26 April 2006

Pants on fire

Someone told me a lie during the last few days. I'm sure that it happens all the time. What made this different was that in this case, I knew it was a lie. It was a truly giant porker - on the same kind of scale as saying that grass is blue and the sky is green. It was a straightforward denial of the truth - as indicated by evidence from several other sources.

What struck me was how guilelessly it was done. Without the evidence that I was sitting on, I'm sure I would have been completely convinced by the explanation. In amassing the evidence, I now know that I've been told similarly bold-faced lies by this person in the past. Mentally I've drawn a line under this. I no longer value contributions from this person and I will avoid them in the future if at all possible.

Psychologists tell us that 'white' lies are an important lubricant in social interaction - "No, of course I don't mind". Those seem to fall into a quite different category from the big lie - the one that rewrites history. It's just a shame that we aren't equipped with better detection equipment.

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