Consistent Glomarization should be feasible

Glo­ma­riza­tion is re­spond­ing that one “can nei­ther con­firm nor deny” some­thing. It has to be done con­sis­tently, to avoid prob­lems like:

There’s been a lot of talk on this list about hon­esty and meta-hon­esty. Glo­ma­riza­tion is a minor part of this, I know, but there is a claim that:

Gen­uinely con­sis­tent Glo­ma­riza­tion (i.e., con­sis­tently say­ing “I can­not con­firm or deny” whether or not there’s any­thing to con­ceal) does not work in prin­ci­ple be­cause there are too many coun­ter­fac­tual selves who might want to con­ceal some­thing.

Con­sis­tently Glo­ma­riz­ing with “OR”

The prob­lem with Glo­ma­riz­ing in ev­ery­day life is:

So ei­ther you Glo­ma­rize very rarely (thus mak­ing it ob­vi­ous when you’ve been up to some­thing ques­tion­able), or you do it all the time (mak­ing you a ter­rible friend who re­fuses to share ba­sic de­tails of their life in a sim­ple con­ver­sa­tion).

A some­what bet­ter an­swer would be:

Now, that’s still so­cially awk­ward in many situ­a­tions, but you can at least do it con­sis­tently to ev­ery query, while shar­ing most of your life in a con­ver­sa­tional way. Note that this is su­pe­rior to “or I did some­thing I don’t want to tell you about”, be­cause if you said that, then they merely needed to find out that you hadn’t slept early to con­clude you were up to some­thing du­bi­ous.

With close friends or ra­tio­nal­ist groups, you might agree in ad­vance that there’s a “or I don’t want to tell you about what I did” at­tached to ev­ery state­ment about your life, or have a short ab­bre­vi­a­tion equiv­a­lent to that.

Other al­ter­na­tives could be:

Not the eas­iest and most con­ven­tional way of phras­ing things, but in terms of so­cially shar­ing harm­less in­for­ma­tion, it gets the job done (and is prob­a­bly more hon­est than most peo­ple’s an­swers to these ques­tions).