Calling Bullshit

“Calling Bullshit” is a website developed by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West intended to teach students and the public to be able to spot and evade bullshit. It features videos of 10 1-hour lectures [presented in shorter segments] of a course given by them at the Information School, University of Washington, in Spring 2017.


Since their goal coincides with my goal of “Escaping from Bullshit,” I will review and comment on their performance.

Their approach suffers from omissions. One type of bullshit, which their lectures suffer from, is dealing with relatively unimportant topics. What are the important topics which they omit discussing? Institutions. They do talk about one institution — science. In video 7.6, they ask: is science bullshit? But they never talk about other institutions. They never ask questions such as: is capitalism bullshit? or, is liberal democracy bullshit? or, is the U.S. Constitution bullshit?

In video 3.2, they ask: do food stamps cause poverty? And they point out that a correlation does not necessarily mean a causal relation. But they could have gone on to ask: well, what does cause poverty? But they do not.

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