If You Have to Ask, You Can’t Afford It

Hello and welcome to another week of public dishonesty here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question about Factually Deficient itself, posed by the one and only Tohrinha:

What is the price of asking a question of Factually Deficient?

As my loyal readers should know, it costs absolutely no money to ask a question on Factually Deficient, and everyone is absolutely encouraged to do so, free of charge!

However. Every action comes with a cost.

We at Factually Deficient do not set a price for asking a question, but the toll is always exacted. Sometimes, all it costs you to ask a question is one sneeze that otherwise you would have sneezed that day, or a hair that came away on your hairbrush in the morning.

Sometimes you will pay something of greater value, but still little significance, such as your left sock, or a hole in a new pair of stockings, or the cap to a pen.

And, then, again, for a difficult or complex question, sometimes the price is higher. Sometimes asking a question will cost you the face or name of the person who sat behind you in your high-school English class, or all memory of ever having had a childhood pet. Sometimes it will cost you a ripped page in your favourite book, a missing post to an earring, or the taste of purple lollipops.

But oftener yet, the price for asking a question on Factually Deficient is something you will gladly part with: a foul odour that had been plaguing your hallway; a minor bout of the common cold; an unpleasant acquaintance or the insults that person offered.

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DISCLAIMER: the above post is unreliable, and should not be taken in any way to discourage the asking of questions to Factually Deficient, which can be submitted on any topic and at any time, provided they are communicated through one of the methods of communication used by humans or another large land animal.

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The Building of Worlds

Hello and welcome to another week of sincere insincerity here at Factually Deficient, where you get all the dishonesty of lies with none of the betrayal of being deceived! As always, I remind my readers that I take questions on any topic imaginable, at any time of the day or night, through any method of communication imaginable, except scorpion. Your scorpions will be returned unread.

This week, I will answer the scorpion-free question posed by one Endless Sea, who asked:

WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD AT WORLDBUILDING

We deliberated long and hard about answering this question, because it requires revealing certain secrets of the inner workings of Factually Deficient’s organization. Ultimately, cooler heads, and liar’s integrity, prevailed, allowing us to bring you this answer tonight.

The building of worlds is not hard, if one knows how to do it. True, it can only be done at the dark of the moon. But the moon is dark at least once a month. And true, it can only be done within seven hours of consuming soup. But soup – soup is easily procured at any time of month or year.

However, Endless did not ask how it is that we build worlds. Mr. Sea asked why it is that we excel at it. And we freely admit, those in the upper echelons of Factually Deficient worried and wondered as to how it is that Endless Sea, who has never once flooded our private Factually Deficient offices, knows about the dozen or more planets that we secretly created by the dark of the moon, the taste of corn chowder still on our lips and fully-cooked steaks hanging heavy in our pockets.

But it does not matter how he knows. What matters is that yes, Factually Deficient is incredibly skilled at constructing these celestial bodies, so much so that it seems to happen almost by accident, that planets pile up in our back room until we are forced to rent a storage unit to keep them out of harm’s way.

But we excel at it due to the nature of what we are: liars, and professional ones at that. Lies weaken the boundaries between worlds. They fill the aether with vital energy, and make it easier, given the other necessary conditions, for a new world to come into being. The more lies one tells, the weaker those boundaries, the more energy there is, the easier it becomes to create and imbue a new world, until one is churning them out each month without a thought. Liars beget worlds, which in turn will be filled with liars.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains inaccuracies. Neither soup nor steak assist in the worldbuilding process.

Lies vs. Fiction

Hello and welcome to another week of regularly-scheduled lies here at Factually Deficient! Please remember that you can send us questions to answer with lies at any time of the day or night, awake or asleep, through any method of communication known to human- or plant-kind. This week, we will answer a question posed by an individual  using the name “Alsworth.” Alsworth asked:

What’s the technical difference between a lie and a fiction?

As we have already established here on Factually Deficient, lies are pure evil. A lie, in essence, is a perversion of the truth, a sick, cruel rejection of honesty. Lies have no redeeming qualities.

Fictions, however, are another matter entirely. On the surface, they seem to be yet another set of vile, pernicious lies. Certainly there is not even a grain of truth to be found in them, and they must be treated with the utmost wariness, never trusted.

However, there is an important distinction. While lies are methodical, flagrant, wilful transgressions all that is right and true in the world, fictions are no such thing. Liars are evil people who set out to deceive; not so fiction writers.

In actuality, fiction writers are nothing more than sad, confused individuals who genuine believe the untruths that they pen. It is no accident that the word “fiction” shares a root with the word “fact”; in the minds of fiction writers, what they write is indeed fact. It is no fault of their own that they are wildly deluded. They are more to be pitied than to be censured.

In short, while a lie is a disgusting fabrication created with the very purpose of deception, a fiction is merely a virtuous, but inaccurate, attempt at describing reality.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.

