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The Philosophy of Games and the Postwork Utopia

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    No one should ever work. Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world.

    [See the full post at: The Philosophy of Games and the Postwork Utopia]


    I don’t want to be rude but Dr Danaher basically wastes his time on non-issue.
    There are two problems with what he describes.

    First there won’t be a problem with unfulfilled need of work because even
    if you can live with full automation you hardly will be forced to.
    People who have resources can move to some sort of Amish like colonies
    where they will live with hard work and as sort of principle.
    People that don’t want to go to such extremes can still produce hand made
    goods as there probably always will be some demand for those, even if
    automation will produce better alternatives.

    My second issue with this article is that Dr Danaher, probably because of
    his background in philosophy instead in for example sociology, focuses
    on his tough experiment and don’t even glimpse over real world data.
    Unlike cloning,immortality or sentient AI issue of reducing need for certain
    jobs due to automation is hardly hypothetical.
    In most observed cases people whose jobs ware automated were less focused
    on “what I’m going to do with so much free time” and more on “how I will
    feed my family without income”. I have yet to see government that would
    happily announce that due to automation they managed to rise unemployment.


    Good article. A few comments, mostly regarding your sources:

    > “the Good, the True and the Beautiful.”

    Except every single one is, if not subjective like “beauty”, at least perpetually incomplete, like science / “the true”. Thus the mere illusion of this will be enough.

    As you conclude later, humans are impaired in their capacity, not only for epistemology but, most obviously, on ethics / “the Good” as well, some philosophies even regard it as dependent on the particular system of ethics one is working under (which is wrong, provided you can come up with a more general, all-encompassing, counter-example), thus all value believed to stem from this is yet another illusion, achieved simply by the following of a culturally set set (twice) of rules. Not coincidentally, yet another “game”.

    > “they wouldn’t solve moral problems or be sources of income or status,”

    Ha! You’d need some serious augmentation to weed that one out. Specially the latter one. See the rise o e-games [1] or the Olympics (to the point of self-destruction) way before that.

    > “that all games (properly so-called) shared three key features:”

    This definition could also be much more general. Role Playing Games for instance have no particular goal and, most importantly (since a proper goal, like character development can much more easily be set): no “score” to keep and much less “winners or losers”.

    Ultimately, having fun is the true goal if there is any, which, just as with beauty (and AS a form of beauty), is subjective. In fact they are one and the same, or at least two sides of the same coin, for only when you are free from game rules [2], when all you have is a tabula rasa and minimal rules, is when you’re truly free to do art.

    Much like in Fight Club, the only rule is there are no rules. This, regardless of the apparent paradox, is still the most general game possible. It can include any other game.

    This all encompassing generalization makes the later point moot. I quote:

    > “At first glance, it would seem like games don’t fit neatly within this Aristotelian framework. “

    … since any rules are just yet another game.

    There is absolutely no escape from it.


    … if one “delude” oneself.

    If one is “impaired” in their capacity to realize this, then perhaps there is a “prayer”, so to speak, to “escape” from “escapism”. Meta-escapism, a desperate alternative to the “frivolous” notion of “playing games all day long for eternity”.

    If, as long as he keeps crashing that cymbal, a monkey can convince himself his arbitrarily set goals are truly important, that they really matter and he can, and even actually is, “bringing about valuable change in their external realities”.. If only he could forget he did and, finally, forget he forgot about it.

    I ask you, are we not already doing precisely this? In a sense, perhaps the article’s ending question can be answered today, however subjectively ;). Or perhaps the singularity already happened and we have simply convinced ourselves it didn’t.

    Sounds rather “frivolous”, to be deluding oneself like this but, this precise adjective had — ironically — been ascribed to, well, games. [3]

    > 3. Is this the utopia we’ve been looking for?
    > But is this enough?

    Well, if not, tough luck.

    Because that’s all we can ever get. But don’t worry, we can always provide fake, gruesome, go-nowhere games (and redundant), I mean, jobs, for those who really want it… owait.

    And for those who already don’t (worry), before you think you can simply go laughing all the way to the singularity, ask yourself, what sort of “games” are “less impaired” entities more likely to find worthy of their ‘capabilities’?

    Do full-fledged Gods, then, do easier or do they do harder things?

    What is harder: play tic-tac-toe against your kids on a sunny day at the beach, like a proper, run-of-the-mill, human; or play multi-table simultaneous blindfolded chess after a stroke?

    Perhaps most disturbingly, if the ends don’t really matter, then it doesn’t really matter [4] whether they are even “winnable” or not. What better way to design an inexhaustible, “flourishing”-allowing, “process” to ward off eternal boredom than to have a hopeless goal at that? Hope itself may indeed be the quintessential human delusion. [5] How many “points” can you score before you inevitably lose? Come join the joyride everybody, get your tickets here, two lifetimes for the price of one, half the excruciating pain off. [6]

    Have a nice Thanksgiving.

    [1] http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/16/the-dangers-of-crowdfunding-those-gigantic-e-sports-prize-pools/
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvzQCb_iQnk
    [3] minute 47 @ https://hplusmagazine.com/2015/11/09/artificial-intelligence-for-general-game-playing/
    [4] https://youtu.be/lUnqbBgYZmI?t=1m3s
    [5] https://youtu.be/K3OXs_5AD2A?t=4m12s
    [6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCorJG9mubk

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