Friday, 7 June 2013

More lying

I saw this tweet from Sam Harris today:

I read the article and replied:

Sam Harris is another who is from the unsophisticated school of lying (I'm not accusing him of lying here - see following post for examples of the two schools). I first spotted this when he took glee at the thought that one day neuroscience will produce an infallible lie-detector. I don't think this will ever happen, as technology like this advances we will just devise more sophisticated ways to tell lies. I have also read the introduction to his book on lying (I'm too tight to buy the whole book).

Aside from the fact that I point out that the linked article contains no mention of sock-puppetry, implying he may be conducting a vendetta, I think Harris would be disinclined to ever reply to my comment, because he holds a different view to me on the ethics of sock-puppeting. Because of this and because Harris is from the unsophisticated school he will shun me.

I personally believe that sock-puppeting is just the internet's own peculiar form of lying. As with lying it can be for perfectly benign reasons: a white lie for social purposes, or because others don't need to know the truth, or because withholding the truth shields some greater purpose. Clearly also the lying that is sock-puppeting can also be for reasons which are wrong: to massage one's ego, to damage other peoples reputations, such as Johann Hari was found to be doing, or for some other malicious or criminal purpose.

I realise I am unusual in tolerating sock-puppetry. I urge others to have a go, but just for fun of course. The best bit is when you get found out, that's when you find out if your motives were up to scratch. Just like any lying in fact. Thought I'd clear that one up before I get on with my day.

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