On Bullshit // Laura Penny

On Bullshit // Laura Penny

“Complex bullshit is also known as bafflegab or jargon, and it is the native argot of modern bureaucracy….

Complex bullshit is full of feats of abstract reasoning that would astonish a medieval theologian….Even business types have become alarmed by their own flights of jargoneering. In 2003, Deloitte & Touche released a new software program called Bullfighter, which flags offending terms like synergy, incentivize, and paradigm. Deloitte’s consultants argues that this sort of obfuscating bafflegab is a bad sign, business-model wise, citing examples like the Internet bubble, when people invested gobs of spondulicks in business plans they did not understand. These plans sounded pretty fantastic, but were categorically un-understandable because they made no sense, and were not in the pedestrian business of sense-making. Anyone can make sense. Only the revolutionary few can make millions by incentivizing synergy paradigms.

Bafflegab is not written to explain. It is written to impress and confound, and it is by no means confined to the business world, although that is where it thrives.”

— Laura Penny (“Your Call is Important to Us: The Truth about Bullshit”)

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