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The world is awash in bullshit, and we're drowning in it. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. Startup culture elevates bullshit to high art. These days, calling bullshit is a noble act. Based on their popular, eponymous, course at the University of Washington, professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West catalogue bullshit in its many forms, explaining where bullshit arose in our evolutionary past and why it is ubiquitous today. Calling Bullshit offers readers the tools to see through the obfuscations, deliberate and careless, that dominate every realm of our lives. In this lively guide Bergstrom, a computational biologist, and West, a statistician, teach us that calling bullshit is crucial to a properly functioning social group, whether it be a circle of friends, a community of academics, or the citizenry of a nation.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780241438107
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 4 Aug 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.3(L) x 2.4(W)
Weight (gm): 407

 

Reviews

A modern classic that is troubling in some places, sobering in others, and enlightening from beginning to end. . . Bergstrom and West leave the reader feeling a very particular kind of smarter: the empowered kind. . . Calling Bullshit explains everyday quirks like Gladwell's Blink does, but it both demands and offers more than anything in the Gladwellian tradition. It works anywhere, for anyone: the academic, the citizen-scientist, citizen-skeptic, and citizen-curious * Wired *
Essential reading. Even if you feel you can trudge through verbal bullsh!t easily enough, this book will give you the tools to swim through numerical snake-oil. . . I was given a fleeting, dizzying reminder of what it once felt like to be a free agent in a factual world -- Simon Ings * The Telegraph *
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
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
A helpful guide to navigating a world full of doubtful claims based on spurious data. Using clever anecdotes, nods to online culture and allusions to ancient philosophy, the book tells ordinary readers how to spot nonsense-even if they are not numerical whizzes * The Economist *

Takes the reader behind the carefully drawn curtain of disinformation artists, politicians and advertisers ... West and Bergstrom excel in training readers in the practice of spotting BS. It's a bootcamp

* E & T Magazine *

 

Author Biography

Jevin D. West (Author) Jevin West is a data scientist and Associate Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He is Director of the Center for an Informed Public and co-founder of the DataLab. His research focuses on misinformation in science and society. Carl T. Bergstrom (Author) Carl Theodore Bergstrom is a theoretical and evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research focuses on the flow of information through biological and social networks.
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World
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