Category Archives: Narrative

Links and Comments: Why People Believe

Links from recent weeks, on political themes. The point, as always, isn’t to rag on Republicans or conservatives, it’s to collect case studies on epistemology: how and why people believe what they do. More and more, Republicans and conservatives have … Continue reading

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Four More Provisional Conclusions

Here’s a first draft of four more provisional conclusions I’ve drawn in recent years; they summarize themes I’ve invoked many times in these posts. I’ll revisit this post and refine, before I add them to a standing page on this … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Science, Reality Bubbles, and Stories

The most interesting one is at the bottom. \\ Scientific American: To Understand How Science Denial Works, Look to History, subtitled, “The same tactics used to cast doubt on the dangers of smoking and climate change are now being used … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Against Trump; Roe v. Wade and Personal Choices; Scientists and Stories

Sunday’s NYT Opinion section — typically 10 or 12 pages — was devoted entirely to spelling out (yet again!) why Trump is such an awful president: End Our National Crisis, subtitled “The Case Against Donald Trump.” One section of which … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Cory Doctorow on Story

Slate: Cory Doctorow: The Dangers of Cynical Sci-Fi Disaster Stories, subtitled, I’m changing how I write fiction—for the benefit of the real world. The essay is on occasion of the publication of Doctorow’s latest novel, Attack Surface, a follow-up to … Continue reading

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Jonathan Gottschall: THE STORYTELLING ANIMAL: How Stories Make Us Human

Here’s a nonfiction book from 2012 that I just read this past month. It’s one of three or four books I have (another is called HOUSTON, WE HAVE A NARRATIVE: WHY SCIENCE NEEDS STORY) that are about the idea of … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Nature and Human Brains; Science Fiction and Mental Resiliency

Scientific American, Caleb A. Scharf: A Failure of Imagination, subtitled, “Nature does not have to play fair with our puny human brains.” A favorite theme of mine: how there’s more to the universe than humans are aware of; how there … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Secrets of Success, the 2010s, Gibson’s future, History v. Narratives

Here are a few items from recent papers. 1) Nicholas Kristof: The Four Secrets of Success. Which are: 1. Take a class in economics and in statistics 2. Connect to a cause larger than yourself. 3. Make out. 4. Escape … Continue reading

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David Brooks on Myths vs. Parables

New York Times columnist David Brooks runs hot and cold with me; ostensibly a conservative, he’s too inclined to dismiss new ideas in favor of sanctified values, for my taste, yet he does read widely and responds to many new … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Storytelling; Religious Fundamentalism and Fake News; the Attraction of Conspiracy Theories

Time magazine, December 5, 2017, Jeffrey Kluger: How Telling Stories Makes Us Human [S]torytelling is a powerful means of fostering social cooperation and teaching social norms, and it pays valuable dividends to the storytellers themselves, improving their chances of being … Continue reading

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