In an age where seemingly everyone in the startup community now blogs, tweets and leaks his or her news, stretching the truth has become de rigueur. But I’d argue that it’s creating distrust; it’s also distorting the way that founders, the real engine of Silicon Valley, see the world.
What can be done about it, if anything? Earlier today, I asked neuroscientist and best-selling author Sam Harris, whose new Kindle essay, “Lying,” explores our fundamental inclination to lie and self-promote. Our conversation has been edited for length.
Q: In your essay, you say your interest in lying was piqued as a Stanford freshman in a popular ethics course. What was so life-changing about it?
A: The course is surprisingly simple in its format and content. Basically, 10 people sit around giving [professor] Ron Howard — a pioneer in management science — examples of lies they think worth telling, and he just …