Fact, Fiction and the Truth

Is Truth same thing as Fact? What is the difference between Fiction and Lie?

In the post “Fact Fiction and BS” I’ve looked at the notion of Fact . In this post I will focus on the notion of Truth and its relation to the Fact.

You can check the classic definitions of truth, fact and fiction in dictionaries or lately online dictionaries. I’ve included some links at the end of the article.
I will try bellow a definition of my own aiming to the core of the concepts.

The “Truth” is the mental projection of a  Fact.

Also the Truth is the attempt of the human mind to capture and recall a Fact.

Let me present the definition of Fact and Fiction from the “Fact Fiction and BS” article:

Fact: A fact is any piece of information, created by a sensor of any kind measuring one or more parameters, from a well defined position in space-time and whose content can  undoubtedly be authenticated by a quorum of “witnesses”  at any moment in time and space, after the measurement, upon request.
Facts are the bricks of what we call “reality”.

Fiction: Any information which is not fact is fiction!

Based on the above definitions of Fact and Fiction you can see that the Truth resides somewhere between Fact and Fiction. For a short time, a Truth can “match” perfectly a Fact but will never be a Fact, it is simply our mental image of a Fact.

So, human mind alone can only produce Fiction or Lies and in certain cases (at random or not) match a Fact.

One important corollary of the above sentence is that any attempt to find “facts” by probing human memory is futile. For example using a machine such as a classic lie detector may at best only probe if an individual lies intentionally. If your intention is to get to a fact by using any device to probe the brain memory content then you are simply leading yourself on a wrong path.

The most accurate dictionary definition I found so far is in the “ The Devil’s Dictionary (1881-1906)” stating “TRUTH, n. An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.“. I’m not sure why the devil seem to be closer in defining a term than the holy. That says a lot about how our psyche works.

So, how and why the brain is such an unreliable machine to produce factual information? Let’s explore some of the most important causes of error.

  1. Errors in how the information is acquired by the brain via natural sensorial processes
  2. Errors induced by the “malleability of the mind” as our memories change continuously for many reasons

Let’s explore those error inducing reasons.

1. The information acquisition errors.

We all know that our visual and auditive acuity is different from person to person as well as at different moments of ones life. Our “reality” is constructed by our brain exclusively out of the sensorial information. If the information produced by our natural sensors differs from person to person and even for same person in time, then how can we think we can produce factual information out of it? Additionally sensorial errors induced by external conditions further undermines the accuracy of the raw basic information our brains use to construct our reality.

An excellent case study, put in a movie is (obviously) The Matrix scene where Morpheus explains to Neo what Matrix is. Interesting enough our reality may be an even more complex and convoluted case of The Matrix where each individual tends to live in its own Matrix and our reality is only an overlap of many individual Matrix like realities.

2. Memory storage inaccuracies.

The fact that the information in a human mind matches a Fact it does not necessary makes it a Fact. To be a Fact the information must be able to be verified by other entities (minds or machines) and we have no way, yet, to precisely extract mind states and test against other minds or machines. Problem is, even if we can probe and examine a mind state, the mind state will change almost immediately (that is how minds work) hence rendering the mind state non factual. Yet for the mind there will be no way to sense that without an external reference. So, the Truth (the representation of a fact) will drift away from the Fact. This is a complex relationship and if we are not aware of it we can end up confusing Truths and Facts with disastrous consequences for us and the society.

My definition of the Truth is based on analyzing how human mind works. To perceive anything, our mind needs to rely on memory. Simply put there is no way for the human mind to make distinction between any entities outside of the mind itself without prior information about the external world. To use this prior information the mind needs to store it in the physical support, the neurons in the brain.

An interesting book explaining how our memory works and how reliable is (or not) The memory Illusion by the researcher Dr. Julia Shaw. The book cites many research projects including her own trying to understand how reliable the human memory is, including how the memory can be manipulated. YES! your memory can be manipulated by what you hear in ways you can barely believe. Many other researchers such as Elizabeth Loftus have studied how human memory works and provided sufficient proof for us to understand our own weaknesses and our inability to gather and and use factual information by only using our own natural bodies.

