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There are at least two kinds of games One could be called finite, the other infinite A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play This is the opening statement of Carse s book It introduces an intriguing concept of infinite game and gives us a new way to see things people do in this world Unfortunately this is also the book s climax The charm wear off quickly.Carse went on to categorize many different things into finite or infinite game The problem is that this is simply dichotomy view by his arbitrary categorization To give you some taste of the book, finite game and infinite game are separately described as dramatic or theatrical Without telling you which is which can you make a sensible case of either And here is another quote form the bookSuch museums referring to New York s principal museums are not designed to protect the art from people, but to protect the people from artWithout providing you the context, I would just say the entire book is filled with assertions and judgments like this Something is or is not this or something does or does not cause that As I debate the merit of his assertions, the revelation comes This is just his game with semantics It will be futile to find meaning in his confusing world or distorted semantics. (((Free Pdf))) ⇺ Finite and Infinite Games ⇫ An Extraordinary Book That Will Dramatically Change The Way You Experience LifeFinite Games Are The Familiar Contests Of Everyday Life, The Games We Play In Business And Politics, In The Bedroom And On The Battlefied Games With Winners And Losers, A Beginning And An End Infinite Games Are Mysterious And Ultimately Rewarding They Are Unscripted And Unpredictable They Are The Source Of True FreedomIn This Elegant And Compelling Work, James Carse Explores What These Games Mean, And What They Can Mean To You He Offers Stunning New Insights Into The Nature Of Property And Power, Of Culture And Community, Of Sexuality And Self Discovery, Opening The Door To A World Of Infinite Delight And Possibility An Extraordinary Little Book A Wise And Intimate Companion, An Elegant Reminder Of The Real Brain Mind Bulletin I bought this book in 1986 and tried to read it, but without much success It lay on a bookshelf for fifteen years until one sleepless night when I picked it up and thought to try again I swallowed it whole that night and have come back again and again with excitement and expectation.There is a group of Christian businessmen who distribute copies of the New Testament at the entrance to the student union where I teach Carse s book is the one I would choose to purchase in bulk and hand to everyone who passed, hoping that it could be as transformative for them as it had and has been for me I have, in fact, bought it in small numbers as a paperback and given it to close friends. 1.5 Found it vapidSo at least one reviewer said you needed to be intellectual enough to really get this book Well, I guess I m unintellectual cause I really didn t It was a sequence of unconnected quotable paragraphs usually of the form 1 Something sounding like a topic sentence that might be interesting and you expect explication justification to follow2 It doesn t.3 A tidy little wrap up sentence of the form It s not that A Bs the C rather C Bs the A e.g we not only operate with each other like machines, we operate each other like machines okay, doesn t exactly follow the pattern above, but the goal seems to have been to write as many sentences with two parts in which the second part is minimally different but carries a very different meaning It reminds me so much of cute little snippets from political speeches which I find eye rolly at best, as they appear to carry meaning but typically do not at all Here s another if you must play, then you cannot play though I guess there is a bit of meaning there.What I took away Don t sweat the small stuff finite games All the goals, aims, achievements, letdowns in life are just a part of the overall game of life THE infinite game, go play Enjoy it But I didn t need to read this to come to that realization.I agree with another reviewer who pointed out that he likes to choose concepts words, define them usually in two opposing pairs and then divide the world according to the two concepts This was unenlightening to me in pretty much every example he goes into war, birth, sex, society etcI also found myself frequently disagreeing with his examples analogies points.I m not going to tell anyone not to read it, but I think you have to come into it expecting it to enlighten you and to find your own meaning in what you read I guess it s a decent Rorschach test in that regard It certainly didn t do it for me.Heh, and some petty criticism some of his evidence is now technologically dated For example, parents now can choose the time and place of birth C sections, induction , we can talk on the phone without talking with someone on the phone voice recognition menus Though I don t think this weakens his arguments as I found them pretty weak to begin withor rather, I couldn t actually determine what his argument was. I grant this book five stars for the brilliance of its core idea The distinction between finite games and an infinite game is heuristically so powerful that once one has grasped it, it is almost impossible to put it out of one s mind I feel that the tension between these two basic dispositions traverses my whole personal biography My deepest desire has always been to participate in an infinite game not playing to win but to keep the game going and draw ever people in I believe that in some areas of life I have been able to create a space and develop skills to do so But the nature of the game dictates that one is never at ease, always has to question oneself I am grateful to James Carse that he hands us a powerful language to formulate those questions You run ahead Are you doing it as a shepherd Or as an exception A third case would be as a fugitive First question of conscience.Are you genuine Or merely an actor A representative Or that which is represented In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor Second question of conscience.Are you one who looks on Or one who lends a hand Or one who looks away and walks off Third question of conscience. Do you want to walk along Or walk ahead Or walk by yourself One must know what one wants and that one wants Fourth question of conscience. