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Is it true? Are there at least two sides to every story?

Are there at least two sides to every story?


  • Total voters
    10

Twilight Hue

Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.
Each and every first person narrative has another side to it. Pick one, anything, and I'll show you. Or write one...

ETA: The different sides come from the different observers in the story, not the number of authors, or a first person perspective.

For example: I went to the store and bought a candy bar. <--- simple first person narrative. Another side of the story is coming from the cashier.
Yes but the cashier is not the focus in a first person narrative.
 

Secret Chief

nirvana is samsara
I vote yes, because, a court of law is considered fair when it makes its judgments after hearing from both sides of a conflict, not before. And. I cannot think of any story which does not have multiple sides, multiple ways of considering it.
Reminds me...
Recently on TV there was a reenactment of a real court case (a murder). Names were obviously changed but the facts were as per the actual (alleged) murder. The accused had admitted the killing, but denied it was murder and so pleaded not guilty. The programme was several episodes long. The parts were all played by actors....except for the jurors. The twist was that there there were TWO juries in the court room. The court was constructed so that each jury was unaware that there was another jury considering the case. And the outcome? ... one jury returned a verdict of guilty, the other one returned a verdict of not guilty...

I'm guessing the actual case took place in the UK (it was a British programme) and not an American state that has the death penalty...
 

HonestJoe

Well-Known Member
If they are witnessing the same event, then the story includes each of the witnesses. Yes, that example, in my mind includes two sides.
The problem is that each of those "sides" can be seen as their individual "story". And if those "sides" are told to third parties, new "stories" are created in the minds of those people, which may not reflect each other or the reality of what initially happened.

I think the core problem with your question is that it attempts to over-simplify what is really a complex and multifaceted set of concepts. Our perceptions of events, ether directly witnessed or described to us will vary and shift in all sorts of different ways based on all sorts of different factors. If only it was ever as simple as there being one story with two sides. :cool:
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
Yes but the cashier is not the focus in a first person narrative.

True, but that does not prohibit the story being considered from that side.

In the story I wrote ( "I went to the store and bought a candy bar." ) does the cashier's perspective exist? To find out, imagine the story such that the cashier's perspective does not exist ( proof via contra-position ). Does the story change? I think it does. Don't you? It has to. If the perspective of the cashier doesn't exist, then, there is no cashier in the story. If there is no cashier in the story, how did I buy the candy bar? There is no possible way in any possible world for the story as written to omit the cashier's perspective. Therefore, the first person narrative I wrote has at least 2 sides.

See what I mean?
 

anna.

Well-Known Member
Edit: In fact your own story will differ in an hour, a day and a year etc

A good example of this is the research into the accuracy of 9/11 memories (details like where you were, who you were with, etc.)

Our measure of accuracy is consistency with what people told us in the survey the week after the attack. From that first survey to the second survey a year later, the overall consistency of the details of how they learned of 9/11 was only 63 percent. At the third survey, three years after the attack, consistency was 57 percent. So people were only a little more than 50 percent right for a lot of the details.​
But they were particularly bad at remembering what their emotions were after 9/11—accurate only about 40 percent of the time, after a year. And yet overall, for all those details, people's confidence in their memories was, on average, greater than 4 on a scale of 1 to 5.​
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
The problem is that each of those "sides" can be seen as their individual "story". And if those "sides" are told to third parties, new "stories" are created in the minds of those people, which may not reflect each other or the reality of what initially happened.

I think the core problem with your question is that it attempts to over-simplify what is really a complex and multifaceted set of concepts. Our perceptions of events, ether directly witnessed or described to us will vary and shift in all sorts of different ways based on all sorts of different factors. If only it was ever as simple as there being one story with two sides. :cool:

I agree. I'm not arguing with you. :)

I wrote the question simply for specific reasons. First and foremost, I would like this thread to be accessible and, in some ways, easy to read and easy to answer. If I wrote a discourse on human perception and the stories we tell followed by a poll question, I'm afraid the OP would be a brick wall discouraging participation. I consider this a measure of my own limitations. Some are talented in "bringing down" complicated subject matter such that it is not a burden on the reader. In my mind, I do not consider myself a member of that group. I try. Maybe someday. On occasion I might succeed. However, if I am honest with myself, my natural inclination is to probe deeply and in detail in such a way that it is a barrier for others to relate to my thoughts and feelings. Because of this, I have resolved to try, as best that I can, to keep it simple unless absolutely necessary, and not to burden others with what is happening in my mind.

Additionally, I like to read the responses, not just their content, but also their style. The replies, like yours, which are not satisfied with a simple question regarding complex subject matter are particularly appealing to me. It signals an opportunity for a deep meaningful discussion.

