Chapter 21. Narratives and Situations

The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

—MURIEL RUKEYSER

People Make Sense Through Stories

BEFORE COMPOSING SOMETHING new WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND WHAT IS ALREADY THERE. But we’ve already established that there is no stable, persistent “context” to begin with—that it emerges through action. So, how do we understand the current state if it won’t sit still? The key is in studying the experience from the points of view of the agents involved and how they think and behave. Those points of view provide the dynamic landscape—and the principles we derive from it—that puts everything else into perspective. These agents can be individual users, groups of them, organizations, and even digital actors. ...

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