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Once when I was in college a bunch of friends and I went camping.

Car camping.

The kind where you load up a bunch of people and food and beer and drive to a campsite.

We played all kinds of campfire games.

One of them was this weird storytelling game.

The rules were not explained, which was the point.

The game was to try and figure out the rules as it was being played.

Once you figured out the rules, it was very easy.

AND very enjoyable, so long as at least one person DIDN'T know the rules.

Everybody took turns telling a goofy story.

But the story had to include all the people sitting around the campfire, but as characters in the story.

The stories were a utter confusing nonsense, but ended in a big mystery.

And when the storyteller was finished, they always asked a whodunit question:

"Who ate the peanut butter?"

The secret rule was whoever talked FIRST was the person who did it.

As more and more people figured out the rules, it became more enjoyable.

Especially as we kept drinking.

Most games are supposed to have rules.

There are many different kinds of rules.

The kinds imposed by others.

But even these "rules" are really recommendations.

Like "do not enter" signs.

Or speed limits.

These are clearly posted rules many people chose to ignore.

Some rules are implied, and not posted.

But very, very few people would ever imagine breaking these.

Like when you're paying for your things at the supermarket.

You could, theoretically, reach over, grab some cash from the register and bolt.

But as soon as you did that, life would suck.

Other rules are not set by humans, but by nature.

Like what goes up must come down.

I watched a movie recently where a woman wanted to make it look like her husband beat her.

She took a big monkey wrench, tossed it in the air, and waited for it to come down and hit her in the face.

Theoretically, if she had super strength, she could have thrown the wrench with so much force it would have reached escape velocity.

Which means even gravity has limits.

By understanding what those limits are, we can go into space.

Escaping the "what goes up must come down" rule.

Many rules are like this.

The better you understand them, the more you can figure out ways around them.

Other rules are like the campfire game.

The more you understand them, the more fun you can have.

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