and for the morons

February 26, 2012

A timely warning from Dilbert today, which should serve as a warning to us all. Like all good cartoons it is a little extreme but it makes the point. There are good and bad aspects to the growth of narrative and one of the bad aspects is the continual attack by some of its practitioners on analytic thinking. If you want an example of the dangers look to the current build up to the US elections (or the last UK ones to a lesser extent) in which the ability to spin a story that people want to believe has more power than any objective assessment. At the academic end of this the phrase “post-modern” can be used to make truth an optional extra.

Its always the danger when people react to something by swinging the pendulum rather than thinking of boded applicability. There is a place for stories, a place for analytics and a place for critical assessment of a situation. So maybe the story telling movement should think about moderating its post-modern crusade to privilege one form of communication over others. In doing so it would itself be enriched, and would reduce the risk of doing harm.

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