Michael Crichton warned us…
Last night I selected Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead to read in bed, and I stumbled over this passage in Crichton’s”Factual Note” in the back of the book. Please bear in mind that this was written in 1992, twenty-four years ago.
“… [T]he tendency to blur the boundaries of fact and fiction has become widespread in modern society. Fiction is now seamlessly inserted in everything from scholarly histories to television news. Of course, television is understood to be venal, its transgressions shrugged off by most of us. But the attitude of ‘post-modern’ scholars represents a more fundamental challenge. Some in academic life now argue seriously there is no difference between fact and fiction, that all ways of reading text are arbitrary and personal, and that therefore pure invention is as valid as hard research. At best, this attitude evades traditional scholarly discipline; at worst, it is nasty and dangerous. But such academic views were not prevalent twenty years ago, when I sat down to write this novel…”
In 1972 interllecturals still admitted there was such thing as truth. By 1992, they’d changed their tune. And here, in 2016, they never tell the truth if they can help it.
Saying that there’s no such thing as truth, no such thing as an objective fact–well, I guess they think it makes them sound smart.
But there are an awful lot of stupid smart people on the loose today.