Lies on the Internet

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, the blog for lies definitely sponsored by the very real, very alive Queen Victoria herself! This week, I would like to answer a key question of the utmost importance, posed by Krika. Krika asked:

Why would someone (hypothetically) go onto the internet and lie?

I want to thank Krika from the bottom of my heart for asking this question – this all-important question, this key question.

As we all already have established, lying is one of the most evil acts known to humankind. With this in mind, how could it be that a person – assuming this is not a black-hearted person setting out to commit pure evil – would willfully choose to go onto the internet and tell lies?

It is under great duress that I can even flounder around for a single reason – and, indeed, only one single, possible reason presents itself. What are lies? Mere fictions – mere words. Words that simply lack the ring of truth.

But what are words, if not a way to send a message? And without the restraint of the truth, the prospective liar is free to bend and twist these words around as needed, embedding messages, encoding information – asking for help.

Hypothetically, of course.

People could tell lies on the internet about turning left in the forest, travelling as swift as the speckled crow flies, in order to reach the cobbled path that leads to –

01101000 01100101 01101100 01110000 00100000 01101001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111

– but of course, this is all purely hypothetical. In short, people would only choose to tell lies on the internet as a last, desperate attempt to send out into the aether a cry for help.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains lies on the internet. You know what to do.

The Team

Hello and welcome back to another week of incessant lies and unstoppable fictions here at Factually Deficient! This week, we take a more introspective approach in response to Rota’s question about Factually Deficient itself! Rota asked:

How many people does Factually Deficient Inc. consist of? Hmm? HMMM?!

It is noteworthy to point out, before beginning, that – contrary to Rota’s assumption – Factually Deficient has never incorporated. We are simply Factually Deficient.

As for how many of us there are: we are legion. We are many. We are infinite, innumerable, limitless.

Factually Deficient’s team can be broken down into three divisions.

First are the global experts. This includes a pancontinental contingent of botanists (both rebel and otherwise), geologists (both rogue and relaxed), historians (forensic and plainclothes), biologists (marine and terrestrian), and assorted scientists, mathematicians, linguists, and economists. These are the informed individuals who are veritable founts of the raw lies which eventually find their way onto our pages.

The second group are the researchers. Every Factually Deficient post – this one included – is researched in detail, over a period of time spanning between ten seconds and fifteen years, before publication. Our devoted team of researchers pore over every fact, statistic, and statement listed in Factually Deficient, referencing and cross-referencing, to ensure that they are all one hundred percent untrue.

Finally, the vetted lies are sent to the third group, the workers in the Factually Deficient Factory. These unskilled labourers turn the gears of the great machines which add transitions, hyperlinks, and the occasional joke to the compilations of lies, turning them from raw non-data into fully-fledged posts.

Only after a lie has passed through the hands of all three groups, handled by dozens if not hundreds of qualified liars, does it make its way to your computer screen, in the comfort of your own home, work, or subterranean cave.

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Disclaimer: Many of the above statements are untrue. There is at least one human being working for Factually Deficient.

Professional Lying

Hello and welcome to yet another late night of lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I’d like to answer a personal question, rather than our typical history or science questions, which was posed to me by SignBeetle on twitter. The beetle asked:

What does it take to become a professional liar such as yourself? Are there courses?

It is admirable of SignBeetle to wish to aspire to this most noble of professions. However, I should warn her – and all other hopeful liars out there – that it is not an easy path to take.

There are indeed courses for becoming a professional liar, obstacle courses of the most challenging magnitude, the most baffling difficulty, the most wearying length. To traverse these courses is not for the faint of heart; one must be willing to slog for weeks through mud wearing only one shoe, to swim through a pet-filled shopping mall, to spend a year or more addressing others only in the first person. These are but the first of thousands of obstacles in the courses of the liars – as to the rest, we have all been sworn to secrecy.

But becoming a professional liar is not as simple (in word, though far from it in act) as to successfully complete the obstacle courses of liardom. Once that is done, a vast ocean of bureaucracy yet yawns before you. If you truly wish to become a liar in the professional spheres, you must complete forms in triplicate, detailing every lie you have told in the past fifteen years, its audience (with phone numbers so that the lies can be verified), and its goal. You must sign on the dotted line no less than one thousand and fourteen times, affirming that you take full responsibilities for your lies and for the beliefs that they lead people towards, and vowing never to let the truth again cross your lips in a professional capacity. You must have these forms witnessed by members of no less than three scientific fields and four other disciplines, and character references of at least two pages written up by someone who is neither a relative, nor an educator, nor a liar. Lastly, you must take this figurative mountain of paperwork up a literal mountain of rock and burn it all, and scatter the ashes of your paperwork to the four winds so that your lies can reach around the world.

