WorkPlay

17 Jan 2022 11:02 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • Theory: at some level tasks have to be self-motivating, or they become cruel oppression.
      • Evidence: the slave work song. Forced to pick cotten, meagerly provided for, treated like machinery and property: the slave still has to command his or her muscles to execute the master's order, becoming complicit in their own domination. This to me seems like a terrible and obvious truth that nobody ever talks about.
      • A work song magically elevates drudgery, gives it enough play that it is bearable.
      • So – to make yourself do what you don't want to do, you have to find the right work-song. Not necessarily a literal song, but a kind of energetic pattern.
    • From Aug 21st, 2021
      • The trick to doing anything is figuring out how to make it fun. If you can do that you can do anything.
      • Big distinction between things done for their own sake (fun) and things done for external purpose (work). But distinction which seems so solid is really not, because the only way work gets done is by becoming (at some level) fun.
        • That sounds awfully privileged, I know. But what I mean, even the lowliest slave, who works mostly out of fear of punishment, has to motivate himself, in the literal meaning of the word – he has to make himself move. Hence slave work songs for instance.
        • There might be something terrible about this, how it forces slaves to be complicit with their masters. But if you can't fight back, you comply, I guess. I don't know. I've never been a slave, although I've been a malcontent employee often enough.
    • According to MotT, this is the fundamental skill of the magician:
      • “In fact, the first and fundamental principle of esotericism (i.e. of the way of experience of the reality of the spirit) can be rendered by the formula: _Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke that you have accepted easy and every burden that you carry light!_
    • Ah LepperandHenderlong_2000.pdf looks very relevant and introduces more academic terms: extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.
      • Although I don't see how you can do any sort of controlled study of something like this; it's almost like studying the placebo effect.
    • Something to do with Freud's Pleasure Principle. Work is more or less equivalent to the Reality Principle; Play is kind of a half-measure compromise (to Freud):
      • Art brings about a reconciliation between the two principles in a peculiar way. An artist is originally a man who turns away from reality because he cannot come to terms with the renunciation of instinctual satisfaction which it at first demands, and who allows his erotic and ambitious wishes full play in the life of phantasy. He finds the way back to reality, however, from this world of phantasy by making use of special gifts to mould his phantasies into truths of a new kind, which are valued by men as precious reflections of reality. Thus in a certain fashion he actually becomes the hero, the king, the creator, or the favourite he desired to be, without following the long round-about path of making real alterations in the external world.
        • – Freud, Two Principles of Mental Functioning
    • Hm Flow probably has something to say about this, should reread that...
    • Work: Crime is a job. Sex is a job. Growing up is a job. School is a job. Going to parties is a job. Religion is a job. Being creative is a job.
      • – David Byrne, liner notes to Stop Making Sense
    • Hard to believe I forgot about this very famous Frost poem
      • But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For heaven and the future’s sakes.