Renaissance play

An excerpt from Get Back In Th Box, Douglas Rushkoff’s new book:

In a renaissance society driven by the need to forge connections, play is the ultimate system for social currency. It’s a way to try on new roles without committing to them for life. It’s a way to test strategies of engagement without being defined by them forever. It’s a way to rise above the seemingly high stakes of almost any situation and see it as the game it probably is. It’s a way to make one’s enterprise a form of social currency from the beginning, and to guarantee a collaborative, playful, and altogether more productive path toward continual innovation.

And this play begins at work….

I’m getting that book. Now.

And speaking of play: Researchers have identified at least 317 games that dolphins play:

When Stan Kuczaj and Lauren Highfill were snorkeling among some rough-toothed dolphins off the coast of Honduras last year, they saw an intriguing game among the animals.

Two adults and a youngster were passing a plastic bag back and forth, as in a game of catch, the two researchers wrote in the October issue of the research journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

A pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) skips on its tail over the water. No one knows why dolphins do this, but some scientists say it could be for fun. When the adults passed it to the youth, they did so more carefully than to each other, releasing it just in front of the youth?s mouth, as if to make it easier to catch.

After years of studying dolphins at play, Kuczaj and his colleagues have reached some surprising conclusions: dolphin games show remarkable cooperation and creativity. Dolphins seem to deliberately make their games difficult, possibly in order to learn from them. And such pastimes may play a key role in the development of culture and in evolution?both among dolphins and other species, including humans.

Both of these links come via Boingboing.

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