Real Things

Published October 28, 2014 by swankivy

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This is a sarcastic version of a conversation I actually had with someone. People sometimes actually claim that reading fiction is silly and childish, and then they’ll turn right around and consume fiction in plenty of other ways.

Hey, it’s actually totally okay if you don’t like to read stories. It’s fine if you prefer your fictional media delivered visually and aurally and you only pick up a book if you want a true story or something informative. And it’s fine the other way around too.

But can we kill the message that nonfiction is worthwhile and stories aren’t important?

3 comments on “Real Things

  • You should include national TV news (aka MSM) in the fiction category. Local news outlets are more often reliable. It is ridiculous how many times national stories are at odds with local accounts where it happened, and on several occasions with my direct personal knowledge of the situation. (E.g. we have relatives in Israel, and I live near Washington DC.) Fortunately, thanks to the internet, local news can be accessed from anywhere.

  • More philosophically, “non-fiction” accounts are still only highly abstract models of events. Even when not deliberately or accidentally “false”, they can be misleading when the authors model of the world does not fit well with the readers mind. “Fiction” is actually an alternate view of reality, using hypothetical events to highlight its more hidden features.

    What moderns think of as the “real world”, is actually mental representations of sense data. The ancient world was more aware of this, and consciously “participated” in creating their representations. In their mind, the “spirit” (mysterious reality behind our representations) speaks to our senses, and we respond with our representations.

    While modern physics make it clear that there is a mysterious reality causing our sensor input (which we call “particles” of many varieties, but mostly electrons, protons, neutrons) that does not at all behave like our mental representations (i.e. is counter-intuitive), modern people persist in the peculiar idolatry of our age and confuse their representations with “reality”.

  • We are all greater artists than we imagine. Learned that from Robert Anton Wilson. Later, when his pain got the better of him, he came off as an asshole. I am sure I do the same.

    Keep it real – by that, I mean 3-dimensional characters, with real emotions and real reactions. By my rule, you do this already, and better than most writers – at least of the speculative fiction/science fiction variety.

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