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Rules of the Game(s)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — a quick, deep (or high altitude) look into various ways to play ]
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I learned quite a bit on a topic of huge interest to me — playing games — in short order over the last couple of hours.

To wit, from Pine Gap, the Aussie espionage series on Netflix, which is how I take my naps — Pine Gap (Netflix) s 1 e 4:

There are three ways to play any game:

A: Plan your moves so far in advance your opponent can’t predict them,

B: Make your opponent watch what you’re doing with one hand while your other is busy with your real game plan., or

C: Play your cards very, very close to your chest..

Sometimes all you can do is wait.. until your opponent makes the next move.

Another game rule, this one from MTP Daily (MSNBC) 12/18/2018, which obviously obviated the nap:

Whatever comes of this, both sides have got to save face.

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And back to Pine Gap s1 e 5:

Good game ..
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A loss is always a bad game.

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That covers quite a decent bit of ground: strategies in competitive games; games of negotiation, quasi-competitive, quasi-collaborative; games as play, pretend-competitive, non-competitive, playful — “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the Game” — and game as victory or defeat, period.

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Now, get this, with an associative geopol link below, from Pine Gap s1 e6:

We’re on the same side really, aren’t we? I mean, we all just want to be safe and happy, and our leaders want to be rich and powerful.

Sure, but there are differences, too. See, uh, Americans play Chess, right? Where the object of the game is to kill the other king. A fest attack, a total victory. But we play Go, where the object of the game is to gradually own the most territory, slowly acquire a .. a winning position, which is a completely different approach — to, uh, life, business — even relationships ..

Read that, which ties up many strands in the plot of Pine Gap, and also applies interestingly to events in the South China Sea: “to gradually own the most territory, slowly acquire a .. a winning position”.

It’s been a good afternoon for picking up game quotes.

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And holy moly, there’s more:

It’s not about winning, Kath, it’s about maintaining dominance. [..]

We keep everybody in check. [..]

You played a good long game, Paul..

We both played a pretty good long game, mate. I’ll be watching to see how yours plays out.

And the coup de grace, quietly yet quite viciously delivered, wrt a divorce & who gets to keep the cat — with high irony:

Shake hands, well played. Moving on, that’s me. No thoughts of revenge whatsoever.

Games, sports, play, dream & other interesting metaphors, &c

Monday, April 30th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing my habit of collecting language, images included, which catch my attention — various forms of magical, alchemical and other evidence that life is but a dream — Calderón de la Barca, la vida es sueño ]
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King’s College To Wit by Thomas Howell Jones

Duel Day is a commemoration of the duel fought between the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchilsea over the founding of King’s College London. The duel itself was fought on 21 March 1829 and the anniversary is celebrated annually around this date.

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Hardball, carnival barker, dueled with men over the honor of women :

Trump: Next Old Hickory or Carnival Barker?

He touches on the potential for letting Obamacare implode, possibly a hardball play with Congress. [ .. ]

While Old Hickory fought the British, whom he hated bitterly, and the Indians, whom white settlers wanted out of the way, dueled with men over the honor of women and rose from being a country lawyer to the president, Trump is a real estate developer turned reality TV star who doesn’t even have the backing of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kanye plays 3-dumesonal chess with pop culture, Ari Melber, Fallback Friday, The Beat, 04/28/2018::

I sometimes see Kanye as literally playing 3-dimensional pop-culture chess [ .. ]

That’s a dangerous kind of bed of fire to walk on right now [ .. ]

It isn’t a game to play with words like this [ .. ]

So Kanya’s going to keep pushing forward, but he’s got an album to sell, so it’s a game thing [ .. ]

To me, Kanye plays 3-dimensional chess with pop culture. I’ve seen him make dramatic moves that look like he was in check mate, and then he was able to turn it round relatively [ .. ]

I’ve heard there are people behind the scenes, close to making that check mate he may not be able to recover from

eighth-dimensional chess master sorcery

Do Kanye West’s Politics Matter?

That Kanye West finds his ideas intriguing does not surprise me, however. Adams thinks that he, and he alone, truly gets Trump, and comprehends the eighth-dimensional chess master sorcery that accounts for Trump’s appeal. It’s a way to join a mob but also flatter yourself for transcending it. It reminds me very much of a rapper I used to think I knew.

Bargaining Chips, played like a fiddle:

As Two Koreas Talk Peace, Trump’s Bargaining Chips Slip Away

“The United States has been played beautifully, like a fiddle, because you had a different kind of a leader,” Mr. Trump said after meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany at the White House. “We’re not going to be played, O.K.? We’re going to hopefully make a deal; if we don’t, that’s fine.”

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I guess language play — and natsec rhyme — falls within the play & other interesting metaphors rubric:

“Escalate to de-escalate” is catchy, it rhymes, and it rolls off the tongue. Unfortunately, it is also wrong — but not for the reasons experts usually focus on.

Since Russia released its 2014 National Defense Strategy, and especially after the publication of America’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, U.S. officials, pundits, and national security wonks have used the phrase either to describe Russia’s strategy, or as a launching point to criticize that description. Buzz phrases like “escalate to de-escalate” tend to spread through officialdom where they are misunderstood and misused as quickly as they are shared. The problem with the term is not that Russia doesn’t have capacity or plans to use calculated escalation (nuclear or otherwise) to contain or terminate a conflict. It’s that such escalation is only one part of a larger strategic approach, and the focus on Moscow’s nuclear threshold risks missing the forest for the trees.

