Links of the week

17 Nov 2017

Number 1

I was charmed by the universal scalability law:

If I understand correctly, there are formulas that are pretty simple that also arise pretty frequently.

For example, simple harmonic motion and damped simple harmonic motion are very simple, but a (complicated) continuous system that is converging to a stable point for whatever complicated reason will eventually stabilize sufficiently that a linear approximation around the stable point becomes a good approximation to its behavior.

The person that originated and promotes the USL, Gunther, offers some evidence in a 2008 paper that says that a queueing-theory discrete-event-simulation microfoundation can generate the USL curve, and some people seem to have fit it moderately successfully.

Number 2

David Brin has a questionnaire that I’d like to study more in depth:

Number 3

I have been paying attention to Dragoon for some time now: I think screencasting working through an analysis problem, using Dragoon and Google Sheets simultaneously, might be interesting or worthwhile.

Number 3

I admire Joe Edelman, who has a couple sortof roleplaying games intended to teach his brand of design: I wish I had more people to play these things with.

Number 4

Ken Perlin has been working on Chalktalk for a long time, and (per usual) has had some awesome demos of it, but now it is released:

Number 5

One of the libraries that Chalktalk uses is dat.gui, and I’m charmed and I want to understand its software architecture:–Basic-Usage I wonder if there is some common structure “very loose coupling” or “features via plugins” that could be extracted among the software architectures of Chalktalk, dat.gui, and the Paperclips incremental game.

Number 6

I have been reading terrible mind-candy known as LitRPG. This tightly constrained genre is like a cut-down Bildungsroman, simplified by reference to the videogame mechanic “progression”, often with a bit of wuxia mixed in (as far as I can tell, not having read the primary wuxia canon). One subsubgenre within LitRPG (yes, everything is fractal, even tiny subgenres like LitRPG) is “Dungeon Keeper”, where the main character is not a fantasy RPG hero, but rather a fantasy RPG dungeon, almost exactly like the Bullfrog game “Dungeon Keeper”. I think it would be fun (if I had the skill) to write a Dungeon Keeper novel modeled on Goldratt’s “The Goal”. The metaphor being “Dungeons are Firms”, with the real-world morality question “is starting or continuing to work for a Firm moral, given its inhumanly aquisitive and/or growth-oriented behavior?”. That is, reflected through the “Dungeons are Firms” mirror, the question becomes “Is starting or continuing to work for a Dungeon moral, given its inhuman acquisitive or growth-oriented behavior?”.