Seth Godin about the Connection Economy

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin. I listen to him on a lot of different Podcasts. I have several of his books as audiobooks on Audible. And have seen many of his online talks. Here is one of his best and my notes of it:

Seth Godin at Nearly Impossible 2013

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https://vimeo.com/98687468

 The Notes

Your business idea should involve people needing their friends also using it in some way and talking about it.

You need people to subscribe to your ideas.

There is a story to every brand. What is your brand’s story?

Build a story into the product. So that people can tell it when using the product.

If you are making a product for everyone. You’re making a product for no-one.

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Do something that we would miss if you didn’t

The book is just the Wrapper for how the Idea is going to spread
Ideas will spread further and faster than before
Books may go away as Idea-wrapper
If you wrap your Idea in something that can spread. It will spread more easily
If your idea is something that can be talk about. It’s more likely that it will be talked about.

If you are in the business of creating value for everyone you touch. You will never need to look for work again. If you are in the scarcity game you will need ever sharper elbows to get ahead.

When you do work that goes into world and touches people. Then, you are connecting
Would they miss your work if you stopped doing it? Would they miss you? Your work goes beyond Dunbars number.

If you give the A to people who did something with the right intrusion but failed a couple of times. Then they get the message. That Vulnerability is okay. You don’t need to be afraid to try and try again. Persistence and Grit will get you there 🙂

Don’t copy the people we admire but to become the people we admire 🙂

Put yourself on the spot!
Pick yourself!
What matters now in the Connection Economy

Trust
Permission
Remarkability
Leadership
Stories that spread
Humanity: connection, compassion, and humility

LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

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The Storytelling Animal [Tell Your Story]

Have you ever come out of the movies like me, filled with excitement and felling totally exalted? Like your brain is on fire? Well Congratulations. You have just given your brain what it desires most in the world. An Awesome Story. Or have you skunked down in the sofa to see some brain-dead action in the hopes of turning your brain off? Not so. It can’t be done. In fact it is when you are in this state that your brains is the most perceptible to hidden messages and meaning in the story. Your brain never switches off. Think off what messages you are receiving when trying not to. Even when you are sleeping your brain is doing what it likes the most. It is making up its own stories drawing from your vast library of stored stories. And why is your dreams is so often filled unrealistic and magical events? Because your brain can’t tell the diffidence. That’s why your dreams all seem so plausible when you are in them. So Dream on …

This is your story

As you read this your brain is telling a story for you. Namely your story about you. If your brain is a healthy one you are the protagonist in this story. Your own personal hero. What if you can help your hero on the way? Let’s find out how you can help your hero along and use storytelling power to change the world.

Exit light, Enter night, Take my hand, We’re off to never never land

Many believe the brain separates fiction from reality. In “reality” the brains stores everything as stories. Humans are creatures of Neverland. We live in Neverland because we can’t not live in Neverland.

It’s best put into a story by Terry Pratchett in thees words by DEATH when he talks to his granddaughter in the novel Hogfather or as dramatized below:

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Storytelling is the heart and the soul of human nature. I have recently been reading “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human” by Jonathan Gottschall. And it has been a 10 year-long wait to read anything inspirational about storytelling since I read “The Science of Discworld II: The Globe“. To say the least, it’s a must read! Or listen to in this excellent audio book 🙂

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Why does we like storytelling so much? It’s because our brain runs on stories. Our brain is basically a pattern recognition machine. It likes patterns. And stories are just very big complex meta patterns that our brain can identify and relate to. Our universe does not contain any Narrativium like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld but we humans acts as if it does all the time. That everything that happens for a reason and everything has a purpose and a destiny. This is what makes us humans so special and this is something we should treasure.

It is always the present

The Past like the future does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The Future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our minds in order to help shape the world we want to live in.
The Past unlike The Future has actually happened. The Past, as represented in our mind, is a mental simulation too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened — Jonathan Gottschall from The Storytelling Animal

Most of us believe our memory is filled with reliable info we can access at will. Not so. But memory isn’t an outright fiction. It is merely a fictionalization of what took place. Memory is an unreliable self-serving historian. It’s there to help us make decisions that help us along for the bumpy ride that reality is.

