Narrative Economics

July 2020

Narrative Economics is the study of how narratives convey values and emotions, how they spread like pathogens, thus influencing society and the economy. In order to understand recessions, for example, it is not enough to understand the cybernetic control loops behind them, but one must also include the human factor with its irrational, emotionally driven actions. Above all, this includes our belief in stories that create meaning, the narratives. Simulating the dynamic system behavior of narratives helps us to understand the underlying dynamics of history, why people acted the way they did, and thus history itself. These infectious narratives behave similarly to pathogens and can be simulated with the help of mathematical models. cellular narratives screenshot This web app was specifically developed to simulate the dynamic system behavior of narratives in society using cellular automata and mathematical modeling. By using cellular automata, in which the individual cells are able to represent character values such as political views, skepticism, liberalism, or existing knowledge through mathematical modeling, it is possible to simulate this complex system behavior in a simplified way and thus get a feeling of how narratives spread in society. Narratives can emerge spontaneously, evolve, be in competition, or symbiosis with other narratives, and can also be forgotten or dismissed. The user can design different forms of societies, such as pluralistic, populistic, or a society that is skeptical towards any form of societal change. Each color represented here represents a narrative, the more similar the colors the more similar the narrative. Thus, through the complex interaction of narratives and their unfolding, beautiful and fascinating landscapes emerge. Explore the dynamic spread and development of narratives in different social systems.