Interesting piece from Oliver Burkeman about why people aren’t terribly interested in the really big and important news stories, like the fiscal cliff in the US and climate change in general. Also touches upon the importance of narrative to us humans:
In his recent book The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschall makes the case that our hunger for stories – for seeing the world through narrative structures – is inborn. “Story is for a human as water is for a fish,” he writes: so deeply essential that we may not clearly perceive it. And those stories compel most when they’re suffused with moral drama: strivings, betrayals, victories, lies, conflicts and reconciliations. (People who read fiction, he reminds us, have been shown in some research to demonstrate greater empathy.) Drama happens in human minds, not complex systems. This is why politicians know to frame their campaigns as narratives, and why celebrity gossip outsells pronouncements of climate doom.