Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Generalizations Are False

Taken from All Generalization are False and adapted for fiction by me.
I follow a number of blogs, not all related to either my hobbies or writing science fiction. All Generalizations are False is blog about assessing the news one reads. She admits to a slight left of center position, but to my British sensibilities it looks pretty centrist to me.

Anyway, the point being is that she does a good job of analyzing new sources and looking for bias.

What she does, is pretty much what I was taught many years ago at Trent Polytechnic when I was doing my degree in photography and film studies.

But, it struck me, that  one could also use this as a basis for analyzing fiction.

As you can see above, I've put a yellow circle in to mark where I think I'm writing from. I may be wrong about this, and I'm open to people pointing out my blind spots. Fiction is not fact. Therefore, it's aim is not to present facts, but to tell stories; and in SF this is generally about how changes from technology might impact humanity.
Remember, stories: fictions, which are therefore not facts, rather they are imaginations that develop from "what ifs."
An important distinction. And, contrary to some authors statements, stories are not lies. Fictions are functionally different to lies. One is about imagination, the other about deception.

However, when I looked at the chart, I could easily see myself pining certain authors into areas on this illustration. As I'm sure my readers can too. And, just to be clear, I offer no judgement on the validity on any position, other than is it reasonable and supported by truth.

Not because I want to avoid arguments per se, but because my training was to be non-judgemental, and have unconditional positive regard for other people's opinions, because the bottom line is that other people's opinions are not my concern. Something drummed into me during my training in mental health.

Note: If I had a complaint about the above chart it would be the use of emotionally weighted language e.g.: unfair and nonsense. My thoughts would be to replace these with unreasonable and unsupportable, but there again I may be wrongly interpreting the original authors intent.

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