Monday, June 27, 2016

Things I am uninterested in - Men telling me which categories of feminist other women are and whether or not I should pay attention to those women as being good for me.

Do you all know what intersectionality means? It means that different women are going to need different things at different times but it's bullshit that we have to ignore one type of feminism making headway because of some intersectionality and stop them instead of making that an opportunity for a discussion of more.

Intersectionality means internal purity tests are automatically bullshit - progress isn't a curtain going up. Its rocks being knocked out in different places at the same time in a rock wall.

We need corporate feminism -we would just like it to include PoC women and trans women and QUILTBAG women and disabled women and frankly just MORE women. All of 'em Corporate - All Middle of the Road. All God-damned boring and status quo and not waiting for the magic day when men let us participate equally because they just magically decided to.

It's not feminism until women get to be just as mediocre as men get to be.

Just the same way we need all the other "kinds" of feminism because no one is telling me that we need just one type of man.

Oh and stop pitting generational movements against each other.

None of those movements was ever monolthic or evenly agreed upon either - you're probably erasing the contributions of the very women you're complaining aren't represented by accepting the media presentations of who they let speak 20 years later.

The only "feminism" I am against is the ones shutting down other women - not the ones that are only succeeding for some - no one is going to "break through" in a capitalist society until women are fully represented at some level IN that capitalist entity.

And you can keep Camile Paglia, Anne Coulter and Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin - I think those are the women you were thinking of when you expected me to be upset about not supporting other women.... right? No... OK?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Play Entry 29

"you can't role play empathy" 

I read this article on unrestricted play for children which I do have lots of thoughts about - however the two features of the article that stood out to me were the quote I put up at the top and the impulse to interrupt play to "correct it"

And also the fact that children surprised adults by resolving differences just not on the time table the adults wanted.

It's almost as if adults were conditioned to believe if it isn't resolved right away and in front of them it isn't resolvable.
Almost like a management issue with adults......
But so many of our creative or introversion advocates use "role-play" which is really imaginative play to try to "teach" a thing - but they set all the rules and interrupt the play for adults too - all those "role-play" corporate games have "right answers" and people who don't work with competitive players as coaches might not know how we train cognitive shortcuts in our best players to achieve goals - that's a positive thing not a negative one - it frees up automatic things for use in strategic things. But if you don't let something grow unrestricted and then give it contraints you get a different thing ( that can still be beautiful) than if you constrain a thing and then let it grow. Bonsai and Redwoods are both trees topiary and non topiary plants are both plants.

Something tells me that the intersection of "time" and "play" are things relevant to organizations and management of workspaces.

It's important to realize that one of the reason we are training our children to be indoors all the time is we expect our adults to contribute their productivity and citizenship responsibilities but being indoors all the time.

Bonsais are still beautiful -  maybe it's the interrupting we should work on rather than the glorification of one space or the other where adults vs children are, unless we find ways to free our adults. I don't think it "unfair" to raise up children to function in the culture we've created for them and there are strong arguments that all these "negatives" of ranking and sedentary-ness are realistic disciplines that children will be subjected to because that is what we offer as western educated industrialized democratic cultures. Making them full of compassion and joy might take a different thing than the nostalgic past. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Play entry 28

Yesterday while reading Subject and Power by Foucault I realized he has in effect 2 paragraphs on the exchange of subject/object power relations in the language of "games" and I'm going to have to go back and unpack it carefully when I managed to get some "post-semester-finals" sleep.

Also I need to make sure that I write up an entry on the idea that material objects have an intent that is intrinsically housed in themselves and exists regardless of whether or not a human interacts with them.

I am still unsure if that intent exists if it is an unmediated object - right now I think maybe it's only mediated ones and therefore a function of "designed objects"

Also here is this article in mainstream press that I want to go look at later to see the divisions of play as they are being experienced by western US humans and what they are thinking about it.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Play Entry 27 - Oh Hell, I've been down this road before

Once upon a time - a long, long time ago I used what I now recognize as focus grouped ethnography to playtest toys and write toy reviews.

