Larry Beinhart has alerted us to fog facts
- truths hidden in plain sight
- knowledge that usually we do not know that we know
- important data in a lattice of trivia and spin
Beinhart wrote the novel American Hero, from which the film “Wag the Dog” was bowdlerized. In Beinhart’s novel, the President is George Herbert Walker Bush and the useful distraction is “Desert Storm.”
Beinhart also wrote Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin:
“… Fog Facts.
“That is, it was not a secret. It was known. But it was not known. That is, if you asked a knowledgeable journalist, or political analyst, or historian, they knew about it. If you yourself went and checked the record, you could find it out. But if you asked the man in the street …, they wouldn’t have a clue and … they wouldn’t believe it.
“In the information age there is so much information that sorting and focus and giving the appropriate weight to anything has become incredibly difficult. … On the flip side are the Fog Facts, important things that nobody seems able to focus on anymore than they can focus on a single droplet in the mist.”
Larry Beinhart, Fog Facts (2005) pp. 5-6
The next time someone irritates you by observing that modern life is so awash with information that people cannot track it all, consider fog facts. You noticed the fog facts in a mystery because otherwise the writer is cheating you. But you did not attribute proper significance or meaning to them, which is how the writer deceived you.