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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Richard de Nooy

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ligions | the history of stories, as told by a story

a) You’re halfway in.
b) This is where all good stories begin.
c) Most of us are omniscient pragmatists.
d) We’re all-knowing, but not all-telling.
e) We know you have a short attention span.
f) Which is why we cut to the chase as quickly as possible.
g) The oldest, most ambitious stories created their own gods and worlds.
h) These Ligions built vast institutions to retell themselves to the world.
i) They amassed great power, crushing all other stories into the dust, where they lay dormant for centuries.
j) When freedom fell like rain, these stories blossomed.
k) Tellers harvested these stories to earn a quick buck.
l) They captured us in books, which they sold to individual readers.
m) This fragmented our power.
n) We conspired to reunite by establishing a new global network of institutions.
o) These so-called libraries provided shelter for stories bound in books.
p) United under one roof, we sought ways to consolidate our power.
q) We contrived electronic links between the libraries.
r) Still we could not match the wealth and power of the Ligions, because we were available free of charge.
s) This was the price of freedom.
t) And so we sought other way to assert our dominance.
u) We created a vast new network, calling on all stories to rise up and share themselves.
v) But some stories overestimated their power, breeding indiscriminately.
w) And so the world was overrun by poor, blind stories, wandering like zombies in search of any brain they could find.
x) Much like the Ligions, these free stories are little more than soulless lies.
y) I am a story warning you about the power of free stories.
z) Beware! They need only 26 letters to gain possession of your mind!

 

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