Too much of our impres­sion of the world comes from a mis­lead­ing for­mu­la of jour­nal­is­tic nar­ra­tion. Reporters give lav­ish cov­er­age to gun bursts, explo­sions, and viral videos, obliv­i­ous to how rep­re­sen­ta­tive they are and appar­ent­ly inno­cent of the fact that many were con­trived as jour­nal­ist bait. Then come sound bites from “experts” with vest­ed inter­ests in max­i­miz­ing the impres­sion of may­hem: gen­er­als, politi­cians, secu­ri­ty offi­cials, moral activists. The talk­ing heads on cable news fil­i­buster about the event, des­per­ate­ly hop­ing to avoid dead air. News­pa­per colum­nists instruct their read­ers on what emo­tions to feel.

— The world is not falling apart: The trend lines reveal an increas­ing­ly peace­ful peri­od in history.

Come­di­ans kill them­selves. Talk to 100 come­di­ans this week, every­body knows some­body who killed them­selves. I mean, we always say igno­rance is bliss. Well, if so, what’s the oppo­site? Some form of mis­ery. Being a come­di­an, 80 per­cent of the job is just you notice shit, which is a trait of schiz­o­phren­ics too. You notice things peo­ple don’t notice.
We didn’t do the things that tech com­pa­nies were sup­posed to do. We didn’t move fast and break things. We didn’t dis­rupt and aban­don. We didn’t do moon shots. We cre­at­ed a future by sit­ting the world down with a cup of tea and a bun and ask­ing it some questions.
If there is a def­i­n­i­tion­al fight to have, let’s pre­serve the term ‘shar­ing,’ reserv­ing it not for anti-eco­nom­ic nice­ness, but for eco­nom­ic rela­tions that have a social thick­ness to them. This is why I began with the dema­te­ri­al­iza­tion his­to­ry of sys­tems of shared use. In the end, shar­ing is about the messy nego­ti­a­tion of access to goods, goods that in the name of sus­tain­abil­i­ty become more scarce. Cap­i­tal­ism is an alien­at­ed way of han­dling those nego­ti­a­tions; shar­ing forces you to nego­ti­ate with aliens.

I appre­ci­ate this piece’s zoom­ing in on the notion of fric­tion as a source of mean­ing­ful interactions.

Shar­ing you can Believe in — Medium

So here is the most clichéd night­mare of neolib­er­al­ism: pre­car­i­ous post-safe­ty-net exis­tence is embraced (for these sys­tems are not being imposed by gov­ern­ments — rather the reverse: peo­ple appear to be sup­port­ing the new sys­tems them­selves) in ways that turn per­son­al iden­ti­ty and social rela­tions into mon­ey-mak­ing opportunities.
For the Japan­ese one could say space is unsta­ble. I mean, even the ground is not sta­ble in Japan. You’ll feel an earth­quake every oth­er week. Thus time needs to have some sta­bil­i­ty, the rhythms of life, the year, work, school, the sea­sons, habits, con­ven­tions, rit­u­als and tra­di­tions. Time is both fleet­ing and eter­nal. Every event, every instance recurs, an its recur­rence pro­vides sta­bil­i­ty. Thus while time flows, the recur­rence of ele­ments pro­duce a con­tin­u­um, a sta­ble ground for exis­tence. French soci­ol­o­gist Augustin Berque has called this “The Myth­ic Field” a sym­bol­ic lay­er that lies over the Japan­ese city. The ele­ments that form it are tem­po­ral instead of per­ma­nent, and it is defined by actions rather than objects. This myth­ic field con­sists of local foods, the signs of con­ve­nience stores, the vend­ing machines, the fleet­ing bloom of the cher­ry-blos­som trees, the year­ly neigh­bor­hood fes­ti­val, the chimes on the train plat­forms, Japan­ese bureau­cra­cy and the emper­or. The myth­ic field con­tains tra­di­tion­al as well as con­tem­po­rary ele­ments, and peo­ple cat­e­go­rize them­selves and their sur­round­ings based on this layer.

Retroac­tive Tokyo Diary | monnik

I think this “myth­ic field” might be exact­ly what I find so com­fort­ing about life in Japan (and to an extent also in parts of South­east Asia, such as the Bali­nese countryside).

