“I am a citizen of the world, known to all, and to all a stranger” 

Chris Crawford’s Random Ruminations on Irrelevant Topics


Recent additions:

August 19th: The Rocket Science prototype game is operational again. Anybody want to finish it?
August 10th: Three Formats for Information Presentation
August 9th: A Furious Rant Against WordPress
August 2nd: Too Many Tasks
August 1st: Elizabeth Gattermann
May 29th: Forty years of failure
May 22nd: A Solution to the Fermi Paradox

May 14th: Fiction: Pastim
April 19th: Plan B for interactive storytelling.
April 17th: Burning a slash pile to reduce the risks of a wildfire
April 16th: Whither This Poor Pilgrim? My website manager has been abandoned by its publisher, and I’m screwed 
April 9th: Two Kinds of Men
April 5th: Crawford’s laws of software design
March 16th: How to build a safe Internet
March 13th: Essays I wrote elsewhere: Aging Programmers, Against Universal Suffrage, and A 21st Century Economy
March 7th: Complexity is destroying civilization
March 5th: Fun in the snow, along with some serious danger. 
February 20th: I’ve run into some celebrities in my time.
February 18th: Pejorative gender labels
January 27th: I am offering Version 2.0 of my course on making computers a medium of artistic expression
January 15th: The March of Senility, a grand project brought low by senility

December 28th: Numbers and Meaning
December 27th: Science fiction from Roman times: True History, by Lucian of Samosota
December 17th: an interesting observation in a parking lot.
December 2nd: Sentences are fundamental to interactive storytelling. Stop trying to make movies.
November 22nd: Google Maps idiocy
November 11th: a short piece on the belief in the afterlife that raises some powerful questions.
October 29th: a sad tale of prejudice among academics
October 26th: a depressing essay on The Politics of Anger
October 24th: I have now finished the first twelve chapters of a course I’ll be offering over Skype
June 27th: an interesting hypothesis on The Evolution of Stories
June 20th: I deliberately practiced nonconformity as a teenager to strengthen my resistance to social pressure.
June 13th: Why I am ending further work on interactive storytelling… with an interesting ending.
May 31st: an important essay on the role played by storytelling in cognition
May 9th: Oddities: Words Beginning with “sn” an unfinished set of observations.
April 26th: I have written a pessimistic assessment of the summit between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim.
April 6th: last August I wrote a series of essays on the reason why we can’t design for computers. I didn’t finish it so I forgot about it. But there’s a lot of useful material in there, some of which I have presented elsewhere. Now I am rescuing them from their dusty crypt:

Why Software Sucks
What is the Essence of Computing?
Why We Don’t Understand Computers
The Language of Process
A Simple Example

April 3rd: another essay in the How to Think series: Greeks Were Freaks
February 26th: a fun-filled essay that will leave you rolling on the floor laughing: death
February 21st: What is the meaning of life? Here’s an answer you wouldn’t expect.
February 10th, 2018: announcing my webinar course: How to Think.
January 14th, 2018: An essay on my favorite movies, along with an explanation of WHY they are my favorites.
January 4th, 2018: A new design diary for Sappho, the general-purpose encounter editor

November 13th: The American economy must shift radically
November 5th: Here’s what is holding back both entertainment software and educational software: Mathophobia
September 25th: an essay on intellectual integrity guaranteed to infuriate half of its readers
August 23rd: My experiences with the total eclipse
August 17th: The most idiotic user interface design I’ve ever seen!
August 8th:  Mirror neurons, empathy, and joy
July 29th: an essay explaining the profound difference between Chinese and Western technologies
June 20th: A plea
June 13th: Version 1.00 of the Encounter Editor, with a proper user manual, is ready.
May 31st: The Encounter Editor is now available for download!
April 6th: A trip to Italy
March 1st: Finally a new essay: The Fall of Homo Sapiens. Fun, fun, fun!
January 29th: An Existential Controversy
January 19th, 2017:  
The costs of climate change, in personal terms
January 7th, 2017: Roughing It, a tale of grit, courage, and dirty underwear

December 25th: book review: The Sixth Language, by Robert K. Logan
December 23rd: book review: Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
December 10th: The crisis of legitimacy in America
November 13th: How California (and other states) can Legally Secede from the Union
November 9th: The American Century is over.
November 6th:  Book review: The Mind in the Cave, about prehistoric cave art.
November 1st: A new strategy for Siboot
October 16th: Going to Mars is a bad idea. We could never establish a self-sustaining colony there.

