On this website, I take Bullshit to mean "an attempt to bypass our better judgment". This can happen just by the use of words, but also through devices like body language, insistent music, fast-changing videos etc. It's a big problem because our emotional vulnerabilities and lack of savvy can lure us into bad or wrong decisions, as a result of which we suffer, both individually and in the societies we belong to.
We expect to get bullshit from salespeople, company directors and politicians, but there are other sources. News media are often tainted by their owners' interests, the tolerance (or censorship) they get from governments and the fact that they may get most of their income from advertisers. Academics are often guilty, especially when seeking research grants or facing the threat of 'publish or perish'. But the offenders may be nearer home - our parents and teachers, our family and friends, and even you and me.
The motives for bullshit may be 'offence' - getting people to do something or changing minds, or 'defence' - making excuses, defending a reputation or hanging on to current comfortable circumstances. And bullshit, like sin, may be of  'commission' - saying or writing things that are better not said - or 'omission' - deliberately leaving out relevant points.
Among our vulnerabilities, we may recognize our tuggable heart strings, our feelings of ambition, envy and desire, our proneness to wishful thinking, our hit and miss understanding of risk and probability - and our preference for a good story over dull facts. We're easy meat for the purveyors of bullshit if we can't distinguish fantasy from the best consensus available on where things are actually at.
There are some tricks we can spot a mile off, like the advertisers' "50% off" (off what?), "win great prizes" and "while stocks last". However there are a lot of words that are often used in inconsistent ways and target our gut reactions, like "racist", "culture", "real world", "natural", "truth", "empowerment"and "soul".
As to counter tactics, if one has the chance, one may be able to say things like "I hear what you say", "I'm less confident about that than you", or "What about xxx" (i.e.what was not mentioned). Or, one can adopt the approach of Nigel Molesworth in the book 'Down with Skool' and translate what is said or written into 'reel thorts'. With a bit more time, one can probably think up a critical assessment of what was said or written, and pass this on to one's friends and associates.
You can follow the links below to read more detail.
B Longer intro (wide screen) S Sources of bullshit
M Their motives V Our vulnerabilities
T Their tactics W "Alarm bell" words & phrases
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