Storytelling Into The Future

Storytelling Into The Future

Welcome Traveler 4488 …

Can you use a narrative from Science Fiction to change our “real” Narrative?

As I watch the fantastic Travelers series on Netflix I jump up and down in my sofa thinking on my own mission – our mission. The mission to build a better world here on Planet Earth. Like in the “hypothetical” that I was sent here from another planet to make planet Earth the best place to live and visit in the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

travelers-netflix

It is a Narrative that has been in my mind at least since I was 15. And I have used it many times to get my bearing for my compass into the future and as a silly “What If?” Question.

The question I get in my mind so frequently is this:

Am I alone in thinking about my Narrative in this way?

Clearly, the makers of great Science Fiction and other awesome stories think a lot about the messages they bury into their stories. My whole life I have been going alone not having anybody to talk about how to use this for real. Even now in my newfound quest as a Change Maker in a big global network of change makers I have yet to find many people, who get’s as excited as I do when I watch stories and then immediately what to discuss the story behind the story. Surely there must be a whole network of writers to the many great Sci-Fi series like the Travelers, Continuum, Orphan Black, Black Sails, The OA, Battlestar Galactica and of course Star Trek and others that meet at events and talk about this, or is there?

Must I move there to talk about this? Can I host events here in Sweden about it?

What I’m referring to now is that I would love to put together and host a very special and cool launch and premier event for the world premiere of Ghost In then Shell movie. The old Ghost in the Shell (GitS) movie from 1995 and of course  The Matrix  movie that was directly inspired by it both changed my life in so many ways. I now want to bring this conversation into the open – How new movies and TV-series can change the life of so many more people.

Or is it me being too silly for my own good and just think, that this is way cooler than it is?

Then we have futurist like Jason Silva that just makes me think otherwise. He really get’s in a creative spin and mind rush when watching some really good storytelling.

Watch or listen to Jason Silva on Impact Theory about it.

The Myth Gap

the-myth-gap

And in his latest book, The Myth Gap and his talk on the RSA Alex Evans gives a very compelling insight into why storytelling is so important. He even quotes my favorite author Terry Pratchett on the subject:

People think that stories are shaped by people when actually it’s the other way around – Terry Pratchett 

It’s about this time in history – our must crucial yet. This is the time where we set the story and “The Myth” about who we are as a species and what we want our future societies to become.

Who Are We?

Both Travelers and Ghost In The Shell ask really profound questions about who are as individuals and as a species and who we can be and where we are going.

ghost-in-the-shell

Questions I have been pondering my whole life. Questions I want dig deeper into to find our quest. Questions I want to lift up to the surface to talk more often and vividly about. That’s what I do as Captian Future 🙂

Sillion Valley here I come!

As I now finally launches my company Sillion Valley I at least want to dig deeper into this what I can do as Lord Sillion – Capitan Future.

I will dedicate the whole of 2017 to see how I can apply “Ontological Design” in using stories and conversations about how we actively design the society and future we want. To be “A Force For Good“, like Dalai Lama and Daniel Goleman puts it in his latest book by the same name. To totally change the conversation this year.

What we focus on and what we talk about is what will happen. It’s how the brain works. And lately, the conversation has been about special events and special people who we don’t want.

Let’s instead focus on what we want. Start testing what we can do. To prototype it into existence. Build a global network of trust with Change Makers – Rebels – Guardians – Stewarts and Captains of Spaceship Earth.

Who is with me?

Who wants to create cool events around Sci-Fi and “What If?” Questions with me?

Lord Sillion
/I’m Captian Future

Also, listen to me and Michael Kazarnowicz talk about Ghost in the Shell in my podcast Framtidspoden

tourists-fp

Advertisements

The Storytelling Animal [Tell Your Story]

Have you ever come out of the movies like me, filled with excitement and felling totally exalted? Like your brain is on fire? Well Congratulations. You have just given your brain what it desires most in the world. An Awesome Story. Or have you skunked down in the sofa to see some brain-dead action in the hopes of turning your brain off? Not so. It can’t be done. In fact it is when you are in this state that your brains is the most perceptible to hidden messages and meaning in the story. Your brain never switches off. Think off what messages you are receiving when trying not to. Even when you are sleeping your brain is doing what it likes the most. It is making up its own stories drawing from your vast library of stored stories. And why is your dreams is so often filled unrealistic and magical events? Because your brain can’t tell the diffidence. That’s why your dreams all seem so plausible when you are in them. So Dream on …

This is your story

As you read this your brain is telling a story for you. Namely your story about you. If your brain is a healthy one you are the protagonist in this story. Your own personal hero. What if you can help your hero on the way? Let’s find out how you can help your hero along and use storytelling power to change the world.

