Thursday, April 16th, 2020
Friday, September 27th, 2019
Also, can I just say how nice this reading experience is—the typography, the arresting image …I like it.
Saturday, July 6th, 2019
This is a great piece! It starts with a look back at some of the great minds of the nineteenth century: Herschel, Darwin, Babbage and Lovelace. Then it brings us, via JCR Licklider, to the present state of the web before looking ahead to what the future might bring.
So what will the life of an interface designer be like in the year 2120? or 2121 even? A nice round 300 years after Babbage first had the idea of calculations being executed by steam.
I think there are some missteps along the way (I certainly don’t think that inline styles—AKA CSS in JS—are necessarily a move forwards) but I love the idea of applying chaos engineering to web design:
Think of every characteristic of an interface you depend on to not ‘fail’ for your design to ‘work.’ Now imagine if these services were randomly ‘failing’ constantly during your design process. How might we design differently? How would our workflows and priorities change?
Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
Funny because it’s true.
Sunday, February 17th, 2019
Living things are just a better way for nature to dissipate energy and increase the universe’s entropy.
No anthropocentric exceptionalism here; just the laws of thermodynamics.
According to the inevitable life theory, biological systems spontaneously emerge because they more efficiently disperse, or “dissipate” energy, thereby increasing the entropy of the surroundings. In other words, life is thermodynamically favorable.
As a consequence of this fact, something that seems almost magical happens, but there is nothing supernatural about it. When an inanimate system of particles, like a group of atoms, is bombarded with flowing energy (such as concentrated currents of electricity or heat), that system will often self-organize into a more complex configuration—specifically an arrangement that allows the system to more efficiently dissipate the incoming energy, converting it into entropy.
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018
This long zoom by Andy is right up my alley—a history of UX design that begins in 1880. It’s not often that you get to read something that includes Don Norman, Doug Engelbart, Lilian Gilbreth, and Vladimir Lenin. So good!
Saturday, September 1st, 2018
This is a terrific spot-on piece by Rachel. I firmly believe that healthy competition and diversity in the browser market is vital for the health of the web (which is why I’m always saddened and frustrated to hear web developers wish for a single monocultural rendering engine).
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
A deep, deep dive into biomicry in digital design.
Nature is our outsourced research and development department. Observing problems solved by nature can help inform how we approach problems in digital design. Nature doesn’t like arbitrary features. It finds a way to shed unnecessary elements in advancing long-term goals over vast systems.
Monday, March 20th, 2017
Time-shifted reports from the Russian revolution, 100 years on.
All the texts used are taken from genuine documents written by historical figures: letters, memoirs, diaries and other documents of the period.
Every day, when you go onto the site, you will find out what happened exactly one hundred years ago: what various people were thinking about and what happened to each of them in this eventful year. You may not fast-forward into the future, but must follow events as they happen in real time.
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
Philip Ball certainly has a way with words.
Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
A lovely interactive demonstration of evolution, based on the original code Richard Dawkins used for Climbing Mount Improbable.
Friday, July 13th, 2012
Thoughts on artificial intelligence, computation and complexity.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Wonderful musings from Matt on meeting the emerging machine intelligence halfway.
Monday, October 4th, 2010
You'll need to use Instapaper/Readability/Safari Reader to make it legible, but this conversation is well worth reading. Now I want to get those books.
Friday, May 28th, 2010
Matt Ridley's new book sounds like a corker.
Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Conway's Game of Life executed using the canvas element.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
To counter the creationists' lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" here's a list of scientists named Steve who support Darwin's theory. (via Steven Pinker's Q&A after a lecture last week)
Monday, July 30th, 2007
A blog devoted entirely to reshelving books in their correct categories in bookstores, specifically the science and religion categories. I approve.
Saturday, March 17th, 2007
The Dunbar number gets bandied about a lot in conversations about social networks these days. Here's the original paper that shows the research behind the oft-misused term.
Friday, January 5th, 2007
A profile of Will Wright. I'm really looking forward to hearing him speak at SXSW this year.