arbitrary ness

adding page after lse book reading of david graeber‘s utopia of rules backwards – ch 3 – m of care – may 28:

mostly because people kept saying how it was bad.. and that david said it was bad.. and indeed here.. he seems to say for malagasy it was bad:


in the case of the cambridge anthro dept.. the rules were made explicit, and were then frozen in place, ostensibly as a way of eliminating *arbitrary, personal authority..

*arbitrary ness

the malagasy attitudes towards rules of grammar clearly have nothing to do w a distaste for arbitrary authority, and everything to do w a *distaste for arbitrariness itself.. a distaste which leads to an unthinking acceptance of authority in its most formal institutional form.. after all, what is our first experience of formal, rule governed authority if not our grade school teachers..

yeah.. this is huge.. and what they kept referring to at m of care – may 28.. but 1\ i think we need to go deeper than malagasy as ie’s.. just like we need to go deeper than hunter gatherers et al.. 2\ even if they were *distasting arbitrary ness itself.. that’s like graeber fear of play law.. so i’d call it more whalespeak.. than the ‘attitudes’ of legit free people

i think we need to be as bold as david was in calling out our fear of play.. and call out our fear of arbitrary ness

on language as good ie of a basic *paradox in our very idea of freedom: 1\ rules constrain 2\ if no shared common conventions.. no semantics, syntax, phonemics.. we’d all just be babbling incoherently and wouldn’t be able to communicate w each other at all

*this is a paradox only in our whalespeak about freedom.. to me.. 2 is a myth perpetuated tragedy of the non common.. ie: we don’t legit communicate now..

thinking we need to try the combo of 1\ tech w/o judgment and 2\ idiosyncratic jargon.. to get us back/to non hierarchical listening

obviously in such circumstances (babbling ness) none of us would be free to do much of anything.. so at some point along way rules as contraining pass over into rules as enabling.. even it it’s impossile to say exaclty wehreh

i think that’s cancerous whalespeak.. we keep saying it because we have not idea what legit free people are like.. and so we have a fear of play and arbitrary ness

freedom, then, really is the tension of the free play of human creativity against the rules it is constantly generating

either we have no idea.. and have never practiced ‘constantly generating’ of rules.. or.. we don’t need them/tension


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people

(on how all languages keep changing) human beings .. just find it boring to say things the same way all the time.. they’re always going to play around at least a little..

to me.. this is less about being bored.. and more about not being free enough to express what’s in our heart.. naming the colour kills us.. so the playing around is us coping.. trying to escape those restraints/rules/grammars..

what this suggests it that people, everywhere, are prone to two completely contradictory tendencies: 1\ playful just for sake of it 2\ agree w anyone who tells them they really shouldn’t act that way

yeah.. i think 2 is whalespeak.. and if we all let go enough to try the play just for sake of it ness.. we’d finally see/be the dance our souls are craving

this latter is what makes the gamification of institutional life possible.. because if you take the latter tendency to its logical conclusion, all freedom become is arbitrariness, and all arbitrariness, a form of dangerous, subversive power.. it is *just one further step to argue that true freedom is to live in an utterly predictable world that is free from freedom of this sort

yeah.. *this is whalespeak.. any form of m\a\p .. any form of democratic admin as freedom.. is whalespeak.. is us being afraid of play and of arbitrary ness

anti authoritarians around the world have been working on creating new, and more effective modes of *direct democracy.. ones that might operation w/o any need for a bureaucracy of violence to enforce them

yeah.. *that’s authoritarian.. any form of people telling other people what to do.. any form of democratic admin .. we gotta let go.. more


as my proficiency (of malagasy ‘language’) improved..i began noticing that the way they talked to each other was nothing like the way they were teaching me to speak

yeah.. we let go of all this teaching ness.. of any form of m\a\p.. esp here.. the p


anyone who objects to such personalize power can only do so by demanding even more rules and even more ‘transparency’.. suddenly freedom and justice really do become a matter of reducing everything to a game

so not legit freedom

most obvious ie is language.. call it the grammar-book effect.. people do not invent languages by writing grammars.. they observe the tacit/unconscious rules people seem to be applying when they speak.. yet once a book exists.. esp once employed in schoolrooms.. people feel that the rules are not just description of how people do talk but prescription for how they should talk..

so we need to stop describing/analyzing/grammaring/naming language.. and just use ie: (seemingly arbitrary/random) idiosyncratic jargon to connect us


(on cambridge anthro dept reforms) in order to become ‘transparent’ to the admin, the had to start articulating them; in practice, what this meant was that they had to take what had always been a subtle, nuanced form of procedures and turn them into an explicitly set of rules.. in effect, they had to turn custom into a kind of board game.. faced w such demands, everyone’s first impoulse was just to say, ‘well sure, we’ll just write that ot he authorites and proceed as we alway shave’.. bu in practice this quickly beocme simpossiblel becaeu the moment any conflicts crop up, boht parties will auto matically appeal to eh rule book

huge huge

from freeman misinterp of transparency to rules.. to board gamification ness.. to what computers can’t do ness


embracing uncertainty.. carhart-harris entropy law.. taleb antifragile law.. et al

black wildness law.. wildness.. et al

you keep me safe

best safety: gershenfeld something else law

our fear of play and fear of arbitrary ness.. of wildness.. is keeping us from us.. in other words.. keeping us the most unsafe..