I believe that you must aspire to good writing and purge bullshit from your communication. This applies in published material like books and articles, in business writing, in emails, and in spoken communication. This site and all my efforts promote powerful writing and identify and eliminate bullshit.
Because I am imperfect, my writing includes instances of what I criticize. I strive to be better. You should, too.
Good writing is clear, brief, and not boring.
Bullshit is any form of communication that does not communicate accurately and clearly. This includes any of the following (regrettably, this is not a complete list):
- outright lies
- words intended to confuse
- obfuscation: overuse of jargon or other constructions that hide meaning
- passive voice and other constructions that hide the actors in a piece of writing
- overuse of meaningless qualifying words (e.g., “generally,” “very,” “deeply”)
- opinions presented as statements of fact
- statistics presented without sources, out of context, or in a misleading way
- vague connections presented as significant, for example, use of “linked to”
- vague predictions presented as common knowledge, for example, use of “expected to”
- citing one or two instances of anything as if they represent a universal pattern
Candor is the opposite of bullshit. Candor is truth presented with integrity, plainly and without deception.