What’s been happening!
May 24th: book review: The Pythagorean Theorem, a 4,000 Year History
May 23rd: some core verbs for Siboots
May 22nd: a killer problem with Siboot
May 21st: SWAT troubles with Siboot
May 19th: interstitial story design for Siboot
May 17th: book review time: Medieval Cities, by Henri Pirenne
May 16th: recursive sentence structures in Siboot
May 15th: another sample story for Siboot
May 13th: a sample story for Siboot.
May 13th: Siboot design diary: Triangularity
May 12th: Should I utilize Trinary Life in Siboot dream combat?
May 11th: a new Skunky Award! This goes to a Sears Craftsman Tiller, with the most idiotically designed engine I’ve ever encountered.
May 10: book review: Lowly Origins, by Jonathan Kingdon, presenting a detailed narrative of human evolution.
May 9th: design essay for Siboot: Thoughts on Auras
May 8th: book review: An Examen of Witches, in which the ways of witches around the year 1600 are exposed.
May 7th: specifications for the artwork for Siboot.
May 5th: the second draft of the dictionary for Siboot. The pieces are falling into place.
May 3rd: a problem with inversion in the use of SympolTalk
May 3rd: book review time: The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine
May 2nd: I have to change the color arrangements for SympolTalk
May 1st: The first draft of the dictionary for Siboot. This document is central to the design.
April 25th: A safe sex game?!?!?
April 22nd: First draft of gameplay specification for Siboot
April 21st: A first draft of the screen layouts for Siboot.
April 17th: two first drafts of the overall design document for Siboot: the Overview and SympolTalk
April 17th: a new Skunky, awarded to all computers.
April 16th: I have made my decision regarding my future approach to design and programming
April 13th: Four options are available to me in deciding my future.
April 12th: Should I resort to an open source strategy?
April 11th: Embracing my Inner Dinosaur Should I just design for myself and let the world go its own way?
April 10th: Oh, my aching head! The joys of learning new technologies
April 8th: Wading into Java Servlets
April 5th: another possible de-dinosaurizing strategy: The ‘More Java’ option
April 4th: a sequel to the essay “Dinosaurized”: The Lone Wolf Gets Sociable
April 4th: Dinosaurized, an important essay in which I contemplate my future
March 31st: book review: 9 Algorithms that Changed the Future, by John MacCormick
March 24th: game design essay: Technological Capriciousness
March 20th: Copernicus and Modern Astronomy, a book about exactly how Copernicus pulled it off.
March 4th: By Hook or By Crook, a disappointingly dull book by the otherwise excellent David Crystal
February 26th: another book review: Smoot’s Ear, by Richard Tavernor, on measurement systems.
February 24th: book review: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. One-word evaluation: “meh”.
February 22nd: a last-minute, desperate design diary for Gossip
February 12th: another book review: Writings of Thomas Jefferson
February 11th: book review time: The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, by Jack Weatherford
February 9th: a last-minute design diary for Gossip
February 7th: a short Gossip design diary resolving an issue about the reactions of characters to reports
February 6th: I’m STILL screwing around with design issues in Gossip.
February 4th: How I Scratch an Itch. Deep wisdom about something of very little value.
February 3rd: book review: The Great Decision, about Marbury v. Madison, the most important decision in the history of the Supreme Court.
January 31st: can we make our computer systems secure against cybercrooks?
January 29th: more Siboot design diary.
January 28th: back to Siboot for a design diary.
January 25th: this time it’s a design diary for Gossip. I’ve got a tough problem.
January 24th: yet another design diary for Siboot
January 23rd: another design diary for Siboot
January 20th: a new design diary for Siboot
January 16th: book review: A History of Mathematics
January 13th: a design diary for Gossip, a project I’m finishing up now.
January 10th: the first design diary for my next project, Siboot
January 6th: incredible revelations from my secret bedside notebook!
December 27th: a revealing dream
December 18th: a new book review: The Origins of Political Order, by Francis Fukuyama
December 9th: some surprising thoughts on a national identification system
December 3rd: a new essay in the History of Thinking: mathematics
November 18th: an interesting political experiment
November 17th: a profound realization: the statement of affinity must be the core of any storyworld.
