Bullshitters are never cowed down by being in a tight spot. They can stampede their way out of the muddiest situations. They even beef up their position with grand-sounding but entirely cooked up explanations and analyses. Honest people who wised up to their charade used to scoff at them. Now the shoe is on the other hoof. A study recently published in the prestigious journal Evolutionary Psychology revealed that we should be admiring bullshitters because they have superior ‘cognitive abilities’. They were found to be more intelligent than those of us who mumble, fumble, stumble and ultimately tumble into the hole we have dung for ourselves.
There’s worse news for those who fall for their sleight of tongue. The same study claimed that the bullshitee has “lower levels of cognitive reflection”. To top it all, the lead researcher proposed that “Bullshitting may have emerged as an energetically inexpensive strategy of obtaining prestige, status, or goods in domains where success is determined by the subjective evaluation of others.” Surely something to ruminate over. Or dump as just a load of bull.
Either way, there’s no denying that we are metaphorically as knee-deep in bullshit as a goshala in the throes of a prolonged strike. Advertising copywriters have aced the game for decades. For instance, nothing deters these gents from claiming that X detergent washes whitest. Or take hoardings for new housing complexes which attain the empyrean heights of hype to lure us into buying a flat in some Valhalla. Considering its chaotic surroundings, it’s Valhella more likely.
Fake news is the newest entrant into the pen. It has rampaged its way through elections by fooling voters. Now, hoary newspapers try to separate the truth from the faff. Twitter, fake news’s vector of choice, tried tagging ‘manipulated media’ but got gored when it charged at the governing party.
Of course, politicians of every breed have to be pros at the con game. At the highest levels, they have proved the study’s finding that you can learn to bullshit your way past the facts and be rewarded with success. In any field actually, a consummate feku will always score over some hapless pappu.
Alec Smart said: “Father, don’t forgive them for they know full well what they do. Stan Swamy, RIP.”
This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.
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