Open science and the infinite game... some thoughts

Open is more than just access. Open is a choice of culture(s) that supports inclusive and generous participation in the academy. Carse’s Infinite Game may be a good place to start. What do you think?


Welcome to the forum, @brucecaron!

I completely agree that openness is about more than access. Will try to take a look at your link soonish.

Can’t believe i’m reading this here… I was discussing this with the late jon tennant and several friends… Let me find our conversation… :slight_smile:

"[03/12/2019, 14:32] Surya Dalimunthe: I think this is a problem…

Europe has its own coalition…

U.s and its allies has its own - sparc

Post-colonial countries should have its own! [03/12/2019, 14:48] Dasapta Erwin Irawan: Regulation, funding… this group would be full of laughter if I told you more about it. So let’s stick to OS. :grin: [03/12/2019, 14:50] Surya Dalimunthe: I think everything is open science… :slight_smile: [03/12/2019, 14:51] Dasapta Erwin Irawan: And my brain explodes :grin: [03/12/2019, 14:52] Surya Dalimunthe: It is… Science = scientia = knowledge…

If you open it, it’s everything, isn’t it? :slight_smile: [03/12/2019, 14:53] Surya Dalimunthe: Let’s not reduce science to scientism… :slight_smile: [03/12/2019, 14:54] Dasapta Erwin Irawan: It’s not you, it’s me. :grin: [03/12/2019, 14:56] Surya Dalimunthe: No you without me… ;p [03/12/2019, 14:58] Dasapta Erwin Irawan: :joy: [03/12/2019, 15:00] Surya Dalimunthe: This is infinite games we’re playing… :slight_smile:

Carse summarizes his argument, “There are at least two kinds of games: finite and infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play. Finite games are those instrumental activities - from sports to politics to wars - in which the participants obey rules, recognize boundaries and announce winners and losers. The infinite game - there is only one - includes any authentic interaction, from touching to culture, that changes rules, plays with boundaries and exists solely for the purpose of continuing the game. A finite player seeks power; the infinite one displays self-sufficient strength. Finite games are theatrical, necessitating an audience; infinite ones are dramatic, involving participants…”[2][3][4] [03/12/2019, 15:06] Jon Tennant Latest: I think Bruce Carron has written about this in the context of open science [03/12/2019, 15:07] Jon Tennant Latest:"

As you can see jon referred to your article in late 2019… :slight_smile:


"[03/12/2019, 17:43] Surya Dalimunthe: People will ask you, “how do you incentivize scientists to do the right thing […when the wrong thing pays off so well]?” You might respond by saying something like:

“How about giving scientists the means to do exceptional work, to have this work shared across the planet, to gather instant feedback from peers around the world, to live simply with plenty of time to do research without racing for funding, to have security of income and access to research tools.” [03/12/2019, 17:45] Surya Dalimunthe: This is actually one of the ‘conclusions’ of this thick and specialized book! :slight_smile:

[03/12/2019, 17:46] Jon Tennant Latest: OK, sweet. Bruce is on Twitter, and active on the MOOC Slack if you wanted to chat with him [03/12/2019, 17:48] Surya Dalimunthe: Thanks… Will check out… :slight_smile: [03/12/2019, 17:49] Surya Dalimunthe: This? [03/12/2019, 17:59] Jon Tennant Latest: [03/12/2019, 17:59] Jon Tennant Latest: The one it links to :wink: [03/12/2019, 17:59] Jon Tennant Latest: He helped do a lot of video editing for the MOOC too [03/12/2019, 17:59] Jon Tennant Latest: I consider him to be one of the more enjoyable and progressive people in this space [03/12/2019, 18:03] Surya Indosat 1699: THIS IS THE WAY!

(kindness, caring, science)

Afril would know what i’m saying because we both watch MANDALORIAN! :slight_smile:

I just published Kindness, Culture, and Caring: The Open Science Way Revised from a talk I gave at the ESIP 2019 Summer Meeting. With thanks to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. [03/12/2019, 18:06] Surya Indosat 1699: this is what i have been looking since 18.8.18 for indonesian open science team… :slight_smile:"

When you repress the internal incentives for doing science and substitute external, finite game incentives, and the logic of competition for scarce goods (honors, funding, career advancement) you create what we see today. Thanks for reading! b

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I came back to this recently in a link from your patenting article, @brucecaron. I think that the finite vs. infinite games perspective is much deeper than I’d realised previously. It seems somewhat analogous to concepts of:

  • Scarcity vs. abundance mindset
  • Exploit vs. explore tradeoff
  • Limits to innovation vs. combinatorial explosion of innovation

Anyway, for me, the infinite game feels like a more liberating framing that can be applied to keep an open and free mindset for both low and high-level perspectives. In particular, in this section about stepping into a finite game (like traditional academia) if you desire (as I’d previously treated these mindsets as quite dichotomous):

When an infinite player (someone with an infinite mindset) plays a finite game within the infinite game, they do so fully understanding they are simply acting their role, and that they have the freedom to walk away. Yet they still have the capacity to play any finite game to its limit. They can accept the rules in order to play. However, winning or losing has no meaning for them. This may mean they play with greater freedom and abandon, improving their chance of winning.

Simon Sinek captured some of this (but skipped over the more prosaic parts (important parts too) of infinite game play…

I’m in the middle of Generous Thinking by Fitzpatrick… covers some of the same ground… I’m going to ping her about the infinite game…

Thanks for the great thoughts!

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