So, we are bad on probing our reality with our natural sensors and we easily mess up what we acquired by mixing it with fictional constructs of our own information induced by other minds and yes we do forget things.

Knowing all this, how anyone can hope to get to and be able to work with Facts? Luckily for us, we invented ways to precisely sense and measure reality and also accurately store and recall information. Our digital computers, if used correctly, have the potential to do exactly that.

My solution to these limitations of the human mind, is to pair human beings with digital machines in a fully symbiotic way in order to use the machine as a scaffolding for the mind. This new living entity will be able to accurately acquire and use factual information as well as unleash the human creativity in the realm of fiction.

I’m coining a new concept called “Self Reliance” for Self Reliant Individuals as the base unit for a society of the future. Self Reliant is NOT equal or equivalent to Selfish, but exactly the opposite. A society made up of self reliant living entities has the best shot to endure until the end of time and to enjoy life together with all humanity. “Live and let live” kind of society. This society is also built on shared facts and will lead to a micro balance of abilities. However this is not a given, we have to fight for this type of society. Unfortunately, our current society seems to head directly towards auto destruction instead. Yet there is hope….

Obviously this is what I believe and I’m presenting here the base on that belief. I’m happy to get any feedback which may lead to a better understanding of this essential issue deeply affecting the lives of all of us. I also believe that most of the atrocities humans committed against other living things including other humans during our short history under the sun are rooted in this confusion between the Truth and Fact.

I have intentionally not analyzed the concept of Lie in this article. A lie is an intentional distortion of a truth by a human mind when communicating with other human minds. This is all for now on the subject of lies. If time permits I’ll come back to this subject in a different article.

  • Links to other people opinions in this matter

Dr. Julia Shaw on human memory imperfections


Elizabeth Loftus: Powerful case of human memory issues


Anil Seth: Excellent talk about mind and reality


Blowing your mind, we live in “A Matrix” like reality, Nick Mercer:

The heads in the sand: Next, how and way we run towards our own demise… (gullibility and ignorance) Forget for a while this is a commercial, just turn off the sound an see the brilliant way it points out a human weakness of all of us (more or less but always there).


Why a pure market approach to health is not only a bad idea but is simply immoral

There is a blind fight out there between believers in different versions of our health care model. Some are worshiping the mighty market and the others are jumping head on in the communal insurance pool. Who is right? I personally believe both views have huge issues and biases.

It seem that both groups are missing one important fact I’m going to try explain by using a simple graph bellow.

Market based health care model

Let’s put the above graph (the camel graph) in few words. The profit for the health industry, including Drug companies, Hospitals, Doctors and personnel, and to some extent insurance industry makes the biggest bucks out of your health misery!

If you are dead, the industry makes nothing (at least for now…), if you are completely healthy the industry only makes money out of your insurance and your fears. It sells you “maintenance pills” however you have the choice to refuse buying into it.

The insurance though is a totally different matter. To work will, all people should contribute to maximize the common pool and no one or only few should consume out of the pool in order to maximize the profits. One way or another things go down to profits and entitlements. When you have a limit on your insurance people tent to maximize the usage and the health industry pushes for it. That pushes the costs up and lower insurance business profits so they will push down on how may people are insured, how expensive your insurance is and how much you can claim.

Clearly, we want that people which helps us to be healthy, to have a top status reflecting our real top health condition. Unfortunately, when profit is in the middle, things start to get biased towards the dark side.

My solution for this complex problem?

These days, personal automation, will give all individuals a chance to get out of this “rat race” if they choose to understand and believe in it.

There is a bright future waiting for all believers in this solution and will be alive when it will happen. Extends your mind and grab it or else it may grab you instead, if it does it could grab you the wrong way. Sh..t happens in general, but it tend to happen more frequently to the ignorant. Don’t be one.

