Everything made now is either a replica or a variant of something made a little time ago and so on back without break to the first morning of human time. This continuous connection of time must contain lesser divisions. The narrative historian always has the privilege of deciding that continuity cuts better into certain lengths than into others. He never is required to defend his cut, because history cuts anywhere with equal ease, and a good story can begin anywhere the teller chooses.
High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.
When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.
The brain stays up all night telling stories while we sleep.
We just call them dreams.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a storyteller. (…)
A revolution in how we view and consume news, in how we engage politically, how we promote and fund businesses, how we spend our leisure time. And more to the point, it’s completely altered the landscape of the possible for art and for artists. We have new tools and new ways to reach audiences — and that’s amazing.
But the part that gets me incredibly excited is that we’re experimenting with new forms, too, or changing old ones into something breathtakingly novel. We’re making new kinds of art that can exist only in the intersections between media, not just taking old media to new places. It’s not every generation that gets to feel like you’re shaping a whole new art form.
We’ve discovered that the universe is not a place; it’s a story, a story of an irreversible sequence of emergent events.
— Brian Swimme
, Ph.D. from the department of mathematics at the University of Oregon for work in singularity theory, he teaches evolutionary cosmology at California Institute of Integral Studies, The Powers of the Universe
One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless. The tale is the map that is the territory; you must remember this.
— Neil Gaiman
, English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films, American Gods
, William Morrow, 2001
If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.
The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
Those who conquered all science and letters,
And shone as beacons among their betters,
Did not find the thread of this Tangled Heap,
Only told a story, then they fell asleep.
Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.