Perceptions

Here is favorite quote from Emily Thorne in the Revenge tv-show. From the episode “Perceptions” of season 1:

“Years ago, I met a boy who introduced me to a book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In it, William Blake writes, ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as infinite.’ But in reality our perception is often clouded by expectations. By experiences. As of late I find my perception is blinded by only one thing. — Revenge”

“Truth is a battle of perceptions. People only see what they’re prepared to confront. It’s not what you look at that matters but what you see. And when different perceptions battle against one another, the truth has a way of getting lost. And the monsters find a way of getting out.”

This captures in a great way how our brain works and how we live our life inside our own little Matrix. Experiences and expectations are all part of our perception of the past and the future. Our place in the story we are telling about our self.

Pan Narrans

Storytelling has been around for as long as we have been humans. And it’s the storytelling itself that first made us into the storytelling chimpanzee we are today. You must embrace fiction. It will make you more empathetic and more able to navigate life’s problems and dilemmas.

Fiction pulls us together and unites us with common values. It’s the core that makes us into a groupish vehicle for our genes to pass down to our offspring as I discussed in my previous blog The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]. We use them to set a shared Moral Matrix for the group.

Epilogue

As result of how successful stories have made us, we are also slaves under them. And they can easily be used to manipulate and mold us. If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story. But if we use the power of story for good, we can use it to change the world to the better.

But you must also use caution when confronted with stories and the “Truth” that many will want to tell you. As you know by now, the truth can never be told but a mere “Truthy Tale” of what happened in the past. Many will believe that their opinions are facts, when they are just that: Opinions.

This also means that we should be tolerant of the myths of all the cultures in the worlds as the bearers of these myths, are most certainly under the spell. Be vary of conspiracy theories as they are often the fiction of a storytelling mind who find patterns all to easily.

The truth is depressing: We are going to die. We are tiny insignificant dots on a tiny planet in a tiny galaxy. We need self-deception to keep depression at bay.
We are Figments of our own imagination. Until the day we die we are living the story of our lives. This story is constantly changing and evolving. It’s being edited and rewritten by an unreliable narrator and this story are more truthy than true.

Enjoy it while it last and make it a good one!

The power of Storytelling

“With great power comes great responsibility” — Stan Lee

Now that you know more of the power of storytelling, will you stop loving stories so much? No, on the contrary, you will be able see life for what it is and enjoy good storytelling even more.

Day dream often! You and I are going to tell a greater story together how life on planet Earth will be in the Future!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

It’s Your Turn [And My Turn]

Tomorrow it’s my turn. It’s my turn to host one of the over 300 Live Your Legend – World Parties of 2015 in over 70 countries around the world. We are all kick starting the new year by joining in this crazy idea that blown up to be something crazy and real.

Live Your Legend – World Party 2015

Live Your Legend Local kicked of last January with a global world party then. It’s now a year later with many inspiring meetings behind us. So now we step it up. Come join us in Varberg, Sweden or find your local party if you are reading this on January 6th. Else just come to the next metope in February. Here is my take on what it is all about.

Scott Dinsmore - How to Do the Impossible

Scott Dinsmore – How to Do the Impossible

It’s about several things:

Doing The Impossible

We all see people doing impossible things. Things we could only dream of achieving. How then did they do it? And how can you? The universe is a hostile place. Here is on of my favourite quotes of all time to illustrate it. It’s from Terry Pratchett’s book Hogfather:

THERE IS A PLACE WHERE TWO GALAXIES HAVE BEEN COLLIDING FOR A MILLION YEARS, said Death, apropos of nothing. DON’T TRY TO TELL ME THAT’S RIGHT.
’Yes, but people don’t think about that,’ said Susan. Somewhere there was a bed …

CORRECT. STARS EXPLODE, WORLDS COLLIDE, THERE’S HARDLY ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANS CAN LIVE WITHOUT BEING FROZEN OR FRIED, AND YET YOU BELIEVE THAT A … BED IS A NORMAL THING. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT.
’Talent?’

We humans have this amazing talent to make almost anything seem “Normal”. So the best way to make something impossible is to seek out the company of those how are already doing it. Our storytelling human minds will then quickly internalise their stories to make it our own and thus making the impossible a normal thing.

