A solid BOND in your PLAY

In reply to Lady P’s magnificent post lockdown ludoethnographic piece here…


Speaking of the play rebound – scientists can label it, but can’t understand it. And I think you have maybe done a similar incompleteness. ‘Mortality’ isn’t quite right either. On occasions like this, I get etymological on yo ass. Later maybe.

Now what the boffins call a rebound was probably (90%) observed in INDIVIDUAL rats.
Free Sturrockesque term for you – a lubound. It’s as good as any of his clever wordmanglings , like ludiddo, ffs.

But what you watched was a GROUP PHENOMENON.

And as I has said before, we don’t have any tools or concepts to talk about that, yet. All we have is parallel, solo and group play. That is stamp collecting, trainspotting, botany, not biology. I ‘m thinking that Maturana will have the answer to this. Its to do with ENACTING a STRUCTURAL COUPLING. Maturana studies the BIOLOGY of COGNITION. He is also the only scientist I ‘ve met who talks about love. It sounds bathetic (b not p)and possibly a bit rude (lol) to say that ‘Love is structural coupling’. Oh, but it is.

He tells a story of walking through a field full of thistles with his small son, using his walking stick to heroically beat down thistles to clear a scratch-free path for his beloved boy. The boys says ‘Papa, why do you hate the thistles so much?’ And Humberto is mortified. Stopped in his tracks. I imagine that at that point he dropped his mighty warrior’s stick and picked up his son and held him aloft and spun them around wobblingly out of sheer joy as the sun smiled done upon all the lifeforms of the field, plant and animal.

Living systems are about cooperation. Competition and ‘the survival of the fittest’ is a lie told by capitalism. The true story of nature is not red in tooth and claw it is cooperation, symbiosis, commensalism. It is ‘life will find a way’. What persists is the most fitted to its niche not the biggest and baddest. When there is a drought or a poisoning the first to die are the kings at the top of the food chain. The cheetah, the peregrine, not the antelope or the sparrow. Wolves change rivers. And make deer healthier. 

So, yes, a rebound. Or rather a reBOND.

How many times have you seen little kids check out ‘are you my friend’, then carry on, not actually with the affirmed friend? They check that the BOND is still there. Then they can fly.

Behind every succesful man is a successful pair bonding. And behind every successful woman is a pile of washing, LOL. If you are truly bonded, you don’t need to be cuddling all the fecking time.

I give you BOND as a key concept in our work. Bowlby knows it, Winnicott knows it, children need it, and as they grow up they bond in more complex ways. But you can’t fecking BOND over fecking ZOOM. The magnets demand contact. Clack as they come together.

“A solid bond in your heart”.

5 thoughts on “A solid BOND in your PLAY

  1. https://psyche.co/ideas/kropotkin-the-radical-aristocrat-who-put-kindness-on-a-scientific-footing?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8647da6e0e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_26_01_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-8647da6e0e-68615833

    And this one on cooperation, which at usual, wangs on snow mutualism and kropotkin, but didn’t mention Lyn Margulis on cooperation. Is it because she is a lady?

    Cooperation is deep down in living systems. It’s not an add on.

  2. Yes to this play bond. I wrote with Gordon about symbiosis, co-operation not competition, and the like, and I see it every day in some shape or form. Children ‘check in’ and drift away again; one girl will smooth the hair of another for a short while; one boy will seek connection with another (not because of his alpha-aggression but because the second boy has empathy) and the second boy can now exhibit the emotional intelligence he always must have had but which no-one ever really saw. There’s so much here that many adults are blind to.

    • The bond, i don’t think it’s a play bond. I think it’s a mammalian bond. It’s a BOND. It’s what I’m calling a PRIMITIVE, meaning rather like an atom, the smallest indivisible explanatory concept. There are other primitives.

      I would imagine that a children’s culture is about the lamda value, the index of connectedness in a group. When it gets to a certain level, importantly not COMPLETELY connected, not everybody knows everybody, not everybody is a stranger, you see the emergence of a vibe. Maybe.

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