Entrails of deceit (cont.)

If art is all ILLUSION, aesthetic forgery, then there is some comfort in considering that science seeks the truth, reality, that both scientific practitioners and observers regard self-deception as a potential disaster on the road to discovery. Scientists at all times and places have, like most humans, been deceived by their own arrogance and pride, their commitment to the comfortable, their reluctance to speculate further than the first triumph. If a major scientific theory represents the conventional wisdom, most scientists will first try to discard contradictory discoveries or reluctantly attempt to fit them into the existing framework rather than discard the received wisdom. The dream of the artist is to make something new, but the flawed scientist does the reverse, often seeking to avoid the new under the assumption that reality is already to hand. In fact much of Western science is constructed on several assumptions—that the universe is complex but not malicious; that there is a real, explicable reality; that the rules don’t change; that the simplest explanation is best (probably right—a variant of Occam’s Razor). When there are too many “facts” to fit a theory comfortably, there is an uneasy feeling: since the universe is not malicious then the existing explanation is not simple enough, not adequately elegant—something is wrong. Cheating is not the intention of the scientific method, whereas it is the only means of the artist. The scientists ILLUSIONS may be more compelling than reality, but they are still ILLUSIONS, cheating by mutual consent.

– from Cheating and Deception

In their (perhaps disturbingly) detailed exploration of deception outlined in Cheating and Deception, Barton S. Whaley and J. Bowyer Bell diagram the cheating process:

Hiding -> Masking
-> Characteristics -> RUSE -> COVER -> ILLUSION
Showing -> Mimicking
-> Characteristics -> EFFECT ->

The cheating process always follows the Deception Planning Loop:

Deception Planning Loop

(It’s reminiscent of the OODA loop.)

OODA loop

Whaley and Bell elaborate:

The Loop is only half as complex as it, appears, since the analysis and design halves are mirror images of each other. The entire cheating process can be presented as a simple linear sequence from the senior commander’s strategic goal to the deception planner’s goal. The general wants to surprise the enemy and win the battle as part of a grand strategy to achieve total victory. To do so he resorts to a deception stratagem…If the enemy accepts the illusion then the general’s deception goal contributed to his strategic goal, winning. With rare exceptions successful deception requires a goal beyond deceit alone. Few cheat solely for the pleasure of so doing but in pursuit of some goal, and this is particularly true of military matters. Generally, cheating is a purposeful human activity that contributes to a greater ambition. And the process always follows the Deception Planning Loop defined by category, fashioning a RUSE from characteristics that are projected by selected CHANNEL as an EFFECT or COVER that, if successful, creates an ILLUSION made up of the perceived characteristics that is, therefore, a successful STRATAGEM supporting the Deception Goal and hence the Strategic Goal. Every time.

Flow of Deceit