 You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with - Jim Rohn


You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with – Jim Rohn

Not Being Alone

Almost all people who has ever made their dreams come alive has done so in the company and with the help of others. Other inspiring supportive people. Who all give their best to make something. So regularly hanging around and meeting people who already does the things you want to do or people who want to make their dreams come true as well, will boost you in making your dreams come true as well.

Start Dreaming and Dancing and Playing

So whether or not you have a dream you can either go find a dream or invent several new ones. It’s not really about “finding your passion”. It’s about living passionately. To get inspired by others and to inspire the people around you. And you want to be happy along the way. Happiness is not the end of your dream. Your dream will come alive if you are happy along the way. So start dreaming and playing and dancing on a daily basis. And your road or journey will become much more real and you will find it much easier to travel.

So it’s my turn to do this. It’s like Seth Godin says in his new inspiring book: It’s always my turn.

Let’s kick of 2015 into the most amazing year yet. A year of hope for the future. A year where we create our own future together.

Lord Sillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]

Working together is as important as ever. So I dug up my old post about Jonathan Haidt’s research and book about why we are able to cooperate in the first place and build large societies that we have done today. It’s all being able switch the mind to a state where it transcends its own self-interest. Jonathan calls this ability the Hive Switch. The 3 most common ways to switch this state on is by doing some of the follow things together:
1. Experience awe of nature.
2. Dancing intensely to club music or at a rave.
3. Physically triggering it with drugs like psilocybin.

So do find in yourself to reach out to others and build connections that will transform our society to the better.

Here is his full summary on the Hive Switch chapter:

“When I began writing The Happiness Hypothesis, I believed that happiness came from within, as Buddha and the Stoic philosophers said thousand of years ago. You’ll never make the world conform to your wishes, so focus on changing yourself and your desires. But my the time I finished writing, I had changed my mind: Happiness comes from between. It comes from getting the right relationships between yourself and others, yourself and your work, and yourself and something larger than yourself.

Once you understand our dual nature, including our groupish overlay, you can see why happiness comes from between. We evolved to live in groups. Our minds were designed not only to helps win the competition within our groups, but also to help us unite with those in our group to win completion across groups.

In this chapter I presented the hive hypothesis, which states that human beings are conditional hive creatures. We have the ability (under special circumstances) to transcend self-interest and lose ourselves (temporally and ecstatically) in something larger than ourselves. I call this ability the Hive Switch. The Hive Switch is another way os stating Durkheim’s idea that we are Homo duplex; we live most of our lives in the ordinary (profane) world, but we achieve our greatest joys in those brief moments of transit into the sacred world, in which we become “simply a part of the whole”.

I describe three common ways in which people flip the Hive Switch: Awe of Nature, Durkheimian drugs and raves. I describe recent findings about oxytocin and mirror neurones that suggest that they are the stuff of which the Hive Switch are made. Oxytocin bounds people to their groups, not all of humanity. Mirror neurones help people empathise with others, but particularly those that share their Moral Matrix.

It would be nice to believe that we humans were deigned to love everyone unconditionally. Nice, but rather unlikely from an evolutionary perspective. Parochial love [Love within groups] amplified by similarity, a sense of shared fate, and the suppression of free riders, may the most we can accomplish.”

Happiness comes from between

Happiness comes from between

Can we work together? [Homo Duplex]

We are all stuck here for a while. So let’s try to work it out

I have been listening to The Groupish Gene: Hive psychology and the origins of morality and religion from The RSA with Jonathan Haidt and reading his 2 books ‘The Happiness Hypothesis‘ and ‘The Righteous Mind‘. He tells us why we do things in groups and why we are born to co-operate.

Thanks to a single mutation in our jaw muscle, around 2.4 million years ago, The human species where capable of growing a much larger skull and thus leaving place for a larger brain. With this brain we where able start evolving complex social structures and more advanced groupish behavior.

We became the Tribal and Story Telling Chimp.

Pan Narrans – [The Story Telling Chimp]

We are not a bee hive and we are not The Borg. Whoever we are a groupish species that are 90% chimp and 10% hive-mind. We are Pan narrans, the storytelling ape. It’s a term by Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart they coined in the book Science of Discworld II. Our brains is a storytelling and pattern recognition system that acts like everything is part of a story. I talk more about Storytelling in this blog Your Story 🙂

We are all Groupish vehicles for human genes. We became able to use a set of shared intentionality that later developed into a shared Moral Matrix for the group.

