Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finite and Infinite Games

A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.


Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.


To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.

I recommend this highly compressed meditational book, James P. Carse’s “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility"

Wikipedia will give you a brief glimpse, if you don’t wanna buy it, and you may notice the Kevin Kelly review of just that book, at the bottom of the Wiki page!

You might enjoy these extended notes, again if you don’t have time to read a whole book.

This could appear in the top ten choices of my desert island's Kevin's complete (brief) review:

The wisdom held in this brief book now informs most of what I do in life. Its key distinction - that there are two types of games, finite and infinite - resolves my uncertainties about what to do next. Easy: always choose infinite games. The message is appealing because it is deeply cybernetic, yet it's also genuinely mystical. I get an "aha" every time I return to it.-- KK

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