“Bullspotting” by Loren Collins is a book that attempts to hold a lens of hard, cold logic to an entirely illogical world in order to sift through a sea of emotionally persuasive information that overwhelms us. It is a book about critical thinking in a world in which critical thinking is not particularly well valued.
Collins’ personal frustration with the lack of critical thinking in popular ideas comes through in his writing, and sometimes gets in the way of his objectivity, but not in the way of his point. He seems to be skeptical of nearly everything unproven. He has a tendency to discount the very real placebo effect. He is a little harsh on concepts like religion, which don’t pretend to be logical – matters of faith never are. But you can’t really argue with his reasoning. Whether you agree or not, it is a very interesting and compelling way to look at the world.
This is a good companion to Harry Frankfurt’s book “On Bullshit,” which is more philosophical, and talks about how bullshit is more dangerous than lies, in that lies are the opposite of truth, and bullshit thinks truth is irrelevant. Bullshit serves its own selfish, nefarious purpose. Bullspotting seeks to give us the tools to spot bullshit in the first place. Seek out source documents. Don’t trust anyone’s interpretation of what source documents say – read them for yourself. And rely on the scientific method. Test hypotheses whenever possible. Don’t just believe things because they resonate with your confirmation bias.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Spring of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.