I just read Harry G. Frankfurt’s On Bullshit.

According to Mr. Frankfurt, bullshit is different from lying or falsity. The liar is aware that something is true or false and acknowledges the value of truth by intentionally masking it.

A bullshitter shows a complete disregard for truth. Factual accuracy and shared principles are largely irrelevant. What they want you to think about them is everything. A bullshitter bullshits instead of some harder work like physical effort or disciplined thinking.

Bullshit is a greater danger to our world than lying.

It’s a good essay!

The 2007 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates world wide that technology is one of the most trusted industries and entertainment/media one of the least.

As someone whose career straddles both industries, I find those results challenging. What is the basis of our trust in the technology sector? Edelman concludes that technology is seen as forward looking, providing value and not saddled with things like environmental concerns. Whereas media is wrapped up in celebrity.

With all the obsolete hardware, used batteries, unecessary packaging, raw materials required for manufacture, and global transportation the tech sector drives it’s a stretch to say we don’t contribute to environmental degradation. The technology industry also contains its fare share of inflated product development claims and other anti-competitive practices as well as supply and customer service issues. However, in the cliche’ of evil empires there is a sense in these things that technology firms believe they are doing right or, at least, know they are doing wrong.

Perhaps consumers agree with Mr. Frankfurt. They’d rather have technologists lie to them than celebrities bullshit them?

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