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  • Showing only topics with the tag "storytelling". Back to normal view
    1. Explanatory narratives - tell your stories!

      I've commented on explanatory frameworks before. These are the unifying narratives that we use to make sense of ourselves, political concerns, economics, and even science and mathematics....

      I've commented on explanatory frameworks before. These are the unifying narratives that we use to make sense of ourselves, political concerns, economics, and even science and mathematics. Narratives are accounts of connected events or phenomena that attempt to express the connections in an explanatory story.

      We're often afflicted with "just-so" narratives that attempt to reconcile or explain the way the world works with little or no evidence, like claiming inequality of inborn capacities, innate racial differences, or the intervention of supernatural entities and forces.

      So this is everyone's chance to tell a story, at whatever length they find convenient, which explains something that concerns them. Possible examples of story topics:

      "Why finding work is a struggle for me"
      "Bayes' Theorem accounts for everything"
      "Political parties can't handle reality"

      These examples aren't about me or my beliefs - I'm just flinging things out there. This also isn't a college narrative essay exercise. So just tell a good story about something you care about, that's likely to engage others' interests and concerns.

      Conspiracy theories are probably not a good idea here; the tendency towards them is a dysfunction of humans' ability to create, and desire for, narratives.

      I ask that participants in the thread refrain from attempting to argue with or disprove others' stories here, but they can become jumping-off points for new Tildes topics.

      If this exercise is well-received, it could become a monthly recurring thread. Feel free to advise on better structure.

      17 votes
    2. The intellectual mathom collector

      If you've lived long enough, read widely or suffered through the usual collegiate education requirements, you may find that your head has vast stores of disconnected knowledge which don't...

      If you've lived long enough, read widely or suffered through the usual collegiate education requirements, you may find that your head has vast stores of disconnected knowledge which don't necessarily relate to anything necessary for daily life. That is, until the moment some dusty lump of data becomes a relevant jewel.

      J.R.R. Tolkien coined the word "mathom" to describe questionably valuable clutter that you can't throw out:

      Mathom
      Last but not least, here’s a word you can use to switch up your everyday vocab. Next time you go to visit your grandparents, keep your eyes peeled for mathoms, a popular Hobbit possession.
      Mathom comes from the Old English ‘maðm’, meaning treasure, which fell out of use in the 13th century. In the Shire, it’s commonly known as a Hobbit’s trinket, typically a useless heirloom. Tolkien went further and revived ‘mathom-house’ as a museum stuffed with old curiosities.

      Do you find yourself collecting and seeking out information in odd corners just on the off-chance it will be useful?

      Have you a story of the time when some obscure, trivial factoid suddenly saved the day?

      3 votes