I suppose they could, but it is very difficult to judge by the infrequent use of them. Facts are useful when they support the current narrative or stereotype. In the absence of clear support, they will be manipulated to make them useful, or they will be made up to suit.
Facts seem to be strangers to politicians and the media. Why? Because they are not required to further the narrative. More often, fiction is easier to make exciting and urgent.
Decisions made on a fictional base, are unreliable.
Abraham Lincoln lived in a simpler world, one where people tried to solve problems rather than acquire power. How quaint is his thought regarding getting facts to the people.
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts“
Notice how it fails, not if it fails. Fiction has contrived connection to reality, but reality is more creative. Mark Twain has posited that “Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction must be plausible.” Plausibility is a very high standard to maintain for a long time. Eventually new fiction must be created because the old has run its course.
New fiction has an even more stern standard. It must be plausible, exciting, and urgent. Worst of all, it must include the old fiction as a special case. How many iterations of that are possible?
To my surprise, when I thought about it, it seems there is a way to allow for many repetitions.
The way is to deny Lincoln’s, “the people” ability to think. It doesn’t matter if the facts are available if the people don’t know what to do with them. If I watch how education evolves in the United States, less so here, I must assume it is the purpose to make education near useless when assisting students to become useful citizens.
Think about a movie, The Matrix. If people lose the ability to think and are offered a confused smorgasbord of plausible data points, why would the leaders need a “Blue pill” to provide the illusion of society? They would not. Fitting into the matrix would be effortless. There would be few alternative facts to find, and there would be no tools to think about what was visible.
If someone, or a small group, wanted to create a matrix-like society and had plenty of time to do it, what we can see happening would be close to what they would choose.
The more urgent question is have we passed it?
The matrix must be universal or it will fail. The exceptions will eventually become known.
Things that don’t work, don’t last unless no one knows they don’t work.
Misplaced empathetic ideas are not rational. They are preferences for just a few people.
Knowing information is nice, knowing how to think is priceless.
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