Category Archives: emergent

Embrace Complexity: Master Miyamoto tells us to

The New Yorker of December 20 has a profile of Shigero Miyamoto, the creator of the Mario Brothers and Zelda universes and a key player in the creation of the Wii (and Wii Sport and, if I had to guess from the crazy fun play, Wii Resort). The profile talks about how surprised people were […]

Tim Ferriss internet-sourcing his next book

Tim Ferris had an amazing idea when he was finalizing his breakout book, The Four Hour Workweek. He and his agent couldn’t decide on a title for the book — actually they couldn’t pick among the final four candidates. Ferriss did a very clever thing: he advertised for the as yet unpublished book under each […]

Designing an HTML tag . . . is actually fascinating

I’m getting up to speed on the upcoming tech wave by reading the finally published “HTML5 Up and Running”, by Mark Pilgrim. That sentence just feels sad (though necessary), but the first chapter of the book is really, really interesting. In a section titled “A Long Digression into how Standards Are Made”, Pilgrim walks us […]

Finally, computation popularized

For several years, Steven Johnson’s Emergence, E O Wilson’s Journey of the Ants, and Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science have bounced around in my head, inextricably/apophenically connected to ideas of creativity, invention, and generative systems. Wolfram’s book, which I could follow through the first three pages of each chapter before the specific science […]

Creativity, Chabon, and Hard & Soft Edges

Just finished reading Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs, a collection of essays about being a father, son, husband, former child, and writer. I read the book almost immediately and instantly, underlining lots of passages and phrases (wasn’t available in Kindle). Interestingly, it looks like guys on goodreads.com dug it less than women (might be more […]

Curiosity + Triviality == Discovery

Reading and thoroughly digging Steven Johnson’s Invention of Air and seeing an overlap with discussions about planning and innovation (clunky intro, but accurate). Early in Johnson’s book, he tells the story of how we discovered the Gulf Stream. It was a convergence of vaguely, not immediately apparently, connected things. In the 1760s there were several […]

Cool emergence video

Very simple system: steadily controlled pouring of syrup, a moving belt, and slight adjustments to the speed of the belt. Yields different patterns and shapes, highlights the interaction of the syrup that landed and the response of the syrup feeding it.

Procedurally Generated City

50 hours, a couple rules, an understanding of emergent systems, and a delicate design touch:

How deep baseball goes deep

I’ve had some (middle-aged?) inflection point in my interest in baseball. I have started to crave watching it, and now go straight to the sports page (or click my kindle straight to sports) and read every Mets and Yankees article. A friend got me jazzed about baseball, by describing the intricacies of the game, and […]

Simple Fun: Nintendo Acela Awesomeness

Riding to and from Washington on the Acela yesterday, we were only able to find seats in the quiet car. At 5:45 in the morning, I reminded my colleagues to bring their DSes so we could play some head-to-head games (which, sadly, I hadn’t done on the DS before). For those who haven’t been in […]