Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 2, mid-morning

Stuart Brown has studied the play history of murderers and found that from Charles Whitman shooting up the University of Texas campus in 1966 to Seung-Hui Cho's killing 32 at Virginia Tech, "normal play behavior was virtually absent throughout the lives of violent, anti-social men." Play deprivation is a serious thing.

Take aways: hand in search of a brain, brain in search of a hand—this is where play takes place. At a high school in Long Beach, California, it was found that students could no longer solve problems. Looking at their history, it was because they hadn't worked with their hands when younger. Note to self: next time you hire someone, ask them if they've worked on cars / built roads in the dirt / taken apart toasters / sewn their own clothes when they were younger. If they haven't worked with their hands growing up, they will not be able to problem solve, according to Dr. Brown.

Play is born of curiosity and exploration. Rough and tumble play is a learning medium for emotional regulation. 3D play fires up the frontal lobes, the executive center of the brain.

The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.

Neoteny. Remember this word. This is the retention of immature qualities into adulthood. Humans are the most neotenous, the most flexible, the most playful. This gives us a leg up on adaptability. Live and learn.

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