Parentheses have many uses; I find myself reaching for them often. Increasingly though, I realise I can convey the same meaning without parentheses with little or only minor loss in succinctness. The benefits of not using parentheses, it seems to me, is that parentheses almost always throw off the reader in the reading flow of the sentence. Parentheses provide little information about how, when reading, the reader should enter and exit the parenthesised statement in a fluid manner.
This is not always the case, for instance consider the sentence from wikipedia:
"Mrs. Pennyfarthing (What? Yes, that was her name!) was my landlady."
Here, the statement inside the parentheses evokes a switch in tone and style of narration that would be difficult to convey otherwise. Still it suffers from the fluidity problem.
Other times as in the following sentence it is possible to remove the parentheses and accurately convey the same meaning, but necessarily with a loss in tone, e.g.
"My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three."
But there are a huge number of cases when the parentheses appear easily omittable, such as:
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. (Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.)"
Is there any benefit of using parentheses in these cases?