I have, at various times, come across nodes that decry the 'waste of space' on E2 to node fiction, or creative prose, or poetry. E2 is for knowledge, the cry is raised; E2 is for fact, and reference. What would aliens think of us if Everything was all they had? We need to increase the number of factual nodes on E2. When people ask 'can you really learn anything from E2' we need to be able to answer with a resounding yes!. And so on.

At the same time, there are occasional defiant postings of fictive materials, prose and poetry; essays, whimsies, dream logs, dreams, fantasies and nightmares. I won't argue the 'objective' reasons that we need such things; I'll leave that to my betters both real and not, such as Robin Williams' character Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society, and those far above him in terms of art, wit and mind.

I would like, however, to lay down a few small points in favor of the continued use of E2 for fiction and creation, despite downvotes, despite apathy, despite rants to the contrary in the chatterbox or noded.

Some of us contribute to the world that way, rather than with fact. Some of us can do both. Some of us might feel that today, now, we will be of more use to the world and posterity noding fiction than noding reality. Space on E2 isn't our problem (yet); if it becomes so, I presume the Great nate will tell us, sending his Horsemen out to extract megabytes from our machines when we're not looking. Why not use it?

If you don't like fiction, don't read it. It may not be as useful, in the real-world sense, as knowing the precise specs of a 240-MB Western Digital Hard Drive; however, it may (at the same time) be more satisfying and satiating than knowing the top five most beautiful women of all time. Even if you're trying to decide whose picture to acquire for your desktop.

This isn't really a counternode to anything in particular. This is a positive call! Send me your fiction. Send us your work. I want to read it. If you wish, read some of mine; that's why it's here. While some works are written purely for the writer, and the mere act of committing them to paper brings the desired result (even if they are immediately burnt or locked up forever), others wilt and die without exposure. They need people to read them. They need people to criticize them, to praise them, to decry them, to analyze them, but most of all, to read them.

As an E2 user you are a member of the world's technocratic elite; just by being here you've demonstrated your curiosity and ability to learn. Here's your chance to put that to use.

That's why. There's no better reason.

Perhaps at the heart of this lies the art vs. science 'debate'.... I've always (rather glibly) said 'Art without science has no meaning, science without art has no point'

I really hope there is room for both on E2, but a balance must be found and maintained. Although rumour has it that factual nodes generally have much lower XP scores than do say, humourous ones, it does lead to the conclusion that non-factuals have more worth to E2, based on the XP that they accrue.
Based on my experiences here though I'd say the wind is changing; good factuals always seem to get enough votes to reach above the honour roll threshold. If I were to give advice to a new noder about what to chose as a subject for their first node, it would have to be 'make it factual' or be very sure it's very good! Regardless, if E2 can be likened to a brain, I think we should all try to at least try and keep it sane.

This is where the editorial job must get very tricky, factual nodes are generally easy to judge, creative writing less so. Down voting or nuking somebody's art can seem very harsh, and perhaps upseting to the noder....

I'm not an editor or anything of the like. I'm not a published author (though I say my prayers at night...). I'm not an English teacher. I'm not an E2 god.

I'm just a user of this wonderfully rich metabase and I, for one, find fiction to be absolutely necessary- as equally so as non-fiction. I, like CapnTrippy, believe, however, that the fiction posted here on E2 should have some merit to it. It is possible to write facts within fiction. Most sci-fi writers make their careers off of doing so. Stephenson, Asimov, Gibson, Heinlein, Ellison, Heller... the greatest sci-fi authors of this century managed to do it. I'm trying, slowly but surely. The real nit to pick here, though, isn't whether science is showcased in fiction, but whether facts are evident.

E2 is rife with facts. That's a no-brainer. Fiction puts those facts into a certain sort of context. Historical fiction, medical fiction, military fiction, dramatic fiction, psychological fiction... there are other types of fact-based fiction than just sci-fi. Setting fictitious characters around actual events can help to give more meaning to those events. Setting a fictitious story or backdrop to a factual discovery can lend credence to that discovery (and its possiblities).

E2 is more than just a dictionary or encyclopedia. If that's what we wanted, we'd all have memberships to Britannica.Com or Webster.Com. E2, on top of its factual foundation, is a community. In every community you will find artisans and craftspeople- especially storytellers. They give the knowledge of civilization life and a certain robust sense of possibility that hard, cold, intellectual facts don't. They, the storytellers, offer their audience's minds new ways to explore things found in non-fiction.

Don't discount the wonderful things that fiction can offer. If you see a story that might have some interest and factual information in it, upvote it, for it does indeed have factual content. Dreams with meanings are not diversions; they are signs of things to come. And, whether you choose to believe it or not, the future is a fact. Without fiction, many things that we know to be fact wouldn't exist:


Cell phone = adaptation of the handheld communicator of Star Trek.

Lunar landings = "foretold" as a potential reality by whatshisname, oh yeah, Robert Heinlein.

Submarines = ever read Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"?


There's tons more. Verily, there is more fact in fiction and the inverse cannot be true.

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