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Why can't geeks lie?

By stargazerr ·
No, I am not offering an answer. I am asking a question.

I can't lie when I am at work and a sales person asks me a question. If the developer team is not giving me a time frame on when something will be done, I just pass on the message. I dont lie. I cannot lie to a customer. Even be politically correct, like you have to be sometimes at work.

Can you?


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by megamanx In reply to Why can't geeks lie?

yes, lie to me, lie to meeeeeeee!!!!!!!!
no seriously, it's great, but what is the lieing about anyways?
it just depends on the lie meant to say, and you know, you there is the truth, and then there is the truth (smile and act pretty).

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We gain more socially by being open with each other

by Mark Miller In reply to Why can't geeks lie?

That's my best explanation. We don't gain respect among our peers unless we can fully explain what we've done. This means disclosing quite a bit of information. I think we've inherited this from other scientific disciplines, which strongly believe in peer review. One of the reasons open source has appeal to some developers is that they gain "cred" among their peers for the work they've done, and everyone can see their code. Again, full disclosure.

Many techies, myself included, find it hard not to get diarrhea of the mouth during job interviews. We forget that interviewers are not necessarily techies, and most of the information we give is irrelevant to them. We give too much information and forget in that situation that sometimes less is more.

The only communication skill I've learned when communicating with higher-ups is to occasionally "speak in the language of uncertainty". I don't lie, but I use words like "might", and "should" (as in "this should work"). They can get annoyed with this because it makes me sound like I'm trying to avoid accountability. The reason I do it is I don't want to make a promise I'm not sure I can keep. In the line of business I'm in I'm constantly learning, and so I hardly ever reach a point where I know everything there is to know about a technology. So everything is an experiment to a certain extent.

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We gain more socially by telling people what they want to hear.

by djt34175 In reply to We gain more socially by ...

As a geek we try to determine the truth so that we can work with it and solve problems (GIGO). However in our social life and career we will have far more success by agreeing with people. Few people like to be shown that their ideas are wrong, (paricularly bosses)and they will soon avoid geeks who do this. We gain credibility by being right and by providing correct solutions but we gain promotion through social acceptance. We gain social acceptance by agreeing with stupid ideas where it doesn't matter and standing up to be counted where it is important. Knowing the difference and being able to handle it takes strength, gall, wisdom and the ability to lie. A further asset is the ability to fake empathy.

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Which brings us back to the under-lie-ing point

by daveo2000 In reply to We gain more socially by ...

Geeks have a hard time lying/misrepresenting so we often don't get promoted and often have very empty social calendars (except for User Groups and tech conferences and so on) :)

There is that uncompromising need to point out to somebody that they missed salient points (see the thread "I don't use Linux because...") and not very many of us learn to control that. That is really the (or at least "a") crux of this thread.

Your use of "we" applies more to the generic masses where the use of "we" in this thread speaks to the group of us that really has a hard time avoiding "Truth, Justice and the Linux Way" ( ;\ couldn't resist that one).

disclaimer: apologies to die-hard Windows and classic Superman fans.

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All I have to say is ...

by noyoki In reply to Which brings us back to t ...


Oh, and that I agree as well. Lol.

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Murphyism and probability

by GDoC In reply to Why can't geeks lie?

These two things are the contributing factors of the geek culture that make it extremely difficult for any geek to outright lie.
Murphy's Law is "If anything can go wrong it will."
Probability shows that anything IS POSSIBLE, but most things are improbable.
This leads to the geek responding to folks that pose questions expecting solid yes or no answers with answers including the words; should, could, may; and typically followed by the words; however, yet, and but.
It is the lack of an intrinsic black and white understanding the precludes most geeks from raw yes or no statements, to themselves or others.
As we live in a universe where Chaos Theory thrives, it is difficult for any geek to say "Yes, the project will be completed on time and will do everyting advertised.".
This is not to say that geeks are more honest, just that they have to express the 65533 different levels of gray between black and white when responding to technical questions.

In sales, there are two answers, yes and no.
Can the product work and can we make money selling it to this client. Notice the can vs. the will.
This is the difference.

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Buy the rumor, sell the fact.

by daveo2000 In reply to Murphyism and probability

This is a saying in financial trading circles and sounds a bit like another parallel to what you are saying here. "Buy" on hearsay (the salesman) and "Sell" when you are sure (the geek/engineer).

I haven't known too many techies that get into trading (they have a hard time buying rumors ) and not too many sales folks doing well in trading (they have a hard time recognizing facts ;\ )

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Geeks can't lie because

by Haarhzh In reply to Why can't geeks lie?

... telling the truth is the easiest and most logical solution. You won't have to think about what you told this person and what you told another. Keeping track of what you said has never been easier if you tell the truth. It saves on processing resources.
If it were not for geeks' laziness, we would still be living in an untechnological era.
Also, it's a matter of conscience. Geeks are known to be integer, and this is because of their unfailing moral conscience. This also explains why most male geeks tend to be single until the woman they meet is wise enough to appreciate his knowledge and skills.
As for the "politically correct" part... Well, political correctness is a means of censoring people's speech. To say what needs to be said in more words than necessary constitutes a waste of resources.

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by yinbig In reply to Geeks can't lie because

"This also explains why most male geeks tend to be single until the woman they meet is wise enough to appreciate his knowledge and skills"

Therefore you imply a Woman cannot be a Geek?

Or are you telling a lie?

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by Absolutely In reply to Imply

The statement specified male geeks, thus it did not "imply a Woman cannot be a Geek". More likely than being gender biased, haarhzh@ has a gender, and was citing personal experience of his/her own gender. I hope haarhzh@ will explain which interpretation is more accurate!

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