Exit light, Enter night, Take my hand, We’re off to never never land

Many believe the brain separates fiction from reality. In “reality” the brains stores everything as stories. Humans are creatures of Neverland. We live in Neverland because we can’t not live in Neverland.

It’s best put into a story by Terry Pratchett in thees words by DEATH when he talks to his granddaughter in the novel Hogfather or as dramatized below:

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Storytelling is the heart and the soul of human nature. I have recently been reading “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human” by Jonathan Gottschall. And it has been a 10 year-long wait to read anything inspirational about storytelling since I read “The Science of Discworld II: The Globe“. To say the least, it’s a must read! Or listen to in this excellent audio book 🙂

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Why does we like storytelling so much? It’s because our brain runs on stories. Our brain is basically a pattern recognition machine. It likes patterns. And stories are just very big complex meta patterns that our brain can identify and relate to. Our universe does not contain any Narrativium like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld but we humans acts as if it does all the time. That everything that happens for a reason and everything has a purpose and a destiny. This is what makes us humans so special and this is something we should treasure.

It is always the present

The Past like the future does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The Future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our minds in order to help shape the world we want to live in.
The Past unlike The Future has actually happened. The Past, as represented in our mind, is a mental simulation too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened — Jonathan Gottschall from The Storytelling Animal

Most of us believe our memory is filled with reliable info we can access at will. Not so. But memory isn’t an outright fiction. It is merely a fictionalization of what took place. Memory is an unreliable self-serving historian. It’s there to help us make decisions that help us along for the bumpy ride that reality is.

Perceptions

Here is favorite quote from Emily Thorne in the Revenge tv-show. From the episode “Perceptions” of season 1:

“Years ago, I met a boy who introduced me to a book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In it, William Blake writes, ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as infinite.’ But in reality our perception is often clouded by expectations. By experiences. As of late I find my perception is blinded by only one thing. — Revenge”

“Truth is a battle of perceptions. People only see what they’re prepared to confront. It’s not what you look at that matters but what you see. And when different perceptions battle against one another, the truth has a way of getting lost. And the monsters find a way of getting out.”

This captures in a great way how our brain works and how we live our life inside our own little Matrix. Experiences and expectations are all part of our perception of the past and the future. Our place in the story we are telling about our self.

Pan Narrans

Storytelling has been around for as long as we have been humans. And it’s the storytelling itself that first made us into the storytelling chimpanzee we are today. You must embrace fiction. It will make you more empathetic and more able to navigate life’s problems and dilemmas.

Fiction pulls us together and unites us with common values. It’s the core that makes us into a groupish vehicle for our genes to pass down to our offspring as I discussed in my previous blog The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]. We use them to set a shared Moral Matrix for the group.

Epilogue

As result of how successful stories have made us, we are also slaves under them. And they can easily be used to manipulate and mold us. If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story. But if we use the power of story for good, we can use it to change the world to the better.

But you must also use caution when confronted with stories and the “Truth” that many will want to tell you. As you know by now, the truth can never be told but a mere “Truthy Tale” of what happened in the past. Many will believe that their opinions are facts, when they are just that: Opinions.

This also means that we should be tolerant of the myths of all the cultures in the worlds as the bearers of these myths, are most certainly under the spell. Be vary of conspiracy theories as they are often the fiction of a storytelling mind who find patterns all to easily.

The truth is depressing: We are going to die. We are tiny insignificant dots on a tiny planet in a tiny galaxy. We need self-deception to keep depression at bay.
We are Figments of our own imagination. Until the day we die we are living the story of our lives. This story is constantly changing and evolving. It’s being edited and rewritten by an unreliable narrator and this story are more truthy than true.

Enjoy it while it last and make it a good one!

The power of Storytelling

“With great power comes great responsibility” — Stan Lee

Now that you know more of the power of storytelling, will you stop loving stories so much? No, on the contrary, you will be able see life for what it is and enjoy good storytelling even more.

Day dream often! You and I are going to tell a greater story together how life on planet Earth will be in the Future!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]

The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]

Working together is as important as ever. So I dug up my old post about Jonathan Haidt’s research and book about why we are able to cooperate in the first place and build large societies that we have done today. It’s all being able switch the mind to a state where it transcends its own self-interest. Jonathan calls this ability the Hive Switch. The 3 most common ways to switch this state on is by doing some of the follow things together:
1. Experience awe of nature.
2. Dancing intensely to club music or at a rave.
3. Physically triggering it with drugs like psilocybin.