November 16th: a new essay on Consumerism.
November 8th: some novel thoughts on the lessons of the recent elections
November 2nd: new essays in the History of Thinking: Trade in the Levant, the Minoans and The Bronze Age Collapse.
November 2nd: book review time: Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant, about the kind of ships they used 3500 years ago.
October 27th: A game design essay: Here we go again, about the inability of games people to understand the role of the human face.
October 27th: I finally completed my essay on Opinionation.
October 20th: a few additions to my ongoing compilation of algorithm screwups on Google’s news page.
October 19th: A great big Skunky award to Microsoft Word!
September 30th: a design essay on the life history of an application: Middle-Aged Software
September 28th: Why didn’t India develop rationalism?
September 22nd: a new book review! The Beginnings of Western Science, with surprising revelations about Greek and medieval science
September 17th: a new essay in the History of Thinking: The First Council of Nicaea, showing the huge difference between early Christianity and other faiths.
September 13th: I’m schizophrenic, sorta.
September 12th: a new essay in the History of Thinking hyper document: An example of Chinese logic
September 8th: another design essay for Balance of the Planet concerning causal mapping
September 3rd: a design essay for Balance of the Planet
September 2nd: an introspective essay on fundamental design principles: should I trust my gut or listen to good advice?
August 27th: additions to the aforementioned evaluation of the Kickstarter project.
August 24th: an evaluation of the failure of the Kickstarter project
August 21st: I don’t make eye candy; I make mind cuisine.
August 12th: an interesting addendum to the “Was Erasmus gay?” question.
August 6th: another book review: the Correspondence of Erasmus, Volume 11. A real page-turner!
August 5th: book review: The Social Conquest of Earth, by Edward O. Wilson
August 1st: a new design essay for Balance of the Planet: how many turns should it have?
July 26th: The HBDers (“Human Biodiversity”) – an exercise in sophomorism
July 25th: book review time: Puddn’head Wilson, by Mark Twain
July 9th: a cantankerous essay in which I deride modern popular music and extol the great classics of Rock & Roll
July 8th: book review: A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe
July 7th: and you thought there wouldn’t be any more design diaries for Balance of the Planet!
July 6th: Emily Short’s addition to the Phrontisterion 7 report, and my review of a dreadful book about early life.
July 4th: a “How to Think” essay on backhanded ways to have brainstorms: Counter-Inspiration
June 30th: participant reports from Phrontisterion 7, my conference on interactive storytelling
June 20th: book review: Documents of Christopher Columbus
June 18th: a meditation on garbage
June 16th: a new aerial photo of Gargoyle Gulch, with comparisons of how things have changed over the years.
June 10th, 2012: Faint memories from early childhood
June 7th, 2012: The Sixes and the Eights, a tale of software design
June 1st, 2012: a book review: Interactive Storytelling for Videogames, with a response from one of the authors. Oh, boy! Catfight!
May 27th: I ran across a folder containing scribbled notes of ideas I earlier worried about.
May 26th: book review: Finding Our Tongues, on the role that mother-baby interactions played in the rise of language
May 25th: a postscript to the brute force solution; it won’t work as originally conceived.
May 22nd: a brute force solution to a problem in interactive storytelling
May 21st: What Heinrich Eppendorf didn’t say
May 20th: the annular eclipse of May 20th, 2012
May 19th: book review: The Better Angels of our Nature, by Steven Pinker
May 16th: speculations on the origin of past tense
May 11th: Wendy can’t be made to grab the sword: an issue in interactive storytelling.
May 7th: the time management methods I use to get things done
May 6th: can we infuse morality into games?
May 3rd: a major revision to my old essay, The Education of a Game Designer
May 2nd: I need two programmers to write a little program for iOS and Android. It’s for meteor astronomy: the Perseids this August!
April 30th: book review: The Storytelling Animal, about the role that stories play inside our minds
April 18th: two new videos of lectures I have given: Teeside and Phoenix
April 18th: Otto Skorzeny, a remarkably audacious German officer during World War II.
