Thoughts On Play
Fun is the most important thing in the world. It may serve no purpose, but it is the purpose that all else serves. Why work if not to take care of the essentials in order to have more time for fun? Otherwise, you are only working in order to be able to continue to work, and that doesn’t sound very fun.
Why do people stop playing as they age? Do the games of childhood really stop being fun? Are they unable to compete for time with grown-up “games,” such as drinking or sex? Is it really more fun to sit on a couch watching others on a TV screen playing a game with a bunch of rules than it is to go outside yourself and make up the rules as you go along? Balderdash! Other people only stopped playing for the same reason I did; when we got older, people started to look at us weird.
If people wanted reality, they’d just look out their windows. People read fiction to escape. They don’t want to read about a character with exactly the same type of life they have. They want to read about characters facing challenges they will likely never have the opportunity to face. They want to read about discovering new lands, escaping danger, and conquering kingdoms. Fiction should be different from common reality – and the purest form of fiction is that which takes place on worlds which have never existed and features technologies likely to forever be impossible.
There are three types of people: workers, defenders, and artists. All three are important. No society can survive for long without the whole set. Workers keep us fed and keep the lights on. Without them the defenders and artists would starve. Defenders respond to special events such as fires, broken pipes, cancer, or war. Without them, the workers and artists would be killed. Artists build and create. Without them there would be no technological progress. Without them there would be nothing to defend or to work for. Without them there would be no entertainment and nothing to make work, defense, or life worth doing. Without them there would be no purpose to life except its own continuance.
It is said that idle hands are the devil’s workshop, but they can also be the workshop of heaven. The most creative ideas often come when we aren’t trying to come up with them. The greatest insights often come from outside the field of study they apply to. Sometimes taking a break can help you get more done in the long run.
Learning is inherently fun. Every kid knows this. The young of every mammal species are driven to learn. There is no need to “make learning fun” unless it was first unnecessarily made into a chore.
I have decided to start a new You Tube Channel to go with my FloraAndFaunaOfTheUniverse blog. I will be posting doodles, excerpts from upcoming exobiology books, and worldbuilding advice. The WayOutDan YouTube channel will no longer cover these subjects, but will be for religion, philosophy, travel, exploration, and life's journey.
Do you ever remember something differently than someone else? How does that happen? I once wrote a blog post about this that is slightly too long to repost here. Read it at the link and tell me your thoughts.
Some years ago I developed a mathematical argument for optimism:
Starting with the present moment and assuming endless future time, one can plot a measure of "total good." This total good takes into account our attitudes and how we react to things and is thus dependent on memory of past good and bad. For example, after a long period of bad, even a tiny moment of good can have more total good than an extended period of good greater by any normal measure.
This total good will go up and down apparently randomly. Given an infinite amount of time, eventually, by chance, there will be a spike of good greater than all previous good. Everything that came before this spike will be part of the story of causality of how this good was achieved. Since it is a measure of total good, it will mean that no matter what happened before, it was all worth it.
Of course, the same argument can be used to prove that things are getting worse. Eventually, statistics predicts a dip deeper than any before it. ...