America is choosing, “Blue Pill” or “Red Pill”, explaining the Trump phenomena

Morpheus: “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill , you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.Remember all I’m offer you is the truth and nothing more…
Morpheus: The pill you took is a part of a trace program is designed to disrupt your input output carrier program so we can pinpoint your location.”
Neo: “What does that mean?”
Cipher:It means buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas is going bye-bye!

Blue or Red Pill?the_pill

Buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas goes by-bye…cipher

The next day…next

I’m a Canadian. Why should I care about who the US citizens will give the power to? Well, maybe because even though I can’t vote for the most powerful person on earth I will (like most of the people living outside US) will definitely be impacted by this choice.

Let me explain what I felt as I was watching this spectacle. Do you remember the aviation disaster with the Germanwings flight 9525 ? When they listened on the cockpit recording, they could hear the screams of the passengers, which become fully aware they only had minutes before their Kansas went bye-bye. I think many of us, non US citizens, though living close to US may have felt that night. The truth is that we really have no idea if this means we are now flying our 9525 yet. I surely hope we didn’t, but how did we get here in the first place? Here is my take on this It started a long time ago with another German artifact, the Berlin wall …

What does the rise of Mr. Trump has to do with the fall of the eastern socialist block? Well, if you go even more back in time, people like Mr. Trump, in the eastern part of the world, found themselves in their own 9525 sort of speaking, when communism took Russia by storm. As a consequence, the western counterparts got scared, very scared and they suddenly realized they needed a wall. Well, not the Berlin kind, but a human one. A wall they could use to defend themselves, if the same phenomena would happen in their own countries. So they “took it easy” and allowed the middle class to grow and flourish. That proved to be a smart decision. The middle class people are usually floating around the center.  They usually do not shallow any blue or red pills. This makes the middle class a formidable wall against extreme behaviors. That was a good plan, as much as it lasted, until that Berlin wall fell…

Well, its all figurative, but all those events are part of a bigger “flow” of events each linked to each other.  When the communist block fell there was no mental counterbalance for power welding people in the west. Their fear subsided and the regular greed started to prevail in their minds. On top of that, two more new phenomena become more important each day, globalization and automation and they destabilized even more the already fragile balance of power between the social classes (the micro balance of power).


For many, this simply means that you loose your well paid job, to create a dozen of stupendously low paid jobs somewhere else on the globe. How is this possible? Because most of the people today have no way to efficiently communicate to other people on the globe. As such “divide and conquer” principles are easy to be used to kill wellness in both places, here and there, all imposed by a “dog eats dog” like market based competition.

On the other hand, if globalization means that all of us are able to freely communicate and exchange information and ideas then globalization would be ideal, yet that is not true so far.


When W. Ford started to build his cars he invented the assembly line. He also paid well his employees, well enough that they could afford to buy his cars. This new approach put out of business many of his competitors who still believed in “craftsmanship”. Each car being unique and the soul of the craftsman poured into it, was not enough to compete against highly efficient production process created by Ford. And that lasted for a while. It lasted until the computers and their close relatives robots and automated production lines were invented. And so the Ford’s assembly line looses its humans.

The problem with automation is that every job on earth can be automated.Every single one!.

Don’t lie to yourself hopping it will pass, because it won’t. The fact you can’t imagine how what you do can be done by a machine it does not mean others can’t.

So, if all jobs can be automated, let’s think of the extreme case when indeed all jobs are automated.

This means that no one other than the few very wealthy people will actually have a job and in income, all other will have none.

No job no money, no money no buy. Then why to produce anything in the first place?

More, if no one can buy, money will loose their value, and the wealthy will loose their wealth (monetary) instantly! WTF then? Well simply put, you can’t automate this type of society without killing it.

Now imagine that the business granularity is at the individual level, meaning that you are a business entity and you are SELF SUFFICIENT via computers and automation.

Suddenly the automation turns from a nightmare to a dream!

You have no job, but you don’t care as much time as you can ensure all your wellness by using your own symbiotic machines to live your life anywhere, on Earth on Mars, or in the deep space. More, you are your own master, you are independent you are free! …

So, is Globalization and Automation good or bad?