April 13th: book review: The Ascent of Money, by Niall Ferguson, a history of the monetary system
April 3rd: Screwed by United Airlines (stranded at SFO for three days for ‘bad weather’ during beautiful weather)
March 25th: the big picture of Balance of the Planet
March 23rd: a useful concept for game design: Causal Immediacy
March 22nd: another person from history: Gavrilo Princip, responsible for the deaths of perhaps 70 million people.
March 20th: I have FINALLY gotten the central balance point working in Balance of the Planet
March 19th: a third ancient essay: Where’s the Creativity?
March 17th: another ancient essay: Dumb Code Versus Smart Code
March 16th: an old essay from 1984, on integrity.
March 15th: Ulrich von Hutten, another interesting person from history
March 12th: and another (zzzzz!)
March 7th: another design diary (Yawn!)
March 5th: sunlight, snow, and a twig
February 29th: I’m an idiot
February 25th: the disintegration of the American body politic
February 23rd: another design diary, this time about balancing coupled differential equations
February 22nd: two book reviews: The Perfect Swarm and The History of Early Rome
February 19th: Lake Vostok will not tell us anything about life on Europa.
February 18th: a Skunky for Windows 7.
February 17th: I’m running out of clever ways to say “Another design diary”...
February 15th: would you believe it? Another design diary! Sacre bleu!
February 11th: another design diary
February 9th: another design diary
February 6th: another design diary, on various fiddlings about.
February 5th: book review: How the West Grew Rich
February 4th: blow-by-blow narrative of a typical day tuning the algorithms
February 3rd: yet another design diary, this time on the complexities of tuning a big simulation; additions to The Greatest Books; and a new Person From History: Reinhold Pabel.
February 2nd: the impact of taxes on the simulation.
February 1st: a design diary for Balance of the Planet concerning the problems of sudden changes in revenues
January 30th: additions to The Greatest Books.
January 29th: another design diary for Balance of the Planet
January 22nd: a new page, The Greatest Books, presenting the books that have most affected me.
January 21st: a new Person From History: Mucius Scaevola, the man who saved Rome by screwing up.
January 20th: an addition to the People Through History section, this on David Atchison. You don’t know who David Atchison was? Then read this!
January 19th: another new feature: a section of the library entitled “People Through History”, presenting tales of interesting people you’ve never heard of.
January 18th: a Skunky to the entire computer industry for spawning a freshet of languages for programming, scripting, and applications.
January 17th: two new Skunkys, the first to Network Solutions for their internal FTP software, and the second for a lousy DVD player program.
January 16th: book review: The Great Divergence, by Kenneth Pomeranz, explaining how the West outran Asian civilizations
January 15th: a design diary about the necessity of simplifying Balance of the Planet.
January 15th: We are all Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, an assault on one of the fundamentals of libertarianism
January 6th: a new feature: Skunkies, design reviews of really badly designed software. First up is Heavy Weather, from Lacrosse Technology
January 5th: musings aroused by John Lennon’s song Imagine
January 2nd: my adventures with Windows 7
January 1st: book review: The Oregon Trail, presenting the adventures of Francis Parkman in the Great Plains in 1846.
December 31st: on human mental data structures, mnemonics, and memory: Oh be a fine girl, kiss me now
December 30th: book review: Travelling Heroes, by Robin Lane Fox, a massive, erudite, and pointless book about the origins of Greek mythology.
December 28th: I’m a genius for having figured this out, and an idiot for not figuring it out sooner.
December 26th: I’m such an idiot!
December 25th: you don’t think I take Christmas off, do you? I’ve got work to do on Balance of the Planet!
December 19th: comparing the Business as Usual Scenario in Balance of the Planet with the Environmental Fanatic Scenario.
December 14th: an error in the handling of education and high technology in Balance of the Planet
December 5th: a new design diary for Balance of the Planet: should I reduce the game to a single turn?
December 4th: a review of Death in the Pot, an unsatisfying book on food poisoning through history.
December 3rd: The Phylogeny of Play, a video of a lecture I gave in Cologne in May of 2011
November 21st: Time’s Man of the Year
November 17th: reconciling temperature with snow cover and sea level
November 14th: deep-sixing the fishies
November 13th: Moose saves the day!
November 12th: another design diary
November 8th: Meadow Laser 2.0 is now operational!
November 6th: a tale of riding my motorcycle in 1969, and a design diary for Balance of the Planet
November 5th: Letters from an American Farmer, a book describing life in America in the 1770s.