That’s from War on the Rocks, today, Time to Terminate Escalate to De-Escalate — It’s Escalation Control

A headline from War on the Rocks, Monday 30 April 2018:

DROPPING THE BALL IN THE WESTERN BALKANS: CAN THE WEST PICK IT UP AGAIN?

>>>

That would have been a game changer —
is hot-dogging on this thing ..

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Continuing right here. Every ten additional examples or so, I’ll post & tweet a reminder.

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Guest on Rachel Maddow, 05/01/2018:

FThe goalposts keep changing as to what collusion means.

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Mueller raised possibility of presidential subpoena in meeting with Trump’s legal teamMueller responded that he had another option if Trump declined: He could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury, according to four people familiar with the encounter.

Mueller’s warning — the first time he is known to have mentioned a possible subpoena to Trump’s legal team — spurred a sharp retort from John Dowd, then the president’s lead lawyer.

“This isn’t some game,” Dowd said, according to two people with knowledge of his comments. “You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States.”

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Robert Mueller and Co. are playing hardball

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Never underestimate your ability to shoot yourself in the head..
non-denial denial .. non clarification clarification ..
lapdog..
enabled some of these dominos to start falling..
Rudy Giuliani is a loose cannon .. rolling around the Oval Office .. another loose cannon..
a fishing expedition .. a happy hunting ground out there..
four dimensional chess..
is he work horse or show horse..
everybody takes a victory lap ..
they are altogether so different, politics and wrestling..
the Olympics of making things up.. (Ari)
full court press ..
he opens the Pandora’s box just a little bit more.. Dateline
opening Pandora’s box: that is war ..
Giuliano’s cleaning up for Giuliano ..
Stormy playing herself (SNL, ourob)
lawyering involves adversarial combat ..
Amb Chris Hall: he might find a way to dodge the bullet that is pointing right at his head ..
behind the eight-ball
people in this morality play [Ari]
gloves are of .. the stakes are getting higher and the gloves are coming off
Gina Haspel, Iran, and Pay-to-Play with Michael Cohen
Yanked the ball back ..
Each show is separate show, each match is the wrestling card
a pretty good roadmap to a smoking gun .. [slate]
the tentacles of players..
he’s wrong it say it’s illegal .. you need a quid pro quo..
he’s always been a hard-charging associate
when the fish are hidden in the shadows ..
05/10/2018
Clint Watts “dancing round within their terms of service” ..
ignoring the elephant in the room to concentrate on the fleas on the fllorr.. Avenatti

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Giuliani: The special counsel so far seems to think that Comey is Moses, and I happen to think Comey is Judas..

I wouldn’t be an attorney if I did that, George — I wouldd be living in some kind of unreal fantasy world, that everybody tells the truth ..

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Giuliani’s FBI ‘Stormtroopers’ Smear Is the Key to Trump’s Authoritarian Mind-set

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Rachel:

When it came to the US breaking the Iran deal .. Effectively we are grabbing the ball off the field, popping it, and telling everybody we are about to tear gas the pitch. And so it seems unlikely that this game will keep going for long.

Amanpour:

I would describe pulling out of this deal [nuke deal] as possibly the greatest deliberate act of self-harm and self-sabotage in geo-strategic politics in the modern era.

George Will:

Judging by the number of times Pence announces himself “humbled,” he might seem proud of his humility, but that is impossible because he is conspicuously devout and pride is a sin.

Between those two Cabinet meetings, Pence and his retinue flew to Indiana for the purpose of walking out of an Indianapolis Colts football game, thereby demonstrating that football players kneeling during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence’s refined sense of right and wrong.

Carl Jung on Play

Monday, April 17th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — all i do is play / to play is to create / I am creature / I am pawn / < bows lifelong gassho >]
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Here’s a key quote on play from Carl Jung, from Psychological Types, CW vol 6. #197:

My thanks to Mitch Ditkoff for pointing me to this fine quote.

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The question arises, what is this process in which “The creative mind plays with the objects it loves”? There’s an object, right, and the mind, that much is coear — but does the mind observe the object? absorb it? analyzie it? play around with it?

If play is what we’re trying to understand, around would be the word sitting right next to it, so around may be what we should think about.

Around is context. Playing around is seeing in context, seeing from unexpected angels, seeing unexpected close connections. Here’s Arthur Koestler‘s diagram of play, which he thinks of as a diagram of creativity — which he idemntifies with bisociation, or the conjunction of two otherwise separate planes of thought:

You’ve likely seen it before: that’s my personal Diagram in Chief.

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Okay, more basics. Play is how infants so richly learn and masters so richly express their mastery. It is rich, it masters and is mastered — “Thou mastering me God” says Hopkins in Wreck of the Deutschland, “giver of breath and bread; World’s strand, sway of the sea..”

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As a game designer and a Brit with Jungian sympathies, I am also delighted with this other quote:

One of the most striking testimonies to the quality of the English spirit is the English love of sport and games in a classical sense and their genius for inventing games. One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive values. The English did it and, by heaven, they even taught us Swiss how to climb our own mountains and make a sport of it that made us love them all the more. And their Wimbledon, did they but know it, is in sort a modern version of an ancient ritual.

That’s from Laurens van der Post‘s Jung and the Story of Our Time, and game designer Mike Sellers shares my delight in it.

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Yup:


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