The pretence that hard problems have been addressed.

Among the many ways of deceiving yourself, here are six:

1. Sincerity: bury all contrary arguments under your irresistible and passionate conviction.

2. Unfalsifiability: make a case which it is logically impossible to disprove or even deny.

3. Blame: argue that your plan would have been successful if it had not been wrecked by others.

4. False consistency: go for two incompatible aims; one of them is likely to do relatively well even (or especially) if the other one does not, and you can pretend that you were in favour of that one all along.

5. Rationalisation: think up reasons for believing that the events that happened were the best that could have happened.

6. Distraction: Keep busy.


Related entries:

Diplomatic Lie, Internal Evidence, Cognitive Dissonance.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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