October 13th: The “One Size Fits All” solution to our political problems
October 13th: Three quick book reviews
October 9th: design notes on how to calculate threat in Siboot.
October 8th: why I bury marbles.
September 30th: an essay on the long-term social forces that bode ill for the survival of civilization
September 25th: Wondering where I’ve been for the last few months? In Lupron Land.
September 22nd: an interview on YouTube.
July 4th: Did I anticipate “deep learning” AI 40 years ago? Read about it and decide for yourself.
June 26th: an Ancient Wargaming Computer, circa 1976
May 28th: Should the Ontology of Interactive Storytelling Recapitulate the Phylogeny of Human Social Relationships?
May 7th:
another book review: Religion and the Decline of Magic, describing the decline of superstition in England
May 3rd: book review: Homo Mysterious, about oddities in human evolution.
May 1st: an explanation of why instructions for any specific trait are spread throughout the genome.
April 13th: a new book review: The Closing of the Western Mind, about early church history
April 12th: an important new essay: The Algorithm is the Message
March 6th: another book review: Debt, The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber. A real stinker.

March 4th: book review: Europe Between the Oceans, by Barry Cunliffe
February 20th: What is this rock? A strange rock I found on my land.
February 5th: a demonstration of earth-based heating
January 23rd: a proposal for a course this summer explaining my mental regimen: How to Think
January 2nd, 2016: a new essay in the History of Thinking: Astrology

December 26th: a new Skunkie award to Verilux for a device equipped with a difficult-to-use power switch.
December 21st: a different take on Star Wars Episode VII. I hated it.
December 17th: book review: The Sleepwalkers, by Arthur Koestler, about the onset of the scientific revolution
December 15th: a long and weighty essay on the role of social identity in human society
December 15th: I have posted on YouTube a version of the lecture I gave on interactive storytelling. 
December 5th: travelogue report on my trip to Copenhagen to deliver a keynote lecture at the ICIDS conference
November 24th: book review: The Copernican Revolution, by Thomas S. Kuhn
November 9th: Re-reading old favorite books
October 18th: Comparing modern computing technology with its ancestors — The Bad Old Days
October 5th: A bit of physics: Information is the Reality of the Universe
September 19th: An addition to the History of Thinking: the role of the Western educational system.
September 6th: How’s this for mundane: a motor speed measuring circuit. But there’s a twist.
July 16th: More than 40 years ago, I saw Pluto. Here’s how I did it.
April 29th: Software is Getting Worse
April 14th: Does an Excursion Add to or Replace an Emotion?
March 29th: Dreamspace animations in Siboot.
March 22nd: book review: Dave Barry in Cyberspace. Twenty years old and still funny, because computers still suck.
March 15th: New Face Expressions
February 27th: the use of pupils in Siboot
February 25th: Alterations to the Face Editor
February 21st: Seven WordSockets
February 14th: Moods versus Emotions
February 12th: Should I dump beads?
February 7th: Ways of detecting lies in Siboot
February 6th: Selfies by Special People, and a new Siboot essay.
February 4th: book review: 1493, describing the Columbian Exchange.
January 14th: book review: Civilizations and a Siboot essay: Pushed Back
January 12th: More agonizing over deals
January 11th: What are the costs of a deal?
January 10th: Violence begets Violence
January 9th: Details of Deal-Making
January 7th: An Interesting Question of Design Style
January 6th: Redesigning Deal Structures