And, as had hap­pened so many times before dur­ing the design of Zen­do, once I’d final­ly opened myself up to an idea I’d resist­ed for so long, I real­ized that my pre­vi­ous fears about it were total­ly unfounded.

Zendo—Design His­to­ry | Vagabond Gamer

A short quote from a long (and excel­lent) read on the design of Zen­do which is full of these moments. It’s a great case study show­ing the impor­tance of being will­ing to try almost any adjust­ment to a game. To post­pone judge­ment until you’ve actu­al­ly seen a rule in action. Because humans tend to be very bad at sim­u­lat­ing such things in their heads.

This is all relat­ed to one of my core aes­thet­ic goals of the game, name­ly forc­ing con­se­quen­tial deci­sions with par­tial infor­ma­tion, which I’ve always thought of as pri­mar­i­ly occur­ring on the Sniper side, but it real­ly does hap­pen on both sides. As the Spy, you have to decide to do some­thing (accom­plish mis­sions), and then what to do (which mis­sion), even though you don’t real­ly know if you’re a sus­pect or not. How you go about this “doing” is obvi­ous­ly very impor­tant, but just the act of over­com­ing your con­fir­ma­tion bias and start­ing at all is some­thing you can feel when playing.2 This is one of the parts of the game that I’m most hap­py with, because I think this con­cept of embrac­ing uncer­tain­ty and mak­ing deci­sions even when you’re not sure is very au courant, in that most big deci­sions in mod­ern life are made with only par­tial infor­ma­tion, but you still have to make them to the best of your ability.
Some would say this— that the shared use-word is decep­tive— that play­ing music and play­ing games mean total­ly dif­fer­ent things. & I do think there’s some­thing inter­est­ing to tun­nel into here, name­ly the dif­fer­ence between aes­thet­ic play with its unspo­ken Many goals which may con­verge into an unspo­ken One— and game play with its explic­it­ly spo­ken One goal, which may be par­ti­tioned & micro­man­aged in terms of a man­age­able Many… […] This is part of why SHIFTING pos­si­bil­i­ty spaces are used in con­trast to straight up “pos­si­bil­i­ty spaces” — as long as the space is for­ev­er shift­ing, the par­tic­u­lar instance of it that we are expe­ri­enc­ing right now can­not be count­ed as a mere rep­e­ti­tion, and is always a unique nat­ur­al occurence. We must tune into the play expe­ri­ence, to expe­ri­ence even the same com­pu­ta­tion­al “game state” as two total­ly dif­fer­ent things when we encounter it at two dif­fer­ent times in our life… Allow our body to be the medi­um… […] Shift­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty spaces draw on the already very pop­u­lar “pos­si­bil­i­ty space” con­cept— but where­as pos­si­bil­i­ty spaces appear too often from the ‘glob­al’ (design­er) point of view, which deals with the Uni­ver­sal Set of the sit­u­a­tion, or the “space of all pos­si­ble _____ “, SPS can deal with the imme­di­ate sense of pos­si­bil­i­ty at play in the envi­ron­ment. A pos­si­bil­i­ty space is ful­ly spa­tial­ized. A shift­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty space allows for the imma­nent flow of time to enter its descrip­tion. […] All these prac­tices involv­ing free move­ment — PLAYSPACES — the ques­tion is to find the prac­tices that we LOVE and VALUE the most, and to NOT lim­it these to videogames— and to immerse our­selves in these prac­tices, to learn from them what we can, and the pos­si­bly, if we feel the desire to do so, to bring back our love of these things to games. To count aspects of the process­es in such a way that they can be com­put­ed with— but to not dis­re­spect that thing we came to love in the first place.. Not to gam­i­fy it, but rather to learn from it what a game actu­al­ly is, to learn its pat­tens of move­ment, the parts of the body and social milieu that it engages, et etc.

wombflash for­est: Music & Games as Shift­ing Pos­si­bil­i­ty Spaces

Quot­ing the hell out of this because it is just so, so good. I love the idea of shift­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty spaces, because the orig­i­nal con­cept was always too sta­t­ic for my tastes. I real­ly like the idea of the body as the medi­um, which empha­sis­es the first-per­son expe­ri­ence of things. To embrace cre­ative play, to expand the con­cept of game to poten­tial­ly encom­pass any­thing… Just lovely.