UM 01.06 Heiroglyphics


All across UM story-telling is a super-power. Most of us are unaware of how often stories mislead us. We might call it fake news, mis-information, omitting facts, or simply a lie, but it narrows our world-view never-the-less. In this episode of Leaving Scotomaville, Daniel demonstrates how storytelling is a super-power. Using Hieroglyphics and a likely tale of the power of leadership, you'll experience how easy it is TO NOT SEE WHAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU - even though you learned this in primary school.

Egypt was ruled by Pharaohs for millennia. Actuaries and accountants served by counting the harvests and grain stores. It was likely a decent gig to have - except when you got it wrong. As Daniel sees it, your skull might end up on a stick.

Becoming 'aware' means seeing how often we are wrong. That begins with "understanding how we are mislead." Experience how we're gamed in the information age. It's been nearly the same story for millennia

"So what's the big story?"

"There used to be consequences, pretty darn severe consequences to former civilizations. We're pretty civilized today, and we don't actually chop your head off. We will socially cut you off - as you're probably doing now, isolated and self-quarantined. But, it used to be brutal. If you weren't born in the right field -fat chance on advancement! The only way you could get out was to outsmart things."

"And so, your intellect, rather than your luck or your heritage was one of the few things that could get you from the majority into the minority - Into the ruling class... if you were smart! There's lots of biblical stories know, how Joseph ended up in leadership in Egypt with Pharaoh giving tests to a bunch of the actuaries! (accountants, the bean counters) Well, in that case, they probably actually literally were."

"I imagine it to be this way."

"You see..Pharaoh had to be, well he's the top of the pyramid, quite literally, right? He was the top of the food chain in Egypt. And much like Emperor in China, storytelling was something they had to have great control over. They needed to have the majority of people follow along, do what they're told, follow the stories, etc. And so storytelling got to be a pretty good craft and we've developed it over thousands of years- and here we are in a current story- seems everyone's got to rush to go get that toilet paper right now. "

Key Points

  • Different millennia - same old tactic
  • Emotions trump observation
  • Resist over analyzing decisions


  1. Can you recall a recent story that bamboozled you?
  2. Which media channels depend on emotional story-telling?
  3. Do you know, or can you name a professional bloviator?
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Challenge Your Personal Everest

The greatest expedition you will ever undertake is the journey to self-understanding, as the prize is not in discovering new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. I invite you on that journey!