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols This is a litmus test kind of a book It appeals only to a certain kind of a person me and others like me who are strongly intellectual in orientation If you are stopped in your tracks by a sentence which asserts that your parents may have wanted a child, but they could not possibly have wanted you, then this book belongs on your list.The author advances his premises by presenting pairs of opposites, but not the empty abstract opposites of logic A and Not A , but opposites that depend upon insight in order to be understood For example, the opposite of a boundary is a horizon the opposite of power is strength.Power is the ability to control the way others play strength is the ability to allow others to play as they wish.If I move you, I use my power If I touch you, I must be strong So, moving others and touching others are opposites I can move you without being moved, but I cannot touch you without being touched.Distinctions of this nature abound in this slim volume It will challenge and delight your mind and your heart and your spirit, if you are a certain kind of person. This is why everyone hates moral philosophy professors Except this guy isn t even one He has all the arrogance of one but none of their intellectual rigour This book has all the impracticality of a philosophical treatise, combined with all the self righteousness of a self help guide And what s with the random ass quotes peppered through the thing Some good stuff buried under a lot of messy writing and incoherent thought Logical inconsistencies abound I think his main problems come with infinite games his rhetorical structure means he must always present binaries with respect to finite infinite games, and with finite bad and infinite good As an exploration of finite games, I think there is a lot to recommend here though often it is simply that the obvious trite is couched in the language of profundity , but it would have been better had he left infinite games as implied He also gets into problems due to his definition of game being something that must be voluntary Which leads toSociety remains entirely within our free choice in quite the same way that finite competition, however strenuous or costly to the player, never prevents the player from walking off the field of playAndThere are, to be sure, games in which the stakes seem to be life and death In slavery, for example, or severe political oppression, the refusal to play the demanded role may be paid for with terrible suffering or death Even in this last, extreme case we must still concede that whoever takes up the commanded role does so by choice Certainly the price for refusing it is high, but that there is a price at all points to the fact that oppressors themselves acknowledge that even the weakest of their subjects must agree to be oppressedWhich made me think of KanyeBut some things I likedEvery move an infinite player makes is toward the horizon Every move made by a finite player is within a boundary Every moment of an infinite game therefore presents a new vision, a new range of possibilities What will undo any boundary is the awareness that is it our vision, and not what we are viewing, that is limitedthe point here, of course, being that a horizon moves as I move, whereas a boundary stays fixedFinite players play within boundaries infinite players play with boundaries The outcome of a finite game is the past waiting to happen Whoever plays toward a certain outcome desires a particular past By competing for a future prize, finite players compete for a prized past To be prepared against surprise is to be trained To be prepared for surprise is to be educated Education discovers an increasing richness in the past, because it sees what is unfinished there Training regards the past as finished and the future as to be finished Education leads toward a continuing self discovery training leads toward a final self definition Training repeats a completed past in the future Education continues an unfinished past into the futureYou see some of the rhetorical issues he gets himself into in that last one You can almost hear him getting carried away by the rhythm A quote to give an indication of some of the muddle re casual use of Wittgenstein and HeideggerWorld exists in the form of audience A world is not all that is the case, but that which determines all that is the case.An audience consists of persons observing a contest without participating in it.No one determines who an audience will be No exercise of power can make a world A world must be its own spontaneous source A world worlds Heidegger Who must be a world cannot be a worldI get the sense here these references one explicit, one by allusion are intended to add weight to his pronouncements, but in the context of the work as a whole, I do not see how the work of either philosopher has much relevance What Heidegger means by world , and what Carse means by it, for example, are very different Another example of him getting into a mess, though for different reasonsSince being your own genius is dramatic, it has all the paradox of infinite play You can have what you have only by releasing it to