed the class. I had a friend who took the other class and she hated it because of the bullshit that the instructor pulled all the time.
  • by al0ha ( 1262684 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @02:10PM (#53906535) Journal
    The greatest benefit Bill Gates or Warren Buffet could leave to human kind is to use most of their money to fund a global free press foundation.
    • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      It's not as if B.G. and W.B. weren't themselves biased...
    • The greatest benefit Bill Gates or Warren Buffet could leave to human kind is to use most of their money to fund a global free press foundation.

      Yeah, with Democrat cronyist leftists like Gates and Buffet funding it there's no way it would have an ideological bias.

  • "nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest use to you in after life â" save only this â" that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view is the main, if not the sole purpose of education"

  • Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's a bullshit course.

  • Smells like bullshit.

    Now where is my certificate of course completion?

  • These Days (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @03:35PM (#53907011)
    In our post-modern society, we are shaped by our family and friends. To determine what is true, we rely on family and friends to help us. There is no longer any authority that we trust to tell us the truth. That make it harder to fight against fake news. I still believe that the facts are the facts and the truth is the truth, but we end up in these larger bubbles with friends and family miss out on hearing alternate viewpoints. That makes it easier for fake news to delude us and harder for us to determine the truth. We need to listen to the alternate viewpoints even if we disagree. I think that broad background along with critical thinking will help us determine whether a story is fake news or not.
  • that you have to teach people how to detect bullshit.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @04:38PM (#53907417)

    Other than the weather* and maybe traffic reports, quit reading / watching what passes for the news these days.

    It ceased being ' news ' a long time ago and evolved into sensationalism designed to grab as many viewers as it can.

    Even the Weather portion you have to take with a grain of salt. Especially if there is a hurricane or similar event going on. The media tend to cause more hysteria than anything.

    In my opinion, being misinformed is worse than being non-informed. The latter doesn't tend to whip folks into a frenzy like the former can.

    Quit watching / reading their bullshit and the problem will quickly fix itself.

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