I think the best part about working with children is learning to play again

Early in our teens we stop playing. Society has this idea that play, at least improvised play, is only for children, and something we naturally grow out of. The only sort of "play" that is seen as "appropriate" for adults are organized games with set rules, and usually a goal

Anyway, that's BS. Today, I played with marbles. I built a tower out of building blocks. Last week, I drew a picture - not to "create" anything, just to have fun with pencils on paper. One day when I was not actually at work, I went to a playground to climb on a 2-meter-high rock. It was difficult (how did i do this when i was little??) and I was proud of myself when i did it

I can't believe I'm only 19 and have already missed out on this for half my life. And the only way I can accept that is if I promise myself that I'll never stop playing again


"Work" is defined as an activity directed towards a goal

I'd say "play" is the opposite of that - any activity that you do for the sake of the activity itself, without aiming towards a "goal"

We have this idea that work is for adults, play is for kids. As we grow up, we turn everything into a goal-directed activity.

We play a sport to win, or to stay healthy. We draw to create something beautiful. We cook to make food. We climb an obstacle to get to the other side. We read a book to finish it. We watch a movie in the evening to relax, and then are confused when we can't.

Capitalism brainwashes you into thinking that you've grown out of playing. It wants you to think that you can't possibly enjoy an activity for its own sake anymore, so you need an "incentive"

Don't fall for it, and play as often as you can

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work and play, but it's getting political i guess 

i say "we" turn everything into a goal-directed activity as we grow up, but that's not entirely true either.

*Schools* turn everything into goal-directed activities *for* us. Modern education reforms often have this idea that we should take things children enjoy, and incorporate them into their education. Which would make sense, if our education system wasn't defined by "goals" children have to reach

You're taking something - play - that is very precious to the child, and you're taking it away from them to turn it into work. And then you're telling them that they stopped enjoying those things because they "grew out of it", and not because capitalists need human-machines who have learned how to work towards a goal given to you by an authority

work and play, but it's getting political i guess 

anyway, this has been part one of the anarcho-playism manifesto, imma go to sleep

work and play, but it's getting political i guess 

@ijyx You might like Colin Ward, he was a anarchist who wrote a lot about play and children (and urban planning).

The chapter on education in Anarchy in Action is amazing.


work and play, but it's getting political i guess 

@kawaiipunk thank you!! i'll look into it

work and play 

@ijyx I saw someone debate whether play still has a goal or not, and I think it may depend on the individual person and the definition of "goal". I'm an organisation autistic so I make "to do" lists even for my special interests lol. I even thought of scheduling playing videogames, but decided my other hobbies are more important to make time for. When doing the activities I still have "goals" but I find it fun. I tend to get bored of an activity of I don't feel it has a purpose.

work and play 

@ijyx but there's still definitely a difference between work and play for me! I rarely enjoy studying but I still did it for school and uni. Now I have graduated but haven't gotten a job yet so I have a lot of time. I started studying things that I actually want to learn and I've been having fun! Not sure if it still counts as work or play. My goal was to learn the subject, but I had a lot of fun doing it and did it because I wanted to.

@ijyx This is good thinking. In my own reflection, I've found that in general my diminished desire to "play" is correlated with my diminished curiosity as I've aged.

There's a cool documentary on netflix about the science on early childhood development, and the episode on curiosity really made my think about how my psychology has changed. Now you've got me thinking about how those changes have been induced through socialized.

@ishara This really makes sense to me

Play, to me, is spontaneous. I have an idea, and I pursue it in that moment. If I have time to create plans or goals, I automatically will, and that'll make the activity less fun. When I really manage to *play*, it's because I follow through on a spintaneous idea

Learning is actually an example of that. If I have the idea (e.g. a question, or the impulse to study something) and immediately follow through on it, I'll enjoy the process and be tempted to learn more. If the idea comes from somewhere else (e.g. a school assignment) or I take the time to turn it into a task ("hey, duolingo was fun today. I should set myself a goal to do it *everyday*), that'll have pretty much the opposite effect

@ijyx Sometimes I will pick something I'm interested in, and just play with it. Both because it's fun (and who doesn't like fun?), but also because I know that ultimately I'll learn something from it. Even though it's unstructured, undirected, no procedures. Just seeing what I can do with it, what I enjoy doing with it.

This is one of the ways kids and young animals learn, why can't I?

