True or false?

Roeselien Raimond Photography

How do you know if something is real? Relying on our senses in their pure form is dangerous, because the mind is easily deceived. And with the growth of AI image synthesis technology, this problem is likely to worsen, causing more chaos — misunderstanding, conflict, and mental confusion.

Even without deepfake, however, there are enough situations today where we have trouble deciding if what we are looking at is true or false. Sometimes it happens by accident, for example, when we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, whether geographical or social, and things don’t look at all like what they might really be. And sometimes people with questionable intentions deliberately try to draw you into the realm of crooked mirrors. What can you do?

Fortunately there is a method that works without fail. It is necessary to consider a particular phenomenon from as many angles as possible. Figuratively speaking, do not limit yourself to hearing, but add sight, smell, touch, even taste, if appropriate. Think of the number of different tests and analyses to which Dr. House subjected patients when a bouquet of their symptoms turned out to be unexplained. When a founder communicates with a potential investor, in addition to paying attention to speech, body language, and consistency of answers, it’s important to add studying his social media posts, conversations with founders of other fund portfolio companies, an industry expert’s opinion, and ideally, a trip together with intensive communication on existential topics. The point is that you can still get screwed on one axis X, but not on many axes at the same time. Somewhere the tail of the lie is bound to flicker.

In cases when the stakes and risks are high, the more prisms you have and the more diverse they are, the higher the quality of your judgment. This method is especially valuable if you have a slight doubt, confusion, or suspicion the first time you interact, “Hmm, something’s not right here.”

Sincerely yours,

-Alexander

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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.

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Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.