If you can get through the paywall, definitely read the New York Times article on the late mathematician John Conway; The lasting lessons of John Conway's Game of life.
The game was simple: Place any configuration of cells on a grid, then watch what transpires according to three rules that dictate how the system plays out.
Birth rule: An empty, or “dead,” cell with precisely three “live” neighbors (full cells) becomes live.
Death rule: A live cell with zero or one neighbors dies of isolation; a live cell with four or more neighbors dies of overcrowding.
Survival rule: A live cell with two or three neighbors remains alive.
What an amazing man and what an incredible game he developed. Pertinent on so many levels, from math and the aesthetic to the social sciences.
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