Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun for explorers

If you like physics, or playing with stuff, you'll like this: FantasticContraption

A perfect example of exploring solutions, alternatives and refinements. For those of you who have been on my exploratory testing course, I couldn't teach ET with it, but I urge any readers interested in exploration to watch themselves - or someone else - working towards solutions, general applications, principles, components. I've just lost a chunk of time myself in a gentle whirl of levers and engines. Reminds me of Meccano, but it's fast, flexible, and never runs out of bits (or seizes up with friction). Must get AquaForest back on to the iPod Touch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not every revolution is part of an evolution.

Evolution is always revolutionary to those caught up in it. Only hindsight makes a revolution part of an ongoing evolution.

If you're not part of the revolution, you won't evolve. If you don't evolve, you're stuck in a dead end of ever-decreasing resources.

Of course, this is to confuse the individual and the tribe.

An alternate way of putting this - no individual survives (Darwinian) evolution. Thank goodness culture is Lamarckian.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Exploration and experimentation

I thought I'd share this, from The Economist:

In the 19th century it was commonplace to do an experiment simply to see what would happen. That was, in part, because experimenters were often amateurs who were spending private money. In these days of taxpayer-financed science, most experiments are executed with a pretty clear idea of what the outcome ought to be, especially when they are part of wars and campaigns against this or that. The paradox is that, although such efforts do not eliminate Becquerel-like discoveries, they risk limiting the chances of making them.