“Calling B*!!$#@t” Evening Class

Calling BullshitJoin the Butte Public Library beginning in April for an 8-week class on “Calling B*!!$#@t”. Every Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 from April 4th-May 23rd, anyone interested in exploring the nature of arguments, facts, and thoughtful analysis is welcome as we explore the following in a course-like environment:


Week 1: Introduction to B*!!$#@t
Week 2: Spotting B*!!$#@t
Week 3: Logical Fallacies
Week 4: Statistical traps
Week 5: Visualization
Week 6: The ethics of calling B*!!$#@t.
Week 7: Fake news
Week 8: Refuting B*!!$#@t

According to Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, the creators of a University of Washington course that this library class is based on:

Bullshit involves language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence.

Calling bullshit is a speech act in which one publicly repudiates something objectionable. The scope of targets is broader than bullshit alone. You can call bullshit on bullshit, but you can also call bullshit on lies, treachery, trickery, or injustice.

In this course we will teach you how to spot the former and effectively perform the latter.

The aim of this course is to help the public identify bullshit, see through it, and combat it with analysis and argument. This class does not focus on any one political ideology; both sides of the aisle have a track record of spreading bullshit. Each week will include discussion, assigned readings, and optional resources for delving more deeply into the topic.

Washington Post reporter Linton Weeks believes that “In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.” It is our hope that participants in this class will walk away with the basic necessary skills to be savvy media consumers.

Please use Sign Up Genius to register for this course. Although registration is not required, it helps the organizers better plan the event. If you have any questions about this class, contact Angela at ajordan@buttepubliclibrary.info or 723-3361.