Thursday, July 14, 2016

Stories Work, Not Logic

"...storytelling is central to innovation, the critical performance dimension of 21st Century organizations: stories are a kind of cognitive play, a stimulus and training for a lively mind." - Brian Boyd

There is a reason the Bible has had such an influence on the West: it's full of amazing stories, not detailed philosophy.

Stories work by drawing you into a narrative flow that appeals to your emotions. I often find advertising more interesting than the show because they can tell a complete story in less than two minutes.

Like this:

It's tells you all you need to know about pugs.

Nations even go the war over conflicting stories. As Rudyard Kipling wrote: "Words, of course, are the most powerful drug known to mankind."

For a story to be successful it has to make you identify with the characters. And the more it transports us into its world the more likely we are to believe it. And that, too, is how propaganda works: feelings first, facts second. In fact, when we are swept up by a powerful narrative, reason falls by the wayside!

There is a concept known as "wishful identification." Be like me! It's how the Manosphere works. Be an Alpha! You deserve it! Don't be a Beta/Gamma/Delta/Omega! You deserve the good, not the bad! And I can tell you the path! And sending me some money for my books and blog will help!

The Manosphere actually uses a carrot and a stick.

The fact these categories don't exist and make no sense doesn't matter. It's feelings, not logic.

I've mentioned in my last two posts about "Ayn Rand." Logically she's ridiculous. But that doesn't matter because she tells a good story. Be a John Galtian hero! Be a producer! Don't be a subhuman parasite! And I can show you the way!

Somehow these people always want money. But then, con men always do.

It's no coincidence these cons thrive during some sort of national disasters or upsets. If society was a good as it was during the '50s the Manosphere would have gone nowhere. But now, when things are in many ways falling apart, men - especially the younger, more lost, more emotionally vulnerable ones - seek answers.

Fear is the con man's greatest friend. As I just mentioned, don't be a Beta/Omega! Don't be a subhuman parasite! Don't go to Hell! Send me money and I'll save you!

Believers seek what all of us seek: meaning, importance and community. They're just going about it the wrong way.


Glen Filthie said...

Actually I had to work through Atlas Shrugged. To my mind it was very, very poorly written. The only reason I stuck it out was that this woman - back in the 50's or 40's - was writing America's future word for friggin word!

The hero of that story wasn't John Galt, it was Dagny and Reardon if I recall their names correctly. They were go-getters. The villains were bureaucrats, the lazy, and the stupid.

That's just the way I saw it. As entertainment it was pretty thin. As social commentary... Atlas Shrugged was spectacular.

Twarog said...

"[I]n every age and country outside Christendom there has been a feud forever between the philosopher and the priest. It is easy enough to say that the philosopher is generally the more rational; it is easier still to forget that the priest is always the more popular. For the priest told the people stories; and the philosopher did not understand the philosophy of stories."

G.K. Chesterton