Well, I’d say they are what we make them to be. But so far in this early stages, we managed to uses them to hurt ourselves…

In one of my previews articles around a year ago I was warning about this phenomena by comparing it to one of the American movies called “The man of the year”. The fresh funny talking showman Mr. Dubbs getting elected president by a fluke of a computer. I don’t think Mr. Trump got elected by a fluke of a computer, but I do believe he got elected by a human fluke.

It was clear to me that the fall of the Easter block plus computers leading to globalization and automation will create the right conditions for more and more people to loose their hope, and when the hope goes all sorts of extremes can creep in.

I think Mr. Trump is a smart and cunning business man who felt that there is an opportunity and he took it.

Mr. Trump said these days “I won” and yes this is what happened fair and square. However my warning, is not to think that this is a regular win. Mr. Trump needs to analyze exactly what this “win” means, as I believe he sits on top of a explosive human situation, which can go off at any moment, endangering many lives in both US and all over the globe.

To summarize:

Mr. Trump got on top of a wave, which probably he and no one else may truly understand. Surfing the wave will be probably be a smarter thing than try to oppose it frontally.

Globalization and Automation can lead to our salvation or our destruction, let’s try to get the right pill this time, and keep in mind that there are many other “pills” of may other colors out there!

I believe in the future, I believe in the human race, I believe in each of us being self sustainable and I believe we can be a better global society.  We only need to stop and ask “why” until asking “why” has no meaning, to be curious to put ourselves in the other people shoes.

Because life is worth living!

I stand with you, Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Pakistan, and for all people who lost or had their lives destroyed by madness of extremisms

Orlando Florida US Jun 12, 2016, 50 dead 53 injured. People died and got hurt again, is there a way to stop this from happening?

  • Paris France, Nov 13, 2015, 130 dead and more then 350 injured (source Wikipedia)
  • San Bernardino California US, Dec 2, 2015, 14 dead and 22 injured (source Wikipedia)
  • Brussels Belgium, Mar 22, 2016, 35 dead and more than 300 injured (source Wikipedia)
  • Lahore Pakistan, Mar 27, 2016, 75 dead and more than 300 injured (source Wikipedia)
  • Orlando Florida US Jun 12, 2016, 50 dead 53 injured
  • And then the Sirian Civil War counting to more than 400000 people killed until now with millions pushed to live their lives with mostly nothing
  • And the list is longer, to long…

I would like to extend my condolences to all the people who lost loved ones in all those tragedies.

In total, in less than a year, we lost 130+14+35+75+50=304 people and destroyed or badly impacted the lives of 350+22+300+300+53=more than 1025 people by a handful of other people who’s minds were twisted by extreme ideas. I can’t even imagine what 400000 dead and millions more displaced means for a time we call ourselves “civilized”.

But by simply stopping here, by only feeling sorry for the loss, would not make much difference for the future. We need to start open our eyes minds and harts to the truth no matter how hard is to find it.

Against all the primal instincts which pushes us to answer the violence with violence the path to a solution include quite a different path. It is said that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing again and again without changing anything and expecting different results. If that is true it is also an extreme, and we could tame the definition by excluding the “changing anything” to “changing enough” to reach a realistic goal. The thing is, we all find ourselves in various shades of insanity and need to continuously correct our action to stay out of it.

My personal opinion is that one important root cause, if not the most important one, on all our history, but more important these days is our ability to communicate.

The communication process implies extracting information from our minds, filter it, encode it in speech or words, then transport it over various mediums like airwaves (voice), electromagnetic waves, in networks, or solids, to one or more people, the receivers. The receiver(s) will then attempt to decode the information and (attempt to) re-integrate it in their minds. Both the sender and receiver have different mind contexts and each of those steps can and usually will be subject of errors.

My explanation of the communication process, may look “Rube Goldberg”-is but it is darn simple compared to the full fledged phenomena.

We usually do all this in “automatic” mode, paying little attention or no or little attention to all the possibilities for errors and that is where things break down. We assume we “master” communication, when in fact we kind of suck at it and the consequence of this inability is dire.