Plus. You know. It's fun. And we sure need plenty of that right now.

@ijyx thank u i never needed to here this more than I did right now 😭 ❀️

@waifu @ijyx Play is what we're drawn to, but I'd also say that games can emerge through task gamification. If memory serves, the classical example here is two hunters competing for who can bag the most game, since the hunting has to be done anyway.

I'd say a large part of what we're drawn to is actually fun, not play specifically - might contradict the post-left playbook but these are fuzzy noumena to begin with anyway, so adjacent to different emotions and states of being.

"Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life."

Or, as Crowley put it, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

Everyone feels the elephant in different ways, even when they're just writing pop songs. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." "Do You Enjoy What You Do?"

Deep down, everyone knows it: Nobody wants to work, nobody wants to be bored, nobody wants to pretend they give a *single shit* about boring business garbage, Everybody engages in petty deviance. But there's no sense pretending that we don't want to look after our loved ones, either. I fixed something my wife uses around the house and didn't resent the time the way I would have if my boss asked me to do it.

It's complex but yeah the bottom line is that capitalism, mercantilism and feudalism are all completely bizarre and unnatural ways of being and their persistence is owed to some kind of weird collective delusion.

@ijyx a couple of days ago a neighbor and I spontaneously walked to a nearby park and played catch for an hour, it was great

@ijyx I would say both have goals.. where play has the goal of being fun while work is a responsibility and the goal of being productive. This doesn't mean work has to be boring.. Your work with children is surely fulfilling but you have a responsibility of ensuring them to have fun. ;)

I agree with you that it is a lot better to carry around positivity than negativity. It makes me happy to hear how awesome you are with the kids. ;)

@shellkr That's exactly what I mean: Play is not something with the "goal" to have fun. As soon as you set a goal - any goal - I wouldn't consider it play

So of course work doesn't have to be boring. Goal-directed action doesn't have to be boring. But only ever engaging in goal-directed action will be draining

@ijyx But if playing is not fun it would just be time consuming... would it not? If fun is in the lack of a goal.. then that is a goal. Not having a goal is a goal.

So what is the purpose of play?

The only problem with goals that I see with it.. is that you can fail at them. So personally I prefer the use of direction instead. Following a path is easier to succeed at.

Everything and nothing can be defined as a goal.

@shellkr If playing isn't fun, it isn't play

Amd sure, not having a goal can be a goal, but it doesn't have to be the goal of a specific activity

Like, when I play, I don't play in order to not have a goal

@ijyx Yep, it can be turned around pretty much how ever you like. ;)

Sorry to drag you down that rabbit hole. ;)

@shellkr Np, I like rabbit holes :)

I'd say when I 1. set a goal and then 2. do a certain thing mainly to achieve that goal, then the process of 2 is what I'd call "work"

Things can *involve* goals without being work, but if the purpose of the activity is to pursue a goal, then it's work.

@ijyx Yes, I can buy that... but in reality your daily life contain hundreds of miniature goals that are executed all the time. Just putting one fot before the other is a miniature goal. As soon as you make a decision it becomes a goal.

I would say if you _have_ to pursue that goal it becomes work.

@shellkr But you don't usually set the goal of "I want to move my leg to that other place"

Like I said, anything and everything can *involve* goals. But if the purpose of an action is to pursue a goal, it's work

I don't agree that something is only work of it's forced. For example, cleaning is usually work, but not usually forced

@ijyx It is forced as you'll have to do it eventually in the same sense work work is forced. No one "forces" you to work (except maybe if you happen to be at Gulag) but it is necessary in order to get food on the table.

@shellkr That only applies to wage labor/ work you do for a job

@ijyx Thank you for putting this out there.... we're.... people have been asking us (therapists, psychologists, friends) what we do that we enjoy, including one time earlier today when we were in a call with our psych and he asked "So what do you do for fun? What activities do you enjoy?" and we just stopped and thought about it until he asked "Hello? You still there?" and we realized we had spent 5 minutes trying and failing to come up with an activity.

You're absolutely right that everything has become goal oriented. We try and learn new things but only because we feel accomplished afterwards....

We don't know how to have fun.... we honestly can barely remember even doing so when we were younger.... Honestly not sure where to even start anymore, but we've definitely got something to think about, so thank you.

The real trick will be trying to do thing for the sake of doing it and not trying to have fun if that makes sense.

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Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.