Many of the 6 triggers can be found at festivals like Burning Man. Who many think is the ultimate human experience.

So do find in yourself to reach out to others and build connections that will transform our society to the better. And do understand the human brain’s many designs like Sacralization.

Find Your Tribe(s) And With On the Hive-Switch

Here is a long talk from Jonathan Haidt: “How Human Beings Got Morality, Religion, Civilization, and Humanity”

Here is his full summary on the Hive Switch chapter:

“When I began writing The Happiness Hypothesis, I believed that happiness came from within, as Buddha and the Stoic philosophers said thousand of years ago. You’ll never make the world conform to your wishes, so focus on changing yourself and your desires. But by the time I finished writing, I had changed my mind: Happiness comes from between. It comes from getting the right relationships between yourself and others, yourself and your work, and yourself and something larger than yourself.

Once you understand our dual nature, including our groupish overlay, you can see why happiness comes from between. We evolved to live in groups. Our minds were designed not only to help us win the competition within our groups, but also to help us unite with those in our group to win completion across groups.

In this chapter I presented the hive hypothesis, which states that human beings are conditional hive creatures. We have the ability (under special circumstances) to transcend self-interest and lose ourselves (temporally and ecstatically) in something larger than ourselves. I call this ability the Hive Switch. The Hive Switch is another way in stating Durkheim’s idea that we are Homo duplex; we live most of our lives in the ordinary (profane) world, but we achieve our greatest joys in those brief moments of transit into the sacred world, in which we become “simply a part of the whole”.

I describe three common ways in which people flip the Hive Switch: Awe of Nature, Durkheimian drugs and raves. I describe recent findings about oxytocin and mirror neurones that suggest that they are the stuff of which the Hive Switch are made. Oxytocin bounds people to their groups, not all of humanity. Mirror neurones help people empathise with others, but particularly those that share their Moral Matrix.

It would be nice to believe that we humans were deigned to love everyone unconditionally. Nice, but rather unlikely from an evolutionary perspective. Parochial love [Love within groups] amplified by similarity, a sense of shared fate, and the suppression of free riders, may the most we can accomplish.”

Can we work together? [Homo Duplex]

We are all stuck here for a while. So let’s try to work it out!

I have been listening to The Groupish Gene: Hive psychology and the origins of morality and religion from The RSA with Jonathan Haidt and reading his 2 books ‘The Happiness Hypothesis‘ and ‘The Righteous Mind‘. He tells us why we do things in groups and why we are born to co-operate.

Thanks to a single mutation in our jaw muscle, around 2.4 million years ago, the human species where capable of growing a much larger skull and thus leaving place for a larger brain. With this brain we where able start evolving complex social structures and more advanced groupish behavior.

We became the Tribal and Storytelling Chimp.

Pan Narrans – [The Story Telling Chimp]

We are not a bee-hive and we are not The Borg. However we are a groupish species that are 90% chimp and 10% hive-mind. We are Pan narrans, the storytelling ape. It’s a term by Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart that they coined in the book Science of Discworld II. Our brains is a storytelling and pattern recognition system that acts like everything is part of a story. I talk more about Storytelling in this blog Your Story 🙂

We are all Groupish vehicles for human genes. We became able to use a set of shared intentionality that later developed into a shared Moral Matrix for the group.

This Moral Matrices then enable each group to elect something sacred for the group that we could circle around and the defend in a very irrational way. This sacralization bound us together and made us blind to rational evidence.

The Hive Switch [Let’s go raving]

We humans have the ability (under special circumstances) to transcend self-interest and lose ourselves (temporarily and ecstatically) in something larger than ourselves. Haidt calls this ability The Hive Switch. This leads to a sense of shared fate. This is present in the PERMA model of what makes us flourish by Martin Seligman.

We think that this Hive-Switch is made out of Oxytocin (witch I talk about before) and Mirror Neurons. It can be triggered in many ways but some of the easiest is experience Awe of Nature together or becoming in a state of Trance when dancing together to Trance music at a club or at a rave.

The Elephant and The Rider

The best mental model and metaphor for our brain is that of a very large elephant that makes up most parts of our brain that are in a constant debate of what decisions make. Then we have the small rider that is our conscious thought and reasoning.

The Elephant stands for our intuition that makes constant and instantaneous decisions. The Rider then works like Press secretary that makes up a story that correlates and justifies with the decision made by The Elephant. With the help of this Press secretary, we are able to lie and cheat often, and then cover it up so effectively that we convince even ourselves. Dan Ariely talks of why we are so good at lying in his new book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves

The Elephant itself consist of many small parts of the brain that is in constant “conflict” with each others on what decisions to make. David Eagleman explains this great in his book Incognito.

