Among the meanings:

1. Ancient legend; story which seems to be as permanent as the landscape with which it is linked, giving it significance and personality.

2. The narrative underlying a religion; the meeting point between religion and culture.

3. A story which (the speaker insists) is untrue, though widely held to be true.

4. Shared common sense, about behaviour and opinion; a society’s idea of normality.M53

5. A nation’s history.

6. A nation’s popular history.

7. A nation’s history, revised with malicious intent.

But these are fragmented. The condensed meaning of myth is the most telling one. The myth of a place is the narrative that gives it identity.

The story is a mixture of truth and untruth; it is in quantum space: to observe it too closely is to destroy it. The identity that derives from it is real, but fragile.


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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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