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Knecht/Connect - a playable version of the Glass Bead Game

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

Knecht/Connect is a game which explores:

- connections, analogies, comparisons, relationships, ratios and proportions between diverse subject matters; and

- root causes and effects, reasons and consequences of these connections.

It is a game founded on the tradition of Pythagoras, Lull, Kepler, and Kircher who searched for the unifying principles of all knowledge, and developed by others interested in the individual's role and place in society and world history.


Knecht/Connect is inspired by Hermann Hesse's 1946 Nobel Prize winning novel, Glasperlenspiel (Glass Bead Game), and like the game in the novel it is built on a foundation of mathematics and music. Named after the novel's main protagonist, Joseph Knecht, its name is also a pun (one probably intended by Hesse when he named his hero) referring to the game's fundamental principle of making connections.


Recently published installments in an ongoing series explore connections between:

- Volume 1: mathematics, music, architecture, and I Ching

- Volume 2: astronomy, botany, religion, and chemistry

- Volume 3: war, poetry, cookery and dance


A related Twitter project (@justknecht) brings together examples of possible Glass Bead Game moves from high culture and popular culture globally, in the manner of cross-cultural SAT analogies, with each move potentially part of a larger game, whose wider network of moves remains to be played.


The publisher's website further explores the game's fictional origins in the history of mathematics in the seventeenth century, as shaped by mathematicians with a deep interest in music theory (Johann Bernoulli, whose great great grand daughter Maria was Hermann Hesse's first wife, Leibniz, Pascal, Descartes), and influenced by a deepening intellectual engagement with cultural and social factors along the lines advocated by Jacob Burkhardt (Father Jacobus in Hesse's novel).



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Idea No. 25