Heute gelernt: Das Bullshit Asymmetry Principle.
Publicly formulated the first time in January 2013 by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, the bullshit asymmetry principle (also known as Brandolini's law) states that:
The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.
It became especially popular after a picture of a presentation by Brandolini at XP2014 on May 30, 2014, was posted on Twitter. Brandolini was inspired by reading Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow right before watching an Italian political talk show with journalist Marco Travaglio and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attacking each other. A similar concept, the "mountain of shit theory", was formulated by the Italian blogger Uriel Fanelli in 2010, roughly stating the same sentence.
Brandolini's law emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit. In contrast, the faster propagation of bullshit is an old proverb: "a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on".
Bullshit: (1) Data (often a firehose) produced by someone who is indifferent to the truth or falsity of what is being said (my short version of of Harry Frankfurt’s definition in On Bullshit). (2) Data that appears to contain more information than it actually does (my version, which I think is roughly equivalent). (3) Noise randomly tagged with truth-values to give it apparent legibility (4) Non-requisite variety
Gollumization: The impoverishment of a system through ephmeralization and weaponized attention.
Ephemeralization: The natural conversion of signal into bullshit through creative destruction (derived from original definition due to Buckminister Fuller).
Arbitrage: Exploiting bullshit for profit.
Weaponization: Separation of data into information and bullshit, and deliberate direction of the two signals at different systems (generally a hunting party and a cargo cult respectively), with the intention of creating serendipity in one system and zemblanity in another.