December 23rd: The Next Round of Verbs for Siboot
December 16th: Busy, Busy, Busy
December 8th: I Hate Java, Volume XXIX
December 5th: Anecdotes (nee ‘interstitial stories’) in Siboot
December 3rd: I got dem ol’ management blues with Siboot
November 30th: simplifying the interstitial story coding system
November 29th: book review: The Lever of Riches, by Joel Mokyr, about technological and economic progress
November 26th: More on faces
November 25th: Programming mood shadings
November 24th: Interactive storytelling’s time has come (I think)
November 22nd: a fascinating possibility has opened up from a consideration of a larger problem.
November 19th: book review: Louder than Words, about embodied simulation as a basis for thought.
November 18th: Blacklisted by the Game Developers Conference!
November 18th: the second draft of the Interstitial Story Markup Language
November 14th: Siboot! It’s alive!
November 12th: some ideas inspired by the television show Downton Abbey
November 11th: book review: The Recursive Mind, by Michael C. Corballis, about a powerful human ability.
November 11th: the algorithm for dream combat turns out to be easier than I expected.
November 7th: two pieces about authoring interstitial stories for Siboot plus a sample interstitial story
November 6th: Interstitial Stories
November 5th: The Revolt Against Modernity is the underlying force behind our current political battles.
November 4th: Mechanics of Lies and A Modest Proposal for Siboot
October 30th: A brutal decision for Siboot: Answers are where you find them
October 28th: a new project plan for Siboot
October 26th: I have completely revised the presentation of my old Balance of Power book.
October 26th: Reconsidering the project plan for Siboot
October 23rd: Cleaning up the Siboot novel
October 22nd: How should I publish my books?
October 19th: A short answer to a common question: What is Interactive Storytelling?
October 18th: Rewriting the Novel. Good criticism is hard to find
October 16th: More on GamerGate: can I offer a constructive solution?
October 15th: Why seven species in Siboot?
October 13th: Siboot essay: Another Plateau
October 10th: two essays on gender issues: Women in Games and Misogyny
October 9th: The Next Plateau in Siboot
October 5th: another book review: The Man of Numbers, by Keith Devlin
October 2nd: Book review time: Information, by James Gleick
September 29th: Should I Dispense with Uncertainty?
September 28th: My Reach Always Exceeds My Grasp
September 25th: First experiment with face mood displays
September 24th: More on face displays
September 22nd: A radically different approach to face display
September 20th: Walking to the Moon with Siboot.
September 19th: Mr. Bear shows up for a video!
September 17th: Another ‘typical’ day working on Siboot
September 16th: a progress report on Siboot. See a screen shot and a transcript of the action!
September 14th: How to calculate uncertainty in Siboot P2 values
September 13th: book review: The Earth Moves, about the trial of Galileo
September 11th: Circumferentiality rears its ugly head again!
September 10th: book review: Apocalypse, about the obsession with fantasizing our doom.
September 10th: You can never have too many backups!
September 7th: Evaluating the merits of a deal in Siboot
September 7th: A new face design for Siboot?
September 6th: Book review: 1215: The Year of the Magna Carta
September 5th: Mr. Bear makes a grand appearance!
September 1st: Screwed Again by United Airlines!
August 12th: Does great art evoke stories?
August 11th: BNumbers are obsolete. Long live the Blend operator!
August 10th: book review: Spillover, about how viruses jump from animals to people and become deadly.
July 30th: A nice idea for Siboot: using perceptive ability as both an economy and a resource.
July 27th: yet another Siboot essay: More Stupid Screwups
July 23rd: Siboot essay: Whut the Hay-ell???
July 21st: Siboot essay: Tricky Problems with Auragon Counts
July 20th: book review: City of Fortune, by Roger Crowley, about the rise and fall of Venice
July 16th: another idiotic problem in Siboot
July 12th: How to Screw Up a simple technical problem in Siboot
July 7th: Plodding along with Siboot
July 7th: book review: The Sea and Civilization. ho-hum
July 2nd: an old newspaper clipping my brother found of a speech contest I competed in
July 1st: a political piece on professional climate change deniers
June 30th: Another snag with Siboot
June 29th: A Skunky Award to the entire computer industry
June 26th: want to know how bad a programmer I am? Read The Neanderthal Versus the Professor.
June 25th: a difficult algorithm for Siboot
June 22nd: book review: Reason and Society in the Middle Ages, by Alexander Murray
June 21st: the new Face Editor for Siboot art
June 13th: no surprise here: Sappho sucks
June 11th: back to the storyworld in Siboot
June 9th: an essay for The History of Thinking hyperbook, about the role of education in rationalism
June 8th: Huzzah! The first flight of Siboot!
June 7th: are irrational numbers possible?
June 5th: a new essay on paradigm shift in game design
May 31st: A student astronomy project
May 31st: Siboot: About that Rightmost Panel
May 30th: Culling my Library, a painful experience.
May 29th: A decidedly unsettling discovery with Siboot
May 27th: Back to Square One with Siboot stages
May 25th: The complexities of space and time in Siboot
May 24th: Some more display issues in Siboot
May 22nd: another Siboot design diary: Where to put the period?
May 22nd: an essay on Rejection of Science
May 21st:  Is interactive storytelling stuck?
May 18th: The terror of change in the code for Siboot
May 16th: book review: The Most Powerful Idea in the World, by William Rosen
May 14th: Knee-Deep in Digital Gore
May 12th: Day of the long knives
May 9th: A big change in the code for Siboot
May 8th:  How I got a job at Atari in 1979
May 7th: a new interesting person from history: Ludowicke Muggleton
May 6th: another Siboot diary
May 5th: 2D versus 1D Sentence Displays in Siboot
May 4th: A tough technical decision about Siboot
May 3rd: The Engineer Versus the Artist
May 2nd: a new screen layout for Siboot
April 30th: Siboot design diary: Mapping BNumbers to Quantifiers
April 29th: Siboot design diary: Crowdsourcing Desirabilities
April 28th: Siboot design diary: How quickly should the truth out?
April 26th: book review: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed, by Eric H. Cline
April 25th: A trip to New York City