This Moral Matrices then enable each group to elect something sacred for the group that we could circle around and the defend in a very irrational way. This sacralization bound us together and made us blind to rational evidence.

The Hive Switch [Let’s go raving]

We humans have the ability (under special circumstances) to transcend self-interest and lose ourselves (temporarily and ecstatically) in something larger than ourselves. Haidt calls this ability The Hive Switch. This leads to a sense of shared fate. This is present in the PERMA model of what makes us flourish by Martin Seligman.

We think that this Hive-Switch is made out of Oxytocin (witch I talk about before) and Mirror Neurons. It can be triggered in many ways but some of the easiest is experience Awe of Nature together or becoming in a state of Trance when dancing together to Trance music at a club or at a rave.

The Elephant and The Rider

The best mental model and metaphor for our brain is that of a very large elephant that makes up most parts of our brain that are in a constant debate of what decisions make. Then we have the small rider that is our conscious thought and reasoning.

The Elephant stands for our intuition that makes constant and instantaneous decisions. The Rider then works like Press secretary that makes up a story that correlates and justifies with the decision made by The Elephant. With the help of this Press secretary, we are able to lie and cheat often, and then cover it up so effectively that we convince even ourselves. Dan Ariely talks of why we are so good at lying in his new book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves

The Elephant itself consist of many small parts of the brain that is in constant “conflict” with each others on what decisions to make. David Eagleman explains this great in his book Incognito.

The Rider is there to guide the Elephant where to go and what decisions to make but the Elephant and it’s many parts are in charge.

Intuition comes first and Strategic Reasoning second

Reasoning has evolved to help us engage in arguments, persuasion and manipulation in the context of discussion with other people. It helps us look good in the social context of the group and help further our reputation and agenda within the group. But it also help us defend our group and its moral beliefs. All this has been a key to our survival and success here on earth.

“We are obsessively concerned about what others think of us, although much of the concern is unconscious and invisible to us”

We as individuals are very good at finding evidence that supports the view and standpoint we are already holding, mostly for intuitive reasons. That’s why it’s so hard to look to the other side and find evidence against your own point of view. Other people do us this favor so much better for us, as we do for them. This is why we should always be vary for an individual’s ability to reason. It is much better done in a group. But not just any arbitrary group.

It’s important that any group whose goal is to find any truth or make any important decisions to have an intellectual and ideological diversity.

If you want to change another group or individual the easiest way is to change the path the Elephant is traveling on not the Elephant itself. This is discussed in the book Switch in more detail. Many of advice found in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People from 1936 are still very good advice into how to change another group or person:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people
2. Smile or even better Hug!
3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

Building a better world together

What steps can we take make use of this knowledge and build a better world together?

1. Understand Sacralization
If you want to understand another group follow their sacredness. Recognize that they have something sacred that you don’t really understand and that they will defend with blind faith.

2. Talk to the Elephant
If you want to change someones mind talk to the Elephant first. Start by bringing up some points of commonality and establish some way of trust. Then when you bring up matters of your different Moral Matrices. Begin by giving praise or give a sincere expression of interest. Then build on from there to a more common ground.

3. Moralize Demonization
Stop demonizing another group for their believes and sacred values. We are all prone to fall victim to the myth of Pure Evil. Where we self feel “Victim” to some form of injustice. So when you see or hear someone demonizing something, politely remind them that they are demonizing and that doesn’t lead anywhere.

4. Groupishness must be Managed
It’s easy for our groupish behavior to get out of control. Therefore we must help each other to monitoring our behavior so that it applies to a Moral Matrix we all can agree on.

All groups that seeks out some form of truth or affects other groups in any way must have both intellectual and ideological diversity.

5. The Earth Tribe?
Is there a way to unite all humanity on earth as to create a global human tribe? The only way we see this happening is by us being under attack from a common enemy like a global virus outbreak or some other global catastrophe.

In the meantime all we can hope for is a new emergent network society with many small groups pulling in the same direction. Here Social Media comes out a as great tool for bringing all those groups together 🙂

We are obsessively concerned about what others think of us

We are obsessively concerned about what others think of us

Moral Matrix of the Mind

We are deeply intuitive creature whose gut feeling drives our strategic reasoning. This makes it difficult – but not impossible – to connect with those who live in another Moral Matrix of the Mind. This is exactly like in the movie The Matrix. We live in different worlds in our minds.

