Systems And Games
They are also Human System-s.
I'm trying to think of most situations as games, because it reminds me that
- people who annoy me are usually just challenges/barriers, not adversaries
- fun/happiness is a reasonable objective
- rules are often arbitrary and even unofficial. You can break many rules, you can make new rules. Each is just a Game Rule.
- there's often a trick that will get you to the next level when head-banging micro-optimization will fail you.
John Taylor Gatto called Education a "HelixSport", where "participants search for a new relationship with themselves". Unfortunately, I can't find any other references to this phrase. Here’s a principle of real education to carry you through the moments of self-doubt. Education is a helix sport, a unique personal project like seatless unicycle riding over trackless wilderness, a sport that avoids rails, rules, and programmed confinement. The familiar versions of this are cross-country skiing, sailing, hang-gliding, skateboarding, surfing, solitary mountain climbing, thousand-mile walks, things like that. I think of education as one, too. In a helix sport the players search for a new relationship with themselves. They endure pain and risk to achieve this goal. Helix sports are free of expert micromanagement. Experts can’t help you much in that moment of truth when a mistake might leave you dead. Helix sports are a revolt against predestination. Bringing children up properly (Raising Kids) is a helix sport forcing you to realize that no boy or girl on earth is just like another. If you do understand this you also understand there can exist no reliable map to tell you all you need to do.
- one reference (see "Form follows sport"), focusing on "competing against the environment and ourselves", in contract to agon sports where the competition is against other people. Not as compelling a metaphor.
- May'2012: found this referencing John B Jackson and Jean Caseneuve.
See The RICH Economy.
Sometimes fuzzy discussions about real-world systems can be grounded by reference to Macro Statistics.