Paperback black and white, 106 pages with cartoons. $8.00. ISBN 1449963277
EAN-13 978144996327. Available from Amazon e-commerce: https://www.createspace.com/3417769
Waking up one morning with a brilliant book title is one thing, but four months later to have a finished book and one year later to bring it to the public is quite another.
I thought other writers must have written reams about lies and lying and so they have, but I discovered that little has been said about research done in 2005 and even the more detailed research carried out by the same team in 2009, that demonstrates a link between our ability to lie...even our proclivity to lie...and our frontal brain cortex. A tantalizing glimpse of the evolutionary process involved in deception.
We are well used to journalists showing up politicians and their lies; demonstrating generals and their ability to lie as strategy; business people using lies as a marketing ploy, but we are less used to thinking that they are what they are because of their ability to lie. Dare we say even their wish to employ lies. There are just some areas of endeavour where a good liar will always do well, and others where they would do very badly.
Even more involved are the developmental issues in how we learn lying techniques from the age of three or four, which instil habits we cannot break. How we are lied too by our parents inadvertently thinking they are helping us, and how our brains use a huge amount of power to demonstrably lie well. Much more research needs to be done to prie habits away from abilities to show just how much lying is innate and how much is learned.
But though we can see our evolution is tied to being able to lie - to set traps for animals, outwit our enemies, camouflage etc - we all wonder why we lie when it is inappropriate, namely to those we are supposed to love and to anyone who we know trusts us. The answer here is far more prosaic because lying enables us to get away with things when it is done well; as when we are trusted and get away with foibles; getting away with not caring about someone else; getting away with not keeping our word when it suits us. These are things we do with no regard to anyone but ourselves..
And yet are we the fools, for we lie to ourselves with an ease that Machiavelli could not have foreseen. Why do we think in a world that is interlinked and one organism we can get away with creating money, a system in direct conflict with nature at every turn? Why do we think our lies have worked simply because no one says publicly we have lied?
A Brief History Of Lies is a wry look at lying, which seeks to open up in a humourous way no less important issues than how we have come through generations of ignorance to accept as norms ideas and forms of society that are in fact designed to keep us enemies. How we are habituated to some forms of lying that advance no knowledge and promote no welfare save that of business. How our lies hinder our development and are not the glue that keeps society together.