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Standard Dishonesty

I'm always tempted to write about Radical Honesty, but I never do because I don't practice it. I don't lie, and will be radically honest when it's requested, but I don't offer it habitually.

(if you don't know what Radical Honesty is, it's the idea of saying what's on your mind-- always-- with no regard for social convention.)

Radical Honesty's opposite is Standard Dishonesty. Not the pathological lying or deception we encounter sometimes, but the polite withholding of feedback that we all practice on a daily basis.

Let's Be Honest About Lying, Shall We?


A couple days ago, I told a Nigerian engineer to "Work online. Use freelancing sites. Lie about the country you’re in. [...] There’s a big stigma against Nigeria. That’s just reality, and you need to deal with it."

A reader replies -

I feel for this guy but I am surprised you recommend lying. There has to be another way. ... I have a problem with lying, period, and perhaps I’ve misunderstood Sebastian but I think he stands for straightforwardness.

Let's talk about this straightforwardly, like adults, like grown-ups.

Most people won't do that. It's inherently weird. Most people don't own up to the fact that they lie, yet almost everyone does so. A lot, actually.

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