Upon reading James Carse’s lauded work Finite and Infinite Games, I realized I’d never felt similarly about any other book. I was riveted, moved, and completely annoyed. What a tremendous concept: that we ought to spend our lives in acts of mutual generation and play, extending to infinity, rather than playing short-term zero-sum games! Also, what an irritating style of writing!
Man, do I love stumbling upon someone's experiences and realizing I've taken a similar path in life.
Being bullied and meeting weirdos, becoming extroverted, embracing my imperfections and building upon them, accumulating experiences, introducing friends to each other, and so much more.
The one thing I still can't get over is the fact that I can help people literally turn their lives around in a series of 1:1 conversations, but haven't yet found a way to scale it. My conversations are so much deeper and so much more focused and generative than my public writing it's actually painful.
I'll never give up on trying to make this leap, though.
Love this part: "It’s just weird to spend a whole book advocating for an infinite existence without furnishing a simple example of the material attributes of such a life. It’s also weird that a book about being playful doesn’t have a single joke in it. Maybe he's participating in an infinite game by getting other people to come up with practical implementations of his principles."
Could you explain what you mean by high-context relationship and offer a few examples?
Glad you put this together.... I think you're ultimately right that Carse's intention was for the ideas to be generative (people like you coming up with examples) rather than for Finite and Infinite Games to be a prescriptive, final say on the topic. While it's ultimately important to apply philosophical abstractions to reality, I find that examples can sometimes be limiting since they force a concept into one instantiation of many, and they can lead readers to draw misleading or narrow conclusions when the intent is to convey a broadly useful concept. I appreciated Carse's style in this regard... for me, the framework led to a lot of open-ended thinking and envisioning a range of examples in my own experiences. That said, I think what you have created here is exemplary for the types of "next level" thinking to apply a layer of tangibility to the concepts.