October 29th: The gargoyle is dead. Sniffle, sniffle.
October 13th: another design diary, this time on the complicated details of supply versus price for various energy forms.
October 12th: The Triumph of Science and Reason, 1660 - 1685, a book you don’t want to read.
October 8th: another design diary for Balance of the Planet, concerning balancing the system of equations.
October 8th: two additions to When Algorithms Go Bad
October 6th: a new design diary for Balance of the Planet, discussing turn length and turn step size.
October 6th: a book review of Under a Green Sky, a book on climate change and mass extinctions
October 3rd: a new essay in my History of Thinking hyperdocument: Chinese Science and Technology
September 29th: another book review: Rare Earth, presenting the hypothesis that life on earth may indeed be special
September 28th: a new book review: Science in Traditional China, by Joseph Needham.
September 27th: two additions to my page When Algorithms Go Bad. Whoever suspected a connection between an Albanian-English dictionary and the game “Halo”?
September 17th: another design diary for Balance of the Planet, on the problems of resource supply
September 15th: book review: Riddled with Life, on parisitology, by Marlene Zuk
September 7th: a proposal for a crowd-sourced research project on the Perseid meteor shower.
September 7th: I wrote down my list of goals for my life. I’ve got to cracking!
September 3rd: book review: The Mountains of St Francis, by Walter Alvarez, about the geological history of Italy.
September 2nd: another design diary for Balance of the Planet, on the problem of allocating deaths for scoring purposes.
August 29th: a scientific breakthrough! The world’s first (I think) hydraulic laser
August 28th: Supernormal Stimuli, by Deirdre Barrett
August 27th: another book review: End of Empire. It’s about Attila the Hun!
August 13th: A new and exciting book review of a magnificently boring book, The Oxford Companion to the English Language
August 4th: Once again, I hate Java, Chapter 38
August 3rd: another design diary addressing the problem of how to display history information.
July 31st: a short design diary in which I step back and consider the overall state of the project.
July 29th: and another design diary, on the problems of assigning differential points
July 28th: another design diary, about the value of brush hogs to the game designer
July 27th: book review time: Reading in the Brain, by Stanislas Dehaene
July 25th: a new entry in the design diary for Balance of the Planet: establishing simulation formulae.
July 23rd: a political commentary on Oslo and ‘Blameless Responsibility’
July 22nd: I hate Java, chapter 37 in a book without end
July 21st: a new personal tale: Behavioral Spoonerisms.
July 10th: I’m offering a new five-part webinar on How to Think, but it will happen only if I get five takers by July 29th.
July 6th: same old thing: a new design diary for BotP.
June 30th: more design diary problems
June 28th: another design diary for Balance of the Planet: explanatory pages and formula handling.
June 27th: a new book review: Law and Crime in the Roman World, by Jull Harries
June 23rd: embedding HTML inside the data structures; ugh!
June 22nd: how to measure the effects of technological progress?
June 20th: Egad! Four days without a diary entry!
June 16th: yes, I have another diary entry for Balance of the Planet.
June 15th: another
June 14th: yep
June 13th: You’ll never guess
June 11th: again
June 8th: and another.
June 7th: one more diary entry
June 6th: I just can’t seem to stop making diary entries.
June 5th: another diary entry.
June 4th: yet another diary entry for Balance of the Planet
June 3rd: a new entry in my design diary, and a book review of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
June 2nd: Here’s something new and interesting: a design diary for my latest project, Balance of the Planet 2011
June 1st: My sixty-first birthday.
May 29th: A new page explaining how transistors work. You won’t find anything this clear on the web.
May 26th: A video of a recent lecture, plus a new book review: Barbarians to Angels, by Peter S. Wells
May 24th: book review: Witchcraft and Society, by Marion Gibson
May 23rd: a trip to Amsterdam
May 19th: a new solution to the problem of radioactive waste disposal.
May 7th: a new book review (The Taste of Conquest) and a newly uploaded video: Part 4 of the “graduate seminar”.
May 6th: I have now added the first six hours of video from my “graduate seminar” on game design at Incredible Technologies in 1987
May 4th More videos! Fundamentals of Interactivity, The Mystique of the Loop, and Revolution.
