December 18, 2015Posted by on
My recent post — Bullshit A Study1— came about from my reading an article on what the authors called pseudo profound bullshit. In it the authors claim a correlation between the acceptance of pseudo profound bullshit and intelligence. The claim that people of a lesser intelligence are prone to believe bullshit in any form received world-wide media attention. The reviews of the article in the media accepted this finding and implied that being endowed with a greater intelligence they would — of course — always disregard pseudo profound bullshit. In doing so the media endowed itself and their subscribers with a veracity born of a natural sagacity, conveniently ignoring their own and their readers ready acceptance of the bullshit the media disseminates.
Not so profound now! People who post inspirational quotes on Facebook and Twitter ‘have lower levels of intelligence’ Mail Online
In sourcing pseudo profound bullshit amongst the saying of a New Age2 guru, the article finds a correlation between its acceptance and those endowed with a lesser intelligence. Yet correlation does not, necessarily, imply causation. While the acceptance of pseudo profound bullshit may, in this case, reflect on the gullibility of New age philosophy followers, it’s quite a leap to correlate gullibility with a lesser intelligence.
The failure to recognition pseudo profound bullshit in government proselytising, is more about a government’s recognition that its gullible acceptance by the majority of the electorate will always be far greater than any intellectual criticism. Modern media communications is increasingly being manipulated by governments to influence public behaviour. In what are now fast becoming notional democracies, people are being fed on a diet of bullshit by their elected governments. The mainstream media, newspapers and television, are largely complicit in this propaganda. They may choose different political sides in any debate but their motivations are never altruistic or democratic.
Access to what people ultimately may believe as the truth is now firmly embedded in modern communications and especially the internet. Governments are well aware of this and constantly seek to curtail access to any information that it has not manipulated in its own favour.
In the weeks since the Investigatory Powers Bill was officially released, we’ve seen a lot of Government PR. They are trying their best to assure us that we have nothing to be worried about, but we’re not convinced.3