Apologies to my more sensitive readers, but I thought I would post this short video by Harry Frankfurt, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. I believe that the origin of this is quite old, but – given that he mentions Trump and the Consensus – this is clearly quite a recent video. His basic premise is that there is a difference between liars – who conceal the truth – and bullshitters – who have complete disregard for the truth. Bullshitters are simply trying to manipulate the listeners and don’t care if what is required to do so is true, or not. It seems that we live in an age where this becoming more and more prevalent, and this is a problem because understanding reality requires knowing what is true, and what is not.
Something that concerns me about posting these kind of things is that it’s easy to assume that we’re above this; that it doesn’t apply to us. In the online climate debate I often see people metaphorically patting themselves, and those with whom they agree, on the back for being the most decent, honest, skeptical people involved. It’s easy to fool oneself. As the video says, we should be on guard against bullshit and should value the truth; a world in which we understand what is true is one in which we can marvel about actual reality, rather than being conned by the made up reality of the bullshitter.