What is a game? What makes playing games different from working, being moral, or whatever else? In this post we learn the Grasshopper's definition of games.
Why should the point of life be playing games, rather than any sort of play?
Summary so far: the end of work is to not work, and not to work. Got it?
It turns out Jesus and the Grasshopper might agree about work.
The Grasshopper argues, and we try to figure out what in the world he's saying.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard. Consider her ways -- and wonder if there might not be another way.
Why are games important? Bernard Suits says it's because they are central to "the life most worth living."
Last time on WISP, I talked about a horrible game I found super traumatic. This time, I'd like to talk about a marvelous game I found somewhat less traumatic. Why did I stop playing Dark Souls? I beat Lord Gwyn, that's why. Here's someone else doing the same thing, if you want to see what [...]
Modern programming requires you to be a philosopher: you have to understand what the world is made of and how those things interact to model them in code.
In the UK, people "take" decisions. In the US, we "make" them. Believe it or not, that difference actually makes a difference.
Our forebears asked: "Why go to school during war?" "Why fund science in addition to security?" Now we ask, "Why do anything but fight for justice?"
There are some things you don't like. And there are some things you don't like because you don't like the people who like them. Which reason accounts for the way people feel about Young Adult Literature?
Idea: Make-believe is a worthy use of imagination (unlike worry). Last time, I offered what I think is one good reason for "shutting down imagination" about the future. But Kendall Walton's book Mimesis as Make-Believe has shown me how much imagination in the present -- imagination about things that you are seeing and hearing now -- [...]
Idea: Worrying is trying to control the future (which is impossible). Last time, I talked about a helpful technique for shutting down worry. But it works by shutting down imagination. And to do that, we need a really good reason.1 I used to think I worried–I imaginatively rehearsed distressing future situations–because I was “trying to be prepared.” Worry [...]
Idea: The core of worry is imagining yourself outside the present. I’ve been obsessed with the topic of imagination recently. This is partly because I realized that imagination is central to worry. You imagine something happening to you (or involving you) in the future, and feel distressed about it. I don’t know how to not feel distressed [...]
Idea: Some ways of presenting and listening to music create community, and others don’t (as much). One of the great things about radio is that it sounds different from MP3s (or CDs, or records, or whatever). When you listen to a song on the radio, you hear it as something lots of other people in the [...]
Idea: The Bible has no solution to the Problem of Evil (and that’s a good thing). I claim God’s speech in the Book of Job — the one about it being impossible for humans to understand God — is a critique of Job’s friends. They thought they had God figured out: God must be punishing Job for his sins! But God’s conclusion is [...]
Idea: Some sports involve playing with your competitors, but most involve just playing beside them. I love watching the Olympics. But have you noticed how different the various sports are? I wonder whether some of them really should be called sports at all. Perhaps "athletic performances" would be better. In some sports, like soccer and rugby, how [...]
Idea: People hate math because math is not a language, but everybody says it is. Gallileo said that the “book” of nature “is written in the language of mathematics.” But mathematics isn’t a language. Mathematical signs don’t have meanings like linguistic signs. They have rules that govern how you can move them around and replace them [...]
Idea: Value is a combination of pushing and pulling. "Significant" and "important" mean opposite things, and yet mean the same thing. Something is significant if it's like a sign. And signs point you away from themselves. They refer to other things. They have "meanings" and "implications." A thing is significant because of its consequences and ramifications. In [...]