What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?

8 April, 2021 David Graeber What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun? Facilitator for this session: Elizabeth Travelslight, Nika Dubrovsky, Rain Forest.

and here is our chat

00:04:23 Ellen Judd: Very happy to discover this article, which I have read as uplifting and joyful. But the move to Thursday has had me double-booked this time, so regretfully will leave in a few minutes. Enjoy!
00:05:08 Tj: Please excuse my momentarily absurd appearance, weirdness happened in our IAFS lab!
00:05:17 Gabi Zinha: hahahahahhahhahahahaha
00:05:20 Elizabeth Travelslight: lol
00:05:28 Matt: Very playful TJ
00:05:36 Gabi Zinha: hmmm for me freedom was roaming in lockdowned paris
00:06:27 Gabi Zinha: or having highschool teachers invite us the students o their birthday parties and bbqs
00:06:59 Tj: Now I’m properly boring…
00:07:21 Gabi Zinha: it’s not that boring! one eyelash is up!
00:07:25 Gabi Zinha: oh not eyelash
00:07:31 Gabi Zinha: eyebrow
00:07:33 Gabi Zinha: haha
00:07:44 Tj: Haha thanks!
00:08:04 Clare: that’s beautiful O
00:08:28 Matt: The icebreaker question is: “What is a time in which you felt free?”
00:09:08 Elizabeth Travelslight: Dancing outside always feels free for me
00:13:49 Gabi Zinha: omg a slideshow thats so cool
00:15:07 Vassily Pigounidès: 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
00:18:02 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc @justextreme): to draw on something else David said outside of this essay – I think that freedom very much entails being in such a state that one is free to ‘be the cause’ whenever one wants
00:19:43 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc @justextreme): I feel the most free when I am able to ‘play’/’be the cause’/’have fun’ without fear
00:21:13 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc @justextreme): “n 1901, the German psychologist Karl Groos discovered that infants express extraordinary happiness when they first discover their ability to cause predictable effects in the world. For example, they might scribble with a pencil by randomly moving their arms and hands. When they realize that they can achieve the same result by retracing the same pattern, they respond with expressions of utter joy. Groos called this “the pleasure at being the cause,” and suggested that it was the basis for play.” – from https://harpers.org/archive/2018/06/punching-the-clock/
00:21:52 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc @justextreme): that’s I think what I was referring to although I believe he talks about it in BS jobs too
00:23:33 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc @justextreme): “Groos’s research led him to devise a theory of play as make-believe: Adults invent games and diversions for the same reason that an infant delights in his ability to move a pencil. We wish to exercise our powers as an end in themselves. This, Groos suggested, is what freedom is—the ability to make things up for the sake of being able to do so.”
00:27:23 Elina Moraitopoulou: Thank you Elizabeth!
00:28:45 Gabi Zinha: baskhar <3
00:29:07 Tj: Yeah, Bhaskar rocks! Changed my life
00:35:53 Vassily Pigounidès: The example of water was given by Collier, which we also have in the Library https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tfJVUn_H5_VHLZmhZTUVhKRPH5MHroTn?usp=sharing
00:36:30 Vassily Pigounidès: Btw at some point we will move the Library on the Museum of Care website
00:41:12 Gabi Zinha: that was great!!!!
00:41:16 Elina Moraitopoulou: thank you!!!
00:41:27 Vassily Pigounidès: Graeber on Bhaskar:

  • In his book on value, see pp. 52-54 https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1h1rkoLUuwIzTX9vyKr1K2LWB7gBl5BCQ?usp=sharing
  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/04/roy-bhaskar
  • etc.
    00:45:35 Elizabeth Travelslight: Incredible poster!
    00:47:06 Gabi Zinha: HAHAHA
    00:47:17 Gabi Zinha: the electrons are dancing
    00:47:52 Elizabeth Travelslight: I am thinking about the relationship between play-knowledge. So much of the pleasure of play is our engagement to unknown/unknowable outcomes.
    00:50:40 Clare: play/theatre objectifies imagination to share
    00:51:57 Matt: Yeah, enjoying other’s play
    00:54:06 Jonathan Harris: Joshua Ramey Politics of Divination
    00:54:22 Matt: Like James Carse’s Infinite Play (about continuing play) and Finite Play (about achieving a goal)
    00:55:02 Jonathan Harris: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Politics-Divination-Reinventing-Critical-Theory/dp/1783485531
    00:59:51 monika hardy: ‘I am thinking about the relationship between play-knowledge. So much of the pleasure of play is our engagement to unknown/unknowable outcomes.’ – huge
    01:05:15 monika hardy: ‘if common understanding would change.. would live in a diff world tomorrow.. that’s why it’s so huge’ .. yes huge.. how to get that global/leap of detox
    01:07:21 Yash Lad: love your background Nika!
    01:08:01 Jonathan Harris: Only a very short paper…. https://www.academia.edu/30945931/The_perverse_pleasures_of_measuring?email_work_card=title
    01:13:26 Gabi Zinha: ok!
    01:13:28 Vassily Pigounidès: The programme here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fhgExRmhsjR1v-VsXlWBs1pwW62v-pfpIk6C7PoFqYU/edit?usp=sharing and there https://museum.care/room/reading-group/
    01:14:23 Vikram Gahlot: I remember David saying anthropology is a study of human possibilities, somehow it appears that that is also what play is about
    01:14:57 Vassily Pigounidès: We should have a bhaskarian v. a latourian for the fight
    01:14:57 Justin Clarke (@justin__dc / @justextreme): Play is like exploring possibility
    01:14:59 Yash Lad: Wow! Looking forward to it!
    01:18:12 Yash Lad: +1
    01:18:15 Gabi Zinha: we could talk about the war book seems very interesting
    01:19:19 Anca: what war book?
    01:19:42 Yash Lad: Nika mentioned David was working on a book about war
    01:19:43 Gabi Zinha: oh nika posted a tweet about it
    01:19:49 Gabi Zinha: a book about war
    01:19:52 Gabi Zinha: that david was writing
    01:20:08 Elizabeth Travelslight: I need to go! Thank you Nika and Oihane! Thank you all for the chance to bring David’s essay into conversation with feminist science studies 💞 So fun to play with you
    01:20:13 Anca: i see thank you
    01:20:20 Clare: thank you
    01:20:51 Axel: I accidentally came an hour late and missed the discussion. Looking forward to seeing the recording!