The Rope of History

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

Kurt Vonnegut, the great observer of the horrors and ironies of 20th-century civilization, once said that his ‘prettiest’ contribution to culture wasn’t his novels, but his Master’s thesis in anthropology for the University of Chicago. His idea, which was rejected because “it was too simple and looked like too much fun” was that stories have shapes, and that the shape of any given civilization’s stories are as interesting as the shape of its arrowheads or pottery.

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