097  |  Calling Bullshit with Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West


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In this episode we have Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, two professors at the University of Washington, who talk about a fantastic new course they have designed called “Calling Bullshit“. The course aims to teach students what bullshit is, how to spot it, and how to deal with it. Needless to say, it’s timely. It’s also gotten a lot of attention lately.

Of course there are plenty of bullshit examples in data analysis and visualization. Carl and Jevin discuss many of them in their course.

On the show we talk about how they developed the course, what bullshit actually is and what distinguishes it from other types of misinformation, how to recognize examples of bullshit, and how to ‘call bullshit’ in an ethical way.

Enjoy this “bullshitty” episode! 🙂

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Related episodes


1. Our sponsor: Qlik (00:00:06)

2. Welcome back to Data Stories! (00:00:49)

3. Introducing our guests Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West (00:01:17)

4. Today's topic: Calling Bullshit (00:03:51)

5. Calling bullshit in languages around the world (00:07:53)

6. Is bullshit different from lying? (00:09:59)

7. Sustainable bullshitting: teaching students to be bullshit neutral (00:13:12)

8. Bullshit in data visualization (00:14:21)

9. Tips for detecting bullshit (00:16:37)

10. Bullshit case study 1: Information that's unnecessarily complex (00:20:13)

11. Bullshit case study 2: Publication bias (00:22:16)

12. Bullshit case study 3: Bullshitting ourselves (00:25:11)

13. Example of major bullshit: Pizzagate (00:26:31)

14. Strategies to call bullshit properly (00:28:53)

15. How to call bullshit ethically (00:30:53)

16. Have ideas about bullshit? Get in touch with Carl and Jevin! (00:37:58)

17. And check out Carl and Jevin's website and videos on bullshit! (00:38:59)

18. Get in touch & back us on Patreon (00:40:23)

19. Our sponsor: Qlik (00:41:52)

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