The Culture Of Bullshit: Lies Vs BS

The Culture Of Bullshit: Lies Vs. BS

The political underlying of the terms "bullshitter" and "liar."

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I am currently in a political science class titled "Fake News: How To Identify and Refute It" at Arizona State University. As a Journalism major it can be hard to sit through a two-hour class bashing on the news, however, it is beneficial to hear constructive criticism and learn the political psychology of our leaders.

In this course, we are currently analyzing the study of bullshit by Harry Frankfurt at Princeton University. The essay is called "On Bullshit."

Throughout our discussion, our class could not help, but see the parallels between this essay and what is going on in politics right now. According to Frankfurt, we are in the culture of bullshit.

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Although we have no theory for bullshit, it is very present in politics and the media. No matter where one stands, the facts are there are an abundance of lies told every day from the White House and there is fraudulent and fake media made by people trying to make a quick buck.

You might ask, what's the difference between a lie and bullshit? Or you might think there is no difference, but there definitely is and this is why the difference is crucially important for us to know.

A lie is the concealment of the truth and it has the intention to deceive. BS is a misrepresentation and a vague claim inspired by manipulation and motive. The bullshitter has an agenda.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news

The bullshitter is arguably more harmful than a liar. The bullshitter is more dangerous because it is not easy to refute bullshit. When someone lies there is a quick statistic or a rebuttal.

The danger in lying is many people do not fact check or question people of authority. The war between the media and the president has encouraged refraining from questioning. Instead, many call fake news on information they do not want to hear, even if it is the truth.

While lying is dangerous, a bullshitter is harder to detect. Bullshitters have a motive and they might use lying to get their way. A bullshitter's motive is to say things that they do not know anything about, but claim they do. Through their confidence, their supporters will believe them and maybe not even question them.

The bullshitter not only does not know the facts, but they also do not care to know. Their lack of concern for what's right is due to their need for persuasion and the goal of their motives.

joshuawindsor / Flickr

Through this study, Frankfurt determines that bullshit is intended to persuade without concern for the truth. This is where the bullshitter is different from the liar because a liar cares about the truth and this is why they are hiding it.

The bullshitter does not care if what they say, do, or represent is true or false. The bullshitter only cares where they have persuaded or convinced their audience to side with their motives.

I'll leave it to the audience to see the political parallel to this language along with the crisis of social media promoted fake news.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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