May 3rd: New videos! These are the Video Visits series from my Atari days: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
May 2nd: I have finally gone through the entire site with a link checker and cleaned up broken links.
April 29th: final conclusions of my 2011 analysis of the 1999 Leonid outburst, with downloadable data
April 25th: corrections to the correlation coefficient analysis yields strong evidence against nonrandomness
April 23rd: use of correlation coefficients between cameras to determine nonrandomness
April 21st: Chris Hondros
April 20th: a revolting development in the Leonid research
April 20th: important revisions to The Achaeans, part of The History of Thinking
April 16th: a report on my impressions of a conference put together by UC Santa Cruz
April 12th: review of The Salem Witchcraft Trials, by Peter Charles Hoffer
April 10th: book review time: How Language Works by David Crystal
April 6th: a new essay on linguistics: Semantic Waist-Spreading
April 2nd: weird (almost certainly wrong) Leonid results
March 30th: a new book review: Vermeer’s Hat.
March 29th: an old joke from World War II that my father told me when I was a kid.
March 28th: two additions: more on Leonid nonrandomness, and a proposal for Superdogs.
March 27th: the first solid statistical proof of Leonid nonrandomness!
March 26th: concluding the analysis of Leonid light curves
March 25th: Leonid analysis of ablation
March 24th: the corrected analysis of Leonid light curves
March 23rd: I screwed up something in the Leonid analysis
March 22nd: Part I of an analysis of Leonid light curves
March 21st: book review: A Splendid Exchange, about the history of trade in Eurasia.
March 20th: Leonids: average flare count per minute over time.
March 19th: a perplexing analysis of deceleration of Leonids.
March 17th: another set of results from the Leonid study, this time concerning absolute luminances
March 16th: an important essay for software designers: A Rigorous Measure For Interactivity
March 12th: first results from the Leonid analysis!
March 10th: a new section providing links to videos involving me
March 6th: a new book review: The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright
February 27th: some problems with the determination of the heights of Leonids
February 25th: some preliminary results from the Leonid research
February 21st: the role of peril in interactive storytelling
February 19th: an essay on Strategic Thinking.
February 16th: I’m finally in production with the Leonid analysis!
February 13th: a detailed analysis of the spherical trigonometry used in the analysis. For masochists and sphericaltrigonometrophiles only.
February 11th: a review of Life Ascending: the Ten Great Inventions of Evolutions, by Nick Lane
February 10th: a strange Leonid
February 9th: some thoughts on the drab heroes we see in the movies these days
February 6th: I have actually completed the analysis of the datasets in my possession!
February 3rd: a short update on progress with the Leonid analysis
February 1st: problems in the Leonid analysis with the star-tracking algorithm
January 30th: another report, this time on the lack of progress with the Leonids.
January 28th: the latest report on progress with the Leonids.
January 15th: more Leonid trickery
January 14th: the Leonid diaries march on with yet another tale of tribulations and successes.
January 11th: yet another diary page on the Leonid work
January 10th: another diary page on the Leonid work
January 9th: a new page on my current work with the Leonid data from 1999 (astronomy research).
December 27th: I fixed some dead links in the JCGD area of the library
December 25th: a personal essay, The Evolution of my Musical Tastes
December 24th: another update to When Algorithms Go Bad, celebrating “Google bobbles”
December 23rd: Gadzooks, I’m a book-reviewing monster. The next book: Early Greece, by Oswyn Murray
December 21st: another book review: Trail of Tears, a poorly organized history of the Cherokee people
December 11th: book review: Catching Fire, about the fundamental role of cooking in human evolution
November 21st: book review: The Evolutionary Origin of Human Behavior, a real stinker
November 14th: Contemptible Breeders, an essay on how much incompetent dog breeders cost all of us
November 12th: a design essay on Negative Lessons from Storytron
November 8th: A new essay, Aliens Must be Nice, on life and interstellar travel, with (as always) some surprising conclusions.
November 6th: an update to the essay Sixty
October 22nd: I corrected an absent link so that now you can read all about Gargoyle Gulch, the 40 acres on which I live.
October 21st: A long, sad tale, of the evolution of Internet discussions from my own perspective.
