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Jonah Lehrer: I Lied Because I’m Smart [Update]

Today Jonah Lehrer, a man who was found guilty of plagiarism and just plain lying (making up Bob Dylan quotes, for example) so many times that we lost count, tried to kick off his redemption tour at the Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar. It didn’t go so well. We’ve highlighted some of his best quotes below.

I need rules because I don’t trust myself to not be arrogant. I need my rules to force me to confront my mistakes, to force me to deal with them every day.

Here’s a funny “rule” to try sometime: Don’t make shit up.

I’m just trying to grapple with my own arrogance and come up with the rules that force me every day to contain it.

It can be quite difficult to grapple with arrogance! But bravo for trying, dear Jonah. You are a brave person. Much braver than people who are not obnoxiously self-centered.

It’s not enough that I’ve been humbled. I still may be arrogant.

Wait, what?

Being smart, having a high IQ can actually make you more vulnerable to [lying].

Oh! So that’s why you repeatedly lied: You’re simply too smart! We get it now. We think. We are just dumb, honest people, so we might have it wrong.

The self-blindness makes me very, very sad.

Is being blind about self-blindness a thing? Because if not, Lehrer just made it one.

I’d like to end with a quote from Bob Dylan, one he actually said…

Oh hell no.

Update (2:22 pm)
Poynter reports that Lehrer was paid $20,000 for his speech. Holy hell, no wonder he decided to start apologizing. We’d apologize for anything if we’re getting paid 20K. Seriously. What have you got? Punch your dog? We’re sorry for it. Email us asap.

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