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Everybody Lies, Including Our Brains

"Everybody lies," is a classic House M.D. aphorism. It’s scientifically true. Even if we think we’re being truthful there’s still a chance that our brains are lying to us. This is called source amnesia. And political campaigns are more than happy to exploit this scientific fact.

Read: The neuroscience behind swiftboating.

So let this be a warning to all of us. Our human tendency to categorize (Platonicity) and explain the causes of everything with theories (narrative fallacy) backed up with partial evidence (confirmation bias; fallacy of silent evidence) while concocting models of reality (ludic fallacy), coupled with a brain that lies to us, make us blind to the truth.

Fine. So what is there left to believe?

I don’t know. All I know is that I’m aware at this very moment of both truth and lies, and everything in between. Ignorance is sooo underrated.

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  1. [...] I had more respect for John McCain after watching the CNN special. I get to appreciate more all his hard work and maverick character. (Too bad he lost the nomination to GW Bush. Hindsight is 20/20.) But Obama’s story connects more with me, because like him, I grew up in a different country and so my worldview isn’t limited to the U.S. only. Overall, I resonate with Obama’s experiences and more importantly, we share the same worldview–I have a strong sense of idealism too. So as much as I would like to think that I’m voting based on my knowledge of policies and issues, a big part of my decision is intuitive–my worldview is a prime mover of my political brain. And both campaigns know this. That’s why their strategies are tailored to the sensitivity of our feelings, emotions, and faith, rather than keeping themselves honest with the issues at hand. In short: everybody lies, including our brains. [...]