October 18th: I reorganized some essays into a group: How to Think, and added a new one: Boolean Foolishness
October 14th: more progress in A History of Thinking: an improved discussion of Greek thought.
October 11th: a personal tale of a heroic musical performance
October 10th: a review of Guy Deutscher’s new book, Through the Looking Glass.
October 1st: continuing improvements to A History of Thinking: revisions of The Achaeans and Tacking.
September 25th: some thoughts on confusing motivation with results in scientific work
September 23rd: another book review: Thumbs, Toes, and Tears
September 19th: a new book review: Marco Polo
September 18th: I have completed second edition revisions to The History of Thinking as far as the time of the Egyptians.
September 11th: I am rewriting my web book on The History of Thinking. This second edition is much expanded and improved!
September 6th: a suggestion for really smart electric cars
September 4th: a proposal for archaeologists
September 3rd: another book review: When Asia Was the World
September 2nd: a collection of my best answering machine messages
August 31st: another book review: In the Blink of an Eye: how vision kick-started the big bang of evolution.
August 29th: a sad tale of bad software design
August 28th: a review of Justinian’s Flea, the story of the bubonic plague that devastated the Roman Empire.
August 26th: a new and improved collection of pages about each pet we’ve owned; it’s still in progress.
August 19th: a clever story about economics, game design, and algorithms
August 18th: have you ever wondered why some music just goes round and round inside your head? Here’s my guess.
August 16th: a new book review: The Winds of Change, about abrupt climate change.
August 14th: the history of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference
August 13th: new photos and stories added to the tale of Frogger-Rogger.
August 11th: my famous ancestor, William Harris Crawford
August 10th: a book I didn’t much like, Moral Minds.
August 7th: my peculiar ability to identify people by their voices.
August 6th: a book review of the sayings of Mencius, a Chinese philosopher.
August 5th: How many colonists would you need to send to another planet to make the colony self-sustaining?
August 4th: another book review: India Unbound
August 2nd: a book review of The Anglo-Saxon World
July 31st: Human Universals, a book review
July 27th: The price of defying rationalism, a heavy gloom-and-doom essay. We’re all going to die!
July 20th: Technology advances in some surprising ways. Read all about it.
July 19th: A game design essay: Advanced Tinkertoy Text. It’s still a work in progress; I expect to make changes.
July 6th: Yet another eccentric creation: The Meadow Laser
July 4th: My latest eccentric creation: Duckhenge
June 29th: Sixty. You’ll just have to read it.
June 28th: yet another book review: Tricks of the Mind, by Derren Brown
June 21st: a book review of The Richness of Life, by Stephen Jay Gould
June 13th: a book review of The Case for India, by Will Durant
June 12th: a new book review of Ideas by Peter Watson
May 26th:A new speculative essay revealing the true nature of the universe.
May 22nd: I was caught in the great volcanic ash cloud fiasco in Europe in April. Here's my woeful tale.
April 3rd: I've given so many lectures that I thought it might be a good idea to publish my tips on public speaking.
March 15th: A speculative political essay: What would happen if Sarah Palin were elected President?
March 7th: A new book review, Prehistory
March 6th: A new book review, Empires of Time
February 25th: A Requiem for Jane, an unhappy person.
February 10th: Personal observations from my recent trip to Mumbai, India, where I delivered a keynote speech at a conference on children, play, and education.
January 28th: A new page presenting where I've been. Not terribly important, but I thought it might be interesting.
January 7th: A new page showing my most magnificent artistic works.
January 3rd: A short essay describing network effects in the mind
December 31st: I added a new section, Speculations, presenting my choicest half-baked ideas (all the other ideas in this site are 3/4 baked).
December 29th: Could Tyrannosaurus Rex run? Here's one intriguing way to answer that question.
Dec 24th, 2009: An analysis of pounding dirt.
Dec 21st, 2009: a new book review: Plutarch's Parallel Lives
Dec 18th, 2009: How I would change our government if I were king.
Dec 11th, 2009: An update to a humorous look at how the Google News picture-picking algorithm sometimes screws up.
Dec 9th, 2009: Another diatribe against climate change deniers
Dec 2nd, 2009: A second look at the problem of consciousness