There's a lot of bullshit out there — but how much exactly, and of what form?
The purpose of our first assignment is for you explore this question by taking a "bullshit inventory" of all of the bullshit you encounter of the course of one week. The idea is to make note of each bit of bullshit that see or hear, and to record some information about it. While the assignment is open-ended and we want you to be creative, you might consider keeping track of:
Many people try to be carbon-neutral in their daily living, and we admire that, but are you bullshit neutral as well? That is, do you debunk as much bullshit as you produce? It's not so easy to do. Are you at least bullshit-average, creating no more bullshit than you are exposed to.
To do this assignment, you'll have to figure out a few things, including:
You can report or visualize the data however you see fit. Here's one example that Carl and his daughter put together using made-up data. (You can tell it's made up, because Carl's department chair would never bullshit him.)
For inspiration, you might wish to take a look at the Dear Data project. This site has a number of cool examples of lo-fi visualizations of data about everyday life. While we like these, feel free to be creative and display your data however you like, with an interactive applet, using data visualization software, in powerpoint, with a stack of 3x5 cards, in song, or in any way that catches your fancy.
Readers on the internet, please join us in doing this assignment. We'd love to see what you come up with. You can send us your work by email to email@example.com, or tweet it with the hashtag #BullshitInventory to @callin_bull.
An extra incentive: If we get some really good designs from members of the public who are following along, there is a chance of publishing them (with permission and attribution) in a very high profile news venue.