We—whoever we are, whatever we do—forget this at our peril (your peril, my peril, our peril): HUMANS ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

Here’s just one example of what I’m talking about, using Hari’s text as my conceptual landscape, and playwork as my domain of application.
___________________________________

WE HAVE NO PLAYWORK THEORY THAT CAN INFORM OUR WORK WITH CHILDREN.

I have said this before. Hold on. This is what I mean: our body of theory talks about the child, not children. It talks about the individual not the group.

(There is one poor small exception: my own application of the edgeofchaos* to the ‘system of children at play’. Mainly misunderstood.)

WE NEED MORE THEORY ABOUT CHILDREN IN THE MASS.

WHO WANTS TO TRY TO DEVELOP IT WITH ME?

_______________________________
*my work is widely understood as being about chaos.

Here is a footnote about the misunderstanding. I’m largely to blame for it.

My work is widely understood as being about chaos. It isn’t, it’s about the edgeofchaos. Let’s say that we are talking about two things: order and chaos. Think of it like this: we have black and white, like a chessboard. We can see only black and white: is that a black square or a white square? Not sure. We keep seeing squares which sort of look black and sometimes maybe look sort of white. Some of us aren’t too bothered by this, we take a quick look, decide whether a square is black or white and get on with our lives. Until this Greek bloke, ex-follower of Aristotle,  pops up and starts eurekaring. There is another colour, he shouts! There’s loads of it about!  I’ve given it a name! I’m calling it ‘blackywhitishwhiteyblackish’. It’s not black! But it’s not white either! It’s sort of in-between. There aren’t just two shades, there are loads!

Weeks later his wife decides that blackywhitishwhiteyblackish is a stupid name. She decides to call it grey instead. She writes a book about the profound implications of her husband’s discovery: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey Instead’.

It’s not about chaos. It’s not about order. It’s not black and white. It’s complicated. To be precise: it’s complex. This thing in between order and chaos is ‘neither one nor t’other’ it is a thing in its own right. You can call it the edgeofchaos or you can call it the edgeoforder or you can call it complexity.

The world is not black.
The world is not white.
The world is grey.

The world is not order.
The world is not chaos.
The world is complexity.

When things are really connected, that’s order.
When things are really disconnected that’s chaos.
In between is complexity.

It’s about the connections between things. Rats and drug addicts, for example.

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One thought on “We—whoever we are, whatever we do—forget this at our peril (your peril, my peril, our peril): HUMANS ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS.

  1. Ben Taylor said, elsewhere here: ” I like your Johann Hari connection (I had tweeted this article from other sources with the pull quote ‘the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety; it’s human connection’).

    There’s a famous quote from Brian Sutton-Smith: “the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression”

    I riffed on that, like this: “the opposite of quirk isn’t cool, its oppression”

    It seems to me that this construction is enormously valuable (when it works!).

    THE OPPOSITE OF X IS NOT Y, IT IS Q.

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