There is a book I must read.  (Stuart West Lies We Tell Ourselves NATURE vol. 478 no. 7369 October 20, 2011 page 314 reviewing Deceit and Self Deception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others (American title The Folly of Fools) by Robert Rivers Basic Books/Allen Lane 2011) When I am done I expect I shall mention it again.

I fear I have been exposed to more than my share of deceit.  I probably am more than usually vulnerable to it.  There is a line in Lord of the Rings that goes more or less, “We of the Mark never lie so we can detect lies easily in others.”  I detect them poorly.  I hope that logic does not hold.

There is a comment in the review that certain classes of people delude themselves even about their own sexual orientation.  Now if there ever was a reason for self doubt, that should be it.  What classes, for goodness sake? 

Self deception is of course an issue I struggle with constantly.  I have evidence.  Why do so many people ignore it?  There are two obvious possibilities.  For some reason, obscure to me, for long stretches of time in the past we found that believing marrying far outside our own extended family, like out past seventh cousin, was a good thing from a reproductive standpoint where in fact it has always been a bad thing.  If you can explain that one do tell me.  The other possibility is that nature has set us up with a reflex that goes: if your inherited genome and epigenome reflect too many ancestors ten generations back you need to be eliminated before you endanger the entire species, so whatever you do avoid making a good choice of mates.  That strikes me as pessimistic beyond endurance.

So a-reading I shall go.  Hope that what I learn does not depress me to the point that I cannot function.

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