Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

calling bullshitThis course is a potentially useful tool for trying to make sense of mining news and reports! We might have seen through some of the worst mining scams like Bre-X Minerals and Southwestern Resources if this had been available in the past.

The University of Washington in Seattle presented a one-credit course this spring on “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data” with plans to expand it to a three- or four-credit course for the fall term.

As stated on their website …

The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. Higher education rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Startup culture elevates bullshit to high art. Advertisers wink conspiratorially and invite us to join them in seeing through all the bullshit — and take advantage of our lowered guard to bombard us with bullshit of the second order. The majority of administrative activity, whether in private business or the public sphere, seems to be little more than a sophisticated exercise in the combinatorial reassembly of bullshit.

The aim of the course is to help students navigate the bullshit-rich modern environment by identifying bullshit, seeing through it, and combating it with effective analysis and argument.

For those who cannot make it to the course, the lectures are available online in video format, together with reference links, and case studies at the Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data website.

For an online course on the mining industry that includes details of mining scams, check out 360° Mining; for a reality check on mining investment, see An Introduction to Mining Investment – Understanding the Risks.

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

, , , , ,