Most people --- especially those who have risen to positions of authority --- think that they're pretty good judges of character. They believe that they can assess a person quickly and reliably, that they can "read" a crowd, and that they can persuade other folks to accept what they say is true, whether or not it really is.

But in actuality, they're fooling themselves. By virtue of natural selection, acting over countless millennia, human beings are born to conceal. The tricksters who are cleverest at hiding their thoughts tend to win out, generation by generation, in the battle to get copies of their genes into the next round of competition. Yes, countermeasures evolve; but so do counter-countermeasures. And it's easier to hide than it is to uncover.

(see also InexhaustibleIntrigue (5 Sep 2004), ...)

TopicScience - TopicSociety - 2004-10-17

(correlates: InexhaustibleIntrigue, NoGrandDesigners, InvestInPeace, ...)