We're bombarded by more information than ever before. With the rise of all this information comes a rise of the amount of bullshit we're exposed to. Death to Bullshit is a rallying cry to rid the world of bullshit and demand experiences that respect people and their time.
What is bullshit?
Bullshit lies on a spectrum somewhere between ineptitude and outright deception. Bullshit can be characterized in a few different ways:
- Superfluous or unnecessary
- Cluttered, clunky, or needlessly complex
- Intentionally deceptive or insincere
Popups, jargon, junk mail, anti-patterns, sensationalism, begging for likes, tracking scripts, marketing spam, dark patterns, unskippable ads, clickbait, linkbait, listicles, seizure-inducing banners, captchas, QR codes, barely-visible unsubscribe buttons, 24-hour news networks, carousels, auto-playing audio, bloatware, sudden redirects to the App Store, telemarketing, ticked-by-default subscribe buttons, "your call is important to us", pageview-gaming galleries, native advertising, the list of bullshit goes on and on and on. This bullshit assaults our senses in a desperate attempt to capture our attention.
People's capacity for bullshit is rapidly diminishing.
When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive. James Gleick
We as human beings are trying to maximize our signal and minimize the amount of noise we're exposed to. Our willingness to be inconvenienced, interrupted, and insulted is dwindling. We're finding more ways to circumvent bullshit, whether it's through tools like ad-blockers or actions like cutting cable.
As the landslide of bullshit surges down the mountain, people will increasingly gravitate toward genuinely useful, well-crafted products, services, and experiences that respect them and their time. So we as creators have a decision to make: do we want to be part of the 90% of noise out there, or do we want to be part of the 10% of signal? It's quite simple really:
- Respect people and their time.
- Respect your craft.
- Be sincere.
- Create genuinely useful things.
This site and accompanying blog explore the themes of information, bullshit, and craft. Enjoy.
Note: This site is an adaptation of a talk I gave.