Words and Stories

Now that there’re about 7 billion of us around the world bumping into one another; it’s hard to imagine we were constrained in small kinship groups for thousands of generations. And one of the primary activities was probably telling stories to each other.

If I ask you to describe this picture, you’d likely tell a story to describe it.

I teach an English class here in Mexico. One of the most popular and effective exercises is showing the class an interesting photo or image they’re not familiar with and asking them to make up a story about what they see. They always like creating a story.

Data doesn’t mean anything to us until it’s presented as information and when the information can be told as a story there’s a better chance that we’ll absorb it.

If you wanted to, you could say “less is more” by writing down this “<=>.” It’s kind of cool and clearly represents the idea in the shortest way. A formula is more concise than using words. But, it lacks the warmth of words the same way you don’t enjoy the ceramic logs in a hissing gas fireplace the same way you’d  enjoy real logs on fire crackling in a fireplace. Both forms have their place, but I think generally we prefer stories.