The purpose of this activity is for you explore how much bullshit you encounter. To do so, you will need to build a “bullshit inventory” (BSI) that captures all of the bullshit that you encounter over the duration of 10-14 days. The idea is to make note of each bit of bullshit that you see, read, or hear, and to record some information about it. This activity is open-ended and I’d like you to be creative. You might consider tracking things like:
Bullshit that is forced upon you
Bullshit that is merely exposed to you
Bullshit that you produce yourself
Bullshit that you debunk or try to debunk
To complete this activity, you’ll have to determine and describe some key parameters such as:
Concept Definition: What constitutes bullshit in your mind? For example, does a deliberate lie count? Does the bullshitter have to be aware that he or she is bullshitting? And so forth.
Measurement Definition: How are you going to measure bullshit? Are all instances of it considered equal (e.g., 25-page white paper versus a 140 character tweet)? Should you consider the amount of time that one spends dealing with it? Are some forms of bullshit more significant than others?
Measurement Technique: How will you track your daily encounters with bullshit? What if there’s so much bullshit out there that you can’t (or don’t want to) sit down and recall it every evening? How much information do you feel comfortable providing? How will you make the data anonymous enough that it can be discussed without getting you in trouble?
Reporting Approach: You will need to report your findings. You can do however you see fit (e.g., tables, graphs, figures, etc.). For inspiration, take a look at the Dear Data project (www.dear-data.com/theproject), which has examples of lo-fi data visualizations of everyday life. Or, if you’re a user, see Tableau’s gallery (https://public.tableau.com/en-us/s/gallery). Again, be creative and display your data however you would like – an interactive applet, data viz software, in PowerPoint, a stack of 3×5 cards, a hand-drawing, etc.
The deliverable for this activity is a short synopsis of the above 4 parameters: your concept and measurement definitions, your measurement technique, and (obviously) your summary reporting of the findings.