Friday, October 29, 2021

Is Proper Lying Impossible?

In theory someone could tell a flat lie, but in practice it seems there's always a tell. I wonder if the key is in the technique of mixing lies and truth? Often you can kill someone's lie just by taking it fully seriously, rather than letting social pressure mitigate the response.

All the most convincing lies have a truth backbone, but this merely introduces internal contradictions, which you can find with some effort or with prior training. Part of taking a statement fully seriously means asking for clarification. "This vaccine thing; are we nixing bodily autonomy? Are we supporting anti-abortion folk now?" If they were telling the truth it would be a valid and relevant question. Since they're not, you're bringing the contradiction to the fore (which, incidentally, will reveal that everyone [who wasn't immediately calling bullshit] was in on the lie all along).

"This company values integrity." Anyone who touts a virtue immediately makes themselves cripplingly vulnerable to Socrates. "Cool. What is integrity?" They don't do hemlock anymore, but if you insist on asking the relevant questions you'll certainly get fired. You already knew this, so you already knew they were lying. "I'm just asking questions here." Certainly true and they will only be able to babble incoherent nonsense in response, but that won't stop them firing you, so...

In war, defence in fact has more advantages over attack. Certainly in special cases, or once (foolishly) a war has already broken out, attack can have the advantage, but overall defence must have the advantage, or we would have already all wiped ourselves out. As usual, strategy is counter-intuitive: even when attack has the advantage, defence therefore has the advantage, because the attacker can do nothing to prevent a counter-strike. When A and B fight, the winner is C.

Likewise in scholarship, truth-seeking has the advantage. Only those who have deception on their demand schedule can be deceived. It's very much an adults vs. children sort of situation. Children like their false imaginings for the falseness, not for the fantasy or the imaginativeness.

The big lie is merely more bigly obvious as a lie. Nobody has to make a law against flat earth societies, because you can go up on a hill with a telescope and look at the horizon. The truth doesn't need laws to assist with its defence. "You insist? Fine. Try it and see what happens, lol."

P.S. Perhaps aristocratic children have taste and this at least mitigates the childishness dynamic. Just a guess; I need more observations. 

P.P.S. As with company integrity, much of the time it seems the obviousness of the lie is supposed to be an excuse. If everyone knows they're full of shit, then nobody was deceived, now were they? However, this merely introduces an equivalent deviance: the company is insisting that their employees tell certain falsehoods. Maybe nobody is deceived but it's certainly wiser to simply not work at such a company. "We can only survive if everyone plays pretend." If we're back on the schoolyard, undoubtedly what is falling ought to be pushed.

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