Finally, some science to quantify all the bullshit.
A new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo has uncovered a link between sub-par intelligence and the acceptance of ‘pseudo-profound bullshit’. The best part is, that’s the most scientific way to put it. Their 15-page paper used the term ‘bullshit’ exactly 200 times, so as much as we’d like to euphemize, we gotta’ stay consistent here for the sake of accuracy.
The team used an online pseudo-profound sentence generator to spew out random phrases of linguistic flotsam and asked 300 subjects to rate their profoundness. Curious, I tested it now and was enlightened with the knowledge that “you and I are pilgrims of the biosphere. Ecstasy is a constant.” Deep stuff, as you can see.
The mean profoundness rating was 2.6 out of five, while 27 per cent of respondents scored the phrases with a three or higher. This means more than a quarter of people found the bullshit profound.
In a second test, subjects were asked to rate the profoundness of New Age writer Deepak Chopra, who, on top of being a super-rich bestselling author, likes to regularly play human bullshit generator on Twitter.
Experience is made out of awareness pic.twitter.com/HJ5D2ew5Iq
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) December 1, 2015
Pretty meaningless, isn’t it? Apparently not – around the same number of people considered these ramblings profound, which probably explains Chopra’s $10 million annual salary. To make sure they weren’t studying a group of crash test dummies, the researchers then asked the participants to analyze incredibly mundane sentences as the final stage of the experiments. The group did, in fact, recognize that statements like “a wet person does not fear the rain” are not profound.
Regarding intelligence, the paper concludes that people who scored arbitrary word vomit higher are “less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy,) and more prone to ontological confusions.” They’re also more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and alternative medicine.
So, about that friend who’s still posting obscure links about the CIA teaming up with aliens to carry out 9/11 while 320 million people were woozy from chemtrails – don’t feel guilty for calling them dumb.