It’s easier to deal with truth through lying, and it leads into enlightened selfishness but it sounds better the other way around so that’s the reason (why) one comes first In the title and the other comes first in the body of the text.
The first thing I want to get straight, is that the thing Mike Daisy did on “This American Life” is not what I am talking about. That is just lying. And the fact that Mr. Daisy claims that by doing what he did, he exposed some heinous behavior, doesn’t make it anything less than lying. And that is not what am talking bout.
What I’m talking about, is when a closer approximation of the truth can be brought about by exaggeration or cartoon analogy than to reality. In the same way, a clearer picture of ion transfer across a cell membrane can be shown by cartoon than by photos from an electron microscope.
I guess there are two points I’d like to make here, maybe more. These posts, at least mine, are not very well thought out. The first point, is that lying to get your point across just doesn’t work. And its a shame, because theres more than a somalian boatload of well intentioned liars out there in the new age who don’t seem to get this. At the lesser end of the spectrum, are people who make wild, unfounded, unscientific, untruthful claims that turn off all but the most gullible of the intended population and are, as a result to at least some extent, self limiting.
The second point is (at least from my perspective) far worse. Here the lie is inserted (with all good intentions) to color the the truth in such a way that ordinary people people are set up to get an extraordinary point . The “hundredth monkey” myth is a good example. My understanding is that the use of certain tools were introduced into a population of monkeys spread over a number of islands to the south of Japan.The learning process with regard to this tool proceeded in a more or less normal way but was restricted to the island it had been introduced (to) by the natural boundary. After a certain number of monkeys had learned to use the tool, a sort of critical mass was achieved, and not only did the population of monkeys using the the tool on their home island increase exponentially, monkeys from other isolated islands began to use the tool.
The idea is that when you reach a certain point in the learning process, say the hundredth monkey, there is a kind of telepathic transmission that takes off without regard for physical boundaries.
The research around this phenomenon was considered literal proof of a phenomenon that implied that at a certain point when we humans wised up so (that) something like the biological interdependence of species, or the idea that symbiosis and cooperation is actually the driving force for evolution, an amazing, instantaneous elevation in consciousness would bring about a new phase where all sorts of realizations would transform the earth into a utopian paradise.
The idea got a lot of mileage too and served as a pretty beautiful model for what the future might bring.
The problem is that the data was inaccurate. There was no leap in conscious when a critical mass in knowledge (was) reached. One remarkable female monkey was actually (swimming, to) make a long, seemingly unbelievable treck to distant islands. Similar hypotheses have been proposed for human migration on long distances of water. The shame of it was that even though there were researchers involved in the project who knew this was how information was moving from point A to point B, they kept quiet. In the face of an exciting theory and a well published book, the data was suppressed.
It was bound to come out eventually with attention and further study. What did it do to the “hundredth monkey phenomenon”? It pretty much killed it.
There’s much to be said for the idea that when enough people know something or experience something, there’s a kind of quantum leap in consciousness that happens. When enough people realize the interdependency of life, it changes our relationship to life for instance. What does falsification of data do for that exciting idea? There have been numerous instances of this kind, of tainting of data for the good of a greater idea.
This is just lying, and now that Mr. Daisy has worked his magic, it’s a lot easier for us to go to sleep with our iPhones at our sides and not worry about the plight of the Chinese workers who put the phone together. We all know it’s just a lie, so we don’t pay it’s proper attention.
If I draw something on the board and say “this is not strictly true but it will give you a greater understanding of how the process works”. To get to the strict truth might take us hours. Or I can spend ten minutes with a cartoon analogy that will accurately impart an understanding of what I am trying to get across. That understanding is something that you will take with you for the rest of your life. This is what I mean by “truth through lying”.
OK. So “truth through lying” took longer than expected. You’ll have to wait till next time for “Enlightened Selfishness” but it should be a whole lot more fun.