A Short History of the Arab Spring
Is it possible to sum up one of the great tragedies of our time in 2 minutes?
A few days ago, I recorded a video on the rise and fall of the Arab Spring. The topic is an important one but also obviously quite complicated. But the exercise of limiting a summary of what went wrong to just two minutes is a useful exercise. It’s like Twitter for the mind, forcing us to take complex ideas and distilling them into digestible summaries, where listeners who might otherwise not care about the Middle East can care (or at least be aware) just a bit more.
“Twitter for the mind” doesn’t sound so great, especially now. But it’s interesting for other reasons. How do we choose to tell a story? It can be about events in our own lives, or in the lives of others. The story can be our own, but in the process of telling it, it becomes something else and perhaps something more (or less). Through the mere act of speaking and transforming thoughts into words, we are perpetually in the mode of curating and editing what we (say we) believe and even who we are. Even if we don’t realize it, we are always in the process of fashioning narratives.
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