We are all stuck here for a while. So let’s try to work it out

@LordSillion

Holistic Thinking Ninja

The Nation State Boardgame

How do we get people thinking about how we design our world and society? What if you could simulate and redo your choices everyday? Is the society you see around you the result of som serious systems thinking? And, if not, then why not? Can we make the world like a boardgame? And can we use games to make people act out their inner desires to build an empire without them damaging our only world in the process?

Are You A Civilisation Builder? [Simulating Society Building]

Being a politician and playing the game called “The Nation State” is just like when I play any Civilization boardgame or Logistics boardgame except for one big difference. I can redo my choices every time I play my game.

Clash of Cultures the Civilization Boardgame

Clash of Cultures the Civilization Boardgame

In my games there are always many schools, strategies and tactics you can use to build a great nation or economic engine. You can experiment and see what works from game to game. In real life it’s a bit more complicated. The biggest problem is that each individual has their own life at stake for the choices they make. Another one is that changing the system can’t be done in a couple of hours and then back again.

AncientWorlds

Ancient Worlds – Building a Civiliztion through Colonialism

This all comes down to a very slow and inflexible system where no one wants to innovate and try new stuff.

My idea is that all decision makers should play more boardgames where they run a Nation State where they are exposed to a myriad of other options into how to run a society. Wouldn’t it we great if everyone worked together to build a better society instead of just forwarding their own personal agenda. What is your idea on how to make a better society? Is the Networked Society changing all this? Will transparency and openness shine a light on what the people in power really are doing? Can we help them in some way?

Setting up a trading family inside the Roman Empire in the game Concordia

Setting up a trading family inside the Roman Empire in the game Concordia

Increase Your Cognitive Thinking [Design The World Around You]

Me, myself, love the both social and cognitive exercise, that playing modern designer boardgame is. Have you tried it? And have you then reflected on what systems the boardgame are simulating?

Bring your brain out of its default power saving mode by doing everything on routine and into the creative curious high energy mode of learning new stuff very day – Lord Sillion

We can do this. Try to se the world and things happening around you in new light each day. What is happening and why? Has someone deliberately designed the system or is just and emerging effect of other small steps and choices?

Lord Sillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Is the Future For Sale? [Do You Own Yours?]

When I went to Almedalen this summer, me and my friends stumbled upon an art gallery with the walls covered in calendars sheets. It was an Art Project called “Dagar Till Salu” [Days For Sale]. It’s a thought experiment created by Filippa Krusenstjerna, Hanna Stahle, Lene Willumsen and Maria Lilja. What happens if you can buy your own day in the future? Can you call Dibs on everything that day? What happens in your brain when you buy a day? Do you in fact create your own future? Sure you can have visions and set goals. But are you responsible for the outcome of the future? If so, what can you do to Architect your own future?

Dagar Till Salu [Days For Sale]

Dagar Till Salu [Days For Sale] – We are buying the future! – Daniel Stintzing – Michael Sillion – Jörgen Welter

Is the Future For Sale? [Or do you sell your future?]

Thought experiments like these give rise to some very interesting questions. Can you buy the future? Or even the Present? What would you do if you called all the shots and where King for a day? And what happens in Your Brain when you buy a day in the future?

For me this evokes 2 different thoughts in my head. Should I start with the most worrying question first? I think I do:

Thought No. 1
[How do you spend your action points?]

If you have Money, Power or Influence how do you use that to affect life on Planet Earth? Now and in the future to be?

Sure we all interact with each other creating connections while weaving the tapestry of the future. But what if you can do it in a literal sense? Like in so many of the modern designer boardgames where you have some kind of action selection mechanic. You spend your time and recourses to decide on what outcome you expect. Can we do it in real life to. Sure we have desires for the future and they all constantly clash and interact with other people’s agendas. But if you don’t set your own agenda, someone else will. And that leads us directly to my next thought…

Thought No.2
[Are you taking full responsibility for your own future?]

So many inspiring people I have listened to lately all say the same thing. How do you shape your own future? Can you try to little? Or can you try to much? There are 4 ways to go throughout life according to Peter Sage.