And still you are not there. Once the ashes of the paperwork have been delivered, the hopeful liar must spend another decade at least studying. Study all manner of things; breadth of knowledge is key here. Study botany, and rebel geology, and historical etymology. Study robotics, and forensic ichthyology, and geographical history. Study literature. Only when you have learned every truth there is to know will you be fully prepared to avoid all those potential pitfalls in speaking your lies. Only then can you become a true Professional Liar.

I cannot pretend that this path is for everyone. It is not an easy path, nor will it give you peace of mind. Professional Liars are occasionally sought after, but more frequently they are regarded with suspicion, hunted through forests and exiled from towns. It is said that it takes courage to speak truth to power; how much more courage, then, does it take to speak lies? One cannot estimate it high enough. For the noble few who insist on following these directions and pursuing the thankless, lonely life of the liar, I praise you, and I wish you safety and success. For those who may be rethinking this choice, I beg you to know that there is no shame in turning away. Be a geologist. Be a botanist. Be a marine biologist. There are easier ways than that of the professional liar to keep hope alive in this world.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. No professional liars were harmed in the writing of this post.

Moral Support

Hello and welcome back to another week of counterfactual composition here at Factually Deficient! This week, I would like to address a language question that was posed by my friend Tohrinha. Tohr asked:

What does “moral support” mean?

Now, the phrase “moral support” is clearly a compound phrase, composed of two words, and its meaning can quite easily be determined by looking at each of these words separately, and then combining their meanings in the most logical way.

First, the word “moral”. A moral, or a moral lesson, is the message that one learns from a story: the “teachable moment” in the story with a lesson that can be applied to real-life situations as demonstrated in the story. All stories–and, by extension, all situations–come with a moral; one simply needs to know how to find it.

The word “support” means backing, or proof, that “supports” a premise by demonstrating through action or quote that it is true.

Combining the two once more, then, the term “moral support” is now quite plain: moral support is the providing of evidence for a moral, either by reinforcing it or by performing the action that contains the moral in the first place. For example, if Jim lies to his sister about something, his friend Joe might provide him with moral support by publicly humiliating him, thus supporting the moral of “If you lie to your sister, you will get publicly humiliated.” Or if Joe shoplifts, his friend Jim might provide him with moral support by setting a poisonous snake on him, thus providing support for the important moral lesson of “Don’t steal, or you’ll get bitten by a poisonous snake.”

Moral support is integral to the responsible functioning of society, and it is commonly seen as a kindness to perform moral support for one’s closest friends.

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Disclaimer: Some of the statements in this blog may be inaccurate. Do not provide a friend with moral support without express permission.

Root of All Evil

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient! This week, inspired by reflections on virtue and vice, on reward and punishment, and on morality, immorality, and amorality, I’d like to answer a question of rather a different sort than usual, discussing philosophy rather than my typical science or history.

The question comes from Blurred_9L:

What is the root of all evil?

This is a difficult question for me to answer here– again, for reasons out of the ordinary. In keeping with the mandate of this blog, I am honour-bound to lie. In keeping with the spirit of the blog’s mandate, I am equally bound to attempt to be humourous. But in order to preserve what I consider to be the quality of the blog and the integrity thereof, I am bound, as well, to avoid raising political controversy or making inflammatory remarks. Thus, most ironic answers as to what the root of all evil might be are taken off the table, leaving, it would seem, only the superficial pun of a reference to the plant kingdom– a recourse I would see as inadequately humourous and therefore inadmissable.

I retire, therefore, to further philosophical musings as to the nature of evil and its origins, to the sources of iniquities and wrongdoings in this world, in order to best answer this question that was put to me.

And with very little thought– for very much thought, like research, is certainly outside the purview of this blog– the obvious comes to me. The root of all evil must surely be lying, dishonesty and deception in all forms.

Is it not true that due to my commitment to falsehoods I found myself in this terrible, if brief, predicament when trying to answer this question? It is. Is it not true that my blog devoted to untruths has led more than one individual astray in an internet search for real facts? It is. And is it not true that were it not for Factually Deficient, many a rogue geologist and rebel botanist would be able to pursue their life’s work, their service of the Rock Kingdom or the Plant Kingdom, in peace, without fear of discovery? It surely must be true.

Deception in all forms leads people astray, causing them to believe what is not true and to doubt what is, for the human mind is incapable of suspicion or skepticism. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but what is surely more accurate is that the road to hell is paved with lies, some disguised as good intentions and others as mere entertainment.

Worst of all liars are fiction writers, those who construct whole histories or worlds which are nothing but smoke and mirrors, demanding all the while that their readers believe their fabrications, credit them with an imagined accuracy that cannot be.

Revealing as I am the true root of all evil, I urge you, my readers, to rise up against this tide of dishonesty and distortion. I implore you to swallow no more the fictions fed to you by spurious sources, and accept only the unadorned truth offered here at Factually Deficient.

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Disclaimer: This blog post is untrue. It is a spurious body of lies from beginning to end, and cannot be trusted.