Quote Du Jour: Bullshit Dumps

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


Baseball men often like to attribute the success or failure of a team to clutch performance. Those of us who study baseball systematically know that his is largely untrue, that the number of runs a team scores is a predictable outcomes of their hits, their walks, their home runs, and their other offensive accomplishments — and further, that the number of games the team wins is largely a predictable outcome of their runs scored and runs allowed. Clutch performance can increase or decrease a team’s wins, but clutch successes or failures generally even out over the course of a season, leaving most teams with about the won-lost record they deserve.

But, since this elusive “clutch ability” has no particular statistical dimension, it has become popular within the discussion as a bullshit dump. All discussions have bullshit dumps; we need them. Our logic, whatever it is that we are talking about, can never be completely worked out; all subjects worthy of discussion are too complicated to be fully encased in logic. Thus, in all discussion, the least precise areas become bullshit dumps, elements of the discussion which are used to reconcile our formal logic to our intuitive sense of right and wrong, justice or injustice, accuracy or inaccuracy, reason or madness, moderation or extremity. “Psychology” is a common bullshit dump. I am not saying that psychology is not real or that psychologists do not know what they are talking about. What I am saying is that since human psychology affects almost everything within our sight in undocumented ways which are never fully understood, psychology inevitably becomes a bullshit dump which can be used to justify or explain what is otherwise unjustified or inexplicable.

“Karma” is a popular bullshit dump. In politics, “sensitivity” is a bullshit dump; so is the “influence of the media.” Witchcraft used to be a major bullshit dump, but has lost its audience.

Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
This entry was posted in Media, Politics and Economics, Sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Quote Du Jour: Bullshit Dumps

  1. Faze says:

    I work in healthcare, where massive bullshit dumps have opened up in the fields of wellness, integrative medicine, alternative therapies, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Juxtaposition Du Jour: Fredric Wertham Lives! | Uncouth Reflections

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