Enter Paradoxical Reality
An excellent read full of excellent points: I took down a lot of notes and find myself inspired both by this and The Stoa discussion to write something. Regarding that discussion, I appreciated how Raven opened noting how difficult it is to produce work like the Game B video, and how she expressed gratitude for its role in stimulating discussion. I can certainly confirm from experience that writing short stories, producing videos, etc. is very very very difficult, and it’s hard to work say five years on something only to have people talk about everything wrong with it. Hence a reason why I appreciated this section of your essay:
‘We are not here saying that the basic motive or desire of Game B is inherently wrong. Not at all. We as a species really are approaching global problems that may involve self-terminating dimensions. However, we are saying that there needs to be deeper self-reflection, deeper recognition of paradox, to raise the possibilities that we cultivate the form of knowing to enter a new world.’
I think that is perfectly put, and I’m of the impression that moves like this is what Derrida hoped to accomplish with his work. Unfortunately, because he did not use Hegelian logic and epistemology (or so is my impression), he himself did not escape “A vs B”-thinking in favor of A/B-thinking. As you teach on so brilliantly at your YouTube page, I think the real problems highlighted by Game B can indeed only be addressed through Hegelian and dialectical thinking. This means that you are correct that ‘the very logical structure of Game A vs Game B is problematic,’ and everything you wrote on the ideological and temporal structure of Game B was awesome. Personally, I also wonder why it is called a “game,” which might be a Wittgenstein allusion, but I’m not sure. Metaphors matter, and “game” creates the impression we can switch the socioeconomic system like changing cartridges in an NES (I suddenly had a flash to being a kid again playing Zelda in 1993…). Additionally, doesn’t this suggest Game B is in a competition with Game A (funny enough)? Is a “game” possible without winners and losers? A game where “everyone wins” might just feel like everyone getting “a participation trophy,” which human pathos will not like…Perhaps Story A vs Story B would have been a better framing, but I’m not sure…
In my view, to use Bard’s wonderful language, pathos must be directed somehow toward service and “others,” but this is one of the most difficult socioeconomic problems of all, because pathos cannot be changed or erased. It has to be channeled, directed, and even “tricked,” which gets us into the critical debates in economics between thinkers like Keynes, Minsky, Hayek, Marshall, and so on. If humans are indeed inherently hierarchical (Louis Dumont), sexual (psychoanalysis, biology, etc.), incomplete (Hegel, Gödel), and the like, then any system which cannot “channel” these drives into a constructive manner will be a system that has to fight them, and human drives always win.
It's another topic, but I fear that the disconnect of literature and economics from philosophy is a reason why philosophy lost psychoanalysis (and in fact I think there is “proof” in literature and economics that philosophy today must indeed be psychoanalytical). As Bard noted, futurology has to be philosophical, but philosophy cannot even be itself without taking seriously pathos, mythos, and logos. Without these three, philosophy is “non-dialectical thinking,” which means thinking becomes non-thinking—an effacement which might take the world with it, precisely at the moment when we think the world is saved.
Superb piece. I bring up a lot of adjacent points in my recent conversation with Jim Rutt on Future Fossils, linked here for anyone who can appreciate the paradox of cultivating sincere appreciation of for and genuine interest in a brilliant guest and the path dependencies that led him to today at the same time that I test the boundaries and potential blind spots of the theory he espouses:
Here's to hoping we can link up soon and continue to prosecute this Dark Renaissance dialogos. <3