A green pol­i­tics has to be think­ing pas­sion­ate­ly about zones of cre­ativ­i­ty and inno­va­tion for human beings, as well as the con­straints and duties of low-car­bon liv­ing. Oth­er­wise the trans­for­ma­tive dimen­sion of our own nature will end up repressed and frustrated.

The ‘I’m‑happy‑I’m‑green’ con­sen­sus won’t pla­cate our lust for nov­el­ty | Pat Kane | Com­ment is free | The Guardian

I was look­ing up what Pat Kane had bene up to after writ­ing The Play Eth­ic and found this piece from 2011. An attempt to con­nect open-end­ed play with sus­tain­able liv­ing. Makes quite a bit of sense.

In life, you will become known for doing what you do. That sounds obvi­ous, but it’s pro­found. If you want to be known as some­one who does a par­tic­u­lar thing, then you must start doing that thing imme­di­ate­ly. Don’t wait. There is no oth­er way. It prob­a­bly won’t make you mon­ey at first, but do it any­way. Work nights. Work week­ends. Sleep less. What­ev­er you have to do. If you’re lucky enough to know what brings you bliss, then do that thing at once. If you do it well, and for long enough, the world will find ways to repay you. This fall, in a toi­let stall in Burling­ton, Ver­mont, I saw this scrawled on the wall: “Don’t ask your­self what the world needs. Ask your­self what makes you come alive. The world needs more peo­ple who have come alive.” If you’re doing some­thing you love, you won’t care what the world thinks, because you’ll love the process any­way. This is one of those truths that we know, but which we can’t seem to stop for­get­ting. In Amer­i­ca, suc­cess is a word we hear a lot. What does it mean? Is it mon­ey, pow­er, fame, love? I like how Bob Dylan defines it: “A man is a suc­cess if he gets up in the morn­ing and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

Tran­som » Jonathan Harris

Har­ris is good when he talks about his work and his moti­va­tions for get­ting into the things he did. I find him less con­vinc­ing when dish­ing out advice such as this. It’s almost as if he hasn’t real­ly learned from his own expe­ri­ences. The first sec­tion of this quote fetishis­es a work eth­ic which does not respect any­thing else in life. (The guar­an­tee it will bring you rich­es if you toil long and hard enough I find very unconvincing.

The key is in the final sec­tion in which he quotes Bob Dylan but fails to inter­pret the mean­ing in full. “Doing what you want to do” is as much about doing noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar at all, as it is about “chas­ing your dream”. And in fact, the for­mer might be the best way to achieve the latter.

That’s what I’ve learned, any­way. But I’m no Jonathan Harris.

But­ter­field is a strange choice for a two-time CEO of a gam­ing com­pa­ny. He’s no Mark Pin­cus — by his own admis­sion, he’s not that into gam­ing. As a for­mer phi­los­o­phy stu­dent with a master’s from Cam­bridge, he was more inter­est­ed in play as a frame­work for social inter­ac­tion than play for play’s sake. “Infi­nite games are what we col­lec­tive­ly do as a species for build­ing cul­ture,” But­ter­field explains. “It’s fun­da­men­tal for human beings, as deep a desire as hunger and thirst and sex.” From an ear­ly age, he was intrigued with how online com­mu­ni­ties like IRC allowed peo­ple to exper­i­ment with their iden­ti­ties. His then-wife Cate­ri­na Fake found the top­ic com­pelling too. “There are at least two kinds of games,” But­ter­field says, para­phras­ing a favorite schol­ar of his. “The first type is played for the pur­pose of win­ning and the sec­ond type you play for the pur­pose of play.” When they brain­stormed a com­pa­ny to start, they set­tled on build­ing “Game Nev­erend­ing.” But­ter­field and Fake spent a year and a half cre­at­ing it.

Third life: Flickr co-founder pulls unlike­ly suc­cess from gam­ing fail­ure. Again | PandoDaily

It’s a shame James P. Carce isn’t explic­it­ly ref­er­enced in this pas­sage. I nev­er found the finite ver­sus infi­nite game dichoto­my very use­ful as a design guide, though.

It’s also odd to me that if the aim was to make a “nev­er end­ing” game with Glitch, why so many of its mechan­ics were about achiev­ing things and mak­ing progress. The game was chock full of things that could be “used up”. Hard­ly infinite.

