First, there was the brilliant neuroscience doctoral student, James Holmes who turned murderer. Well OK, scientists and professionals do become terrorists, so after 9/11 you could argue such sagas are no longer “black swan” in nature.
Fresh off the press, we have the truly inspirational cancer survivor and biking superstar, Lance Armstrong whose story we are having to unwind, like a bad dream. In fact one bookstore has labelled a Lance Amstrong memoir as “fiction”, puchasable for a paltry one pound.
I have recently been tempted to ask the question, do real life experiences provide fodder for fiction or is it the other way round now – i.e. is fiction inspiring real life malice?
To get back to reality, we do make many assumptions in real life. Surely, it must have seemed plausible to some all along that Lance Armstrong could just be way ahead of the regulators in doping, and athletes being ahead of doping agencies in the doping game is not a new phenomenon. Similarly, what’s to proof that a scientist’s (or anyone else’s) moral compass is sound? The real life stories, it would seem, are built on somewhat wobbly foundations to start with.