November 25th, 2003

breaking bad

Indifferent honest

Can it really be true that most people tell 200 lies a day?

Do we even make 200 factual assertions in a typical day, which have the capacity to be lies? How do they fit them all in?

Becoming introspective - do I tell 200 lies a day? One must include lies like 'Nice to see you' when one is in fact indifferent or inconvenienced. But have I even said that today? Have I said 'sorry' when I am not sorry?

After a while I become hypnotised by self-consciousness. What have I said today? How sincere was it? Eventually I conclude that I do not tell anything like 200 lies a day. Perhaps, at best, one keeps silent when one could be frank. One may allow people to believe things that may not be true, or remain ignorant of things that are, rather than shoving it into their faces.

But perhaps this is one of those statistics that acquires spurious respectability through repetition. This suspicion is given strength when I enter '200 lies a day' into Google, and find it is the name of a punk rock band. Honestly.