Endless Games

From within the field or board of play, the rules of the game maintain relative (or apparent) coherency. Imagine our surprise when we discover that this game has rules and structure but no possible Archimedean overview or metaphysical anchor, no meaning or purpose. The purpose of the game then becomes (transparently) the self-perpetuation of the game itself.

Not unlike the logic of a Mutually Assured Destruction in which the nameless horror of game’s end perpetuated the unrelenting oscillations and perturbations of balance and power across the board: this game can not end any more than life can end, or allow itself to end. Otherwise rendered: this life is the game in which we seek to offset, displace and distance ourselves from the completion and closure implicit in the rules and logic by which we play. This logic is such that an endpoint (through which our own self is reflexively and aspirationally invoked or defined) is the inevitable destination and completion of the task but simultaneously represents the complete and utter invalidation of all rules and abstracted purposes or meanings acquired and cultivated during the evolution of the game. To win this game is to lose all.

Logic and rationality require a direction and closure which can only ever invalidate their own internal rules and validation; consequently, we maintain blindspots and self-hindering (collective) neuroses to keep us separate from an attainment of closure and finality. The distance and difference from the goal provide space to grow and to continue to exist. It is a subtle entanglement.

2 thoughts on “Endless Games

  1. Games are essentially algorithmic and can be played by algorithms. One of the necessary attributes of algorithms is that it contains a “stopper” (a condition terminating the algorithm). Unfortunately, logic and/or rationality don’t appear to be algorithmic, probably because they lack a stopper. They are axiomatic and axioms require belief without any possibility of proof or disproof. I have no problem with believing in logic and rationality, but if you’ll remember my previous comment, I’m looking for some ‘fail-safe’ that would tell me if I were thinking or behaving illogically or irrationally. Maybe what we need is a metalogic or a meta-rationality which could make provable/disprovable assertions about our logic and rationality. I know, I know, I’m just moving the cheese back a few meters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, indeed. The eternally-displaced Swiss cheese of meta-logical necessity. Within a mundane or everyday context, logical or rational thinking is (generally) straightforward to identify. It is at the level of “meta-” prefixes and proliferating extensibility (in which rationality or logic become objects of their own introspection) that the endlessly recursive and iterating fractal perforations in this dairy product become truly fascinating. To stretch the edible metaphors somewhat – the doughnut is far more interesting because of what is *not* there. Lao Tzu (apocryphally) spoke of the utility of the void, of that which is not there. The ontological vacuum of infinitely recursive emptiness at the centre of logic and mathematics provides room to move, and grow.

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