Que Sera, Sera
I've had the song Que Sera, Sera stuck in my head for days now. It's a nice, relaxing, relatively happy song, but it's actually terribly misleading. Whatever will be, will be? That's so depressing, and it's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you believe it. Who says it will be? jnc might blame Tao, but I'm not so sure.
I figured out the moral dilemma presented by my last post: what, specifically, makes People Hacking seem so icky?
The answer is that I didn't actually lie about anything (the only exception being that I didn't really find the contrast very interesting, but that's pretty minor) - but I didn't exactly tell the whole truth either. I let someone believe what they wanted, even though I could have told them the real truth instead. That's really akin to lying, and it's Generally Not Okay, particularly if you're good at it.
The right way to deal with people is to tell them not just the truth, but the whole truth, so they can make informed decisions of their own. Although nobody can ever present things in a truly objective way, it's pretty bad not to make your best effort at it. (There appears to be an exception to this rule, however, with questions of the form, "Does xxx make me look fat?")
So, in the interests of full disclosure, I should say something important about one of my previous entries. Several people have corrected me: it seems that Germans did not, in fact, invent tanks. They invented good tanks, which is not the same thing.