Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conway's "Game of Life"

Where is the Java? Trust me - it is coming. First, look what I found! A cool simulation of Conway's "Game of Life" on Youtube :

What is the Game of Life? If you don't already know what the Game of Life is, it is a sort of artificial simulation of life. It basically works exactly as the video above shows. A set of rules is specified in a square grid consisting of cells and based on these rules, the game evolves. It is a game in the sense that it is similar to the sorts of games (such as "Go" and "checkers") that you and I might play but it requires no players at all. Once you set up the initial configuration, the 'game' plays itself. The Game of Life was devised by the mathematician John Conway, and the rules of the game are the following three simple ones:

1. A dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell (birth).
2. A live cell with two or three live neighbors stays alive (survival).
3. In all other cases, a cell dies or remains dead (overcrowding or loneliness). 

As the video says, the Game of Life is a simple illustration of 'emergence', that is, the idea that the application of a few simple rules can generate complex systems. A Java applet simulation of the Game of Life is available here. It is quite fun to play around with this thing. You can start out with some of the patterns they have on the webpage and press "Go" on the applet to see how things evolve from there. You can create a number of complex patterns starting with very simple ones. Check it out if you get the chance.