Itty bitty robots demonstrate swarm behaviors.

A game of life, anyone?


This gentleman’s projects really scratch an itch for me. The more Koblin makes seemingly arbitrary decisions in his projects the more he becomes more authorial. What I like most about his projects though are how his interfaces allow us to create our own stories or experiences.

I’ll be seeing Koblin this Summer at the following conference:

His Wilderness Downtown project reminds me of Sarah’s final presentation.

All right, I’m in no way connected to steampunk stuff (although I have read a few of the authors). Albert was talking about the French postcards of the future I posted a few months ago, and I ran across this in FB. It looks like it’s happening this very weekend.

Now, I don’t even know this person, to be linking to their pictures in FB, but what I find so very intriguing is the coded uniformity of the costumes. Note the special goggles – steampunk is all about visions of an alternate future, usually starting from an actual historical past. Note the bullets – dangerous stuff, exploring new worlds.

Bill, I mentioned this during lunch. Though the demo here is quite primitive I still find it quite uncanny.

Here’s a lovely way to spend five minutes thinking about the representation of data. Ben Greenman made a bunch of charts that question the function of charts. For example, here is a chart representing the ink left in the pen… he used to make the chart.

Pretty cool installation.  A mash-up of virtual reality, physical reality, and neurology.  I want to try it.

Here are a few thoughts on Conway’s Game of Life which came up in our group today.

  1. I view the Game of Life as simile rather than metaphor for our existence.
  2. The rules exhibit tendencies towards the creation of certain stable structures.
  3. Small changes can radically disrupt stable structures.
  4. Human experience is similar to the Game of Life in that we each respond autonomously to our environments.  The aggregate of our responses causes stable structures like families, governments, slavery, schools, careers etc.
  5. The best we can do as historians is to point out and characterize some of these stable structures.  Unless we are physicists examining the most elementary particles in the universe and the rules that govern their interactions, we are only building approximations of understanding.
  6. No physicist can explain a marriage by studying the collection of quarks that make up the marriage.
  7. We are left only with our approximations.
  8. There is no past, no future, only the churning present.