I’ve been long fascinated with lying. One of the most significant books that I’ve ever read was Lying by Sissela Bok, who makes the point that there are moral consequences of lying, even for a good cause.
I almost started watching Lie To Me, that FOX show about this guy who can always discern a liar. Almost everyone believes they recognize a liar, but listening to some of the political discourse, I’m not convinced of that.
Surely, American jurisprudence is based heavily on the notion that the jury can tell who’s lying and who is not. And it’s scary; I find that, particularly in periods of stress, I engage in behaviors commonly associated with lying, such as repeating the questioners words, so that I am not misunderstood. This is especially true when asked a question is asked negatively: “Isn’t it true that…?”
What about “real” books, books with actual sentences?
About a month before Carol and I got married, some of our friends threw us a party. We were supposed to answer a series of questions about each other. I was supposed to pick her favorite book; don’t know what I chose, but it was wrong. It was 100 Years of Solitude, which I had never heard her ever mention.
She guessed the World Almanac. Some folks declared skepticism about her pick, but it was dead-on right. It’s a book I’ve gotten every year except maybe a couple since I was 10.
Now that the computer is so ubiquitous, can’t I find the same info online? Probably most of it. But I know where to find it in this book, with a notation for the source of additional data; in some ways, THAT is more significant than the initial information. Besides, sometimes I don’t WANT to be on the computer.
Indeed I love my reference books on music, TV, movies; that’s why the former is on my list for The Giveaway (see right column until July 3, 2010).
But what about “real” books, books with actual sentences? Certainly, one of the most significant is Lying by Sissela Bok; except for a couple books on the Beatles, it’s one of the books I’ve read more than once all the way through as an adult.
Another would be the Bible, but that’s a special case. Sometimes it’s just too oblique for me. In our Bible study, one of the goals is to ascertain what the reading means for today. But there are plenty of readings, in Leviticus, e.g., that I can’t fathom., even after repeated study.
So I pick the book with the facts and figures as my favorite.