The Just So Stories was first published by Rudyard Kipling in 1902, a collection of folk stories explaining various things like how the camel got his hump or how the leopard got his spots. Just-so stories are, as Wikipedia puts it, “an unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative explanation for a cultural practice, a biological trait, or behavior of humans or other animals. The use of the term is an implicit criticism that reminds the hearer of the essentially fictional and unprovable nature of such an explanation.” It’s a variation of the ad hoc fallacy (literally, “for this [special purpose]“), where people begin to create explanations that look like arguments to explain a specific circumstance.
I started writing my own just so stories when a philosophy professor told us that sometimes the best way to discredit somebody’s theories is to assume they are true and then watch the insane conclusions spawned from the flawed premises. However, as I tried this, I wasn’t struck so much by the ridiculousness many peoples’ theories assume to be true as much as how utterly entertaining the mind exercise became. Entire parallel universes with bizarre plot twists and narratives begin to emerge. And so I began to write it all down.
The stories talk of inherently socio-political-religious subjects, but their intent, rather than criticism, is a good-natured exploration into a world which many people heartily believe as true. We try our hardest to escape any type of moral judgment on the premises’ truthfulness or validity – rather, this exercise is an enjoyable, fun romp into the worlds we as funny humans create within our heads, a vivid projection of what we wish, believe, or fear to be reality.
This blog has two basic formats – the stories, and the podcasts. The stories are just that – the basic manuscript of the story itself; some of the stories also have podcasts, basically spoken versions of the story. Each story is listed on the top of the page.
As I contemplated what to call this project, my wife, who grew up on Rudyard Kipling’s wonderfully delightful book, mentioned I should call it The Just So Stories, since they were just that – unverifiable, but not necessarily falsifiable accounts of how people explain the various phenomena in our world. We hope you enjoy exploring the worlds of our just so stories as much as we did writing them down.
And that is how this project gained its name.