Monday, March 11, 2013

Without Story

But in the end--
--without story... without the ability to step sideways from fact into hypothesis--
--human life is untenable.
- The Unwritten #45
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Without stories human life is untenable.

Wow. Have you ever thought that? Stories are how we frame our world and understand it.

Something exists inherently in humans that drives us to explore, discover, and understand. We are compelled to take the seemingly random facets and aspects of the universe and combine them into a streamlined idea. We tell a story to explain the world.

What is causation if not a story? You drop a pencil and it falls to the floor. It goes from A to B like the plot of a story. Of course, correlations does not necessarily imply causation. But we like to think it does. It makes for a good story.

We are on a quest to find the great story. The supposed Theory of Everything hopes to explain all the workings of the universe in an elegant model: an elegant story to explain where everything came from, how it works, and where it is going.

Ancient stories of gods and goddesses likewise were attempts to compile all that we see into stories. Perhaps most telling is that all cultures have such stories and mythologies. We all tell stories.

It's the only way life is tenable.

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