2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 - 2021 - 2022 - headers

don't have time to write up my favorite books of 2015, so here's the whole shelf worrydream.com/Shelf2015

Four years ago I was leaving their house into the snow and Gloria said "you need a hat" and gave me Marvin's hat.

"As we have never been cast down with scorn and ridicule we shall never be puffed up with praise and admiration" -ECS

I'm staying at the Athenaeum (caltech faculty club) and I'm kind. of. freaking. out.
Somehow, returning to caltech regresses me to an awestruck 18-year-old.
I opened that nightstand drawer where hotels usually put a bible, thought maybe I'd find the feynman lectures



woke up to scribbled note "selfie tree"
I think this is what I meant?

least concern
i feel pretty concerned tbh

potential sapiens

Bret's first ever laptop sticker, courtesy of @ludwigschubert

@michael_nielsen Isn't a better question "SHOULD computers be creative"? ie: Why are humans creative? Is outsourcing that good for humanity?
@michael_nielsen How do humans benefit from other humans being creative? Do we get that benefit from creative computers? Or miss the point?
@michael_nielsen There's an argument parallel to what @zephoria said about social media:

Beautiful work from @unconed. Imagine these visuals not as "explainers" but just "the stuff you work with every day" acko.net/files/gltalks/…

i miss our conversations, my long-lost friend

Life milestone achieved: trapping Scott McCloud's family and pets inside a dark locked freight elevator

I don't know.
UPDATE: I still don't know.

We shall not think of thinking, without imagining ourselves thinking *somewhere*. archive.org/details/timelessway…
The thought and the space shall be indivisible. The thought is supported by the space. The space supports the thought.

smart posters, not smart toasters

Developers really need to make a medium that doesn't cripple people into being helplessly dependent on "developers".
Developers really need to make a medium that offers people at least as much power and freedom as a piece of paper and a Sharpie.

"Amusing Ourselves to Death" is not an instruction manual.



"So can you talk to me about how MacPaint started? Was there a concept at design meetings?"
"Hahahaha no no no no."
youtube.com/watch?v=-syl7m…

symbolics probably failed because genera didn't have a "cloud family restrictions daemon"
cloud family restrictions daemon:


haven't played the song in years, but the hands don't forget

This entire file is full of magic.
the entire world is full of magic

Seymour Papert has died.

Kind of refreshing to see marketing copy that emphasizes patience and learning curve instead of instant expertise.
(Ironically, it seems like Bluespec is actually pretty easy to learn, and extends naturally from Verilog?) youtube.com/watch?v=YpiLEo…

ok good now just dial it back a bit



@michael_nielsen An image that implements an entire processor, done in the original image-based programming language

I've reached the point where I assume that any citation in any written work is, as likely as not, a misunderstanding.
(probably going to delete this tweet because I'm pretty sure it'll be misunderstood)
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a million tweets talking past one other, forever.

"Grandpa, why did Hazel-rah die?"
"Back then, everybody grew old and died, even the rich and powerful."
"Grandpa, it's hot and I'm hungry."

The typesetter wipes his brow with his sleeve, takes a swig of whisky, unlocks a box labeled THE BIG INTEGRAL.


Carver Mead has a new website, and it has everything. carvermead.caltech.edu

Really nice introduction to Modelica by @mtiller, including a demo of a literal "npm for scientific models."
youtube.com/watch?v=-mvEUu…
Modelica is such a fascinating in-practice example of truly declarative components that have no "inputs" or "outputs", just relationships.

Hi. Does this give you feelings? complex.com/life/2016/09/e…
You know what you need to do.
worrydream.com/ClimateChange
Don't panic. Don't despair. Build.
If you call yourself an engineer, it's time to step up and start engineering.
worrydream.com/ClimateChange
Neither "Glass" nor "Spectacles" will enable people to see the way out of global crises. Stop bullshitting. Build what the world needs.
@paulg The second half of the essay is entirely about high-leverage projects that indirectly help solve problem X. worrydream.com/ClimateChange
@paulg Hi-leverage indirect is extremely important. But it's unlikely that addressing lifestyle inconveniences will turn out to be relevant.

@DynamicWebPaige Never regret studying how the real physical world works, instead of some abstract self-referential fictional hocus-pocus.
@DynamicWebPaige Of course, and studying physical science and engineering is all about learning and developing those mathematical tools. 1/4
@DynamicWebPaige But unlike CS, you can be sure those tools refer to something outside themselves. CS can be all maps, no territory. 2/4
@DynamicWebPaige I'm not saying CS techniques aren't useful. But if *all you know* is CS, all you know is fictional worlds, 3/4
@DynamicWebPaige and your tendency is to hide in them and drag others into them, instead of knowing how to deal with reality. 4/4


well aren't you pleased as punch


Figure 9. The continuum between "things" and "stuff". (@dSeanMustard ) dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?i…

it's so far away
with every step it feels further away

hm, I think "join a mob" would have been better for the twitter line, oh well
software is eating our words

almost exactly eight years from concept to production twitter.com/worrydream/sta…
tbh, makes me feel better that I'm not planning to show you what I'm currently working on for eight years!


ok thank you, youtube free-association algorithm

a blue plane in pink clothing

"What must we do to make 'possibly' into 'probably' in two years?" (from amazon.com/dp/0143122797)

(via @patrickc) continuing to work on long-term research is a kind of Pascal's Wager

@patrickc Even three decades later, Apple stays on-message.

My favorite part of Nicky's latest is the twitter reply which links a custom interactive simulation to illustrate the point. twitter.com/ncasenmare/sta…
Nicky's article is excellent (as always!), but to me, the deepest use of "explorable explanations" is not as standalone "explainers", 2/
but as *conversational* tools, so everyone involved in a discussion can see, explore, and challenge what's being discussed. 3/
The explainer can be thought of as introducing/teaching a language/toolset/interface/representation that can then be used in discussion. 4/

What's your "fundamental theorem"?
@mayli I thought it was this, but everyone else's answers are so different than mine!


100% agree with @MaxCRoser about limitations of stories. But stats are very limiting too (e.g. Seeing Like A State) 1/ ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-g…
Stories & stats are two extremes, both myopic: one too specific, one too general. Neither can represent the truth of a complex situation. 2/
But stories & stats are relics of the paper medium. The dynamic medium allows a "ladder of abstraction" between them. 3/ worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstra…
I believe that the deepest understandings will come from a new form of "reading" which is actively moving up and down such a ladder. 4/

100 yrs of inventors messing around; followed by a @EdwardTufte / Euclid-like consolidator/teacher; then curriculum + community of practice. twitter.com/wynlim/status/…
Step 1 requires a *medium* that makes it possible for many people to mess around and learn from each other. For infographics, that was print

montereybayaquarium.org >> "Conservation & Science" >> "Publications" >> "Sea Otter Publications" >> [list of 140 papers on sea otters]

Seymour Papert, Jerome Bruner, Marvin Minsky, and Jay Forrester died this year.
Seymour Papert (skip to 10:20): c-span.org/video/?67583-1…

2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 - 2021 - 2022 - headers