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).


Ignorance begets confidence, what is “smart ignorant”

Did you ever observed that smart people (I mean really smart ones not fakers) will never say “I’m sure of…” this or that? Why is that?

Charles Darwin seem to come to a conclusion as he may have said:

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Here is a simple explanation, which describes the phenomena of the knowledge horizon. Imagine that all your knowledge is represented as the interior of a circle and the “unknown” as what lies outside of it. However you can’t “see” outside of the circle, the only thing you see is the “margin” or “perimeter” of the circle. Anyone can “see” that there is “something” they do not know by measuring the “perimeter” of the circle.

Now, here is the funny part. As you increase your knowledge, you have more information to store in your “circle”. To store more you need to increase the diameter of the circle but if you do so you will increase automatically its perimeter. So, the more you know the more “unknown” you may be aware of. Unless you hit “the wall of all there is to know”, which to my current knowledge never happened, you’ll always know that there is potentially more than you do not know than what you know.

Another important clue is your focus on the known or unknown. People who advance their knowledge are the ones which focus on “the whole” circle both the interior of the circle (the known) or the perimeter “the unknown”. Focusing only on the known will end in a stagnation of knowledge process and create “smart ignorant” people (yes, there is such ting).

So, it is impossible to be “humble” and say that “I know it all” at the same time because you really don’t know it all. The focus on knowledge only and avoiding the unknown is also opposite to “humble” and  generates the phenomena I described above, the “smart ignorant” type.

Well, but there are a lot of people asserting that “they are sure” of things. Are they all ignorant? I think not. I guess too many times we are forced by the social pressure to behave as “we know it all” because most of us do not realize this simple principle of the “knowledge horizon” and push for “perfection” and people freak-out and give up and assert over confidence. The other explanation is that when people assert that “I’m sure of..” they actually fail to give a more precise expression “I’m sure of … with this error level” assuming the rest of us already know what they wish to say.

What can we as a group take out of this idea? We need to stop asking people to be “perfect” at all cost as no one is rally perfect. Pushing for perfection we will get in fact more imperfection wrapped in “perfect superficiality” or more blunt put BS.

In the end we are served with BS because we ask for it! (My article Fact Fiction and BS has some explanation on this…)

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!

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…


Why do we die?

Just reading this excellent book of history of science and knowledge called “The upright thinkers” by Leonard Mlodinov and read what Max Plank thought about revolutionary new ideas. Plank said “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and new generation grows up that is familiar with it“.

This resonates with some of my own observations about how human mind works. A child mind is like a fluid, just prepared, cement mixture, getting more like a set cement stone as we age. We get to be stony and unable to adapt. This gets so bad that in the end both the body and the mind becomes a drag to the current reality and the universe simply discards us.

Interesting is that in the bible, Jesus says that God expects us to be like children. I’m pretty sure he (or they if he was invented) was thinking of the same phenomena of low adaptivity as we age. On the bright side this shows though also the the path to the immortality… You guess, stay adaptive, meaning you have to be able to drop all you know and embrace new ideas if they prove to explain how the reality works!

The other observation is that all conservatory ideals seem (at least for now) deemed to fail. Simply the universe can’t be stopped from changing, we have to adapt or end up in the garbage.