m of care – may 28

on utopia of rules (utopia of rules backwards) via lse reading group


notes/quotes from meeting:

5th reading group.. not being recorded.. 60 here at beginning.. on 3rd chapter

ayca: david’s meditation on freedom.. (192-193) .. and why B holds some appeal.. says.. fear of play

graeber fear of play law

david on care and freedom

simona: i was struck in my heart by this book.. because i am deeply a B.. i have faith in the rules.. interesting to me was the tension between the arbitrariness of play.. (most important feature of peace/serenity).. what needs to be in place is this tension between rules and arbitrariness.. so fascinating.. i’m a bit disappointed by the conclusion.. it’s unconcluded for me.. i wanted more

ayca: shall we understand why B has appeal for the left.. david seems to think rule bound B is necessary to some degree..

sid: the rules in a sense force you to come out into the open .. and i like that idea.. rather than suppress/ignore and something happens in the background.. the appendix for me was very interesting.. (batman ness).. and the heroic figure..

ayca: he does say.. the heroic lives a life for what others sing about..

filippos: interesting that once you create the rule.. that feeds back to the way you perceive things

ayca: yes.. seems a life of its own.. which david seems to want to avoid for spontaneity et al.. he asks.. why is it that language changes

ebony: i liked the way he put play in a hierarchy.. ie: the game a desire to org.. explains arch where you can end up w a desire for rules.. what i don’t get.. is that some lives trouble the rules.. some lives that can tell the rule that it is no longer valid.. that’s what i find more interesting.. what is it in lives that can trouble the rules.. willing to change the rule.. and interesting question

ayca: play generates rules.. but not itself bound by them.. similarity to sovereignty

suchismita: often in B.. rather than creating order.. there is a rule to exercise your wish over others.. ie: hierarchy.. so.. the atomized personality.. B who goes thru the shifting environs.. adding meaninglessness to his job..

ayca: i was surprised by his .. fear of play ness

graeber fear of play law

saybie: i really like how he asks.. how are we more free.. and if no rules at all.. following play may lead to power.. but if rules.. leads to B and regs.. so i’m not sure what he’s saying.. he’s asking in final ch .. are we more free that way.. i’m not sure i know what his final answer was.. more free w or w/o rules..

ayca: i would only add that B to him was the means of capitalism.. extraction.. exploitation

simona: (192) freedom has to be in tension w something or it’s just randomness

yeah.. i don’t know.. i think that’s whalespeak

i think our fear of arbitrary ness is like our fear of play.. both keeping us from the dance

simona: constituent power is the energy/life.. coming in power.. and constituent power is rules/B.. but w/o a tension between the two you have just *arbitrariness

*arbitrary ness is actually what we want.. need.. ie: carhart-harris entropy law et al.. we need to let go of any form of democratic admin

we keep spinning our wheels in the tragedy of the non common.. so we keep not believing in legit freedom.. and keep holding on to part\ial ness.. so .. we keep not seeing/being how it could be

simona: on postal service.. expressed why egalitarian people like B.. the connection between equality and B.. at least in principle.. so two things.. B and rules are not the same

ayca: are they not the same?

simona: those who know rules/info.. have the power in B.. i think it’s 2 diff things.. rules a group give themselves.. like children playing.. and that can change.. making the rules is play in itself.. rules that constantly change..

aleksandr: rules are not always something of B.. you have B when you have rules plus violence to enforce them.. so when you have rules w/o violence.. ie: children playing.. you have to have some formalities.. so it would go and not be stuck.. but doesn’t mean you have to have hierarchy

ayca: on his comment of freeman.. and that we need rules/structure.. just not the hierarchy

freeman structure law (?)

aleksandr: if just free w/o rules.. to connect to others.. then just randomness.. but if rules w hierarchy.. then no freedom.. so need to keep creating/overcoming rules..

lisa: g makes point that play is something destructive.. so to the balance.. of freedom bound to the social.. rules help that balance.. unless form hierarchy and policing.. that play unmoored from sense of collective freedom can become violent/destructive

yeah.. i think we have no idea what legit free people are like..

decision making is unmooring us law.. black science of people/whales law.. and we (in doing this part\ial ness).. keep the myth alive.. that.. we can’t be legit free or it will be lord of flies et al

ayca: bottom 192 – on freedom creating random destruction

sid: how to design w max amount of freedom..

ie: imagine if we.. tried a nother way

sid: confused w appendix.. that no system can create and then not be bound by them

ayca: he’s saying something like that on p 202..

suckismita: could freedom sustain itself w/o rules..

?: on sid’s comment of designing freedom.. i’m wondering if it’s freedom if it’s designed

alexandr: does david ever define freedom

ayca: bottom p 200 – tension .. this playing around.. this suggests that people are prone to contradictory tendencies.. 1\ playful for sake of it.. and 2\ agree w everyone who says they shouldn’t be acting this way.. later is what allows gamification/institution of life to happen

notes for this on utopia of rules backwards

claire: his discussion on rationality.. able to separate means from end.. goes w games that have an end/goal.. to win.. and play doesn’t.. interesting because fab now in psych in thinking of human action as rational.. raise question to how we think of others behavior.. if this clarifies how we go about creating a society that doesn’t separate means/end so severely..

