Liar, liar: "When a person cannot deceive himself," Mark Twain wrote, "the chances are against his being able to deceive other people." It turns out he was scientifically correct: according to Rutgers researchers, the best liars are those who fool themselves. David Livingstone Smith writes, "The Homo sapiens who are best able to lie have an edge over their counterparts in a relentless struggle for the reproductive success that drives the engine of evolution. As humans, we must fit into a close-knit social system to succeed, yet our primary aim is still to look out for ourselves above all others. Lying helps. And lying to ourselves—a talent built into our brains—helps us accept our fraudulent behavior."

It offers an interesting lens through which to view our current political leadership, eh?

(Via Culture Kitchen.)

And: "Why is it that lies about sex are worse thanlies about war?" Atrios, Kos and Sirota weigh in.

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