Infinite and Finite Games

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* Book: Infinite and Finite Games, by James P. Carse.



Don Tipping:

"The book Infinite and Finite Games, by James P. Carse, lays out a brilliant synthesis of win/lose game-theoretic and how much of our decision-making process is informed by the rules/agreements of the game we are playing. Since the advent of the Age of Enlightenment, humanity has been engaged in the Infinite Game of trying to proliferate wealth, happiness and liberty for all people. This is evidenced by successive waves of democratic reforms, civil rights movements, and the current social justice efforts. In some ways, the evolution of the Age of Enlightenment marks a move away from the Judeo/Christian belief of original sin and the assumption that humanity will take the less virtuous path unless incentivized by religion. Enlightenment thinking is moving towards the Eastern Dharma belief of original purity — that all beings are inherently enlightened and simply have to purify all the obscurations to reveal Universal Mind and Unity consciousness. This has brought about many benefits to the well-being of countless humans, however, we have tended to externalize the cost of progress on ecosystems, other beings, and future generations through a continuation of Manifest Destiny Neocolonial thinking that just won’t seem to die quietly. An embrace of Finite Game thinking has emerged on both the right and the left as brewing frustration over the inability to move the needle of progress mounts. This can be seen on the Conservative right with the Libertarian aim to dismantle government controls, Proud Boy patriotism militias, and white supremacy. On the left, it is seen in “smash the system” ideologies encapsulated by Antifa and the modern social justice warrior working to dismantle patriarchy, racism, sexism, and ecological destruction. Much of these sentiments have logical origins and ample evidence to indicate how they arose from late-stage capitalism and the consolidation of wealth that exceedingly marginalizes increasing numbers of people whose needs are not being met. It is crucially important that in this shift towards Finite Game deconstructionist approaches that we have legitimate Plan B for meeting the needs of humanity counter to profit-driven, resource extraction-based industry. " (