? – whalespeak

nika put in chat: A single—and apparently eternal —legal and bureaucratic order regulated public affairs; instead of aspiring to change this structure, intellectuals increasingly embraced outright mysticism, aspiring to find new ways to transcend earthly systems entirely, rising through the various planetary spheres, purging themselves of materiality, to the rarified sphere of pure reason, a divine realm of transcendent mathematical laws that governed time and motion and ultimately rendered them illusory. God did not impose these laws, He was those laws. Human reason, then, was simply the action of that divine principle within us. In this sense, rationality was not just a spiritual notion, it was mystical: a technique for achieving union with the divine.

huge.. let’s org around that ‘what’s already in each one of us’ in order to get to legit freedom

edward: on being stuck in rationale.. on freedom coming w constraints.. rule bound stop playing/learning

mengxi: there is a yearning for some kind of rules that are not going to waste time.. and keep us efficient.. but how do you know if it’s rational.. just an observation

whalespeak.. we have no idea what legit free people yearn for

ayca: last paragraph david seems to propose an answer

filippos: on unwritten rules.. that we don’t even know.. when we say we want rules.. do we just want the (unwritten) rules written

lisa: mention of the po made me think of the question of scale.. tracing thru this project.. ie: email as global po.. what would it mean to have the infra.. that didn’t lead to ie: state powers.. being ‘governed from the shadows’.. what would it mean.. that works at a scale.. but we end up w being governed from shadows

using tech as a means to undo our hierarchical listening

aleksandr: this issue of universal claim.. we love B because of fear of play.. we can experience B as freedom.. this is what makes us love the rules.. in real life.. not much are clear.. but in game things are clear and you can become winner.. like simona said.. if there’s a problem ..get a rule.. is there a way to design an empirical research to find out if true/false

oi.. whalespeak

yes.. i believe i have been a part of that.. living legit free.. sans rules


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

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

claire: on using subjective feeling of clarity in order to know when to ends a process.. ie: conspiracy give us subjective feeling of clarity.. so i connected this love of rules/procedures to that.. also can be negative.. so i don’t know if people are being fooled in B..

yeah.. huge .. this is whalespeak.. fooled all the time

sid: on designing freedom.. i think david is raising a paradox.. and i think designing freedom is a paradox.. not resolvable.. what is best for us.. ie: have rules for music.. but as the band gets on w it.. other things emerge.. et al

if legit free.. i think we’d dance w/o the rules first ness.. ie: in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

ayca: what appeals to me is play for the play.. rather than to win

simona: arbitrariness.. of barbarians.. was used by romans to force order.. i think if we equal rules to B.. i think if we put play and freedom on one side and B and rules on the other.. i think it’s a mistake.. rules can be free/changing.. people freely engaging in common agreements.. but being the guardian of the rules..

ayca: on how do you create rules that you don’t become the servant of

you don’t.. imagine if we

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

saybie in chat: what is the solution he proposes against “absolute power vested in a person or office”

alekandr in chat: To Saybie: to deny the whole system, if I understand Graeber correctly. to imagine a new one

yeah that

let’s do that

ie: a nother way

svetlana: i think we don’t speak about the impossibility of rules.. at some point have to break then.. invent new ones.. or re interpret.. so B is not just scary/disgusting.. it’s also impossible.. almost as much as complete freedom is impossible

great until that ending.. whalespeak.. we have no idea if complete freedom is impossible

krishnamurti partial law et al

ayca: i think you are right to address the myth of B.. i think he does that.. but i think there is something appealing in that B.. maybe that’s why simona says it might not be that bad..

ayca: to conclude.. let’s turn to last paragraph.. where some felt disappointed w conclusion.. ‘*such illusions not always bad thing.. the illusions of absolute free play.. one could make a play that best accomplishments were result (of that).. but in place where B is tiny % of population extracts from rest of us.. ‘ in this case.. what is satisfactory or not.. about this

yeah.. satisfactory because leans toward *legit freedom

simona: unsatisfactory.. because after crazy journey.. ends up describing rules as just B and just ways to choke existence.. while he himself is saying something diff previously

yeah.. disagree..i think he’s laying it out.. then leaving it open.. i think the ending can be frustrating because of it’s arbitrary ness.. which we’re afraid of

simona: yet.. he is greatest of our time.. my work w him will last many years.. so grateful for it

ayca: i just wish he was alive.. he’s such a lively thinker

sid: is it possible that you can create a system where the creators of system are bound by rules

ayca: but if constantly changing is that desirable

sid: yeah.. they keep on changing.. so we needn’t worry about that.. we change as we go

ayca: because the state uses violence to keep the rules.. that’s why we need revolutionary action..

sid: i agree w that.. constant revolution

revolution of everyday life

lisa: what do we learn from these protocols/rules thru consensus process.. and how can we use that to understand problem of police state


saybie: if rules created together.. thru consensus.. how are they enforced

david says.. by ability to leave

ayca: prisons/law/police/military.. these are ultimate B orgs.. so what does left wing of B look like that doesn’t include those institutions..

hem: on B being a necessary evil.. on development projects if let go of B.. they died out..

whalespeak.. developing sea world.. not legit free.. otherwise would not be developing those things.. et al

ayca cubukcu (@ayca_cu): yeah.. i have to disagree hem.. on B as necessary evil




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