We understand the world through stories. Our stories may be rooted in rigorous fact or unbounded imagination but, being incomplete, they are always lies. Many are useful, however, because humans are pattern-seeking animals. Stories are the way we make sense of a complex world. We build our very selves through the stories that make sense to us – that we chose to believe.
At what level of complexity did our truths dissolve into today’s noise and static? When did the strange truths of the 1950’s – “Our Friend the Atom,” or Popular Mechanics’ “flying cars” – become today’s postmodern pastiche: one truth from column A, two from column B – think “Blade Runner” or the “lonely crowd” wandering in different directions together while glued to their iPhone? What constitutes knowledge when archives become wikis and convictions become truthiness?