People thought that having people so in awe of you that they were frightened to tell you bad news and always laughed when you laughed (and so on) was a bad thing, and supposedly insulated you from what was really going on, but if you knew what you were doing, it didn't. You just had to adjust your perceptions. Sometimes everybody laughed, sometimes only a few, and sometimes who kept quiet and who made a noise told you a lot more than when you asked them to just speak out and tell you the truth. It was a sort of code, he supposed. He was just lucky to be naturally adept at it.
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This quote was added January 9, 2009.