Sincerity is (probably) bullshit

Originally published in the Daily Maverick

It is common knowledge – or at least, it should be – that many of us exhibit significant flexibility in terms of the selves we present to others in different contexts. We might affect an accent in one context but not in another, or pretend to care more about a particular issue when trying to engage with someone who is concerned about that issue. And as much as we might not like to think about such things, our own perceptions of self are notoriously unreliable, and we are equally unreliable in recognising this.