Paul’s Voice: the truth about liars
It has been said that “all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” In this issue of Okanagan Life we celebrate truth. Whether it be the science of UBCO professors Stephen Porter and Michael Woodworth, whose seminal work about lie detection and deception is redefining how science sees ourselves—or the pure wonder of the Okanagan’s greatest winemakers and wines, with the exciting winners of the 2nd Annual Best of BC Wine Awards.
Back in its infancy, the Okanagan wine industry consisted of few choices—Calona Red, Calona White and Calona Clear. Suffice to say, that wine was both ridiculed and opposed—at least by oenophiles, capricious sippers and wine snobs. (“Wine snob” is a redundancy itself—like wet rain or crooked politicians.) However, standing on the shoulders of giants paved the way for the Okanagan wine industry’s acceptance—as one of the world’s premiere wine producing regions.
In 1981, when I started Stages Magazine with little experience, much bravado and my father’s signature on a $3,500 line of credit, I was an optimist. At age 22, I desperately wanted to be in business. I had observed business people living honest, wonderful lives based on integrity, profound dedication and fair competition. I wanted to be successful, to make a difference and support my family. I believed the popular narrative—that the private sector was the only solution to the world’s problems and challenges. But that was a lie. I was told over and over that CEOs were genius and the public sector were little more than parasites. I’m less optimistic today and deeply ashamed that I believed this greed-filled, neocon, popular story for 30 years.
The UBCO research found within these pages tells a story of a group of social psychologists who have arrived at the precipice of a world that needs to change and must stop incessant lying. An Okanagan solution to the world’s problems begins where many of history’s most joyful and intimate discoveries were realized—at a university. Porter and Woodworth are two dedicated and resourceful scientists who would like to start a revolution of understanding of the world’s Machiavellian personalities—many of whom rely on corruption, lying and fraud to get ahead. The UBCO truth team shows us how easy it is for psychopathic people to manipulate and deceive regular trusting folk. It is fascinating when we are able to understand the science on how politicians obfuscate and lie to start illegal wars and invade peaceful countries.
Today, I see small businesses being dominated by monopolies, I see trans-national corporations poisoning entire ecosystems and I see an absence of integrity by the supposed “leadership(s) of the free world.” All you need to do to understand that corruption, dishonesty and fraud have become commonplace, is to watch Donald “The Omnipresent Liar” Trump and Ted “The Carpet Bomber” Cruz debate one another. We might as well lump Hillary “The Minimum Wage Queen” Clinton in there too, because she doesn’t just give her regards to Wall Street—she is owned by them. The rest of the world is noticing too. Predictably Irrational author Dan Ariely claims that US politicians are expected to lie because the public views politics as a means to an end (page 38).
Imagine how great it would be if the Okanagan became a meeting place for some of the best thinkers, the greatest researchers, the coolest scientists, the most altruistic engineers and the most creative musicians in the world because high stakes politicians are lying to all of us. Perhaps over a glass of wine we could come together to explore alternatives, discover new ideas and rediscover the truth.
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