Category Archives: Lies

February 7, 2013, 9:15 am

How The Lie Was Told

The first illustration of Pinocchio, by Enrico Mazzanti. Photo credit.

Today’s guest blogger is Michael Pettit, associate professor of Psychology and Science and Technology Studies at York University in Toronto. He recently published The Science of Deception: Psychology and Commerce in America. He is currently completing the research on another project tentatively entitled The Sex Lives of Animals in the Age of Kinsey.

Lies loom large over the historian’s craft. Historians devote considerable time to parsing the tensions among words, intentions, and behaviours. Reconstructing the inner lives of those who lived in the past is a notoriously difficult task. It is doubly so when you know your informants are deliberately leading you astray. And yet deception hasn’t really figured as a category of historical…

Read More

December 9, 2011, 1:26 pm

Chapter Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven: In Which Tenured Radical Responds To Her Critics And Joins the Ryan Gosling Meme

Feminist Ryan Gosling is a fan of Tenured Radical

If you are looking for a safe space, the blogosphere is not that, and it is particularly not that if you are a feminist academic.  We who are out there typing the type, Tweeting the Tweet and breaking the rules have to have — or acquire — a particularly thick skin.  Criticism is an acquired taste. You either learn to love it or you get out of the business of feminist bloggery.

Feminist blogging is definitely not for wimps, which is why the vast majority of us do it pseudonymously. The condescension and mansplaining is hard to bear, particularly if you have to deal with a fair amount of this in the meat world. More importantly, perhaps, is that you really don’t want the people who write really hateful things having access to your home address or…

Read More

November 3, 2008, 2:11 pm

And The Jury Is In: Professors Have Little Effect On Students

Just a day before the election, another piece of scaffolding invented out of whole cloth by conservative liars — I mean, intellectual activists — crashes to the ground: the notion that liberal college professors are indoctrinating their students. So sayeth the New York Times. According to an article in today’s paper about a book just published by the Brookings Institution:

The notion that students are induced to move leftward “is a fantasy,” said Jeremy D. Mayer, another of the book’s authors. When it comes to shaping a young person’s political views, “it is really hard to change the mind of anyone over 15,” said Mr. Mayer, who did extensive research on faculty and students.

“Parents and family are the most important influence,” followed by the news media and peers, he said. “Professors are among the least influential.”

A study of nearly 7,000 students at 38…

Read More

March 4, 2008, 3:21 pm

Why I Have A Million Little Reasons For Thinking That Roger Clemens Might Have Used Performance Enhancing Drugs (And Other Modern Lies)

In my experience, a great many people who lie keep on lying until they are faced with indisputable proof that they are, in fact, lying. Doctors, athletes, journalists, college professors, cops, politicians. Every profession has liars. Such people, who have lied successfully over and over, will keep doing it until they are stopped, often in a very dramatic and public way. Probably none of us who has had a plagiarized book manuscript sent to us for review ever forgets the experience of uncovering the lie and, when the shock passes, of wondering where it all started: and all of us in teaching eventually have to deal with cheating, a paper purchased off the internet, or one of the other cumbersome, time-consuming ways some students find to not do their own work.

I am willing to wager, after the most recent fraud to rock the publishing world, that many celebrities who lie come to believe…

Read More