Thursday, June 28, 2018

Homo Ludens

There is ludic which refers to play. A Luddite, a person who resists technology and innovation. Luddite derives from someone named Ned Ludd who flew off the handle and broke some stocking frames. HIs name was appropriated by those who had a gripe with industrialization. It's doubtful that Ludd would have taken to Marx’s early writings (the 1844 manuscripts)  which deal with the kind of alienation that derives from the division of labor--if he had lived long enough to read them. But there's a direct connection between ludic and Luddite if we remember that homo ludens is man at play and the title of a book by the Dutch cultural historian, Johan Huizinga (and that Ludens, by the way, is the name of the well-known brand of cough drops). There’s of course Yvetushenko the famous Russian poet and the nonsense contrarian rhyme “not to Shenko.” But what about outstinct? If there is an instinct which is a natural or biological drive, there must be the opposite which accounts for all that does not derive from the ANS or autonomic nervous system. If you are not depending on your instincts you certainly must fall back on your outstincts, which comprise everything else, consciousness, mind and the kind of thinking upon which reason depends emanating from the cerebral cortex. Instinct is usually associated with what is known as lower brain or limbic activities, where emotion resides. Words at play, logos ludens?

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