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We Are Ruled By Wizards

We Are Ruled By Wizards

Bending reality is as simple as bending people’s perception of reality.

Throughout history, the mythology of civilizations around the world has been full of tales of men and women who mastered a mysterious, esoteric art which enabled them to use language in a way that bends reality to their will. They’ve been called wizards, witches, magicians, sorcerers, warlocks or enchanters, and the utterances they speak have been known as spells, magic, incantations, conjurations or enchantments, but the theme is always more or less the same: a member of a small elite group with the ability to voice special utterances which shape reality according to their will in a way that transcends the mundane mechanics of this world.

People have long held a general intuition that language holds a power far beyond what ordinary mortals use it for, especially since the advent of the written word which was long mysterious to all but the most elite classes in a given society. This intuition has been spot on, though perhaps not exactly in the way that ancient mythologies have envisioned.

When I say “Bending reality is as simple as bending people’s perception of reality,” I’m not making some sort of mystical or otherworldly claim; I’m just making a factual observation about the influence that narrative control has over events big and small which transpire in our world. Many people whose brains lack a healthy empathy center–i.e. sociopaths, psychopaths and other narcissists–already understand this on some level.

Humans are storytelling creatures; everything about our understanding of the world is made up of narratives that are made of language. “My name’s Alice and I was born in Detroit” is a narrative. “The universe is 13.772 billion years old” is a narrative. “If I drink that bottle of bleach I’ll probably die” is a narrative.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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