The ability to transmit information over time with the help of symbol systems like images, mathematics and written language helps speeding up learning, as well as it helps to manipulate people. Each culture develops its own stories to explain the role of their specific group in the greater scheme of things.
Purely oral story telling limits the amount of information accessible to a culture. Contemporary global society, with libraries, museums, TV and the internet offers an excessive amount of stories people can access. While stories might help to understand experiences in new ways, they can also prevent people from making experiences.
Humans cannot detect the veracity of information delivered as story, even though some people pride themselves in having this ability. Generally, humans tend to believe everything which has been repeated often enough, no matter how reasonable bits of information might be.
This process helps creating authority through inanimate objects – people tend to obey messages written on signs, or pieces of paper, without anyone watching. It goes even so far that some remind others to stay obedient, although it’s not their job. The believe in the power and authority of signs and written down words works precisely like a magic spell, influencing the behaviour of others remotely.
It doesn’t take one’s own experience to anticipate the consequences of ‘breaking the rules’, the stories humans program themselves with show exactly what supposedly happens. In first hand reality of experience, most of times exactly nothing happens, unless one gets caught by somebody else watching.
People get trained, conditioned and encouraged to believe in second hand reality, to seek an external confirmation for which behaviour counts as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In larger societies, cultural norms get transmitted via the stories providing this second hand reality, independent thinking often gets punished.
Yet it is part of human nature to trust inner guidance to find out what’s good or bad, unless one’s capacity for empathy is impaired. Most activities, however, belong to the category ‘entirely harmless’, and thus would make for pretty boring stories.
Human beings need to learn a lot before they can function relatively independent. The nervous system can be programmed to acquire any kind of motor skill, language or cultural rule set. Most things get learned by imitation, often in a laborious process of trial and error. Yet the procedural memory doesn’t get the attention it deserves, modern ‘civilisation’ focuses largely on intellectual learning.
The ability to deduct rules and patterns from observation provides the most interesting information transferred over time. The understanding of natural processes build the foundation for technology, albeit self-organised technology utilised by other species than humans still excels in elegance and efficiency.
Technology supports the domestication of humans in many ways. It creates tangible artefacts of the unique ability of humans to manifest ‘new’ things, like houses, boats, machines and mobile phones. Humanity’s superiority in the universe can easier be sold once humans grow up in virtual environments.
Technology also helps to dominate individuals resisting the domestication attempts. It acts as multiplier for the meme of wilful submission, latent supplier of fear and violence. Buckminster Fuller envisaged a world without hunger and poverty, based on the ability of technology to adapt sustainably to the environment.
The aliens here know for sure that a cooperation with the rest of life on a planet allows any self-aware species to thrive, without the need to endanger the basis for their own survival. They patiently hope to break the spell of dispossession and domination humanity suffers from.