1. To Me. The World happens to me.
2. By Me. The World happens by me.
3. Through Me. The World happens through me.
4. As Me. The World happens as me.

To go down to the desired step nr 3 requires both age and wisdom. We can all get there, with the proper mindset and guidance. So if you aren’t on your way, we can all help you get there.

Do you want to own up the outcome of each day by letting go of firm grip of too much control? Just do the right things that aligns with your visions, affirmations and goals and you will get there. We can’t predict the future. We can try to take control. Or we can let go and trust our own master plan. A master plan is also best if it aligns with all the other members of your tribes in this modern Networked Society.

My Day October 12 - I bought this day. It's mine I tell you. Mine!

My Day October 12 – I bought this day. It’s mine I tell you. Mine!

My Day [I Set the Agenda for My Future]

So how did it go in Almedalen? Well I bought a day in the near future. October 12th. This is now my day when I set the agenda. And My agenda is to talk with you about how we all set our agendas. So I will use it as an inspiration day for setting agendas. A Kind of META  thinking 😉

The RSA’s new idea ‘The Power to Create’ argues that the potential now exists (but is not yet fulfilled) for every citizen to be the author of their own lives. A responsibility we have in pursuing the creative life is to resist the lure of already conversations with ourselves, with our friends and, perhaps most of all, with our competitors and opponents.

And My friend Jörgen Welter also bought a day. In fact he bought 3 days 3 years in a row. Namely November 2nd all three years.  Let’s see what happens on his day. Why should we then do this kind of experiment? Because the brain is amazing companion that we can talk to. The best way to talk to your brain is to tell it stuff 🙂

People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
Seth Godin

This is what is happening in my brain, when I think about owning a day in the future. It gives rise to a feeling of autonomy. A story I tell myself.

Future

Tell yourself a story of your tomorrow. A tomorrow where you set the agenda!  A Future you Own!

/LordSillion

Holistic Thinking Ninja

Transformium [The Blockbuster Myth]

Trans … Wait for it … form.
If we experiment with the thought that we can play the present in either Slow-motion or in Fast-forward. We can then see the future being created in a comprehensible speed. To see Time Transforming the world around us at various rates. If reality is a movie, then we understand that for every new frame to come, we set the stage in the current frame, for the transformation to take shape. I will now give you my thoughts on how a crappy movie has my mind spinning and why we need to make better more thoughtful movies. They are never ever just dumb entertainment. Especially not the big blockbuster action flicks that so many of us, pass of as pure brain-dead entertainment. This is the ones to look out for. They go right into our emotional core.

If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Science Fiction Storytelling [The Blockbuster Myth]

Transformers … I know what you think. It’s the brain-dead action movie by Michael Bay with giant robots from outer space. Well I went to see it tonight. Because it has giant robots. And it’s a Sci-Fi movie where the future of humankind on Planet Earth is at stake. Was it a mistake? Or did I have free will in making the choose to see it? Find out below.

If you read my thoughts from last summer about what I think of blockbuster sci-fi action you know what I think of Transformers: Age of Extinction. To sum it for you here it is:

What we can Imagine –> We can Build

We must use Storytelling and Science Fiction to envision a new Future. And to raise important question for an ongoing dialog about the future and where we are going. We should draw parallels to our past and present to give us better picture of who we are and how we build our society. Why do we go forward? If we want to change the present into a better world tomorrow, then Epic Storytelling is the Ultimate tool to communicate a common vision of that future. Things we must invent and obstacles we must overcome. Everything is made up and we make up the future, together.

So what is Good Epic Blockbuster Movies to me? Here are some of my favourites: The Matrix, Avatar, Avengers, Cloud Atlas, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Transformers

Transformers – Age of Extinction

Transformium [Way Shap:ier Than Adamantium]

With that in mind. What did I think of Transformers? It’s a mess of illogical storytelling with very little insight why we should care about the future of the human race. The main characters are constantly concerned with each others wellbeing and maintaining silly Movie-American family values. All the while countless human lives are lost without a single though or comment.

And “The Age of Extinction“? What’s up with that? Yes the threat to humanity is very real, as in so many movies before this one. And yet most people doesn’t seem to get it. They do very little to act on it. If your going to die, doing anything else than prevent it from happening seems a little bit out of character. Well maybe it’s just really they way we treat Earth today in the real world. Nobody can grasp how bad we are treating it and we always think that someone else is doing something about it.

