nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

On not trusting stories

Here's a 16 minute lecture by Tyler Cowan about the limits of the human default of thinking in stories.

The central idea is that you need to leave out a lot (mostly the messiness of the real world) in order to make a compelling story, and that while you can't give up stories (they're built into human nature), it's worth developing dubiousness about getting engaged in them.

I just tried to check some details, and the site wouldn't let me play the lecture twice until I deleted the cookie for the lecture.

Anyway, he suggests that any story with good vs. evil, or about getting tough, or that one's life is something coherent like a journey should be viewed with suspicion.

Link thanks to Less Wrong.

The comments there mention Nassim Taleb as also cautioning people against stories.

Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson is about women's lives not fitting into the neat trajectories expected of men's lives. At this point, I'm wondering whether men's lives aren't that tidy either.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded