Launching the secretGeek Wiki
This might be the mid-life crisis talking but lately I've been feeling that I want to do more. More creative work. More of everything. I want to write books, compose music, draw pictures, make movies, create amazing programs, solve impossible mathematical problems, learn magic tricks, create European-style boardgames, print circuits, invent incredible devices, cook, grow, share, give and give.
I've even made plans to bring back the zine. This would involve sneaking into an actual school to use their actual school photocopier to make copies. But more on that another day.
I think it started with the hexaflexagons: just a throw away word, mentioned in an article about Cellular Automata. No: something came before that... I was looking into the possibility of Optical Lego Recognition. OLR! Research on OLR led to image-processing, led to Cellular Automata, led to Conway's Game of Life. Game of life! GOL led to an interview with John Conway who mentioned Martin Gardner and the magical word "hexaflexagons", which he didn't explain at all. How cruel! To mention a word like that with no explanation! Researching hexaflexagons led to Vi Hart, which led back to Martin Gardner. Martin Bloody Gardner! Martin wrote a "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American, from 1956 to 1981. I'd never heard of him: but he influenced practically everyone that ever influenced me. He popularized all of the topics above and many more. So I fell in. Tumbling like Alice into the rabbit hole. Deep into the wormhole of recreational mathematics, and soon wiki.secretGeek.net was born.
It's a place where I (or we) can maintain a more permanent playground, less ephemeral than blog posts and tweets. A place for documenting certain things. Not things that have any obvious economic value. Things I (or we) find interesting. Interesting things that remain interesting even as time passes.
I want to be able to put together informative, interactive pieces; a little like Red Blob Games, a little like 'the sierpinski triangle page to end most sierpinski triangle pages' a little like Bret Victor's Learnable Programming with a splash of _why's tryruby and a taste of Bob Nystrom's Dungeon generation article (more on that another time).
The first 'custom partial' I added was for 'logo' as in 'turtle logo' that wonderful learning environment from the happiest moments of your childhood. Now I can include runnable logo programs within the wiki, just by adding a blockquote with the class 'logo'. This let me write about a lot of Fractals, Space-Filling Curves and the like.
I've been reluctant to 'launch' the damn thing, feeling I ought to get it 'right' before I do. But then the voice of Amy Hoy materialized in my head and announced 'just fucking ship', so that's what I'm going to do.
Here's a decent starting list of articles:
- Koch Curve
- Space-Filling Curves
- Dragon Curve
- Harriss Spiral
- Conway's Game Of Life
- Spaceships (game of life)
Over the next 10 years or so, I (or we) can add info about a bunch of other topics as well. For now I've disabled the ability for new contributors to register. But I plan to enable that when I have the kinks removed. This will exist for a long time to come.
And since you're still here. Two somewhat relevant images that strike a nerve. A fractal Tom Selleck. And a quote from Barton Fink.
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