For Mark Twain, things which didn’t make sense were ‘strange’.

For Tom Clancy, a mere hundred years later, they were only ‘different’.

Wanna make some sense out of this?

Do you believe that truth is stranger than fiction?
“Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction,” said Basil, placidly.
“For fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it.”

G.K. Chesterton, 1905

The difference between ‘strange’ and ‘different’ isn’t ‘menial’. Nor harmless.

Currently, we’re still allowed to frown upon things which are ‘strange’ but are insistently taught that ‘different’ is good.

Beyond ‘acceptable’. Actually good!

I’m different.
Noticeably different.
Different enough to know, first hand, how it feels to be frowned upon.
Also, different enough to figure out the difference between ‘acceptable’ and ‘good’.

More than two millennia ago, Protagoras opened up our eyes. Told us it was our job, and responsibility, to ‘measure accurately’.
More than a hundred years ago, Twain warned us. Told us to be careful of ‘well spun fictions’. Of stories too good to be true. Of the fact that in our quest for consistency we are prone to actually discard the uncomfortable truth.

Are we going in the right direction?

In a sense, there isn’t much difference between Mark Twain’s and Tom Clancy’s words.
On the other hand, there is a huge difference between ‘strange’ and ‘different’.

Exactly the same difference which can be found between actual facts and alternative facts.
Exactly the same difference we pretend to not notice when we accept alternative facts as being true.
Well… not necessarily true… only comfortable enough to become acceptable…

Way more comfortable, a.k.a. ‘sensible’ – for us, than the naked truth.
Even if only for the shorter and shorter time frames…