For the sake of discussion, would it be accurate to consider the JFK assassination as an example of the sort of story ( stories ) you are describing? If so, can the story be told accurately without the witnesses, plural? If there is more than one witness, isn't there more than one side to the story ( excluding the special case brought by JustGeorge ) ? Even if the story is told omitting the explicit detail, ("I was standing in a throng of observers when ... " ) doesn't the audience automatically include the others who were there in the story? Unless it is explicitly stated, "I was completely alone and then ... " any story that is told about the JFK assassination includes the other witnesses.

Because of this, in my mind, the counter-example which defeats the proposition ( "There's at least two sides to every story" ) would be a very specific sort of story where there is one and only one observer. However, in my mind, even this would have multiple perspectives, multiple sides to consider.
 

HonestJoe

Well-Known Member
If I wrote a discourse on human perception and the stories we tell followed by a poll question, I'm afraid the OP would be a brick wall discouraging participation. I consider this a measure of my own limitations.
I don't think that's your limitation, it is just that many subjects aren't suited to this kind of forum, certainly not in such a broad manner. More specific questions, examples or hypotheticals might be able to meaningfully introduce aspects of the wider topic, but just a general concept presented in this manner, even if it was one that is much simpler, isn't going to work here.
 

wellwisher

Well-Known Member
I voted yes, though there may be only one accurate side to said story.
What makes the stories different is individual subjectivity during data collection and your method of data collection. For example, in politics, one may have a subjective bias, one way or the other. Therefore you cannot use some data, about the other side, if it would undermine your own subjective belief or bias. For example, a Liberal would have a hard time admitting Trump had a good economy before COVID. This data has to be omitted or else you shoot yourself in the foot. The story will be different.

In science, when you collect data, you plot it on a graph, and then draw the best curve. In the example above, the Trump economy data will be missing or even plotted differently; fake news, to benefit your position. This changes the graph by which we reason.

In modern times, since birds of a feather flock together, if one only gets news from biased sources, this limited data is the data you plot. This can all be good data, but it is not all the good data. Partial good data can impact the best curve based on logic and inference.

Another data collection aspect has to do with subjective data frequency. For example, if an airliner was to crash, this will be played over and over until it become this huge data point the size of a bowling ball. This one point can drown out all the less frequent data points and alter the angle of the entire curve; add irrational fear out of proportion with reality.

Advertisers tend to use the bowling ball of desire instead of fear. They use the repeat cycle, and target their audience; easiest to bias.

There is also misinformation and disinformation, like the Russian Collusion Coup and the Russian Disinformation laptop scams. These bad data, via so-called experts and fake news, will populate sound reasoning curves with bad data, which when reasoned, will lead one down a rabbit hole. Many are still down there and can't get out. It may still seem real, based on sounding reasoning, unaware of bad data.

There are many ways, one can game the system, knowing that there is more than one side to a story; propaganda.
 

SalixIncendium

अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
Staff member
Premium Member
What makes the stories different is individual subjectivity during data collection and your method of data collection. For example, in politics, one may have a subjective bias, one way or the other. Therefore you cannot use some data, about the other side, if it would undermine your own subjective belief or bias. For example, a Liberal would have a hard time admitting Trump had a good economy before COVID. This data has to be omitted or else you shoot yourself in the foot. The story will be different.

In science, when you collect data, you plot it on a graph, and then draw the best curve. In the example above, the Trump economy data will be missing or even plotted differently; fake news, to benefit your position. This changes the graph by which we reason.

In modern times, since birds of a feather flock together, if one only gets news from biased sources, this limited data is the data you plot. This can all be good data, but it is not all the good data. Partial good data can impact the best curve based on logic and inference.

Another data collection aspect has to do with subjective data frequency. For example, if an airliner was to crash, this will be played over and over until it become this huge data point the size of a bowling ball. This one point can drown out all the less frequent data points and alter the angle of the entire curve; add irrational fear out of proportion with reality.

Advertisers tend to use the bowling ball of desire instead of fear. They use the repeat cycle, and target their audience; easiest to bias.

There is also misinformation and disinformation, like the Russian Collusion Coup and the Russian Disinformation laptop scams. These bad data, via so-called experts and fake news, will populate sound reasoning curves with bad data, which when reasoned, will lead one down a rabbit hole. Many are still down there and can't get out. It may still seem real, based on sounding reasoning, unaware of bad data.

There are many ways, one can game the system, knowing that there is more than one side to a story; propaganda.
Personal bias, media bias, faulty data, misinformation/propaganda have no impact on the veracity of the side of the story that is accurate.
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
many subjects aren't suited to this kind of forum, certainly not in such a broad manner.

How so? Which subjects and why?

What's wrong with starting broad and then narrowing the focus as needed or desired depending on the replies?

just a general concept presented in this manner, even if it was one that is much simpler, isn't going to work here.

Why not? Others were able to reply and contribute. What am I missing?
 
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