Image by Alan Dorin
The mathematician John H Conway recently passed from complications of Coronavirus. He will be most remembered for the Game of Life, a cellular automata which inspired gamers and programmers.
- A 2014 interview with Conway about the origin of the game of life, and how it came out of Von Neumann’s proposal to send self-replicating machines to Mars to terraform it.
- Despite Conway saying the game is no longer an interesting problem, many people explore the design space of the game looking for patterns that move, form complex and sustained structures, or are otherwise intriguing. Of these, the Glider Gun is probably the most well known.
- XKCD remembered Conway by making a portrait of him that launches a single glider, and vanishes.
SciArt Lab, Cellular automaton music composition III (self-generated relaxing song) (YouTube) - You can connect a cellular automata’s output to a sequencer controlling instruments and have it generate music. The trick is to find rules that produce the music that you’d like it to make.
Brian Eno & Peter Chilvers, Bloom: 10 Worlds (YouTube) - Make your own generative music with an app for phones and tablets that lets you create things quickly.