order and chaos

so the website phylotaxis is definitely my new favourite way to get my science news everyday.

Without the randomness of culture, science becomes dry and predictable, imprisoned in a strict square grid. Without the rational thinking of science, culture quickly teeters towards chaos.
it presents in a really visually compelling way, interesting ideas about the interaction of culture and science, and manages to deliver interesting content at the same time. so fucking cool.



At 5/22/2006 10:09 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth DeCoursey said...

Wow Jackie! Though this comment is attached to your latest blog, I have to say that I like them all, and what follows relates to all! I think you're an excellent writer with a wonderful conversational tone while still remaining smart and informative. I'm excited for more and I should have called you on the Chinese New Year--I really wanted to go. Also, thanks for all the links; they do give me a much clearer semblance of understanding!

At 5/22/2006 10:10 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

I'm not keen on the notion of some sort of ineluctable tension between "culture" and "science" (whatever those are) implicit in the work & explicit in the writeup. Properly practiced (depending, of course, on your defs of each) they oughta be largely orthogonal, not opposed. But that quibble aside, it sure is priddy. And I always enjoy seeing a fisheye in action. Do you read Seed? If so, any good? I just picked up the current issue but haven't hit it yet.

At 5/22/2006 10:12 PM, Blogger thixotropic said...

i'm not sure i follow you on the orthogonal aspect - you think culture and science are at right angles to each other? i think it's pretty reasonable to think that science and culture exist at opposite ends of a spectrum - i'm just not sure that culture is completely chaotic, or that its individual elements are so hard to catch a hold of... or, that science is necessarily orderly (as i try to make sense of some math that i know i wrote!) apparently i have a free copy of seed coming my way. i got junk-mailed by them just this past week. but i like the articles on their website.

At 5/22/2006 10:13 PM, Anonymous amy JENSEN said...

i just want to let you know i'd prefer to hear this blah, blah, science, blah in person bitch. i'm you're lifestyle advisor get crakin' and entertain my breasts

At 5/22/2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

That's exactly right - they ought to be, by and large, at right angles to one another - addressing unrelated concerns. There's bound to be overlap & communication between the two, but there's not necessarily any tension there. And this work explicitly assumes such a tension. I like the idea - the exploration of the effects of altering a parameter along a single dimension can have these cool effects, in this case producing a stable state between randomness and a very low entropy, simple grid. He just didn't need to dress it up the way he did (i.e. with rather loaded terms). I'd like more about how this works in tree leaves, for instance. The artist notes that as an influence, but doesn't connect them beyond mentioning the Fibonacci sequence and fluttering his hands about "science" and "culture" (rhetorical jazz hands).


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