Published by scintilla in the blog Learning Together. Views: 148

A few points on research, and the law of diminishing returns.

Certainly one should fact check, and get things as accurate as you can. But I can assure you, as an Air Traffic Controller, that you can write a book or a movie with GLARING inaccuracies and find a HUGE audience, because most people don't know squat about the narrow domain of knowledge to which you refer. (Die Hard 2, this means you)

What I mean is, that the extra effort/research required to not "lose" the few forensic examiners or Air Traffic Controllers in the audience probably isn't worth the effort.

Writing isn't cartography, or botany, or archaeology. It's entertainment. I say, write a good tale. Hook the audience with something interesting. Afterwards do what research you must (the bare minimum) to keep from losing most of your fish from the hook. But don't get carried away with that. The Bronte sisters never got out and experienced much, but they were pretty good anyway.

The difference between this and exaggeration is plain. Most people realize babies can't toss cars. Only a few know what eyes do when you crush a skull. So baby behavior, being commonly known, needs to be accurate. Skull-crushing or Air Traffic Control, being uncommon, only needs to have "truthiness," to quote Stephen Colbert. That is, they only have to APPEAR accurate ---intuitively, from-the-gut. If babies are throwing cars, then it's going to be plain that you are breaking rules deliberately.

Of course, all this is my opinion and I could be wrong.

  • Cogito
  • scintilla
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