We think we know bullshit when we hear it, but do we?
Two science professors give us the tools to dismantle misinformation and think clearly in a world of fake news and bad data.
Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. Start-up culture elevates hype to high art. The world is awash in bullshit, and we're drowning in it.
Based on a popular course at the University of Washington, this book gives us the tools to see through the obfuscations, deliberate and careless, that dominate every realm of our lives. In this lively, provocative guide, biologist Carl Bergstrom and data scientist Jevin West show that calling out nonsense is crucial to a properly functioning social group, whether it be a circle of friends, a community of researchers, or the citizens of a nation.
Through six rules of thumb, they help us to recognize when numbers are being manipulated, to cut through the crap wherever we encounter it - even within ourselves - and learn how to give the real facts to a crystal-loving friend or climate change denier uncle.
Calling Bullshit is an indispensable handbook to the art of scepticism.f scepticism.
Each of us now swims through deception so pervasive that we no longer realize it's there. Calling Bullshit presents a master class in how to spot it, how to resist it, and how to keep it from succeeding -- Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate
If I could make this critical handbook's contents required curriculum for every high school student (thus replacing trigonometry), then I would do so. I highly recommend Calling Bullshit for our modern existence in the age of misinformation, and regret only that I didn't think of the title for my own book -- Cathy O'Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction
The information landscape is strewn with quantitative cowflop; read this book if you want to know where not to step -- Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to be Wrong
I laughed, I cried -- to read Bergstrom and West's great examples of 'bullshit.' This is a gripping read for anybody who cares about how we are fooled (and how not to be), and the connection to numeracy and science. But it's also just great fun. This is a necessary book for our times -- Saul Perlmutter, Nobel Laureate
If you want to read what will surely be a classic, buy Calling Bullshit. It addresses the most important issue of our time: the decline in respect for Truth. It is also a literary masterpiece. Every page - indeed, every paragraph - is a new bit of fun -- George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate
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