Saturday, December 05, 2020

I Have a Problem with the Truth

No, I don't mean I'm a compulsive liar like some politicians and pundits. No, I mean I hate to say or write anything that isn't exactly, precisely as true as I know to make it. I understand there are subtleties. I once mentioned this on Facebook and said that a novel I read had the characters going to the Neiman Marcus store in Las Vegas. I was stymied from the flow of reading wondering if there was a Neiman's in Las Vegas. Now, yes it was fiction. But that's a real store. (Which started in Dallas.) One Facebook friend offered that there is a Neiman's in Las Vegas. I was, of course, reading this book before the Internet. (It might have been "Desert Rose" by Larry McMurtry. I'm not sure. And I hate that I'm not sure.) So, of course, I still wondered was the store there when the novel was written. (I could not easily find this on the Interwebs and it doesn't really matter.) Yes, it's fiction. Couldn't matter less. Real city, but could have imagined an imaginary store. Or a real store not located there. But it illustrates the trouble I have trying to pin down the elusive truth which, we all know, is an illusion. Oh, people try. That Polifacts column tries to judge things true, false, mostly true, mostly false, and "pants on fire." 

For Food Friday yesterday on Facebook, I shared this picture taken in the Alsace in 2004. I then placed a picture of the front of a trout restaurant and a picture of a serving of trout in the comments. I asserted that the pictures were connected. But, on further thought, I decided that I took this one on a street in another village. Maybe. I was tempted to try to clarify this. But the post was really all about these fun images. It just didn't matter. And yet it bugged me.

It's a disease, I tell, you. The struggle is real. And in 2004 the camera didn't record GPS coordinates. Isn't that great, that now some of this info is recorded with your picture? I remember when GPS didn't exist. This assertion sent me off on a quest for the timing of public GPS availability and widespread adoption in gadgets. This is why we can't have nice, off-the-cuff entries in this blog. ("No one cares," I tell myself. "I do," the little diseased fact-checker in my brain replies.)

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