Things I Think Are Awesome- Hi.
Like many of us, I've had a hard few months online. I remember when the top news stories in my Nuzzel feed weren't about politics, and how many awesome technical and creative things I was looking at or playing with.
I'm trying to get some of that spirit back. If you follow me on twitter, this won't be a list about data science and vis as much as about the lighter side, the things that make me want to make stuff and play with code or draw/write something. I like generative text, fun simulations, old things, poetry, folklore, the occult, creative AI, weird datasets, funny bots, tools and toys for creativity, UFOs, offbeat research... you get the idea. There might be a funny tweet or joke in here too, because if something made me laugh right now, it's officially Awesome.
So, here's a kickoff of good things I saw recently.
Patricio Gonzalez Vivo's GLSL shaders Tarot deck, at pixelspirit. Must buy! I love this. Especially The Fool. (I was thanked in the credits, but all I did was cheerlead via Twitter DM.)
"Dwarf Fortress creator Tarn Adams talks about simulating the most complex magic system ever." This is a bit of a ramble - I include it because I cannot wait to explore the worlds he creates with a magic system, at least by second-hand account and bug report. In this piece I learned I am a certified category of user, the archaeologist, who explores the worlds generated rather than playing (I'm afraid to get into playing, I don't have that kind of time). Also, this quote, so good:
"first we do the framework and [then] world generation changes. It's been very odd that the last 11 years or whatever, dwarves in your fortress have been able to make 'named objects,' they'd make a named sword if you're lucky or a named floodgate or bucket if you're not, and you can install it in your fortress, do some things with it."
Emergent behavior is a particle system, based on biology principles: Clusters, by @JJVentrella.
"What Can You Do With a Rock? Affordance Extraction Via Word Embeddings," by Fulda et al. at BYU. They apply Wikipedia word2vec embeddings to assist agents playing Infocom text adventure games like Zork. What a great idea. For humans, too, because figuring out what words to use is Too. Hard.
Gratuitous awesome d3 how-to: animating thousands of points with d3 and canvas, by @pbesh. Make sure to try the demo.
And that's my last week and episode one.