How to read between the lines

Spotting bullshit

 BS often comes in the form of an assertion that's made without qualifications or supporting arguments. For example:

"First you have to rebuild the grid because the one we have now is a creaky machine from the 1920s, and we keep trying to retrofit it," -- From an article on battery technology, in reference to America's electrical power grid.

 This one has a derogatory metaphor ("creaky machine"), a vague date ("the 1920s") and a passive-aggressive apology ("we keep trying to retrofit it"). It's also quoted from someone who has a financial interest in the success of a replacement technology. So the statement is probably bullshit and you should treat it with suspicion. This statement is telling you that you should learn more about the US power grid, not that we need to replace it, or that a new kind of gadget is going to solve all our problems.

 Bullshit tends to come dressed with colorful metaphors, sweeping generalizations, and extra justifications. 

Spotting pride


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