I’ve Got a Glock in my Harari

Moments that resonate deep in our psyche are the most powerful. What are they and why?

Our automatic / “fast” self experiences, while our processing / “slow” self analyzes. There’s a connection in the middle, and it’s kind of like a two way road with a drawbridge. It’s always there, but not always open for traffic.

Once in a while a special moment hits our fast selves, we take it across the bridge, slow it down to replay it several times, and really feel/analyze/internalize it.

Yuval Noah Harari’s works (specifically “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus”) are about that drawbridge and how it’s come to operate in the way that it does, individually and socially. We are cause and effect collection machines (did I steal that Tim Ferriss or James Altucher?). We take those experiences and pile them up into institutions like religion and science, because, what else are we supposed to do with them?

Once in place, institutions and slow processes are particularly hard to upend, but they do shift over time. When they do, it’s seismic. It takes a series of moments to cause those shifts. And yet, those moments are just a series of stories.

On a smaller scale, we see this all of the time with products and ecosystems. It takes a lot to get an Apple user to switch to Android, but occasionally it happens (and vice versa). It took a while go get book readers to be OK with Amazon, and now it’s hard to think of anything we can’t have delivered to our doorstep. The path between old product ecosystem and new product ecosystem is pure story telling. This is the true art of marketing.

The lesson is that it’s not just the bridge between why we currently respond the way that we do to some stimulus, but finding where the next bridge will be. Where will it appear to take us from the current ecosystem to the new one? How do we find it? What’s the story that will get us, individually and/or collectively, to cross?

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