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Book cover for Lying

Lying

By Sam Harris

Length: 108 pages

Rating: 9.5/10

First Published: 2011

Get it: UK 🇬🇧 | US 🇺🇸 | Amazon 🌐

Last read: 2019

This book is about not lying and living a more honest life. It is full of advice and real-world examples on how to do that.

I believe society would be better off if we all tried to incorporate even some of the teachings in the book.

Why I read it: Heard great things about it and like Sam Harris.

Notes

I’m a big fan of Sam Harris, he’s a really eloquent speaker, with a soothing, tranquil voice, who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Truly remarkable guests have also come on his podcast, give yourself a favour and brighten up a mundane activity with the Stephen Fry episode.

I really want to give it 5 stars, but there are important scenarios where I wanted him to provide answers.

  1. How can one be truthful when “the system is broken?” When you know that a lie avoids nonsensical red tape but you know the truth doesn’t.

  2. When ou know that not lying will get you in an endless, sterile argument. How do you balance “telling the truth” with “being mindful of your time?”

James Clear addressed the latter in his newsletter. That’s exactly the kind of answer I wanted in the book. Here’s his take on it:

‘You’re probably right’ has become one of my favorite phrases.
Whenever someone disagrees with you on a small matter (read: most things), you can shrug, say ‘you’re probably right’ and move on.
Not caring about winning trivial arguments saves so much time and energy.
— James Clear

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