These days our abilities to transport information has advanced faster than our ability to process the information we receive (and make sense of it) due all the technological advances. Now we are witnessing the first consequences of this imbalance between our abilities to transport information, and our ability to process it. On top of that, we are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction and our ability to listen and understand other cultures has diminished due to of this informational overload.

All this pushes some of us to drawn in the informational flow, and tumble down into the vortex of madness and extremism.

Carl Sagan had this prescient view, he expressed in his last interview with Charlie Rose. Charlie asks, “What’s the danger of all this…?” referring to the Science and Technology in the hands of the public. Carl answers “We arrange the society based on Science and Technology where nobody understand anything about Science and Technology and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow-out in our faces…”  For the full interview (if you didn’t see it yet) check here.

I’m coining this phenomena the “Informageddon” as a derived form of the regular Armageddon, describing a way to screw ourselves big time due our collective madness and stupidity.

Of course, you may say, you can go crazy about it, but nothing would really happen (to others) if there will be no guns. Personally I think we should be able to defend ourselves, however if anyone would own a classic gun can lead to a arms race at the micro social level. All this is good for making bucks on short term but makes no sense on long term. I will discuss more about how to balance the need for self defence and what sort of technology can we use to replace the actual guns. As a Canadian I’m impacted in a slight different way than a US citizen but the problem is actually universal and needs attention.

I’m sure that there is a brighter future ahead of us. Yet the path to it is narrow and not a straight one, but I believe in it. To draw the path to an acceptable future we need to understand the dangers of the new technologies as well as their strengths. As with all other Technological wonders we can use every one of them for both good and bad, the distinction is apparent when we are able to see the big picture on long term.

“In order to be able to harvest the fruits, first we must take care of the roots”

The last two important aspects of the social organization, which can push towards the “Informageddon” are the specialization and competition. Even though both of them are essential for our progress an unhealthy amount or kind of each can hamper the progress.

We can distinguish two types of competition, constructive (or positive) and destructive (or negative). To understand the difference I have to tell you a small story. “Once upon a time there were two neighbours. And they (as with many of us these days) were competing on who had a better life. They both had livestock and were proud of their animals. One day the goat of one of them dies accidentally. In the evening both neighbours pray to God. First one asks God for good health for his family and livestock and wishes the best for his neighbour. He shares some of his goat milk with his neighbour whose goat died . The other neighbour though, prays for his neighbour’s goat to die too so he would not be in the position to be helped as he feels this as humiliating”.

You can see clearly the difference between constructive competition in the first person action and the destructive one from the other person.We can see how for the entire system (the two people together) helping each other leads to a stronger state whereas in the destructive case both would suffer. The problem with the technology is that it speeds up all processes and makes it harder and harder to people to react with long term plans. This inadvertently favours he destructive type of competition.

Please take some time and think how much of the constructive versus destructive competition is promoted more these days? What is the impact on long term of all the secrecy out there and all the actions we are involved in. This is the first step towards a sane future.

For future articles check the “Informageddon” category.


What would happen if you give a monkey a machine-gun?

Carl Sagan talking about the danger of marring more and more advanced technologies with very little or no understanding of the technology background by the masses.
Was he right? I thing he was. Arthur Clarke observed that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is undistinguishable from magic”. Which means that for most of the people out there science and technology is magic, this allows religious fanatics to attack science by brainwashing the very people using the technology. And at the top of the magic hill are the computers… We have to take computers out of the magic by simplifying them and making them understandable by everyone, or the future may not be ours.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis. I pray for for him from all my hart to succeed in convincing people that love and inclusiveness “Is The Way”.

Even though, I don’t side with the organized religion for the same reasons I don’t side with any political parties, I’m impressed on the effort Pope Francis makes to straight our twisted current ways, all focussed on short term and small group gains. He does need all the help from God and us all to succeed, because what he fights is almost impossible to fight, to convince people to balance their focus to include more of the long term impact of their actions and and full societal (Earth level) wealth. In this case I see wealth as more (way more) than just money…