A friend of mine recently told me that she is not smart (that’s a lie from her, since she is), but she pretends to be smart using one simple trick. She told me that the key to being perceived as smart is to have strong, carefully researched, and strongly founded opinions on some totally irrelevant details of the things you happen to talk about.

While this may be a helpful advice, the worst part is that it will not make you any true expert. But if you are part of some phenomenon for long enough, you become an expert gradually. And then you start to notice the errors of those who err.

And they do err.

They can even appear to need to be out of their minds in order to behave the way they do. Yet they tend to sometimes pick the worst possible obvious solution. Even if it does not solve a thing.

Well, let’s get down to the ground.

People all around the world are arguing about things that could be well settled down with using some basic set of axioms. They are trying to enforce their opinions on others, while knowing too little or having no opinion and just having interest in the opinion becoming more popular.

This is hopeless, and I realize it, but I can give some thoughts I have on avoiding and exposing the elusive indefinable lies.

The key part of lying is using truth to your advantage. If you need people to argue, the easiest and proven way is to find a difference between them, make them believe that it is important, and say that you want people to live in peace and harmony, and those ‘different’ just make people argue.

The amount of lies you say should be minimal, and they should be insolently untrue.

The next key part is to use language full of logical deduction. The basic lie should be just a different axiom. This is also convenient because of the deniability of the lie: you can always say that there was just some misunderstanding in the first place.

But the easiest way to push your opinions on others is to disguise them. You can say e.g. ’that is an objective fact, not an opinion’, while realizing very well that what you are saying is an opinion. You don’t even have to believe it.

The best way to expose such a lie is to watch carefully the bases and the axioms. If someone claims some false axiom and manages to continue the argument further on, they win, because they don’t even have to lie any more. But if they are unable to pose a false claim, they will just spin in place trying to get out of the limited cage of true claims and stating opinions as opinions (and that makes things harder for them).

— That’s a fact, not an opinion!

— And that is your opinion!

A good hint that some ‘fact’ is, in fact, an opinion, might be that people don’t so universally agree about it.

Beware, there is some heavy symbolism ahead!

Some people seriously say, ‘Hey every single person deserves a Play Station 6 and it is a basic human right! And that’s a fact, not an opinion.’

But there is no such thing as a universally agreed human right. People don’t even agree on who is a human and who is not. This has historically ranged from respected ‘humans’ being only adult healthy men, through ‘humans’ being only people with pale hair, to every human being human, and to every animal and plant and even stone being equal and deserving human treatment.

There is the other thing which is wrong with this. Why should having a Play Station 6 ever be allowed? This one is also doubtful and proving it wrong is left as an exercise to the reader.

The other thing that people are exclaiming right now is similar to ‘Red-head people were perceived latecomers in the whole continent of Australia, so by extension the whole world should now be bowing before the Gingers and rewriting every novel about them to exclude hair-based discrimination, or if this is impossible, the novel should be banned and burnt. And just to ensure that this does not happen ever again, nowhere around the world, red-haired people will have a special timezone set for them.’

First. What? Alright, whatever happened there back then and whatever is happening there now, is nothing for the other end of the world to be ashamed of! Even if all your neighbors have been doing some real systemic oppression on whomever, if you have nothing to do with it, no one has the right to tell you what to do for something that you did not do, endorse, or even know about at all. Nah, they make you differentiate between Gingers and the others, there is no way to say ‘hair colour is of no importance to me’.

No matter if that Australia is the most important place in the world. They did stuff, they deal with it.

Second. While some ‘mass-firing’ of those people might have been wrong in a way if it really were the case, simply giving them different roles to play is not even a thing at all! Especially if they are treated just like any other company / family member.

Yeah, what if I told you now what these PlayStation and Ginger mean? Nope, I will not, because I am seriously afraid. I am afraid of stating clear opinions. Because many people are deceived by the falseness around them. It is as easy for them to say their opinions are facts, as it is to say that the opposing opinions are fake opinions and violation of universally agreed truth. Among those are people I care about, and people that I should care about in order to get a job, or in order to stay safe returning home on late evenings.

That’s why the confidentiality of elections is as important as their integrity. Because otherwise, a Bad Actor™ could pay less money (saving on intelligence) to threaten the opponents of a party backed by shady business.