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Joined 6 months, 1 week ago

I arrange things together into art, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use things other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

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The Need for Roots (2001, Routledge) No rating

Participation in collective possessions—a participation consisting not in any material enjoyment, but in a feeling of ownership—is a no less important need...

A great modern factory is a waste from the point of view of the need of property; for it is unable to provide either the workers, or the manager who is paid his salary by the board of directors, or the members of the board who never visit it, or the shareholders who are unaware of its existence, with the least satisfaction in connexion with this need.

The Need for Roots by  (Page 34)

Following on from the previous quote that I posted at this link, the next page has this piece about "collective property" as opposed to "private property". Neither are used in a sense that would be familiar at the time of writing, I believe, and both are presented as Weil's sense of the terms.

The Need for Roots (2001, Routledge) No rating

Private property is a vital need of the soul. The soul feels isolated, lost, if it is not surrounded by objects which seem to it like an extension of the bodily members...

The principle of private property is violated where the land is worked by agricultural labourers and farm-hands under the orders of an estate-manager, and owned by townsmen who receive the prof its. For of all those who are connected with that land, there is not one who, in one way or another, is not a stranger to it. It is wasted, not from the point of view of corn-production, but from that of the satisfaction of the property-need which it could procure.

The Need for Roots by  (Page 33)

In the introduction, TS Eliot mentions that he would be surprised if anyone would agree with everything Weil wrote, and also surprised if they didn't disagree strongly with some of her points.

The first section of the book is full of strong statements to this effect.

The Need for Roots (2001, Routledge) No rating

Similarly, even when a total sacrifice is required, no more is owed to any collectivity whatever than a respect analogous to the one owed to food.

It very often happens that the rôles are reversed. There are collectivities which, instead of serving as food, do just the opposite: they devour souls. In such cases, the social body is diseased, and the first duty is to attempt a cure; in certain circumstances, it may be necessary to have recourse to surgical methods.

The Need for Roots by  (Page 8)

Introducing her ideas of how a collective responsibility exists in a group to ensure food, or that one another are fed in a collective, Weil moves to this point suddenly about how the social body can be diseased. Curious, and potentially problematic thought, written in 1943 in England (after moving from France), which is very relevant.

Play Like a Feminist (Hardcover, 2020, MIT Press) 2 stars

Stuck on Level 4

2 stars

Shira Chess' book begins brightly. She has taken on a difricult task – combining feminist theory with game theory to argue for more feminists in video games. The task is certainly not beyond her expertise or ability, and in the first two chapters the combination works well, with well-presented thoughts on the privilege of leisure and the bias of what "play" means.

From then it unfortunately falls into its own pits. Chess admits that she is a white, middle-class person in the USA and wants to avoid generalising feminism, but simultaneously she uses a very universalising "we" throughout much of the book and makes broad statements ("49% of adults play games") without considering the western or wealthy bias in these statements. It's a pity because her analyses and thoughts on play are well presented (and playful!), but in the end the book doesn't live up to its promise.

Play Like a Feminist (Hardcover, 2020, MIT Press) 2 stars

I used Salen and ~~ Zimmerman's definition of play: "free movement within a more rigid structure" 6. If we were to consider the hegemonies and patriarchies of global oppression, it would seem that this definition of play (the notion of getting to move about freely) is precisely what feminist activists hope to gain. Salen and Zimmerman's definition therefore becomes particularly useful when play is combined with activism.

Play Like a Feminist by  (Page 70)

The very beginning before the ~~ is on p69

This quote from a section justifying why play can be serious and leisure is not frivolous in feminist theory.

Play Like a Feminist (Hardcover, 2020, MIT Press) 2 stars

The problem with the emphatic feminist-proud statement that one "plays like a girl!" is that it seems to necessitate a kind of gender essentialism. The statement lacks an acknowledgement of intersectionality, and suggests a binary wherein girl/boy play is distinct and fathomable. Whether it has a positive or negative connotation, then to "play like a girl" still implies a great deal of boundary creation that defines who gets to play and what that play might look like...Always and similar campaigns (such as the Nike one) seem to be replacing "boy" with "girl" in a way that does not laud girl play so much as it suggests that girls play more like ~~ boys. It bolsters girls by implying that the path toward equality nullifies sexual difference rather than celebrates diversity. It maintains the narrative of cisgendered ideologies.

Play Like a Feminist by  (Page 31)

Quote continues onto page 32 at the ~~ mark

From a section about playing like a girl. The critique later in the quote refers to an advertising campaign and hashtag by the sanitary towels company Always, #LikeAGirl – the Nike one is only touched – described in detail as a case study earlier in the chapter. This quote summarises Chess' analysis.