Rational reductionist approaches to the neural basis for beauty run a similar risk of pushing the round block of beauty into the square hole of science and may well distill out the very thing one wants to understand.
by Bevil Conway and Alexander Rehding in PLoS Biology. (via
posted by nangar
on Mar 29, 2013 -
A functional self-replicator has been designed for Conway's game of life.
The deceptively simple automata 'Conway's game of life' is a model system that illustrates how simple 'physics' can give rise to incredibly complex phenomena. Although a menagerie of existing patterns have been discovered/engineered that display a variety of interesting behavior (eg here
), there are also many unanswered questions
about what is possible within the simulation. Recently, life-enthusiast mscibing succeeded in designing a universal constructor pattern that is capable of building a functional copy of itself. Its execution can be viewed directly (though it takes a while!) using Golly
, a sweet, open-source app for viewing life simulations, as well as other cellular automata.
posted by armheadarmlegleg
on Jun 3, 2010 -
, Java Applet
), aka Philosophers' Football
is a deceptively simple 2-player game you can play on a Go board, or any rectangular grid.
(It may be simple, but finding the right move is [PDF] NP Complete.)
posted by Wolfdog
on Aug 2, 2005 -
The Geometry Center
at the University of Minnesota, while now closed, maintains an awesome website with tons of math resources.
I like sphere eversion
, i.e. turning a sphere inside out. Link is to script of video, which explains things pretty well. Here is a clip
[QT]. Also good: notes
from a class on geometry and the imagination that John Conway and some friends gave awhile back. Old but good.
posted by mai
on Mar 1, 2005 -
[Java]. Mirek's Cellebration is an beautiful applet for exploring all sorts of cellular automata. Source code and standalone version also available.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jan 4, 2005 -
You may have heard of Conway's Game of Life
, where pixels "live" or "die" based on a few simple rules about how many neighbors they have. But did you know that in the 30 years since the game was created, Life enthusiasts have (created? discovered?) an extensive catalog
of (objects? creatures?
) which interact to form some amazing
, sometimes beautiful
, occasionally even a little scary
patterns often starting from the simplest
of building blocks
? (Including a Turing machine
!) Or that a lone pixel
can exert remarkable control
over its environment? Now you can see in a few seconds in a java applet
, on your desktop
, or even on a PalmOS handheld
the outcome of simple patterns that, when first discovered, no computer could handle. A mind blowing example of the power of emergent properties
posted by straight
on May 29, 2002 -