Today's post, The Third Alternative was originally published on May 6, 2007. A summary (from the LW wiki):

People justify Noble Lies by pointing out their benefits over doing nothing. But, if you really need these benefits, you can construct a Third Alternative for getting them. How? You have to search for one. Beware the temptation not to search or to search perfunctorily. Ask yourself, "Did I spend five minutes by the clock trying hard to think of a better alternative?"

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I don't actually think I was hurt very much by the Santa deception. The only effect I can think of that it may have had was an increased tendency to be skeptical of other people's stories. Granted, my family went fairly all out on the Santa deception, including getting my uncle to stomp around on the roof, and getting my dad dressed up in a Santa suit when I tried to set up a camera to watch the tree.

Have other people had more unpleasant experiences?

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