The persistence of bullshit


Bullshit has become so ingrained in our culture, I mean the Western culture which happen to be the only one I really know, that it is almost like a universal currency. It is accepted everywhere at face value without questioning it. And don’t you dare to refuse it as you might be ostracized by the whole society. Forever. 

Let me first define what I mean with bullshit. Bullshit is everything that cannot be derived back from a non-factual, non-objective, or non-scientific source. It doesn’t have to be a lie per se. Bullshit can happen to be true, purely by coincidence, but that doesn’t mean that right when it was excreted and make it public one could figure out that it was true in an objective manner and not by a leap of faith. Bullshit is just something which origin cannot really be traced back to something or someone with some decent credentials, be a historical record, a subject-matter expert, or some other source where there is a general consensus that it is not bogus. 

I’m not going to go into the mechanics on how our exposure to bullshit has grown exponentially during the last decades because that could easily fill several scholar books. All I can say is that the governments and the media are the main culprits for this tragedy. Partly because they are in the business of creating content, not necessarily propagating the truth. Technology has only helped to mass produce bullshit so traditionally we have gone from jokers and comedians, which I deeply respect because their intentions are completely transparent and their craft is an art, to truly bullshitting multinationals. 

The tragedy is that the bedrock where our civilization lies, including our economic system, is a thick layer of a dry and disgusting substance. More worryingly we keep building on it. Perhaps that’s the true sign of decadence? When a civilization cannot paint over a white canvass anymore and keep painting over old and rotten paint? 

Recent World events have made me realized even further what I’m briefly touching here. Bullshit has no ideology. From any side of the political and ideological spectrum you get it; different flavors but same ingredients. I’m happy with that as I generally don’t expect anything these days from the media but from a personal level I have witnessed situations where small, petty, bullshit is shared like if it was Sterling currency. And don’t you dare to refuse it as you might be labeled as an extremely rude person. As I said earlier, bullshit is considered a universal instrument of exchange these days. If the Romans fell because they couldn’t devalue their currency anymore, then I don’t really know what’s next for us.