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This TED Talk caught my attention for many reasons, not just being about the human need for personal narratives and transfer of condensed knowledge, but the undue influence of the “story” format.

It reminds me of the most successful propagandist messages out there today: Some group of people X have methodically plotted and/or are plotting to do scary thing Y and the only way to stop them is to do Z.

Islamification.  Global Warming.  The New World Order.

The shreds of truth in any of these are obscured by a falsely cogent narrative instead of the sloppy reality that drifts in the vast space between black and white.  We don’t want to tackle the complex array of perspectives and larger contexts — we want to be tucked into bed and told a story.