Bullshit comes in many forms and in various quantities. There can be the small incidental piece of bullshit spun by a friend or colleague. There is considerable amounts of bullshit being offered up as “informed opinion” on television and in newspapers, there is even larger amounts of bullshit being paraded as political discourse, however at the conference in New Orleans I had the dubious pleasure of listening to someone who elevated pure, unadulterated bullshit into an art form. For 60 minutes some 2,000 people slid into an almost catatonic state of disbelief listening to one Dr. James Canton expound on his view of the “Extreme Future”.
What is even more astounding is this man has built what would seem to be a very succesful business – a think tank titled “The Institute of Global Futures” which claims to have many of the worlds largest companies and governments as clients. In my many years, I don’t believe that I have been treated to such pure, unadulterated, generalised, self-serving bullshit as I did in that 60 minutes. You instinctively knew you were in trouble when the idiot repeatedly refers to himself as ‘Dr Canton’.
Afterwards I thought about it and realised that at one level the man is reasonably clever. There are not many other ways of generating considerable revenues via speaking fees, engagements, etc on a subject that is so far in the future that neither you, your children or your children’s children could ever be held accountable for the utter shite you are expounding and better still your content and delivery is so unforgettable that no-one would even remember to hold you accountable. That takes a special skill!
To get a small insight into this clever ruse, here is an excerpt from one of his websites;
Greetings Journalists – Welcome to The Extreme Future!
This website was designed for you, the journalist. It offers you a web location full of relevant information about my new book that has just come out, The Extreme Future. You will find excerpts, chapters, top ten trends lists, visual maps, videos, blogs and Podcasts – all about the book. We are trying to re-invent publishing by offering you parts of my new book. Also, there are special, just-for-journalists insights into my book and my mind. The idea is to creatively encourage you to review the book, or interview me about my new book. The shameless truth comes out.
You have to admit – as far as pure, ballsy bullshit, its pretty good!