How Long Do You Live in the Question - IF13 Edition

At the heart of anything good there should be a kernel of something undefinable. And if you can define it, or claim to be able to define it, then in a sense you have missed the point. John Peel

The game designer, futurist and former IdeaFestival presenter Jane McGonigal once said that the opposite of play is not work. It's depression. 

I agree.

With that thought in mind, I wanted to share this image from IdeaFestival 2013 of Ariel Waldman talking about play in the context of hacking space. She is making what I believe is one of the central and frequently forgotten truths of discovery in an age when metrics and measurements (gah!) would appear to have replaced wonder in many discovery toolkits.

Facing the unknown, explorers of every kind embrace the undefinable by taking time to investigate, to play, to live in the question. Actors and entrepreneurs alike share a belief that what's new or important or interesting or good can't be defined up front because deciding now what's new or important or interesting or good short-circuits a very important and fundamentally playful process, a process that participants in Science Hack Day have used to create such things as wearable masks that mimic synesthesia and "particle wind chimes." And as she pointed out while on stage, the latter invention may even have diagnostic uses in the hands of particle physicists. How's that for a useful payoff?

So how long are you willing to living in the question?

Stay curious!


Image: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by CC Chapman