Monday, January 26, 2009

In Praise of Lying.

Society must have a problem with us lying. There's a new show on Fox called Lie To Me where the investigators observe human physiological changes and facial expressions to divine when one is lying. Police dramas are always trying to get a confession from a suspect. Forensic pathologists try to assemble the truth of the crime from fragments of evidence.

But lying is different. Everyone lies. Mostly we just withhold truths, but when pushed, and the truth is too valuable to reveal, we all lie.

Lies are comforting in that they diminish immediate stress. Lies are difficult for most people in that they need to be remembered and tagged with the same labels as their sibling truths, similar but different, like twin Haley Millses sharing parents.

If cornered, I would lie about authoring this blog. And on the Internets, I would lie about my age, gender, or species. But how could you tell if you don't know me. You can't see my face, my lazy eye, my hump back, my excessive drooling.

But some people think they can tell. This guy says he can tell who is lying.

But I don't know what the fuss is. Lying is far superior to truth because it's creative. Are all lies equal? No. Some lies are hurtful, but many more lies are fun. Lying is adaptation. Truth may remain static, but lies evolve.

Truth is passive. Lying is Active.
The Truth just happens. Lying takes work.
The Truth exists through observation. Lying requires invention. says that Lies Take Longer Than Truths. What else takes longer? Home-baked bread: delicious. Good sex (or so I'm told, repeatedly): ditto on deliciousness.

So maybe some people have learned to spot lies. Should it matter? Not if you're a good liar. If you lie consistently and if you lie to everyone, then no one will ever really know.

I just assume everyone is lying on the Internet. And that everyone is telling the truth. Just like me.