The ability to identify and armor one's self against "bullshit" is one of the fundamental markers of growing up. For the purpose of this essay, we will accept the Pennycook-Cheyne-Barr-Koeler-Fugelsang definition for pseudo-profound bullshit as "...seemingly profound assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous"
Slinging bullshit seems to be on the upswing. It is easier to fabricate bullshit than to actually go through the tedious work of creating something that is value-added. The weak economy may be contributing to the trend. Scamming is an industry with low fixed costs.
A "nutrition company" is saturating the air waves with ads for a weight loss supplement. The line they use to nail down the sale is something like this, "It is a scientifically proven fact that loosing the first ten pounds greatly increases your chances of achieving your weight loss goals!!!!"
Wow! That is compelling. But let's look at it critically. How do you lose 20 pounds without first losing 10 pounds. If you are not able to lose 10 pounds then it is a near mathematical impossibility that you will lose any amount over 10 pounds.
The exception? I suppose you could amputate your leg. You would lose 10 and 20 pounds simultaneously.
One of the young adults I know got scammed by a debt consolidation firm (which no longer exists). The young person filled out a bunch of forms which allowed the "firm" to redirect all mail from debt holders to their PO box. They accepted monthly electronic transfers from the young adult and assiduously failed to transfer any of those funds to any debt holders. The "bullshit" line, "Obama gave us the power to reduce your monthly payments for student and consumer debt." Well, he has been writing many Executive Orders.
The young adult, who was just hanging on financially by her fingernails is about to get blown off the cliff. Her credit rating is trash. Her minimum credit card payments are through the roof. She has to get out of arrears on her debt payments. She is not alone.
Hey folks, keep your head in the game.