Linked List: October 2015

The Vignelli Canon #

Free e-book (PDF) from the great, late Massimo Vignelli:

In several teaching situations I remarked the lack of some basic typographic principles in young designers. I thought that it might be useful to pass some of my professional knowledge around, with the hope of improving their design skills.

It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying #

Glaser’s ‘It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying’ campaign aims to create a greater sense of urgency around climate change, moving away from benign language like “global warming”. Milton hopes to unite the climate change community under one slogan and one flag.

He originally designed a simple visual for posters and button badges, comprising a green disk obscured by black smoke. The graphic suggests an aerial view of the Earth with only a narrow band of life remaining.

The art that was created for the billboard shows a natural progression of the Earth where Milton describes the art by saying, “…symbolically, the disappearance of light seemed to be an appropriate way to begin.”

What is a Smart Contract? #

James Carlyle:

There are many definitions for smart contracts: my favorite (from recollection, Richard Brown) is

A smart contract is one where the control of assets is managed by a computer

  1. Smart contracts are executable business logic and data, written in a computer language
  2. Smart contracts can run on a public block-chain / distributed ledger that is de-centralised
  3. The block chain is secure.
InterPlanetary File System #

The most exciting thing I learned about during the Heroes vs. Hackers hackathon this past weekend. Good to see bright young people thinking in the long term.

Life is a Braid in Spacetime #

Max Tegmark:

However, the most interesting property of your spacetime tube isn’t its bulk shape, but its internal structure, which is remarkably complex. Whereas the particles that constitute the Moon are stuck together in a rather static arrangement, many of your particles are in constant motion relative to one another. Consider, for example, the particles that make up your red blood cells. As your blood circulates through your body to deliver the oxygen you need, each red blood cell traces out its own unique tube shape through spacetime, corresponding to a complex itinerary though your arteries, capillaries, and veins with regular returns to your heart and lungs. These spacetime tubes of different red blood cells are intertwined to form a braid pattern as seen in the figure “Complexity and Life” which is more elaborate than anything you’ll ever see in a hair salon: Whereas a classic braid consists of three strands with perhaps thirty thousand hairs each, intertwined in a simple repeating pattern, this spacetime braid consists of trillions of strands (one for each red blood cell), each composed of trillions of hair-like elementary-particle trajectories, intertwined in a complex pattern that never repeats. In other words, if you imagine spending a year giving a friend a truly crazy hairdo, braiding the hair by separately intertwining all their individual hairs, the pattern you’d get would still be very simple in comparison.