February 8, 2010

A Story Culture

A Story Culture

Interesting article about attention to the hierarchy of information, data, knowledge, and wisdom at Rands in Repose titled, A Story Culture. The point: people like stories, and synthesis-ability (wisdom) produces the best stories.

The construction of a story has very little to do with writing. It has to do with the semi-magical process of you taking disparate pieces of information, combining them into something new, which includes your experience and understanding, and then giving them to someone else.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot: why write if the people I know/who know me aren’t reading? In other words, what would make someone who doesn’t know me want to read what I wrote? Friends and family are often satisfied at the information and data levels. The shared facts, even if nugatory, fit into an already informed narrative, so need to connect the dots is a low bar. Students may get by with data and knowledge. And if not, we can pass the blame by telling them it’s their fault for not being interested. But the stranger/distance reader wants wisdom or he’s gone.

The value of the idea is one part that it is yours and one part that you gave it to someone else. It’s you and something new.

The closing line was good, too.

In this digitally distant world full of information that appears to only be moving faster and faster, you get to choose: how much will I consume and how much will I create?

My take-away: in order to create more (interesting things/stories), I need more work and more wisdom.


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