DIY BS Detection Meter

In a comment, Akshar asked, “As a lay person one of the question I have always had in my mind about economics is that how exactly should I separate good opinion from bullshit vending. …  If as a layman I can’t tell the difference between informed opinion on economics v/s Bullshit why should I take Mr. Atanu Dey more seriously or why should I waste my time supporting Milton Friedman’s ideas.”

It is an unalterable fact of life that since time is a scarce resource we have to rely on others for most of what we value, whether physical or non-physical. We don’t have the time to discover for ourselves all the truths of mathematics, the laws of physics, the facts of nature; or invent technology (i.e., how to do things), grow food, build houses, engineer machines, make clothes, and so on. Given the limitations of time and cognitive abilities, we depend on trade and the division of labor that it entails. Each of us specializes to some degree. What I earn by writing code I exchange for everything else I need.

So how do I choose from among what’s on offer? As it happens, there are institutions in society that help in this regard. For most goods and services, we reply on the markets for signaling quality. If something continues to appeal to a large number of consumers for extended periods of time, it is probably OK for me. And of course my own taste guides me to choose among the many alternatives. Continue reading “DIY BS Detection Meter”