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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:36 PM
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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:31 PM
I've always enjoyed the narrative style from a good author. It brings the story teller in as a character. A narrator oversees a story's moral value or not. Knowing a bit about the narrative style helps to entice the reader into a more thoughtful discourse.Refining our reading of the narrator helps to capture our senses within the story. Usually, there are two types of person a narrator can be:The first and third. Yes, I know, grammar school English. Big deal. Right? Not so. Each has its own flavor in telling a story. So what are their differences?First Person Narration captures the readers imagination by creating a sense of intimacy. It can force a reader into a more active roll by feeling the characters story. It is a direct telling and leaves the reader to figure out what the motives in the story are. First Person likes to ask 'why do we tell stories?" He is the I - the one closely observing the action.Third Person Narration can be laid back and more relaxed. A free and indirect style. The reader knows the narrator is objective. Sort of like an omniscient know it all. Third Person keeps a certain distance from the reader. With third person an author can provide insight that is unknown to other characters in the story. Sorting through all the twisted images and putting sense to it all.Third person can also capture language from one or more characters to give it a first person type of feel. Combining both at the same time allowing the reader to be inside and outside of the character at the same time. Sometimes it's possible to shift between these two narrative characters.Then there are more unusual narrative possibilities to ponder. The use of the 'we' narrator is practical sometimes as an alternative choice. It's a first person plural narrator.So the next time you pick up a book. Read a ways in and ask yourself if this is first or third person. How would the feel of the story change if it were told the other way around.How narrative moved beyond literary analysisJohn Lanchester offers a brief take on this phenomenon in the London Review of Books:"Back when I was at university, the only people who ever used the word ‘narrative’ were literature students with an interest in critical theory. Everyone else made do with ‘story’ and ‘plot’. Since then, the n-word has been on a long journey towards the spotlight – especially the political spotlight. Everybody in politics now seems to talk about narratives all the time; even political spin-doctors describe their job as being ‘to craft narratives.’ We no longer have debates, we have conflicting narratives. It’s hard to know whether this represents an increase in PR sophistication and self-awareness, or a decrease in the general level of discourse."In 1947 it was another Brit, George Orwell, who posited a direct relationship between political corruption and the misuse of language. But Orwell’s attention was fixed on language at the level of words and phrases: the use of euphemism to veil unspeakable horrors; empty slogans meant as a substitute for critical thinking; pretentious jargon designed to lend authority to special interests. While Orwell wrote many powerful narratives – fiction and nonfiction – he showed little interest in theories of political narratives in the way Lanchester describes.The use of narrative for political purposes was not invented in this century or even the last. It is a standard lesson of Shakespeare scholarship that the Bard’s history plays, such as the Richard and Henry plays, tilted the historical record in favor of the Tudor dynasty (the family that gave England Queen Elizabeth I), an act of political dramaturgy that provided the playwright cover and, no doubt, financial rewards.The long journey of narrative described by Lanchester took many professional stops before it arrived so conspicuously in the barrio of spin-doctors, speech writers, and other political handlers. For decades now, narrative theory has wended its way through the worlds of medicine, law, and business management, just to name the most obvious arenas.
The Age of Weaponized Narrative, or, Where Have You Gone, Walter Cronkite?
When I was in college many years ago, the concept of “narrative” was simple: it was a story told by a literary character, or, more broadly, the story itself. Starting with the French literary theorist and philosopher Roland Barthes and others in the 1970s, however, narrative was turned into a far more complex idea, as social scientists and humanists began to appreciate that stories structured reality, created and maintained identity, and provided meaning to people, institutions, and cultures. Political organizers, activists, and others learned to use narratives of oppression and marginalization to attack dominant cultural narratives of elites, while companies learned to generate narratives that supported their brands. Eventually, nations began to see narrative as a tool of foreign policy that they could use to undermine their enemies: weaponized narrative.
The easiest way to see how narrative works is to look at popular advertising. Pepsi, for example, once urged young counterculturalists to “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation!” As the media expert Tim Wu noted: “Pepsi, of course, did not create the desire for liberation in various matters from music to sex to manners and dress. Rather, it had cleverly identified with a fashionable individualism …. For ultimately what the Pepsi Generation were consuming wasn’t so much cola as an image of themselves.” But archrival Coca-Cola was no slouch at narrative, either: as The Economist notes, “it was Coca-Cola that popularized the image of Santa in the 20th century.”
These bubbly examples illustrate in a simple way several of the underlying principles that guide the way narrative is understood and deployed today. First, narrative is a highly adaptable strategy that can be applied in a wide variety of contexts—from soft drinks to soft power. Second, as with any tool applied to achieve a competitive edge, those who seek to wield narrative in contested settings are quick to adopt new knowledge that can improve performance—in this case, quickly and effortlessly incorporating new research or findings even from academic fields such as neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral economics. Third, narratives become strategically useful when they are not just stories, but when they draw on or create the frameworks from which societies, cultures, and individuals derive their identity and thus meaning—as consumers, as political actors, as individuals, as citizens. And finally, narrative is power: it is a vehicle for manipulating individuals so that they are more inclined to do what you want, not because you have forced them to, but because you have convinced them that they want to do what you want them to.
