Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts on The Game that Detects a Cheating Spouse

I realize I have been ignoring the religion part of this blog lately. And I was all set to give you another installment of My Favorite Bible Stories. Until this story caught my eye.

It’s a fictional story about a man who successfully maintains a “respectable” job and family life, while sneaking off with a girlfriend a couple times a year. This cliché continues until the development of an app which detects the brain’s instinctual recognition response, something to do with P300. Read more about the P300. In the story, the app is called The Game that Detects a Cheating Spouse.

The point Bruce Kasanoff is making involves easily accessible technology which is able to instantly and accurately tell when you're lying. While there is an obvious connection with relationships and cheating, Kasanoff remarks that such technology concepts could also be applied to situations such as lying at work, or anywhere else you find it easy to be economical with the truth.  Kasanoff says, “What will life be like when the truth becomes inescapable?”

Well said.

But I want to take this beyond obvious lies; cheating, stealing, willful deception. Not a human on earth would deny having told at least a few “white lies” in their lifetime. In fact, I would venture to guess, most of us tell white lies several times a day. We lie to keep from hurting someone’s feelings, such as That is the world’s most god-awful lipstick. A world where you can’t successfully lie about your boss's new plaid blazer would be different indeed.

Then there are the lies we tell, the carefully plotted deceptions we construct, to keep others from seeing our
weaknesses, our insecurities. Like when we laugh at a joke because everyone else is laughing, even though we don’t really get it. Or, we nod along, even when we have no idea what someone is talking about. 

The scarier deceptions come when we’re hurt by someone or something, but we can’t bring ourselves to talk about it. So we pretend it doesn't exist. This may preserve our feelings for a little while, but it’s still lying. And like any lie, you have to keep lying in order to keep it hidden. And keeping anything hidden, never feels good for long.

Even though the story is about cheating, what I’m talking about is self-actualization, fulfilling your mental needs and reaching your full potential. What this story brought to my attention was … how much I don’t lie anymore. To anyone, about anything.

It’s not just about having open and honest poly relationships. Though that’s part of it. I also see how I have finally come to a place where I am comfortable with my weaknesses and my insecurities. I have on occasion taken them out and laid them on the table where anyone who cared could see them. Not for pity, but merely because I had nothing to hide. Here they are! I know they’re stupid, childish, petty, maybe even unnecessary. I acknowledge them. I embrace them. And I don’t expect anyone but myself to deal with them. Though I’m not above assistance every now and then.

Recently, while in the process of making a fool out of myself, someone told me: “I’m not laughing with you, I’m laughing at you.” But here’s the problem with that. As long as I own my foolishness, as long as I think it’s just as foolish as you think it is, as long as I’m laughing too, I cannot be laughed at. When my weaknesses are revealed, intentionally or accidentally, the way I see it, you have only two choices. You can laugh along with me, because I find my stupidity to be endlessly amusing. Or, you can choose not laugh. And neither choice will bother me.

I literally have nothing to lose because I have nothing to hide. Even if I were to lose the people and the things that are important to me, I still have the knowledge that I have nothing to hide. I don’t feel the need to lie about my insecurities or blunders to win someone’s affections. Such people aren't worth my time anyway. And though my opinions about how others dress, or speak, or conduct themselves might hurt someone's feelings, I am not ashamed of them. I do my best to conceal these truths for their sake. But I have no fear of them being revealed.

Are you Liar, Liar, pants on fire! ?
All of this freedom, to not have to lie about my opinions, my feelings, my truly most embarrassing moments … all of this I attribute to the secure sensation of absolute happiness I've had of late. I have nothing to fear, and so the world is my playground.

What insecurities are you hiding? What would happen if you revealed them?