Making sense of things is a process of variously discovering and applying logical coherence, empirical adequacy and – the hard one – narrative intelligibility. Narrative is the subject of this post.
Narrative is a fancy word for “story telling.” And there is quite a story to tell.
Let us go back a bit, and by “a bit,” I mean before human beings even existed. Why would early hominids ever develop language in the first place? Did it somehow facilitate hunting? Well, other pack hunters like lions, dolphins, and troops of chimpanzees do not seem to suffer from its absence. (The latter group will evidently go out on murder raids against their own kind, again without any assistance from language.) Exactly what information could one convey with language, while hunting, that observation, practice and hand signals could not do better? Just imagine one hunter using language to assist in the hunt: “HEY FRED! CIRCLE AROUND TO THE LEFT! THERE’S A HERD OF ANTELOPE RIGHT OVER TH… oh … Never mind.” As anyone who has ever hunted in any capacity – or merely thought about the subject for an instant – will instantly recognize, stealth is of far greater importance than extended communication.