Thursday, April 24, 2008

Musing about the nature of fictional and real knowledge

We watch lots of television programs where the police go through a series of interviews and figure out what crime was committed and who committed it. Law and Order provides a slightly more complex picture, in which the conclusions of the detectives are found in the trial phase to have been only part of the story, and perhaps a part that had been misinterpreted.

All too often the situation is quite different in reality. A lot of crimes occur at night in a crowd of partying people. So the police are interviewing people who are:
  • not very bright,
  • trying to recall what happened in a very confusing situation,
  • when they were stoned,
  • even tho it happened a long time ago,
  • and they are lying.
So the police a bunch of people who they think were present, and get a bunch of different stories, and have to try to figure out what really happened.

Of course, television has a bunch of crime scene investigation programs which suggest that the physical evidence will clarify the whole situation. I suspect that more often than not there won't be much physical evidence, that which does exist will not be analyzed quickly, and it will tend to further confuse the situation.

So how about when we get the major crimes committed by politicians. The main difference may be that the politicians are smarter than the criminals, and therefore lie more convincingly.

No comments: