01 August 2012

“It’s just this sense that you got something to say,” and other things Bob Dylan didn't really say

The fall of science journalist and author Jason Lehrer was precipitated by his fabrication of one or more quotes by Bob Dylan, among other things.  See this New York Times story for details.

Outspoken author, intellectual, and neuroscientist Sam Harris commented on Lehrer's career cliff-dive in this blog post.  Says Harris, "I consistently meet smart, well-intentioned, and otherwise ethical people who do not seem to realize how quickly and needlessly lying can destroy their relationships and reputations. This is why I wrote a short ebook on the subject. Since it contains more or less everything I want to say in response to the Lehrer debacle, I’m offering the full text of LYING as a free download for the rest of the week."


Note the link to the FREE download (this week only) of Harris's long essay / short ebook, Lying, here.  I read it several months ago and found it to be insightful and compelling.  Here are a couple of endorsements of the book from Harris's website:
This essay is quite brilliant. (I was hoping it would be, so I wouldn’t have to lie.) I honestly loved it from beginning to end. LYING is the most thought-provoking read of the year.
Ricky Gervais

In this brief but illuminating work, Sam Harris applies his characteristically calm and sensible logic to a subject that affects us all—the human capacity to lie. And by the book’s end, Harris compels you to lead a better life because the benefits of telling the truth far outweigh the cost of lies—to yourself, to others, and to society.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History