The Shooter and the Farmer
Two hypotheses, both involving the fundamental nature of laws and the universe:
In the shooter hypothesis, a good marksman shoots at a target, creating a hole every ten centimeters. Now suppose the surface of the target is inhabited by intelligent, two-dimensional creatures. Their scientists, after observing the universe, discover a great law: “There exists a hole in the universe every ten centimeters.” They have mistaken the result of the marksman’s momentary whim for an unalterable law of the universe.
The farmer hypothesis, on the other hand, has the flavor of a horror story: Every morning on a turkey farm, the farmer comes to feed the turkeys. A scientist turkey, having observed this pattern to hold without change for almost a year, makes the following discovery: “Every morning at eleven, food arrives.” On the morning of Thanksgiving, the scientist announces this law to the other turkeys. But that morning at eleven, food doesn’t arrive; instead the farmer comes and kills the entire flock.
Cixin Liu, The Three Body Problem
Truth, Truth, Truth, Fiction
In no few books and movies, the main freight of the story—beginning, middle, and part of the end—is about nothing except preparing the ground for that one Power Fiction at the end. Ninety percent of the tale is dedicated to creating a world in which such a Big Fiction could plausibly happen. Have you seen Murmur of the Heart by Louis Malle? The whole movie is a buildup to the climactic scene of a 14-year-old-boy having sex with his Mom. And it works.
How do we achieve that?
The answer is truth, truth, truth, fiction.