10 October 2018

"Bullshit asymmetry principle"

Publicly formulated the first time in January 2013 by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, the bullshit asymmetry principle (also known as Brandolini's law) states that:
The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.


  1. Which is exactly why you can't debate a bullshitter.

    BTW: Everybody should read 'On bullshit' by Harry Frankfurt.
    (I don't think you allow links, but anyone can Google it and find the free pdf of the document.

    It explains the difference between the truth, a lie and bullshit.

    The truth is an accurate description of reality. A lie is a denial of that truth. A liar usually has a reason to obscure the truth (Honey, does my ass look big in this skirt?). Bullshit has no relation to the truth. The speaker simply does not care about the truth.

    One of the big mistakes that people make with the president is that they assume he's a liar. He is not. He's a bullshitter. You can not argue with a bullshitter because he has no vested interest in defending his position. Unlike a liar (No at all, Honey!).

    1. No, that definition is too narrow. And also differentiating by motive is completely futile. Somebody who doesn't tell the truth habitually, is a habitual liar.
      95% of all advertising is bullshit, and it has many reasons to obscure the truth. So its both lies and bullshit. Bullshit is a euphemism.

      You don't debate a bullshitter, you call someone on his bullshit. It's best done without delay.

    2. > Somebody who doesn't tell the truth habitually, is a habitual liar.

      Bullshit. (See, I'm following your advice here.) By that definition, somebody who doesn't know she's adopted would be a liar when she says "these are my parents". Being unaware of the truth doesn't make you a liar, only knowingly misrepresenting the truth does.

    3. Somebody who doesn't tell the truth habitually, is a habitual liar.

      It is a lie when you don't know the truth because you don't care?

      The point is that you need to be able to differentiate between people that actually know the truth and choose to not tell it, and people who just make sh!t up as they go. You can argue with a liar, and coerce him to reveal the truth. You can't argue with a bullshitter because they don't care about the truth.

    4. Another way of putting it is that a liar has accepted the truth as true. A bullshitter does not care about the truth.


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