Can we use movies like this, to get us aware of the fact that we need to do something to save our “World” together?

Then there is the magical metal Transformium. Sci-Fi movies should stay away from trying to explain what is clearly magic by trying to explain it as science. (I’m locking at you Midi-chlorians). Some things we humans can just accept as a magical setting for raising some interesting philosophical questions. It’s what Sci-Fi does best. Stop trying to explain things like the Metal Transformium by making it a metal that flies around as little cubes just to form a robot. If this was the case they could just dissolve when ever they were hit or shot at. Just like the liquid Metal Demon in T2. If they where a calculating machine and where to use this power to the extent of their abilities it wouldn’t be a match at all. Make better technical plots where it fills a purpose to the story and the core of the message. Otherwise leave it be. On a second note. The name Transformium is used as a joke in the movie and it called this with full intent of irony.

Cade Yeager: [to Joshua] You’re an inventor like me, so I know you have a conscience. Don’t let your creation take control.
Joshua Joyce: I created Galvatron, I control him!
Cade Yeager: No, he’s been controlling you!

Then there is opening act with Mark Wahlberg as a broke Inventor, Maker och Tinkerer. Just like me, he has an unyielding belief that his breakthrough is just around the corner. I’m still waiting for mine as a Holistic Thinking Ninja. So this is the best part that actually resonates with me. And he is called Yeager which is an obvious flirt with the Jaeger Program in Pacific Rim which is much better movie 🙂

And what about the moral of the story?

There some few bright spots. Like when Joshua Joyce, the head of KSI, says that his intent for the company was never to be evil and he tries to make amends in the end. Otherwise there is nothing about what almost every movie now forgets to mention or portray. The move into the Network Society. They always fail to show, how we can use the internet and social media for good. With Sustainability, Collaboration, Transparency and Community at the core of global problem solving. The hero isn’t alone anymore. They have a whole team available at the tip of their fingers through a smart phone. When we will see the first Blockbuster movie to fully portray what this new paradigm shift means for The World?

Do You Have a Teflon Brain? [What Does Movies Teach You?]

Action movies are never just stupid entertainment where you turn your brain off. No can do. The brain doesn’t come with an off-switch and it are constantly affected by what it experience and the stories that it craves for so much. And everything has a message. If you can’t spot it, it’s just cleverly or unthoughtfully hidden from plain sight within the story. And the wrong message does actually affect us in the wrong way. I don’t give me any crap about that you are some kind of superhuman with a Teflon Brain. Like an On/Off switch that you can flip when you want to become invulnerable to the world around you. Your brain doesn’t work that way. Most of the cognitive work of your brain is hidden from the conscious you. The one part of your brain, that is actually a story told by your brain for you, to live through.

Engage with the stories around you on whole new conscious way and a new world will open up for you. If you want to know more check out Jonathan Gottschall’s book The Storytelling Animal.

“We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard” — Jonathan Gottschall

Should we then stop going to see stupid movies by the kinds of Michael Bay? The world surly doesn’t think so. As Transformers are breaking all kinds of records just in its first week. What should we do then to stop this madness? Voting with our dollars sure doesn’t work. Reflecting in groups? Hope for the Wachowskis to save us? Give me your thoughts in the comments below.

How can we bust the “Blockbuster Myth”, that I would like to call it?

What Can You Transform? [The World of Tomorrow]

How can I use this movie to further my own thoughts? Well Transformium is actually a good name for us to use in another context. That we create our own tomorrow by transforming our present Space-time Continuum. We have this magic super power in our hands. Just yesterday I posted some questions about how we create Tomorrow that I call The World of Tomorrow.

World of Tomorrow

By telling stories of your own tomorrow you can actually change the way you act, think and behave today. Remember that Tomorrow is just a fantasy in your mind.

“The past, like the future, does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our heads in order to help shape the world we want to live in. The past, unlike the future, has actually happened. But the past, as represented in our minds, is a mental simulation, too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened, and many of the details – small and large – are unreliable. Memory isn’t outright fiction; it is merely a fictionalisation” — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Go forth and tell better stories of a Tomorrow that you want to live in!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Update:
Added The Moral of the Story and my favorit Blockbuster Movies.