RUBBER GLOVE ALIENS
I am a big believer in play. Not play as the opposite of work but rather play as an approach to work. I’m pretty sure play is important in all kinds of jobs but I know it is important in open-ended jobs that require a lot of problem solving and innovation. It’s easy to get in a rut with your thinking and your daily approach to work. Flexing the boundaries of a problem space, getting comfortable with saying, “I don’t know,” or even just laughing can relax you enough to begin seeing new solutions.
In academia we often worry that if something is playful it cannot be serious. Nothing could be further from the truth. I remember designing stimuli for some rotation perception studies. I labored for hours on classic, rigid, block-like structures. Then my professor asked me what it was about the hypothesis that required me to stay within that framework? The answer was that the experiments had always been set up that way. But this time, after his challenge, I created “Smooth Dog” as the stimulus.
In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.