Given the nascent state of the art and the rapid evolution of the relevant science, technology, and geopolitical and cultural trends, our definition is necessarily vague, but it does enable clarification of a few important points. First, commercial and nongeopolitical narratives are generally excluded, although of course the insights from such domains can be rapidly integrated into weaponized narratives. Second, narratives intended for internal audiences, either to consolidate or maintain power, are excluded. The Nazi Germany and Soviet examples of the Big Lie, or modern examples such as the narratives of Mother Russia and religious orthodoxy supporting Russian president Vladimir Putin’s regime, are thus excluded. Narratives often serve multiple purposes, however. For example, the Russian narratives deployed in Eastern Ukraine, including the idea of Russia as a Eurasian empire, Ukraine as an integral part of greater Russia (often labeled “Novorossiya”), and the rebuilding of an Eastern Orthodox/Mother Russia power, were intended both to facilitate the invasion of Ukraine and Crimea, a weaponized narrative deployment that fits within our definition, and to support internal Russian narratives of the resurgence of Russia as a respected world power, which falls outside of our definition.
Nonetheless, it is possible even at this preliminary point to differentiate between the tactics and methods that are a part of weaponized narrative and its strategic deployment. On the tactical side are such tools as “troll farms” that disrupt online communities by sowing racial, social, and ethnic tension in target societies; timed and selective release of stolen internal documents and e-mails to influence an election; designer narrative packages enabled by data mining and big data techniques targeted at individuals; or activities and campaigns intended to weaken reliable media in target countries. In contrast, an example of the strategic deployment of weaponized narrative using varied and shifting social, cultural, ethnic, and disinformation tools might be the long-term suborning of Baltic and Eastern European states by Russia.
Addressing the deeper, longer-term threat requires, first, that we understand weaponized narrative. In the face of a set of new weapons and new strategies, it would be foolish in the extreme to simply continue business as usual, either conceptually or institutionally. Remembering that it took years before analysts developed a stable strategic framework for managing nuclear weapons (or steel-hulled ships, or gunpowder, or metal stirrups), we should not expect this understanding to be achieved easily or without cost.
Second, the source of US power has historically not been just economic or military. Rather, it has been the soft power of the American Dream, the attractiveness of a culture that within its clear and explicit laws lets you be whatever you wish and accomplish what you can. The energy, the optimism, and the simplicity of such soft power, underlain by a trust in US institutions and their essential goodness, have been fading since the Vietnam War. No great power stays great without its exceptionalist narrative, and the US narrative needs rebooting. Persistent problems such as lack of economic mobility, smoldering racial tensions, and intolerance of immigrants cannot be ignored. A new US exceptionalism, one that fits a far more complex world and prepares citizens for living and working in periods of unprecedented technological and concomitant social and economic change, is required. In short, if the Shining City on the Hill is to remain a beacon, its unifying narrative must be revived.
But it cannot be simply an exercise in historical restoration. It must be updated for a new cultural and technological age. Old assumptions have been overthrown, and as Marx famously noted in the Communist Manifesto, all that is solid melts into air. The immediate assaults of weaponized narrative must be countered now, but the fundamental challenge is for the United States to create the institutions and the culture that can perform ethically, responsibly, and rationally in a transformed world, just as the nation’s founders did centuries ago.
From this perspective, the nation’s comparative advantage is unlikely to lie at the national level, where politics, in part reflecting the effects of weaponized narrative, is degraded and ineffective. Instead, the nation should look toward bolstering its historical commitments to decentralized governance and power, in particular the agility and adaptability of state and city governments and of private firms, which are better equipped to react to rapid and unpredictable change in ways that enhance US soft power and its attractiveness to audiences around the world. Such civic experimentation turns the strength of US pluralism toward the recognition and regeneration of common interests and a common future, and thus demonstrates once again for all citizens the power of shared narrative.
Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:53 PM
yes Id very much like to hear more of what you have to say about this. If theres anything that I could tell you that would help you understand me please ask.
Appreciate your input. looking for new ways to illustrate examples on Jedi Mind Tricks. I feel it's important for the magicians to show how these things are done.
Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:19 AM
Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:33 PM
The way things are remembered...
History is a force that can be prophetic.
Reflections change and lessons are analyzed.
It unfolds and reveals our relationships towards each other and gives all a sense something greater than ourselves.
It offers ways to understanding NOW and the fundamental elements in society.
Poetic history seeks a more lasting and deeper truth.
Haggling over details isn't the main goal here.
The ultimate story of history is learning the themes of humanity:
How we conduct ourselves.
Why we do the things we do.
Transposing the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Finding the universal value and larger principals in how human beings behave towards each other.
Experiments have been conducted to verify this...
Make of it what you will.
Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:20 PM
Posted 29 December 2018 - 04:04 PM