It's that time of the year when many religious people celebrate Easter or Passover - perhaps two of the most important times in those faiths. They are anchored in stories that tell of events that provide proof, or at least a basis, for their underlying beliefs. But how can a story do that? And why are we, as a species, so influenced by stories? That is the topic for this Meetup!
From stories handed down by your ancestors and relatives, to movies on the screen and pages in a book, the capacity of stories to shape our beliefs and compel us to action is quite remarkable. Is it simply a matter of adding context and plausibility to things we don't know? Is it filling in the gaps that our brains cannot comprehend? Or is it entertainment that affects us in such a way that we cannot help but wish it to be true, and eventually it becomes so?
Think for a moment about what makes a great trial lawyer. He or she will tell a story to the jury that acknowledges the facts of the case, but in such a way that both is comprehensible and paints the outcome to his or her preference.
Or think about how some people are convinced that JFK died just like Oliver Stone showed us. Or that the Prime Directive from Star Trek is the way to live a good life. A great story can move people to extraordinary lengths, and their effects can last a very long time.
We will get together on the weekend of these religious celebrations to talk about why stories are so powerful, which stories are meaningful to us, individually, how we can be manipulated and deceived by a good story, and how stories help explain things we can't understand.
I am very excited about this topic, and if you are, too, then please join us at the IHOP near LAX (our regular haunt) for an evening of intense conversation and deep thinking. I can't wait! As always, feel free to invite friends - the more, the merrier!
I hope to see many of you there, and please use both our Facebook page, as well as the comments section here, to bring up issues, link to appropriate stories, and get a jump on the topic.