I hate hip­sters, I hate lib­er­als, I hate rock’n’rollers, I hate the counter-cul­ture, I hate movie peo­ple. I want to go some­where qui­et, peace­ful and deco­rous, and be rad­i­cal in my mind.

James Ell­roy — Books — Short­List Magazine

I don’t know, I’m a fan of Ellroy’s LA quar­tet and hadn’t expect­ed him to be such a reac­tionary. (Although some of the mate­r­i­al in the books should’ve giv­en me a hint.)

And it occurred to me then that fun is only fun when it’s stu­pid. That there is no joy with­out stu­pid­i­ty, with­out aban­don, with­out judg­ment – that music is best enjoyed in this stu­pid way, in a stu­pid place like this, with peo­ple you love hold­ing stu­pid tam­bourines and play­ing with strangers amid strangers, who are danc­ing around to a song about space­ship-peo­ple build­ing munic­i­pal­i­ties with­out per­mits or city plan­ners but with pop songs.

Dave Eggers: what’s so fun­ny about peace, love and Star­ship? | Books | The Guardian

I real­ly did not like how this piece start­ed out, I thought Eggers was being an apol­o­gist for state-spon­sored gam­bling, which to be hon­est I real­ly dis­like. But once you get past this, he suc­ceeds won­der­ful­ly in con­vey­ing the joy of a par­tic­u­lar­ly sil­ly night out.

As a result of “man­i­fest social com­plex­i­ty” and “con­cealed elec­tron­ic com­plex­i­ty,” “the plight of mem­bers of the tech­no­log­i­cal soci­ety can be com­pared to that of a new­born child …” yet in con­tem­po­rary tech­no­log­i­cal civ­i­liza­tion peo­ple “are less for­tu­nate than chil­dren” for they “nev­er escape a fun­da­men­tal bewil­der­ment in the face of the com­plex world that their sens­es report.”

On Tech­nol­o­gy and Human Agency | | Ben Bru­ca­to­Ben Brucato

Good sum­ma­ry of the posi­tions of a num­ber of thinkers who seem at odds with Latour on the sub­ject of human agency and tech­nol­o­gy but as it turns out real­ly aren’t.

Mean­while, the demos of the Bronx was find­ing voic­es. One voice was the explo­sion of graf­fi­ti on our sub­ways. I loved it! The kids who made it were thrown into a pub­lic tran­sit sys­tem that was far more bro­ken down than today’s. They told the world, “We are not help­less; we can make this world col­or­ful, exu­ber­ant, excit­ing.” I was thrilled. I took my moth­er to the 149th Street sub­way stop, near where we had lived, with a good view of the trains. She was a very reserved woman, but she said, “It’s a rain­bow, in a place where who would expect one?”

Emerg­ing from the Ruins | Dis­sent Magazine

Beau­ti­ful lec­ture on the destruc­tion of the Bronx and its sub­se­quent resur­gence against all odds. I par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoyed the atten­tion devot­ed to graf­fi­ti and rap music as ear­ly signs of a turn for the better.

Almost as a coun­ter­weight to the law­mak­ers and media per­son­al­i­ties that use a sin­gle clin­i­cal tri­al to prove games are fun­da­men­tal­ly evil, the evan­ge­lists use a sin­gle clin­i­cal tri­al to prove that games are fun­da­men­tal­ly benev­o­lent. “Play, don’t Replay!” is just anoth­er exam­ple of games evan­ge­lists twist­ing a study into a nail to advance their own ham­mer under the guise of sav­ing the world, and it’s some­thing that peo­ple should be cyn­i­cal about. If being a games naysay­er means think­ing crit­i­cal­ly about the place of games in soci­ety and not over­reach­ing the find­ings of indi­vid­ual stud­ies, I for one will glad­ly be a games naysayer.

Games evan­ge­lists and naysayers

The even-hand­ed approach to using games for change that is cham­pi­oned here is (sad­ly) still uncom­mon in industry.

Easy Rid­ers Talk UFOs (by Bryce Zabel)

Final­ly got around to watch­ing Easy Rid­er the oth­er day. Nicholson’s mono­logue were an unex­pect­ed treat. I couldn’t help but observe the par­al­lels between the advanced civil­i­sa­tion he describes here, and the ambi­tions of cur­rent-day adher­ents of the Cal­i­forn­ian ideology.