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Thoughts on deception
July 25, 2019
I am currently reading The redemption of Time by Baoshu. It is a fan-fiction of the three-body problem trilogy. A science fiction series that was appraised by Obama himself. The fan-fiction became popular as well, so popular that it was first honored by the author of the three-body problem and then turned into a book.
The story so far depicts how a human specimen, which has been captured by the the hostile species, is tormented in order to comply and release secret informations. The hostile species called Trisolarians are not aware of deception as they broadcast their thoughts continuously to their peers. As humans are indeed capable of deception the Tirsolarians want to acquire this skill. The Trisolarians treat deception as an important defensive weapon they had to consider.
Throughout the chapters you learn more about the definition of deception.
“Theoretically, understanding the principles of deception posed little difficulty; one simply had to purposefully make a false statement, which would achieve the desired goal when the target of deception believed it.”
Excerpt From: Baoshu & Ken Liu - “The Redemption of Time”
The very absence of deceptions gave it an entirely different meaning. I became curious - what if humans were incapable of deception? What are the benefits of lying?
Well the answer is quite simple.
According to an article in National Geographic to lie is the ability to manipulate others without using physical force. It provides an advantage in the competition for resources and mates.
“It’s much easier to lie in order to get somebody’s money or wealth than to hit them over the head or rob a bank.”
National Geographic - Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways
In the end we get to the “Survival of the Fittest” law. Deceptions it is part of our nature. It makes us human. A skill developed through language. However, whereas I would grant deception the status of a human trait, it is closely related to exploitation, which is a entirely different topic.
So in the end there is not much to say. Read the book, it is amazing and do not exploit people, but deceive them if you have to.