Tuesday 27 January 2009

more potent than ideas

Sunday's post about Nassim Taleb sent me back to The Black Swan where in the first chapter, Taleb writes:

'You need a story to displace a story. Metaphors and stories are far more potent (alas) than ideas; they are also easier to remember ... Ideas come and go, stories stay.'

It's another version of Buckminster Fuller's remark that you don’t change things by fighting the existing reality, you change things by building a new model that makes the existing one obsolete. (H-t. Theatre Ideas) It's why the arts have a key role to play in the way we come to terms with man-made climate change.

Two weeks ago, this blog noted that the New York Times had expanded its environment desk to bring in eight specialized reporters from the Science, National, Metro, Foreign, and Business desks. One day they'll bring in an arts correspondent too. It's not an add-on, the arts are critical. To quote Ted Hughes, 'What alters the imagination, alters everything.'

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