Facts are like stakes in an endless desert. A stake is necessarily located in the place where it is driven into the ground, but with no reference as to where you are in the desert, located-ness is no help at all. A network of interrelated stakes becomes more helpful, but still doesn’t tell you anything about where that network is in the larger desert. A fact, like a stake in the desert, is neither completely relative nor is it meaningful without relation to something else.
The bigger problem I find in our current “fact free society” isn’t the truth or falsity of particular claims. The bigger problem is the lack of a common narrative underlying the facts to act like a road map to locate ourselves in the same desert. As long as we lack agreement about the sand beneath our feet and where we ought to be headed, it will never be all that helpful to point at a stake. It is meaningless to talk about facts as though they convey anything apart from their relative spot in the endless desert of life.
6 thoughts on “Facts Like Stakes”