playfulness and the waning of the modern ages

by Bernard De Koven on September 30, 2012

In most of my Deep Fun posts, I try not to get too relevant. Politically speaking. Which I don’t often.

Today, my colleague Bryan Alexander posted something about an article called: The Waning of the Modern Ages, by Morris Berman. It’s not what you’d call particularly upbeat. But it is particularly persuasive. Berman writes:

It is our particular (mis)fortune to be living through the beginning of the end, the disintegration of capitalism as a world system. It was mostly commercial capital in the sixteenth century, evolving into industrial capital in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and then moving on to financial capital—money created by money itself, and by speculation in currency—in the twentieth and twenty-first. In dialectical fashion, it will be the very success of the system that eventually does it in.

One of the things that we know about play and playfulness is that they are particularly effective adaptive strategies, and fun, even. In the abstract of “The association between playfulness and coping in adolescents,” a research paper by Prof. Anita Bundy and Dr Lisa M LM Hess, we read:

High correlations between playfulness and coping support the idea of using play and playfulness to improve coping skills particularly the ability to adapt and to approach problems and goals in a flexible manner.

I’ve shared these ideas with you before – see, for example, Play and Survival in Turbulent Times, Play is our free connection to pure possibility, and Playfulness and Evolution, and, well, I better stop before (or just after) my enthusiasm leads me to over-linking.

The point I hope I’m making  here is that it seems highly likely there are going to be a lot more things in our lives for us to take seriously, and in the midst of all that seriousness, if we want to make it safely and sanely through all the changes coming our way, playing and playfulness are two more things we’ll need to take seriously: not so seriously that they aren’t fun – but precisely that seriously so they are.

O, wait. There’s one more link I need to make. Kind of a proof-is-in-the-pudding-type link. This one.


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