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what a wonderful game to be in

how marvellous that i play it here tapping on keys with feedback on a screen and in the sounds my fingers make

two fat books this morning from katie salen eric zimmerman
game design
freedom this afternoon
with a class to link aristotle, jesus, kundera

Team Apotheosis

The exploration of personal freedom compels an answer to why freedom matters. We will discuss freedom as understood on a personal level, trying to understand why it is important to us. Looking at Aristotle on happiness and the Christian take on freedom, we find different reasons to value freedom. This should then open the door for a discussion of why we value freedom, and, delving deeper, how we can justify the restrictions we impose on our own freedom.

Reading List

The Bible (Gal 3:19-29, Gal 4:1-6)

Scripture gives meaning to the Christian ideas of freedom. In its broadest and most important understanding, humans were created with a free will permitting them to choose to love God at their discretion. This freedom is unqualified in its permissiveness, but not in its consequences, and this informs the writings of Paul the Apostle when he characterizes submission to God’s will as a means of attaining freedom, both in the present context of a life on Earth and for eternal implications. This tradeoff is peculiar, because it finds that freedoms can be traded, and that an absolute freedom might ultimately result in the restraints of the consequences of unfettered choice, while choosing initial limitation can grant an individual far greater agency over his or her decisions.

Nicomachean Ethics, Book I (Aristotle)

In this excerpt, Aristotle argues that the ultimate end or purpose in life is happiness. All our efforts are directed toward things that veer toward happiness because while we aspire to many ends, they are not final, but they are instead subservient to the larger purpose of happiness. When we imagine all the things we work toward, we can reasonably say that for every reasonable aspiration its hopeful conclusion will be greater happiness. But for happiness itself, we never say that we seek it in order to fulfil another desire or virtue.

But if happiness is the end in life, then freedom — its pursuit and experience — is secondary, and the essential purpose of life poses an inherent restriction on freedom; we are bound by a desire for happiness, and this provokes the question of what we will do to our freedom in order to achieve it.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

In this film, Tomas leads a life of flitting sexual and personal freedom. He is settled by his marriage to a young woman and the Soviet invasion of Prague in Spring of 1968. The political cast of freedom is clearly present, but a deeper and fascinating question lurks at the level of the individual characters. What purpose does our freedom serve? When our relationships impose on us, does our freedom fade or does it reshape?

You may also choose to read the original text by Milan Kundera.

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