PLOVER is a fancy acronym for my 6-pronged approach to battling bullshit and restoring some sanity to the world of thought and discourse.
If you are using a suitable device to read wide screen pages, the best way to start would be to scroll through my slide show on PLOVER -  here's the link. You can either use slide show mode in which the slides are revealed step by step, or just view each complete slide.
P stands for Philosophy - not the esoteric sort, just having a coherent view of how we look at life. We can't hope to recognize and counter bullshit unless we have a pragmatic attitude to life which is not built on old traditions or on how other people or organizations want us to think.
L stands for Language - understanding how people use it - and misuse it. As everything we read or hear comes to us in language of some sort, we need to recognize the tricks people play on us, and 'read between the lines'.
O stands for Ontology - sounds complicated, but it's just thinking about what things "exist" and in what sense - and where the "meaning" lies. The language being used often hides meaning, and it may be unclear whether the ideas being talked or written about have the same meaning to us as readers or listeners as they do to the speakers or writers.
V stands for Value - understanding what counts as good /better, and bad /worse. We ought to consider several different aspects or 'dimensions' of value, and the value to different participants in any issue. The bullshit we get may be deliberately biased by undervaluing some dimensions or participants.
E stands for Evolution - not just a la Darwin, but recognizing that where we - and our circumstances - are is one matter, but where we are going is more important. I have put this in because a lot of talk and writing is about the future but falls into the bullshit category for reasons such as wishful thinking, short-termism, dubious arguments about cause and effect and avoidance of the issues of managing change.
R stands for Religion - I recognize that many readers do adhere to a religion in some form or other. In any case, its influence is not going to disappear in a hurry. At a minimum, we need things that bind us to a society. However many people feel that much of what we hear or read from religious sources qualifies as bullshit. Whether we are believers or unbelievers we need a suitable attitude to religion to sensibly assess what we hear or read.
Each of the 6 'tools' is discussed in more detail via the links below. These lead to a narrow-screen 'A version'; from there one can move on to a fuller wide-screen 'B version' and further material.
P Philosophy L Language
O Ontology V Value
E Evolution R Religion
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