Neil Postman – Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection

“There is no more precious
7
environment than our language environment.
And even if you know you will be
dead soon, that’s worth protecting.”

Critical Thinking Snippets

Neil Postman’s classic essay Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection. Contains a handy taxonomy of forms of bullshit, and some useful “laws” such as: Almost nothing is about what you think it is about–including you.”

I’ve copied it here in this post just to help ensure it remains easily available on the web.

“Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection”

by Neil Postman

(Delivered at the National Convention for the Teachers of English [NCTE], November 28, 1969, Washington, D.C.)

With a title like this, I think I ought to dispense with the rhetorical amenities and come straight to the point. For those of you who do not know, it may be worth saying that the phrase, “crap-detecting,” originated with Ernest Hemingway who when asked if there were one quality needed, above all others, to be a good writer, replied, “Yes, a built-in, shock-proof, crap detector.”

As I see it, the…

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