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Science = Play + Intention

Understanding play in a much larger context.

Beau Lotto, author of the book Deviate, being interviewed and talking about how science and play are a way of being which helps us in turn understand play within a much larger context of our lives.

The way we do it is by not calling it science. Because if you ask “What is actually science?”, science is not a methodology. Science is a way of being. Right. Science actually evolved to be effectively play with intention.

That’s why we evolve play because everything you do, you do to actually decrease uncertainty, you hate it. But there is only one context where we love uncertainty and that’s play. And this is why play evolved. So play is a way of being that enables you to step into uncertainty. Science is just play with intention.

So then if you create a game, that’s play with rules, that’s an experiment. And then if you make observations of that experiment, you have data. So effectively we use science as a Trojan Horse, to enable kids to have the skills to ask questions and step into uncertainty. 

We don’t teach children how to ask questions. We teach them that the cash is in the right answer. Because it comes from Victorian times when we wanted kids to be efficient. But efficiency is only one side of innovation, the other side being creativity

What I find remarkable about his closing statement is that he’s effectively saying that they are trying to teaching kids how to ask questions. The irony of that statement is not lost on me, as it seems like kids would be asking questions naturally. But today it seems like they aren’t because we’ve unnaturally cultivated it out of them, so we have to reteach to them again.

Of course, for adults it’s even worse. We don’t ask questions because we don’t want to look incompetent, not understanding something. But even if we understand something too well, our questioning of the practice of it can jeopardize our sense of belonging and sense of place within society because it can seem like we’re “attacking” the status quo.

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