One of the most popular phrases used to describe marketing and PR efforts today is 'storytelling.'
It speaks to a human capacity to capture and convey big ideas over time and space in ways that make us think, make us laugh, help us connect. It predates technology and media and selling.
But what about the darker side of storytelling? What about our human capacity to manufacture and swallow fictions that aren't so benevolent in design?
Author Lee Child ponders the other side of storytelling in a short, provocative essay in this week's New Yorker.
Worth a read.
Ten thousand fathers ago, we would have said nothing, because we didn’t yet have language. We didn’t yet have much of anything. A passing U.F.O. would have written us off as a certain dead end. Our contemporary competitors, the Neanderthals, would have got the nod. We were weak and slender, and often sickly, and shabby toolmakers. Then we developed language, and everything changed. We had grammar and syntax, which turned out to be the best tools of all. Now we could plan, and discuss, and theorize, and speculate. We could coördinate ahead of time, with a plan B and a plan C already in place. A coöperative pack of early humans was suddenly the most powerful animal on Earth. So that if the U.F.O. came back today it would have to admit that its first impressions were wrong.