Today I decided that I am going to write on the vast subject of lying, hence the title “If Only You Were Pinocchio“. First off, let me define that a little bit more. I want to go into the views of lying from the perspective of a geek compared to the perspective of a non-geek.
In Chapter 2 of our book (The Geek Leader’s Handbook), it discusses 7 large differences or contraxioms between geeks and non-geeks. The fifth one, is that we view the significance of lying very differently. This one is the first one that really jumped out at me as something that I can very closely relate to personally.
Under the heading about lying, it says that geeks view lying as extremely evil, while non-geeks might not think it’s really that big of a deal. I started programming (what is…a programmer??) when I was 12, and so I’ve had many years to come to understand this. Throughout junior high and high school, any time someone lied or cheated, I couldn’t just let it go. Even if it was just in a game like capture the flag, halo, or call of duty, I didn’t understand how anyone could be okay with lying or cheating. How was it okay to look at my screen to kill me? How was it okay to say no one tagged you during capture the flag, when they really did? To most people and especially my friends who were laid back, this really wasn’t that big of a deal. They were games, and they were just trying to relax and have fun. But to me (being a programmer), I viewed any type of lying, deception, or cheating as evil, and as a big problem. It caused many arguments throughout my teenage years with my friends and family over very little instances of lying or cheating.
When I look back now, I can see that most of the things that I argued over were so little, and in the scheme of things really not important. But as a programmer, I think that we look at this differently. I’m going to make a simple analogy to maybe help some non-geeks understand this a little bit better. What if you were Pinocchio? How long would your nose be? Even if you made a tiny “white lie“, wouldn’t your nose STILL grow? So even if it was something that wasn’t very important, wouldn’t that still affect your nose? I believe that that’s how us geeks look at lying, just not in such a literal sense.
Us geeks absolutely love truth and honesty. We are blatantly honest, and we don’t believe that anything that is not true or false exists. We are blunt. We don’t really care if something is offensive, if it’s true. We love the truth, and we can’t imagine bending the truth to help ourselves or someone else’s feelings. Everything that programmers do is related to truth and fact. There is nothing outside of the truth. Even if there is a bug that we can’t figure out, there is 100% of the time truths about that bug that we can use to identify why it is happening, and resolve it. Since truth is such a core aspect to what we do, we cling to it. And anything that intentionally defies it (lying, cheating), we absolutely hate.
It took me many years to not necessarily be okay with cheating, but to accept that some people are going to bend the truth, going to lie, going to cheat, and that the world still goes on. I now also understand that some of us view truth differently (even if geeks are right.) And that we need to be at least understanding that not everyone views things analytically, or logically.
And to conclude, I will leave you guys with some images for your entertainment: