m of care – apr 8
on essay – david on fun
The reading group for David’s ‘What’s the point if we cannot have fun?’ tomorrow at 8.00pm GMT. In the same zoom group as always:https://bit.ly/3kifxZY
Nika, Elizabeth and Oihane will deliver a summary of the text as well as interlock it with other thinkers’ ideas and theories.
So along with David’s essay, we will also touch upon:
– Kropotkin’s ideas on animal play and cooperation. And perhaps Nilolay Evreenov’s ideas on animal play too.
– Butler’s ideas on gender as a performance.
– A theory which states the universe has a sense of humour. And perhaps myths which seem to claim the same.
– How mainstream western philosophy has mostly tried to explain ‘the self’ from an individualist point of view, rather than a social one.- As well as scientist Roy Bhaskar’s theories about reality.
This is the link to David’s essay: https://thebaffler.com/…/whats-the-point-if-we-cant...
Hope to see you there.
and next day this:
Today in the reading group #MuseumofCare we will talk about “What’s the point if we can’t have fun?”, probably one of David’s major texts, where he links ideas about philosophy, theoretical physics, biology, and social theory. He writes about Kropotkin and the “Russian view of Darwinism.” I am immediately reminded of Nikolai Yevreinov, who wrote: “A man is vividly moved only by what lends itself to its theatricalization.” Later he described the same “theatrical instincts” in animals. It is worth understanding that Graeber, Kropotkin, and Yevreinov are reflecting primarily on freedom and on the causes of consciousness.
notes/quotes from meeting:
prompt.. what is a time when you felt free
oihane: in nature.. w friends.. and we were all one.. not me – highway ness.. esp as she cries in the river at the end
simona: a time when i felt everything was possible..
tj: led around in city.. could break from my rigorous diet et al
soumik: past my exams.. torturous process of 8 yrs..
amy: got my 2nd vaccine.. so starting to be free.. a little bit
elizabeth: sends me in diff directions.. very slippery for me to read it.. hard for me to summarize.. kind of a reflection of observation of play in animals.. their reluctance to accord that experience to animals.. leads david down road to examining evolutionary/econ theories.. path from bio into physics.. ends w chinese parable.. also about observation of animals in play.. brings it all back to human in that process.. i have a slideshow on what it’s like to read this essay as someone who has a background in fem and foundation science
elizabeth: got 2nd vax on sunday.. so i feel like scrambled eggs.. weird to be in my instructor role and be so out of sorts.. donna haraoway.. talks about cat’s cradle.. strings game.. that how we play like a string game.. part of my research was about making play ie: when boat was touched/rocked would make laughing sounds.. 2 things i think of most when i read this essay: situated knowledge and agential realism.. just talking about situated knowledged today.. by haraway (1988) that builds on her manifest for cyborgs (1985).. thinking about her own labor as a scholar.. question becomes how to integrate feminism in science.. manifesto has become a touchstone for thinking together.. ‘how we as human machine cyborgs see’ when haraway talks about culture.. the synergy w david really comes thru.. getting my vax.. really calls me into my cyborg sense of self.. situated knowledges is about.. to understand more fully.. we have to work together.. fem objectivity means quite simply: situated knowledges.. articulated forms of knowing .. this embodied part really important.. focus on the eye and what vision is for.. specific ways of seeing.. that is .. ways of life.. ways to sense the world.. knowing self is partial.. never finished.. so able to join w another to see together .. we are not in charge of the world.. play is an expression of agency.. summary: we go from cyborgs.. to techs of vision.. realizing vision is always partial.. partiality creates requirement that it’s beyond human vision.. to haraway .. extending that vision means world has a sense of humor
vassily in chat: Hey I put Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid in the Library https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PIoAC7-qNJ2ATc9OzniFfofISa8pjcZ7?usp=sharing
Pages 37-8 are very relevant for today’s discussion
nika: questions then to oihane..
elizabeth: i can offer a segue too.. because oihane is going to talk about electrons
(whoa.. so sciencey/intellectness.. seems ironic when talking about getting away from that)
oihane: should i speak?
oihane: david tries to combine objectivity/subjectivity.. and how in a sense there is an objective side of science .. he calls ontological .. things in themselves.. rather than how we perceive it.. and how that doesn’t change.. then other side.. subjective.. he relates to epistemology.. and how we can know about the world.. this is transitive.. can change over time.. rooted in context.. he calls this a paradox.. how can we create knowledge socially.. but about things humans don’t create at all.. ie: the world.. so he goes against this idea of positivism and theorism.. ie: blank slate to positivism being able to know natural laws that don’t change.. universal.. bhaskar goes against that.. scientists don’t really study nature/reality in the wild.. they isolate.. and once you isolate.. the knowledge gained doesn’t really apply to real world.. in sense science tells us it does.. they happen in nature.. but not universal laws.. because isolated.. not in wild
sea world ness
oihane: he (david) emphasizes.. entropy.. if left to own means deteriorates.. but related to bhaskar.. you are studying that in isolation.. so that’s what they do when isolate.. but via bhaskar.. not what they do in open systems.. so too bhaskar on free will.. i think david thinks entropy won’t be enough.. how could something like free will be born from cyborgs/robots/mechanical matter.. so he (david) goes into physics/electronics.. and this indeterminacy.. so david goes on to argue.. what could this random ness of electrons be..? a very basic form of intention/agency?.. if true then not such a big leap to go form matter that orgs self and creates all kinds of structures.. then in humans creates our free will/agency/freedom..
oihane: another thing w bhaskar.. also thinks social structures vs natural structure.. that natural can exist independently.. socialist not independent.. socialist also based in ancient conceptions of what they are doing.. in our beliefs.. so have capacity for transformation.. here is where i think bhaskar gets really interesting.. ie: hume’s law – can’t derive ethical conclusion from purely factual premises.. bhaskar argues this is not true.. he calls it ethical naturalism.. he tries to base it in human needs.. so if capitalism doesn’t provide some human needs.. we can object it is wrong
elizabeth: definitely inspired me that david was moving into this science space.. and appreciate this intro to bhaskar.. i didn’t have head space for it
nika: to me this is most principled article of david’s.. making light of our assumptions.. who will argue all this is not making sense.. so what i want to say about kropotkin.. book – on how animal’s coop.. i want to tell about nikoli green.. theatre director.. designed russian evolution theatre.. and author of several theatrical books.. ie: animal theatre.. writing that we can clearly see (keep losing nika.. connection is unstable).. animals feeling pleasure.. and comparing theatre in form of art as instinct we all have.. only part is related to production/benefits-of-survival.. big part is about building up of own theatrical being and humor..
elizabeth: that poster was amazing.. we have been exploring these themes in lab this am.. so themes are deepening
nika: hopefully w visual assembly we’ll do this project w z’s.. and how they say art is important for existence.. the tools that can provide us w an objective pic of world where we can then build
jonathan harris: on econ and freedom.. pleasure of play.. and unknown outcomes.. wondering if money burning is a form of play.. joshua raimey’s book: politics of divination.. amazing work.. idea is that neolib is a form of play w the unknown.. which is what gambling is.. that’s why i loved david’s essay on that.. i think you can think about econ/world/money as a form of play.. where i work.. really powerful.. (again on the burning money as play).. one thing important of play.. is this pulling apart of function.. never in the now.. always in past .. where it comes from or going.. and play is about the now.. because you don’t play for the result.. important way to see the world.. if we could get into our head C as a form of play .. rather than horrors.. could get to an alt
simona: this article made me think of heated discussion between my mother/father who live apart.. i lived w mother and left my cat w my father.. and the cat wanted to play and be petted by father.. father was arguing that cat was looking for something/food.. i looked at this argument and thought.. i’m a sane person.. because you can imagine a cat and play just for the fun of it.. existence is the pleasure of being cause (groos) david is always demystifying idea that we must have an end.. and that this end must be appropriated of food.. et al.. david shows how this is not true.. my cat didn’t want food.. he wanted to play.. it’s amazing how in a funny way .. only goal is to play.. have fun.. as end in itself.. it should be obvious .. but isn’t in our frame.. very important to deconstruct/demystify this frame.. so once again.. thank you david graeber
muna: essay opens up space to talk about the art of exploration.. of wonder and awe
elizabeth in chat: I am thinking about the relationship between play-knowledge. So much of the pleasure of play is our engagement to unknown/unknowable outcomes.
ben: i was so into richard dawkins (don’t believe in him anymore) .. but i really like the essay .. and i once had an argument w david about free will and i was arguing against it.. and he was for it.. i was saying .. if everything is free.. nothing is free.. so w play.. opposition between play and freedom and work and rules.. in order to play and have a game.. you have to fabricate rules in order to play.. get serious for a while.. where do you allow rules to be fabricated.. and where do you say they are fabricated/bs..?
nika: in order to play.. always have rules.. C is a place where you can’t rearrange the rules.. if common understanding would change.. would live in a diff world tomorrow.. that’s why it’s so huge
huge.. how to get that global/leap of detox
elizabeth: on how measurement applies to the enforcement of rules in a game.. comes down to this transformation of understanding.. that we can assume a position of knowledge making.. and then moves in to playful beautiful understanding of performivity
jonathan harris: posting friend’s paper on how do you measure this pleasure measurement – called – the perverse pleasures of measuring.. https://www.academia.edu/30945931/The_perverse_pleasures_of_measuring?email_work_card=title
why measure? we need to let go of any form of m\a\p
oihane: on paper david wrote w david w.. talking about current situation is a game that is out of control.. and how we got so stuck in this system..
nika: on hierarchy w/o ability to stop
nika: one more reading group next week.. then 22nd gen assembly to discuss how to continue .. new projects.. et al.. i personally would like to make mtgs every other week.. because am so overwhelmed..
elizabeth: makes a lot of sense.. w change of season and virus.. finding needs to spread away from computer
nika: maybe we can spread things out..