The Rider is there to guide the Elephant where to go and what decisions to make but the Elephant and it’s many parts are in charge.

Intuition comes first and Strategic Reasoning second

Reasoning has evolved to help us engage in arguments, persuasion and manipulation in the context of discussion with other people. It helps us look good in the social context of the group and help further our reputation and agenda within the group. But it also help us defend our group and its moral beliefs. All this has been a key to our survival and success here on earth.

“We are obsessively concerned about what others think of us, although much of the concern is unconscious and invisible to us”

We as individuals are very good at finding evidence that supports the view and standpoint we are already holding, mostly for intuitive reasons. This is called Confirmation Bias. That’s why it’s so hard to look to the other side and find evidence against your own point of view. Other people do us this favor so much better for us, as we do for them. This is why we should always be vary for an individual’s ability to reason. It is much better done in a group. But not just any arbitrary group.

It’s important that any group whose goal is to find any truth or make any important decisions to have an intellectual and ideological diversity.

If you want to change another group or individual the easiest way is to change the path the Elephant is traveling on not the Elephant itself. This is discussed in the book Switch in more detail. Many of advice found in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People from 1936 are still very good advice into how to change another group or person:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people
2. Smile or even better Hug!
3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

Building a better world together

What steps can we take make use of this knowledge and build a better world together?

1. Understand Sacralization
If you want to understand another group follow their sacredness. Recognize that they have something sacred that you don’t really understand and that they will defend with blind faith. When you attack it they will appear to act very irrational and unresponsive to your views.

2. Talk to the Elephant
If you want to change someones mind talk to the Elephant first. Start by bringing up some points of commonality and establish some way of trust. Then when you bring up matters of your different Moral Matrices. Begin by giving praise or give a sincere expression of interest. Then build on from there to a more common ground.

3. Moralize Demonization
Stop demonizing another group for their believes and sacred values. We are all prone to fall victim to the myth of Pure Evil. Where we self feel “Victim” to some form of injustice. So when you see or hear someone demonizing something, politely remind them that they are demonizing and that doesn’t lead anywhere.

4. Groupishness must be Managed
It’s easy for our groupish behavior to get out of control. Therefore we must help each other to monitoring our behavior so that it applies to a Moral Matrix we all can agree on.

All groups that seeks out some form of truth or affects other groups in any way must have both intellectual and ideological diversity.

5. The Earth Tribe?
Is there a way to unite all humanity on earth as to create a global human tribe? The only way we see this happening is by us being under attack from a common enemy like a global virus outbreak or some other global catastrophe like climate change, which accidentally we now we are facing. With common visions, obstacles and challenges maybe we can pull it together long enough to save life on this planet.

In the meantime all we can hope for is a new emergent network society with many small groups pulling in the same direction. Here Social Media comes out a as great tool for bringing all those groups together 🙂

concerned

Moral Matrix of the Mind

We are deeply intuitive creature whose gut feeling drives our strategic reasoning. This makes it difficult – but not impossible – to connect with those who live in another Moral Matrix of the Mind. This is exactly like in the movie The Matrix. We live in different worlds in our minds.

We are all stuck here for a while. So let’s try to work it out

@LordSillion

Holistic Thinking Ninja

Life is a Story #Blogg100

#006 [VI]
The Age of Storytelling [We are the Pan Narrans]

We are living in the age of Storytelling. Never before has we been surrounded by so much storytelling. I just love to engulf myself in a good TV-Series. And now Storytelling is even becoming a thing when building you personal brand or in marketing. In a sort this blog is my Storytelling about who I am and what want to do with my life.

I usually see some TV-Series before blogging each night to get my brain spinning. Some of my current favorites include Game of Thornes, Revenge, Suits, The Borgias, Americans, Boss, House of Cards, The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and Continuum.

If you have not read Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal yet you must do this. It’s available as a free audio book as well if you sign up for Audible.com using this link: www.audibletrial.com/D6G

the-science-of-discworld-ii

The thing that Sparked my interest in this 10 year ago was the book The Science of Discworld II: The Globe

Read my 2 previous blogs about Storytelling as well:

Engage in Storytelling – If you want to change the World. Use Storytelling!

Your story – This is your story

OH, YES. A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF STUPIDITY. YOU THINK THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS INSIDE YOUR HEADS.
’You make us sound mad,’ said Susan. A nice warm bed …
NO. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]