Every now and again you read a book which changes your perspective on a lot of things.
This book below is one of those: Finite & Infinite games by James Carse.
You probably know this, but everything we do is some form of a game. Some are finite, and some are infinite. This book provides clarity on both the games we play and why we are playing them. Finite games are often played for the purpose of winning, where as with infinite games. the purpose is the game itself. Here’s some great quotes from it.
“A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”
“Strength is paradoxical. I am not strong because I can force others to do what I wish as a result of my play with them, but because I can allow them to do what they wish in the course of my play with them.”
“War presents itself as necessary for self-protection, when in fact it is necessary for self-identification.”
“Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.”
“There is no possibility of conversation with a loudspeaker.”
“To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for possibility whatever the cost to oneself.”
“What Copernicus dispelled, however, were not myths but other explanations.”
“To use the machine for control is to be controlled by the machine.”
This book, all the way back from 1987 is a gold nugget that has been available to me to nearly 30 years, and yet it took my friend Nic Hodges to point it out to me. Another reminder that what is new, is not necessarily better, just more present.