George Packer, writing in the New Yorker:
Journalists and historians have to distort war: in order to find the plot—causation, sequence, meaning—they make war more intelligible than it really is.
There's a nontrivial value to this kind of deception, but it's a tricky balance to strike. One presumes that there are lessons to learn from war, and it follows that someone should be empowered to tease those meanings from the (literal and figurative) rubble. At the same time, I have a strong aversion to making even subtle modifications to underlying truths, and it worries me to consider that what I read is distinctly different from facts.
This same dilemma extends to other realms, including my own (as it were). Business analysis (even that which I find most insightful) and the opinions of experts are subject to all manner of distortions, and I struggle to keep those out of my own work.