Why People Don’t Understand (whatever it is that they don’t understand) – Part Two

5. I have been told several times that “the facts keep changing.” The facts do not keep changing. That is the definition of a fact. The stories keep changing. Facts are facts; stories are metaphors. To be useful, stories must represent fact. Therefore, as cultures change, stories change, but the facts do not. The moon and the earth keep going around. Will they forever? I don’t know, and that is not the point. The point is that we need facts about our environment in order to stay alive, and unless the stories help us to understand reality they are not helping us to stay alive and healthy and to raise our children in harmony with reality. That’s why facts are more powerful than the stories for growing a sustainable lifestyle. Originally, biologically, that’s what human stories are for – to grow behavioral guidelines that keep people out of trouble by emphasizing that bad behaviors will have bad results. Like – don’t jump off a cliff; don’t eat up the seeds for next years planting. And many behaviors that are much more subtle but amazingly wise. That’s what stories are for in human societies. That’s why the corposystem wants to keep the real facts for itself, and control the stories to project the image they want you to believe in, to entertain, divide and emasculate the people with a belief system that aligns them with the desires of the corposystem excess, rather than the reality of biological limits to our behaviors.

6. The indiscriminate use of metaphors. Words are also metaphors. I think this nonsense phrase – “The facts keep changing” – came out of a popular book about science that was written by a nonscientist who thought it was a cute phrase. It certainly is a radically unscientific phrase. I think everyone involved with the media, and also everyone else, has an obligation to not say things that aren’t true, whether or not they are cute. Even if they are Bill Moyers talking about the “DNA of culture.” The whole point of DNA is that it is NOT changed by culture. Geneticists took about 100 years figuring that out. It’s important to know what can and cannot be changed by culture. It’s part of our job to figure out whether our heroes know what they are talking about before we believe what they say. We can’t have a culture together if the words we use have wildly different meanings for different people.

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