I tackled the difference between adult play and child's play then - right there- published and everything:

"If you want a glimpse into a strange new world, eavesdrop on a pre-schooler playing alone. You will discover a range of voices, character traits, and truly alien thinking that will put to shame any hidden notion you have of your own superior imagination. The biggest lie we science fiction adults tell ourselves is that we have retained the sense of imagination and wonder we had as children. But we are cynical. We imagine the impossible because we have so clearly defined for ourselves what is possible. We hope for the improbable because, well, we’re weird. But children have yet to draw the line between possible and impossible. They still hope for the impossible.

When we adults play, we are practicing the suspension of disbelief. Children, on the other hand, suspend nothing. Even when they are very reality-based during their period of play, they practice belief. For the duration of their play, they believe their doll is hungry; they believe their T-Rex hand puppet is bad and should be smacked on the snout for trying to eat boo-boo bunny; they believe that they are the teacher and should be listened to. I hope that by encouraging this type of play over video games that the kids we deal with will have a little less disbelief to suspend when they are older and weighted down by reality like we are."

I've moderated my own stance considerably on video-games over time, but part of the reason is that video games have changed too - that's personal/editorial - I think what's interesting to me is that this is commercial writing for niche market and before I went back to any form of school. For example: In an earlier column I discuss how "I don't know much about Art History" and it was true then, and it is deeply false now.

I am more consistent than many would be over a span of decades but I obviously still care about the same questions for different reasons.

That insight of "belief" is a thing I struggle with in anthropology - recognizing that the impulse to consign to "suspension of disbelief" already privileges rationalist hierarchies and colors other systems as "fictional" or "unbelievable"

The reason I encountered my own work is an internet security search I do every so often -

I may have to cite myself at some point -

I'm glad I'm not static, I'm also glad my past self doesn't make me cringe too much. But that said I'm already writing to adults about Nostalgia Play vs Play, where the act of playing at all is nostalgic and subversive in the literal sense.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Play Entry 26 - There is no spoon - but what about a box?

I am thinking about the Matrix and imagination and imaginary worlds and why imagination is said to be desired in workspaces to solve problems but then discouraged if it imagines anything that is outside the current paradigm.

It is important to note that "think outside the box" already creates the space and the binary of inside or outside the box.

What is the thing "inside the box"?

Boxes are actually playthings - they can be all the things  - they can be the possibility of things.

Why are you asking to define things by box positionally as belonging or not belonging?

Box is being seen as the "container of things" not as the material FOR things.

When we play WITH the box what we are doing is rejecting the paradigm that automatically benefits the person/entity giving us "imagination instructions"

I am thinking of the man who can read the matrix and see the patterns and knows because he took "the right pill" the moral one of truth - but there is a cost to being outside the box and knowing and seeing all the patterns and he is the one that eventually betrays the group - to take the "wrong" pill and be in a world where he can't see outside and inside simultaneously anymore.

The strain of seeing the matrix and not having quite enough power to fix both inside and outside the box is real. Then the box is a game, there are rules, you solve games. "Play" is engagement.

But what if you look at the matrix and it is YOUR box- then inside and outside are irrelevant

My box is a world, my box is a lion, my box is a refrigerator that produces small gods I will sell to starving clergy that need them.

It is a plane or a tank or a table or a snowflake.

I won't take a pill or choose to think inside or outside I will take the box. I will open the box so it can be inside and outside simultaneously. My box is a shaman, it is in its own world and ours at once.

That is just play. It may not help solve the game problem set by the "imagination overseer".

All of the imaginary play in this case is transformative and it might also be transient replacement. The language of play is informed in the request to think outside the box - but it is appropriated language.

What does a business solution look like if I "play with the box" instead of think outside it?

What is the power exchange made by linguistically distracting me from playing with the box?

