TED Community ยป George Johnson

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  • A comment on Talk: Tyler Cowen: Be suspicious of stories

    Feb 15 2012: Plain and simple, don't simply believe all you see, hear or read, form you're own opinion. This also brings home the idea that we all believe chaos must be brought under control, we must never allow chaos to rule, not once, not ever. Granted this is true but at the same time and despite our need to order the world, let go once in a while and succumb to the disorder.

    He did briefly touch on the use of the narrative within advertising. I find advertising truly abhorrent, constantly feeding us with lies, trying to make us feel lower than low simply to make a buck. This is where I can completely agree with Cowan, advertising abuses our need for the narrative in a very negative way. "Buy this or your life will be a utter crap! Men/Women will not want you! Your kids will hate you! You'll be too fat, too thin, too ugly, to brown, too red, too greasy, too smelly, too hairy,...". So what? As Cowan says, so what if that part of my life is a mess. I like being too fat, smelly, hairy, ugly sometimes or all the time, that's me, being me trying not to be sucked into line as I am told I should be.

    Having said that stories are good for us, they do makes us feel good. Whether they be fiction like religious text, off-the shelf trashy novels, whatever you like. It's good take a hit of of the unreality pipe. A sane and reasonable person knows a BS story when they hear it and can dismiss most of it. The buzz is worth a little IQ hit once in a while to get a hit. Chocolate and french fries are really bad for you too but once in a while they won't kill you and the tiny detriment to your health is worth taking to give that a buzz these things release within you!

    Joy is fleeting, it's never lasts more than a few seconds, so take the couple of seconds joy you get from the cookie, the burger, the trashy film or badly written book and then go out and do something creative to put the IQ points back on.

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