How to fight work bullshit (and keep your job and your dignity)

Bullshit greases the wheels of sociability. Questioning bullshit can be a sure way to lose friends and alienate people. 

'Curb your Enthusiasm,' actor Jeff Garlin discuss the popular television series at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival on March, 6 2004 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Chip Strait/Getty Images)

After getting lost in the conference hotel, I finally located the ‘creativity workshop’. Joining the others, I sat cross-legged on the floor. Soon, an ageing hippie was on his feet. ‘Just walk around the room and introduce yourself,’ he said. ‘But don’t use words.’ After a few minutes of people acting like demented mimes, the hippie stopped us. ‘Now grab a mandala,’ he said, pointing to a pile of what looked like pages from a mindfulness colouring-in book. ‘And use those to bring your mandala to life,’ he said pointing at a pile of magic markers. After 30 minutes of colouring, he told us to share our mandalas. A woman described how her red mandala represented her passionate nature. A man explained how his black mandala expressed the negative emotions haunting his life. A third person found words too constraining, so she danced about her mandala. Leaving the room after the session, a participant turned to me and quietly said: ‘What a load of bullshit.’

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"Calling Bullshit" Is the College Course for Our Times - Here's How You Can Take It Online

A college course on how to recognize "bullshit" addresses fake news, memes, clickbaiting and misleading advertising. 

Taking a course with the word "bullshit" in its title is a cynical student's dream that University of Washington professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West are making a reality. Their 10-week seminar, enticingly titled "Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data" begins in March.

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