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Thoughts on articles

nightowl's picture

The Henig article got me really excited in the bringing when he talked about dogs bowing to show they are just play fighting, because my dog does that all the time. The bit of cute nostalgia naturally put me on the side of playing is good for growth. Then later on the article got me thinking that when animals are playing together they testing each other, seeing how much they can trust each other. But then, at the end of the article, Henig mentions how play is play-acting the roles that children see around them and therefore teaches them life skills like deception and harassment. So when he puts the quote by Smith saying “play’s ultimate purpose can be found in paradoxes” that made me feel of play as bad and good. Good because it may build trust and relationship but bad because it also reflects the negative side of relationship as in deception and harassment.

When Hendig started talking about A.D.H.D. I really like the theoretical definition of A.D.H.D. as “overactivity of play urges in the nervous system.” I have a friend who is an art professor, and he uses medication to focus during the school year but goes off it during the summer in order to generate ideas for his art. That definition fits because I think of creativity as a very playful thing.

Henig’s article didn’t answer almost any of the questions I wanted it to answer like, “Do boys play differently than girls?” and “What do children get out of play.” I felt like the article itself was abusing the “play ethos” by using words like “Romp and Cavort” to describe play and telling the story of the kid who calls himself the General. Overall, it left me unsure of what to think, which I think is OK because it the field of play in science is not highly tested and hard to test. I think it is true that it might be less of a question for science, but a question of common sense, “Look at life without play, and it’s not much life.”


The article by Sunstein was interesting because I never explicitly thought about how news filtering on the Internet affects your view of the world; and how old newspaper were better because didn’t present you exactly what you wanted. It reminded me of how recently the Daily Show pointed out that the Cyrus at the VMAs story was getting more media attention than Syria.

Although I think that filtering is terrible after reading this, I do not fully agree. I think the exception is when you are reading about something you love, whoever is writing mentions a new topic you have never heard of, you instantly become more fascinated by this new thing you knew nothing about, and learn something new. Like how many people in my generation attest that Harry Potter taught them how to read books in general. I found out about feminism by looking at pretty pictures of clothing on the Internet, which led me to Tavi Gevinson. Tavi Gevinson is about my age and became disillusioned with the fashion world, slowly delved further into feminism, and then started an online magazine called Rookie. Reading her blog I literally thought she invented modern feminism, because no one in my life had ever talked about it, and I related so much.