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Ownership and Acknowledgement

Started by droqen, October 10, 2022, 02:49:58 PM

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Work at Messhof is less satisfying than work that I do individually, and I have been trying to figure out why. I'm not sure "Ownership" is quite the right term, but I'll use it here as it refers to "My Work." When I make something, it is "mine" and I can see how feedback regarding it applies to "me" and I can learn, I can learn what to do better next time, I can feel the feedback unambiguously. Likewise I want to give someone feedback! I want to talk to the artisan responsible and trust them, trust that they are engaged in the pursuit of something, that they are going to get there. In a project with many people I've found these things run together. My work becomes our work, Our work becomes your work, Your work becomes my work again.

There's something there but I can't describe it. I need to hash it out with someone.


Think of it as playing a game. In Bernie DeKoven's The Well-Played Game the 6th chapter, ENDING THE GAME, describes the effect of the end of the game, of boundaries, of giving up, of losing... He describes the interlude, and the postlude. Starting, working on, and releasing a creative work is a game that can be won or lost. But without proper demarcation of the start and the finish, there can be no postlude, no prelude, no nothing. Games are better because they have all of these things.


I know one metagame: "Start, finish, and release a videogame."

What if I knew more metagames with their own goals, their own postludes, their own rhythms? I would gladly play them all. When I played Monopoly yesterday over Thanksgiving with my grandparents, my dad, and Shelley, I didn't care about personal status, but I would have been pleased to win, but I was also pleased that Shelley won. It felt, to me, like it was truly a well-played game.

(My grandfather quit halfway through. He wasn't really engaged or capable of engaging with our banter, our negotiations... He became aware of this and stepped out. I felt fine about it because I knew he was okay with doing this, and he was doing it for the sake of himself and the game, and therefore everyone.)


Rereading The Well-Played Game while purportedly out on a jog (itself a game, right?), I came upon the section about QUITTING. I liked it a lot and how it related to my grandfather's leaving the game. Nobody made a big deal about it, I think he knew he couldn't play well and we let him go, as you should let anyone go, so that the idea of quitting is kept sacredly casual, sacredly meaningless, so that people feel free to quit, so that people feel free to play.