Challenge #01468-D007: Beware of Storytellers
“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” - Terry Pratchett (GNU) -- RecklessPrudence
What's most impressive about humans, besides their patented unkillability, is their propensity for stories. Stories encompass their lives. They explain their past with stories. Foretell the future with stories...
They even seek evidence to weave a story when nobody is alive to tell it. They expand upon their own lives. Make themselves into stories. They make their friends and family into stories, anecdotes, even jokes.
And they tell themselves stories to motivate themselves in their day-to-day lives. The most worrying part is... many of these stories come true. For example...
"If I can make this jump," they tell themselves, "I can grab that tool and use it to fix our problem." With a goal in mind, the human makes the jump. They get the tool, and save the day when a different species would have surrendered to their fate.
Humans bend their will to the world around them. And the world... bends back. Once, a human told a Vorax, "You don't want to eat me," with a straight face, and it worked. By the time the human was done weaving a tale, their friends had arrived with superior weaponry.
They even tell the story of a woman, held captive and under sentence of death, who kept her captor enthralled for over one thousand nights. They tell the stories of people who tell stories.
And sometimes, the story is no more complicated than, "I heard that some dude actually did this once." And, miraculously, they become that some dude.
Humans can do the impossible because they frequently tell themselves that they can. Though, rarely, they do the impossible because they don't know that they can't. It's a subtle difference, not easily observable by the layperson.
We at the Wikipedia Galactica recommend that you always act cautiously around a human who is in the middle of spinning a tale. Warning signs include, but are not limited to: frequent and expansive hand-gestures, statements of existence followed by the word 'see' [eg: "There was this asteroid, see?"], and the presence of an intoxicating beverage.
[AN: Apologies for the out-of-order archive posts, today. I'm still working out how Streemit works.]
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