Would the man who just wanted a steak dinner have betrayed any of our "heroes" if he looked at the matrix and thought about it as a box he could play with instead of be in or out of?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Play Entry 24 Openness, Chaos, Replacement

Yesterday we were dealing with Design in org behavior class and moved to make a design vision board for our consulting offices - this is of course part of my former world and the vision board part of it wasn't the hard part - it was being an anthropologist in a room of social workers.

"What do you want your client to experience when they come to see you"

They need to be in very different spaces than I do with that - they are looking to help people achieve specific mindsets and goals and healing or achieving things.

Anthropologists go where people are not have people come to them.

Consultancy - which is the other thing I would be doing would be convincing people that I share their symbols and and values while actively working to change them.

I am working on the idea of Play as Viability - a survival impulse - I am looking for people who come in to my space to be open in replace some of the things they know with things the do not know- I'm pretty sure in my working definition of play one of the concepts will be play as transformational - you cannot be unmarked by "play"even if it feels unserious.

I contend the "unreality" of play as intrinsic to it's definition and find that is more of a linguistic instinctual backlash trying to maintain the hierarchy that is currently "rationality" -

Openess - all things may be possible for at least a nanosecond because you thought of it
Chaos- Chaos
Replacement - if you touch chaos for a moment it will take a piece of space where chaos wasn't.

If you're playing with me we're changing things together.


Conversation at a bar with my brother-in-law -
"Who GAVE you matches!"

I was talking about an essay I handed in - my thesis proposal is due this week and it meant that my writing for my other classes was a little less filtered and my thought processes and sense of humor was more present because my brain was working so hard on meeting stringent structured requirements for the proposal.

I mentioned my birthday matches in that essay.

This exclamation engaged us in a playful conversation that literally became about play.

The thing that I take away from it several hours later is this - the exclamation became a moment of trust "Oh my god he DOES actually know something about 'real me'" rather than simply the kinship space I occupy for the family - the rest of the conversation ( which he agrees for adults counts in play) is play not because of the "joking relationship" that would be described by Radcliffe-Brown but because the recognition OUTSIDE the role meant that it was "safe to play" - at that point play is connection. Transformatively the relationship changed incrementally - I am known in a way I did not think I was known - interactions will be slightly different - trust will be slightly higher - if he gifts me matches it will be a reference to that moment.

I wrote about the way rationality and credibility force "positives" into transient moments instead of permanent objects because once a thing is proven it no longer becomes "proof positive" but an "objective fact" and thus neutral but in discussing the essay - the playful act of gifting me matches become referenced and semiotic in several spaces making a transient moment a returnable referent.

It is also generative - sharing the moment of play ( or in actuality playing with the moment of play) reproduces the moment and then leads to more moments of "good" and play.

If rationality makes "good" no-thing, a moment before it becomes an objective neutral then seems like play might take that moment and make it "a thing" and removes it from neutrality - so its not simply emotional reality but also moved into an objective positive existence.

If I were a novel, it would matter that it is the act of providing me with matches that is acting as a way for me to realize I am being seen. I don't think we actually exist that far outside of literary theory.

Also I still have matches. And I made Anarchy Chickens in my class at Grad school

******* A thing I observed on some-else's FB threat about not-getting Wesley Crusher Hate in Star Trek Next Generation.

Adrienne Reynolds Older men in SF hated that character the same way they hated Barney (the pre-school dinosaur) and for the same reasons - they didn't get that it wasn't about them - but there was also the problem of him being used for deaux-ex-machina. 

And that Barney reference isn't random - I was running and SF magazine and the sheer amount of time, investment and hot air older SF fans spent hating Barney at conventions was ridiculous. Now when I think about "disliked things" in the 80's and 90's it always looks like "hey this isn't catering to ME" kinds of things where before the space exclusively catered to them or they were power tripping - hating Barney in SF spaces was about some sort of something ....