|Vonnegut's "Cinderella" Arc|
Friday, August 24, 2012
One of my favorite science fiction authors, Kurt Vonnegut, once graphed the story of Cinderella in order to examine human happiness. He argued that the story followed a particular story arc, moving from misery to ecstasy, back to misery, and off to a happy ending. "People love that story," he told a New York audience, "And because of it, people think their lives are supposed to be like this...So people pretend there is drama where there is none." This ties in nicely to a recent XKCD comic, Connoisseur, which argued that "Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit." Randall (the comic writer)'s point, here, is once again that we invent drama when our lives otherwise lack it.