others The sounds of the words you speak may lie on your own lips, but if you do not relinquish them entirely to a listener they never become words, and you say nothing at all The words die with the sound Spoken to me, your words become mine do with as I please As the genius of your words, you lose all authority over them So too with thoughts However you consider them your own, you cannot think the thoughts themselves, but only what they are about You cannot think thoughts any than you act actions If you do not truly speak the words that reside entirely in their own sound, neither can you think that which remains thought or can be translated back into thought In thinking you cast thoughts beyond themselves, surrendering them to that which they cannot be I mean, either I am too dumb to understand the complexity of his thinking, or that is both muddled and wrong And then there is stuff like thisSexuality is not a bounded phenomenon but a horizonal phenomenon for infinite players One can never say, therefore, that an infinite player is homosexual, or heterosexual, or celibate, or adulterous, or faithful because each of these definitions has to do with boundaries, with circumscribed areas and styles of play Infinite players do not play within sexual boundaries, but with sexual boundaries They are concerned not with power but with vision Infinite sexuality does not focus its attention on certain parts or regions of the body Infinite lovers have no private parts They do not regard their bodies as having secret zones that can be exposed or made accessible to others for special favors It is not their bodies but their persons they make accessible to othersTo which I will just say, ugh.And I would also say ugh to things like thisOne is never ill in general One is always ill with relation to some bounded activity It is not cancer that makes me ill It is because I cannot work, or run, or swallow that I am ill with cancer The loss of function, the obstruction of an activity, cannot in itself destroy my health I am too heavy to fly by flapping my arms, but I do not for that reason complain of being sick with weight However, if I desired to be a fashion model, a dancer, or a jockey, I would consider excessive weight to be a kind of disease and would be likely to consult a doctor, a nutritionist, or another specialist to be cured of itAll of which comes, I think, from his obsession with that dichotomy But, to end positively, a couple quotes I quite liked though they do err too much on the side of the new agey for my tasteTo be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as though nothing of consequence will happen On the contrary, when we are playful with each other we relate as free persons, and the relationship is open to surprise everything that happens is of consequence It is, in fact, seriousness that closes itself to consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion To be playful is to allow for possibility whatever the cost to oneself We are playful when we engage others at the level of choice, when there is no telling in advance where our relationship with them will come out when, in fact, no one has an outcome to be imposed on the relationship, apart from the decision to continue it Because infinite players prepare themselves to be surprised by the future, they play in complete openness It is not an openness as in candor, but an openness as in vulnerability It is not a matter of exposing one s unchanging identity, the true self that has always been, but a way of exposing one s ceaseless growth, the dynamic self that has yet to be Play has saddled up alongside innovation , social entrepreneurship , and network as a buzzword for the early 21st century Written decades before, however, Carse s book is a unique and fascinating attempt to adopt the game as a framework for all of human behavior.The essential dichotomy is between those who play finite games for results, prizes, and recognition and those who play infinite games for the sheer joy and challenge.I read this on a plane ride over the Pacific and loved the first section but was not in the proper mental state to decode some of its cryptic elements The book is written in a style meant to be quotable, playful, and thought provoking than direct Rather than offering polished philosophy, it offers loosely defined ideas from which the reader is expected to draw meaning.For some, Carse will be the wordsmith who puts many old thoughts of their own into words For others, Carse will offer a challenging yet fascinating world view that enables them to grow with the book For the rest, Carse will simply by an eloquent charlatan, pumping out fluff than Durkee Mower.I m reserving my judgment until after a second, cognizant reading. Finite Games and Infinite Games A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility by James P Carse was definitely an exciting read for me, and if you consider yourself a thinker, you ll love this book too It takes philosophy to another level you re not used to, thinking of ideas you re not used to in your PHI classes in college The whole idea of seeing everything as either a finite or infinite game in life brings a new understanding to relationships, too an understanding that might actually HELP you nurture your relationships in a healthier way Even if you didn t read the book cover to cover, there are still small concepts heading the 101 sections in the book that are so profound, they can have an impact on your way of thinking if you just sit on them for a while, letting them simmer in your brain My favorite three are finite players play within boundaries infinite players play with boundaries, a finite player consume time an infinite player generates time, and the finite player aims to win eternal life the infinite player aims for eternal birth.