Lies have an interesting quality. Repeated often enough, lies become accepted as truth, and it must be said that our lives and our minds are filled with them. Filled with half-truths that are also half-lies, credulously accepted though unfounded rumors, filled with the lies of advertisers sowing insecurity and selling false satisfaction. But not all lies are created equal, some lies are useful, even necessary.
Our physical perception of the world is a kind of lie. Where science tells us there are swarms of swirling electrons, protons and neutrons we see a table or a dog. Our eyes lie to us by omission, registering only a narrow spectrum of all the light streaming into them. These are what we might call necessary and useful lies, simplifications of the truth that allow us to make sense of and interact with the world around us.
But many lies are not so benign.… Read the rest