Maybe, like me, you spent a little bit of your Thanksgiving reading about a bizarre and aggressive feud between two people on an airplane. Or maybe you were aghast when you read a powerful essay on being poor. Or maybe you felt a bit weird reading that kid’s Amazon-friendly letter to Santa.
If so, the chances are that you later discovered that actually you weren’t doing any of those things: you were actually reading a kind of online fiction. […]
Checking facts is important, because facts are important.
We live in a world where facts often take second place to opinion. But we tend to believe that there are measurable, empirical pieces of evidence that should underpin the world.
That’s not to say that they can’t change. Facts change all the time. Interpretations of tangible things will always be up for grabs. And sometimes evidence shifts, or our understanding evolves, or the data becomes more accurate. But you have to start somewhere.
And the thing is, if we behave like facts don’t matter, then one day they won’t.