Too much story

We live in the dictatorship of the narrative. There is a whole philosophical debate about psychological Narrative, ethical Narrative and the Self (see Strawson). From the oral story tellers, to the novelists, to the TV dramas, to the social (Snapchat) and traditional media stories – story is everywhere. A mediated world creates more stories.

But it’s too much, story means simplification, means extraction of what could appeal to others – what they might understand. It’s a judgment on the listener or reader. Stories are abundant in our attention seeking world. But they are hardly new, too many templates. Stories get recycled and retold.

Every book cover comes with a story about the author (difficult childhood etc). Even in the business world, employees in large corporations tell stories so they stand out – emulating conviction and passion. Business consulting also adepts stories, how to capture the mind of the CEO so he will go away and remember. Politics has long used the story to persuade the electorate. The truth doesn’t matter, but the timely appeal of the political narrative does.

Resist the urge to tell stories, just describe the chaotic nature of the ever changing facts. Don’t let the story you have told others and yourself, hold you back.

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