Lies, Damned Lies, & Another Statistic
I came across this excellent post from Beth Hayden today, “How to Resist the Temptation to Lie and Cheat Your Way to the Top,” about the meteoric rise and subsequent fall of Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works.
As Beth outlines, it’s an all too common story these days. A once promising author who could pretty much write his own ticket became yet another writer who fudged the facts, or embellished a tiny bit, or created a misleading title just to get people to click through.
I don’t know what caused him to fabricate quotes from Dylan, maybe it was the pressure of a deadline or he felt the need to create a more compelling storyline to support his thesis. However, I am impressed that he was courageous enough to own up to his improprieties, especially when everything seemed to be going his way.
Early on in the article, I was reminded of Sam Harris’ short e-book, Lying, which I highly recommend, and then she actually went on to quote directly from it. It’s a short read and is well worth your time. Sam is one of the great thinkers of our time IMHO.
If you haven’t already, go read her article. And if you’re a content creator, please take it to heart. Because we need more honesty and transparency in this increasingly congested and crowded world.
Photo credit: Nina Subin