Some things I learnt about narrative technology

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Some things I learnt – about Narrative Technology

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One of the things I learnt is that people actually love and even crave positive future stories. Over the years I have spoken to lots of people, in private and at events, and everybody gets super excited when they hear about a doom-and-gloom-alternative. There is so little of it out there!

As my dear reader, I invite you wholeheartedly to get amongst it – use this world as a playing field for your own imagination, for your region, your life, for your people. Art work, stories, dreams, ideas, comments – the only way to make positive future scenarios happen all over the Earth, is to start manifesting the good stuff, together, as one humanity. I’ll be more than happy to publish things here on solarpunkcity, so that we can grow this new world manifestation like a tapestry, inching it towards existence, one dream, one story, one drawing, at a time.

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We don’t realise fully how important, or should I say, life-defining, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, are.

We inherit most of our stories, others we invent ourselves or copy from others, and then we live by them, under them, mostly without even noticing – and sure, they can be useful, beneficial even, hey, they have kept us alive up to this point, right? But the stories we tell ourselves can also act like prisons, keep our horizons narrow and our possibilities limited. They keep us from considering other ways of thinking, acting, and being.

It’s called conditioning, or culture.

How many of us believe that we are powerless, insignificant, that human nature is rotten, and that we can’t change for the better and don’t even want change because we are too lazy, or too different from each other, we are just workers, consumers, human resources, working for the man, cogs in the wheel, tiny fish in the swarm, now don’t ruffle the waters or we might not get our Christmas bonus gift card.

Conditioning.

Humans all over the world have much more in common than not. Sure we have diversity, and I am not saying that we should become one monotonous, uniform species. Actually that’s kind of where we’re heading right now, so let’s just leave that to the ants or the sheep, and realise that we have everything to gain if we work as one species, and everything to lose if we continue squabbling over ancient feuds, skin colours, and property that we were never supposed to own (I’m a big proponent of the Indigenous way of land stewardship).

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Stories are tools, technology. Old, very old, ancient even, yes, ancient technology. That’s the right way for a 21st century human being to consider stories. Stories reframe concepts for us human brains, so that we can actually understand what’s happening. They put a frame around concepts to show up the Groessenordnung (the order of magnitude or scale) of things, so that we can then understand what is happening. They touch us on a different level than rational scientific data.

It’s all over marketing, man, just there it gets used to sell you shit you don’t need. It’s about taking note of the important bits (buy a bottle of cola) and not getting lost in details that don’t matter (you don’t have a crowd of attractive friends you party with at the beach).

Even geniuses like Einstein realised how powerful our imagination and stories are:

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”

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Recognise the pattern instead of getting lost in HD detail.

Touch people on a different level that scientific data, studies, or news articles don’t do.

I may add more to this answer at a later time but for now I find this really hits it on the nail (metaphor came in mucho handy there).

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Imagining alternative futures is necessary work for humanity. Ideas form the beginning of any creative process. Imagination is one of humanity’s greatest gifts – and what are we doing with it? Frittering it away in status updates, anxieties, and television.

What could we do with it?

Imagining, manifesting, and ultimately, creating a different way of Being for all humanity on this planet – regardless of our petty likes and dislikes and cultural and historical hang ups. We need to shift that shit – collectively, because it no longer serves us at all. We are facing extinction, our planet will likely recover, but we will be less than faint memories, lost in the aeons of time and space once more.

So why not give up? Because that’s not a very ingenious thing to do. That’s cowardly. After all, we are ingenious, we have the knowledge, the research, even the technology – what we lack is the social cohesion, the will, the trust in each other, to bring about this change we need so desperately, to birth the new paradigm, to consciously partake in our own evolution.

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Our education system is flawed in many ways, and goal setting is often not something we learn, even at university level. But goals are so important for our development, for the unravelling of our human “being.” Humanity lacks collective goals to strive towards – we don’t really have many cohesive future visions and manifestations of the place, times, paradigms, the Zeitgeist, in short, the world we actually want to live in, and leave behind for those who come next.

I’m pretty sure that we don’t all wish to live as zombies in doom town, I mean, duh, really.

In order to have any chance of creating desirable futures* in the physical world, we first have to imagine them in our minds and hearts. That’s the first step of goal setting.

[*I use the plural for “futures” because we each experience time subjectively, so there are as many futures out there to imagine as there are people on the planet.]

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