Adjacent Possible Playground: Power

Our human brains are belief generators.

John Kellden
3 min readSep 20, 2023

… formulate and gather around generative center questions …

Card-play conversations at small group genius scope and social machine scale.

Card: Cards*
Cards are play, conversational intelligence,
insight, small group genius and shared
understanding affordances.

The card deck is designed for card-play conversations
at small group genius scope and social machine scale.

Adjacent Possible Playground: Core Innovation
The core innovation lies in the transformative
potential of card-based exploration. It shifts our
perspective from traditional power dynamics
to a collaborative, interconnected approach.

Adjacent Possible Playground: Value Proposition
The value proposition is the empowerment of
individuals and communities to navigate
complex systems, elevate their media games,
and collectively unfold paths to preferable

Cards for Insight: Cards as Media
Cards become the medium for this evolution,
providing structure and process to this
dynamic journey of discovery and change.

How To Play
… pick cards and add your thoughts between …

Card: Power
103% of all true intelligence lies
in power-with, not power-over.

“But the myth of power is, of course, a very powerful myth, and probably most people in this world more or less believe in it. It is a myth, which, if everybody believes in it, becomes to that extent self-validating. But it is still epistemological lunacy and leads inevitably to various sorts of disaster.”

“What is true is that the idea of power corrupts. Power corrupts most rapidly those who believe in it, and it is they who will want it most. Obviously, our democratic system tends to give power to those who hunger for it and gives every opportunity to those who don’t want power to avoid getting it. Not a very satisfactory arrangement if power corrupts those who believe in it and want it.”

“Perhaps there is no such thing as unilateral power. After all, the man “in power” depends on receiving information all the time from outside. He responds to that information just as much as he “causes” things to happen…it is an interaction, and not a lineal situation.”
Gregory Bateson

… take thought and make small moves conducive to information turned knowledge and knowledge turned shared understanding …

Card: Carry On
Recursive interaction of genuine possibility,
transiently actualized purposefulness,
shared understanding as generative closure,
behavior turned agency turned co-agency
and structure-preserving transformation.

… engage in card-play conversations around center, generative questions, with human and AI-assisted card annotations addressing worthwhile dilemmas, cultivating shared understanding as generative closure, with thoughts, insights, moves, paths and preferable outcomes evaluated against envisioned end game scenarios …

Card: End-game Scenario
One trillion trees, one million
villages, one thousand eco-cities
and one small blue-green corner,
seven generations to come.

“Where are you going now my love?
Where will you be tomorrow?
Will you bring me happiness?
Will you bring me sorrow?
All the questions of a thousand
dreams, what you do and what you see,
Lover can you talk to me ?”
— Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Play? Sign up here:
Adjacent Possible Playground

*There’s around 500 cards in the source deck, with more than
100k two-card and 16M three-card combinations.
Two, three-, four- and five-card combinations can be seen,
understood and played as a different approach, forming an
adjacent possible to LLM’s, Large Language Models.



John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities and collaborative narratives