How You Do Not Tell the Truth

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 10:58:26 MDT

Related to the thread of common human errors, let me propose that the biggest
human error is to underestimate the severity of one's errors and
The following draft paper argues that these are indeed severe.

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    How YOU Do Not Tell the Truth: Academic Disagreement as Self-Deception

                      by Tyler Cowen and Robin Hanson

Yeah you. Not those other billions of poor souls who don't have the
advantage of your intelligence and deep insight. Not in some abstract "I fix
the imperfections I see but I must still be imperfect in ways I can't now
see." And not just in your love life, or with your children, but in the
heart of your professional life. You academics disagree with each other
constantly, and such disagreement is just not rational for people concerned
with knowing and telling the truth. Not only that, alerting you to this fact
will not much change your behavior. So you either you do not want to know
the truth, do not want to tell the truth, or simply cannot be any other way.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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