As the nature of change changes, so does the nature of stories.

Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff wrote a fascinating book called Present Shock, in which he claims we’re losing our capacity to absorb traditional narrative. Technology has taken away our interest in “anything that isn’t happening right now” and replaced it with “everything that supposedly is.”

Once upon a time, stories could hold audiences captive. For example, TV commercials could introduce a damsel, place her in distress, and pitch a product that will save her—all in 30 seconds. Today 30 seconds of commercial narrative is too long. Viewers are not only bored with one-way conversations, but annoyed that someone they don’t trust would try to steal ...

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