The truth, and nothing but the truth


The Truth Machine – James L. Halperin

Update 2020: The Truth Machine has become even more relevant today. Imagine if we could wipe out Fake News and lying, scumbag politicians thanks to a reliable lie detector?

I first came across The Truth Machine in the ’90s, not long after it was first published. I’ve been recommending it to people ever since. Is it well written? Not particularly. Is it a great story? Not particularly. Is it long-winded and boring? In parts, yes. Should you read it? Most definitely!

The heart of this novel is how society changes when a lie detector that is 100% accurate is created and used in all possible spheres of life. Crime is almost eliminated. Relationships improve, including relationships between nations. You could see how people would go for that.

The other main premise is that when crime is detected, punishment is brutal. Capital punishment is used to wipe out the recidivist criminals in society. Am I OK with that? No, definitely not. Or no, erm, I don’t think so. Or no, but I’m thinking about the question, maybe it depends….

And that’s what makes this a fascinating book. It pushes you to question many of your values, because it throws a new light on circumstances. It may not change your fundamental beliefs, but I can guarantee it’s a great springboard for interesting reflections and discussions.

I can also say that rereading The Truth Machine for the third time [in 2015], it’s pretty impressive how close some of the predictions are.


Find The Truth Machine on Amazon and at other bookstores.


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