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Narrative Economics | Princeton University Press
"In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect economies? In this groundbreaking book, Nobel Prize–winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller offers a new way to think about the economy and economic change. Using a rich array of historical examples and data, Shiller argues that studying popular stories that affect individual and collective economic behavior—what he calls “narrative economics”—has the potential to vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises, recessions, depressions, and other major economic events. Spread through the public in the form of popular stories, ideas can go viral and move markets—whether it’s the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail. Whether true or false, stories like these—transmitted by word of mouth, by the news media, and increasingly by social media—drive the economy by driving our decisions about how and where to invest, how much to spend and save, and more. But despite the obvious importance of such stories, most economists have paid little attention to them. Narrative Economics sets out to change that by laying the foundation for a way of understanding how stories help propel economic events that have had led to war, mass unemployment, and increased inequality. The stories people tell—about economic confidence or panic, housing booms, the American dream, or Bitcoin—affect economic outcomes. Narrative Economics explains how we can begin to take these stories seriously. It may be Robert Shiller’s most important book to date."
book  publisher  economics  narrative  story-telling  policy 
october 2019 by tsuomela
" Folklore is the collection of traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth. This vast expressive body, studied by the corresponding discipline of folklore, has evaded the attention of economists. In this study we do four things that reveal the tremendous potential of this corpus for understanding comparative development and culture. First, we introduce and describe a unique catalogue of folklore that codes the presence of thousands of motifs for roughly 1,000 pre-industrial societies. Second, we use a dictionary-based approach to elicit group-specific measures of various traits related to the natural environment, institutional framework, and mode of subsistence. We establish that these proxies are in accordance with the ethnographic record, and illustrate how to use a group’s oral tradition to quantify non-extant characteristics of preindustrial societies. Third, we use folklore to uncover the historical cultural values of a group. Doing so allows us to test various influential conjectures among social scientists including the original affluent society, the culture of honor among pastoralists, the role of family in extended kinship systems and the intensity of trade and rule-following norms in politically centralized group. Finally, we explore how cultural norms inferred via text analysis of oral traditions predict contemporary attitudes and beliefs."
self-beliefs  identity  folklore  narratives  economics  to:read  story-telling  social-norms 
october 2019 by MarcK
Philip Morgan on Twitter: "@davidcbaker A hot take: storytelling is popular now because many businesses feel a poverty of meaning at their core and hope a storyteller can rescue them. They hope a storyteller can bring coherence to an incoherent situation.
A hot take: storytelling is popular now because many businesses feel a poverty of meaning at their core and hope a storyteller can rescue them. They hope a storyteller can bring coherence to an incoherent situation.
story-telling  Branding 
september 2019 by 1luke2
‘Game of Thrones’ Needed to Earn Daenerys’ Decision; It Failed
Sometimes it’s good for a character to be enigmatic and leave viewers guessing, but Daenerys is not that character. She’s not some unknowable being. She’s a queen fighting to take the throne. However, her actions have been at cross-purposes so there’s no clear descent into madness or build up to her actions in “The Bells.” The Daenerys of previous seasons was in a heroic mold. She could be brutal against her enemies, but she had an affinity for the downtrodden.
At some point, showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff made the decision that the dramatic tension of Daenery’s character should be based around unpredictability.
That may be great for dramatic tension, but it’s horrible for character development; it says that what you’ve done is create someone who doesn’t have a core set of values as much as they have a 50/50 shot of behaving one of two opposite behaviors. Everything this character has been through gets tossed out the window in favor of random chance. Maybe you could get away with that if we had never met Daenerys Targaryen before. It doesn’t work when have eight seasons of spending time with the character and knowing how she relates to other people.
You can see in “The Bells” how the writers are straining to explain Daenerys’ eventual choice. Her close advisors Missandei and Jorah are dead. Varys and Jon have betrayed her. But if this loss and betrayal was supposed to transform her, then we needed to see that transformation, not have it be two episodes after she was willing to risk her life for the fate for the world in “The Long Night.”
But even then, you have to get Daenerys to a place where she would willingly murder thousands of people after she’s won. That’s the kicker in “The Bells.” If the show had played it differently where Daenerys gets impatient for the bells and starts destroying things before the bells have had a chance to ring, that would have worked because it would speak to her impatience and being so close to her goal that she can’t risk losing it. It would also add an air of tragedy–that if she had just waited a few more moments, lives could have been spared, but she was so concerned with herself, she didn’t want to wait. While still a rushed conclusion, it would at least have a reasonable motivation to it. But she’s won! She knows she’s won! And she chooses to murder thousands of innocent people for no reason!
One can make the argument that the show has always been headed here. You can say Daenerys burns people all the time, and that’s true. However, she burns people who have wronged her. She’s reactive, and her vengeance is swift, but she doesn’t just kill people for no reason. Yet her reasoning for burning thousands of people to death in a battle she’s already won is suddenly, “I guess I need to rule by fear because my BFFs are dead.” That makes no sense! Cersei is a character who I absolutely believe would kills thousands of innocents to achieve her goals. When Cersei blew up the Great Sept of Baelor, no one questioned it because we knew she was ruthless and didn’t care about killing innocent people. But for Daenerys, there’s a sizable gap between burning your enemies and burning thousands of innocent people in a battle you’ve already won.
Given all of this, it looks like Weiss and Benioff attached themselves to two ideas to close out the series. First, that Daenerys, as a Targaryen, walks a thin line between greatness and madness even though her “madness” seems only to have emerged late in the game and for flimsy reasons of isolation. Second, that those who are perceived as heroes are capable of great atrocities in their quest for power, which would work except toasting all your subjects when you’ve already won the battle is nonsensical and would require levels of madness that are clear and unambiguous. These two ideas do not work together because one is built on not knowing which way Daenerys will go, and the other is built on sending her on a path so clear that the evidence for it is insurmountable.
Given more time, we could see how greatness morphs into madness and no notices or comments because they’re attached to an ideal or they’re willing to ignore clear warning signs (like executing innocents as opposed to people who have tried to kill you or enslave you). There is a way to get to Daenerys, flying high above King’s Landing, deciding to burn the whole thing down even though she’s already victorious. But “The Bells” didn’t get there. It wasn’t even close.
Television  Fantasy  Game  of  Thrones  Narratology  Story-telling 
may 2019 by dbourn
nobody wants to read your shit
steven pressfield on keeping attention, new idea/product
story-telling  product  pragmatic  copywriting 
march 2019 by arifba
name it, and they will come
dan abramov on new project copyrighting and comms
story-telling  product  pragmatic  copywriting 
march 2019 by arifba

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