Quora answer: What variants of Hermann Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game” are in existence?

Apr 07 2013

On the Quora Variant of the Glass Bead Game: QGBG

Question: Can we play the Glass Bead Game on Quora?

Glass Bead Game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Bead_Game


Herman Hesse was not very specific about how the Glass Bead game was played. Thus as noted in the other answer to this question there are many variants where various folks have suggested answers to the question of what is the nature of the game, and how can we play it. I suggest that we play some version of the game in order to rise above the mediocrity of the questions and answers that now exist on Quora, and to escape the nihilistic plenum of questions that appears here.

I suggest that we invent a variant for Quora.

I am going to get the ball going by producing a suggested Variant.

Here are the rules: Remember — The rules are no game according to Wilden.

A player asks a question and puts it in a topic which is QGBG. The player identifies himself in a comment to the question as the author of the question. Because it is possible to upvote and downvote comments, that comment where the Author identifies himself will mark his points for the question. The question can be about anything but the point of the question should be to call for a synthesis of knowledge of some kind.

Those who answer the question are attempting to provide the requisite synthesis and there upvotes or down votes will determine their score.

Scores only count for questions and answers in the QGBG topic.

A player can count both their upvotes for Questions and their upvotes for answers as their score.

Questions that are voted down consistently in the comment where the author identifies himself will be removed from the QGBG topic.

Questions are expected to be subtle, arcane, esoteric, contentious, and take as much erudition to ask as they take to answer.

Answers are expected to synthesize knowledge from at least to disciplines, but extra points are given for those who synthesize knowledge from more than two disciplines. Extra point are given in the comments to a question, by anyone who is playing the game. Players of a question must register in the comment section of the question. Just answering a question does not quaify as playing the game, but one must place a comment after the author’s self-identification comment in order to play. That comment where the person self-identifies as a player is where up-votes give extra points by the other players or even kibitzers.

Kibitzers can ask questions or give answers but they are not part of the play unless they self-identify in the comments of the question.

There is no restriction on topics for questions as long as their answer calls for a synthesis of knowledge from more than one discipline. In this we follow Bateson in Mind and Nature when he says that information from at least two subjects studied simultaneously is better than that from one discipline studied at a time.

But preference is for questions about the past or future rather than the present, as most questions about the present are factual in nature. Questions about the future are hypothetical and Questions about the past are seek meaning in historical events. Questions that take the Past into the Future are preferred. Questions about the present are allowed as long as they draw on a broad understanding of the current situation that has ramifications in the future and roots in the past. Extra points are given for including mythic time.

Theme: I would like to suggest a beginning theme for questions which concerns the structure of the Western Worldview, its roots in the past, the mythology that underpins it, the facticity of its present situation and its effect on us, and speculations concerning its future within a global context. This is to give a broad context to the game, but any other theme is possible as long as the theme is provided. Extra-points are given for connecting the Western Worldviews to other worldviews within the global economy of civilizations.

Questions should ideally identify their own assumptions and their problematic as well as the motivations for asking those questions. Questions to not exist alone, but for chains and networks, so questions should refer to their antecedent and subsequent questions. Anyone can connect a question to the network via a comment on the question. Good connections will be up-voted and poor questions will be down-voted in the comment so that the straight of the connection between the questions can be ascertained. A chain of questions is called a Dialectic. A network of questions is called a meta-dialectic. The network is expected to be a rhizome. Extra points are given for demonstrating Trialectics, Quadralectics and Quintalectics (See http://about.me/emergentdesign)

The game does not end. It continues as long as the players are willing to ask questions and contribute answers. The ultimate goal is to synthesize all culture and history within the world. Questions, Dialectics, and Meta-dialectics become pieces within the overall puzzle of global synthesis. Extra points are given for coming up with new ways to synthesize knowledge, or new insights into either past situations, or future possibilities that give a different perspective on the present situation or mythic origins. When all knowledge has been synthesized then the game will naturally stop if that is possible. One receives downvotes for analysis that does not result in a bigger or better synthesis of ideas. The focus is on the history of ideas, and their relation to history itself, as we find its traces in the present, and that presage the future of our planet. Extra points for innovations that will help save us from global destruction due to the Western worldview being out of control.

We are open to suggestions that would improve these views, and believe that other variants be described and played so that there is an evolution in glass bead game potentials and through that in human potential, and understanding, knowledge, wisdom, insight, and realization.


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