The Art of Agile Leadership

by Venkat 03.12.2015

Like most of you, I have no idea what I am doing 98.3% of the time I make a decision. Of that slice of the pie, I am actively getting it not-even-wrong 93% of the time. I bumble through on the strength of the 5.3% of the time I get it right by accident, and […]

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Gardens Need Walls: On Boundaries, Ritual, and Beauty

by Sarah Perry 03.04.2015

Sarah Perry is a contributing editor of Ribbonfarm. This essay attempts to place ritual in the context of evolving complex systems, and to offer an explanation for why everything is so ugly and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. On Boundaries and Their Permeability Boundaries are an inherent, universal feature of […]

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The Mother of All 2x2s

by Venkat 02.25.2015

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I had made up the mother of all 2x2s — taxes vs. play/death vs. life — and that a large fraction of the models I’ve been playing with over the last couple of years, here on this blog, seem to fall neatly into (or are amenable to being […]

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A Dent in the Universe

by Venkat 02.18.2015

At higher levels of the Maslow hierarchy, imagination is a survival skill. At the apex, where self-actualization is the primary concern, lack of imagination means death. Metaphoric death followed by literal death of the sort that tortured artists achieve through suicide. Less sensitive souls, such as earnest political philosophers and technically brilliant but unimaginative mathematicians, seem […]

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What Is Ritual?

by Sarah Perry 02.11.2015

Sarah Perry  is a resident blogger visiting us from her home turf at The View from Hell. If we should inquire for the essence of “government,” for example, one man might tell us it was authority, another submission, another police, another an army, another an assembly, another a system of laws; yet all the while […]

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Refactor Camp 2015: Narrative

by Venkat 02.02.2015

It’s Refactor Camp time again for the fourth time.  As with the last three years, the event will again be held in the Bay Area over the first weekend in March.  This year, that’s the weekend of March 7-8 in San Francisco. Click here to register. The theme this year is narrative. Even though this […]

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The Heroine’s Journey

by Haley 01.28.2015

Haley Thurston is a resident blogger visiting us from her home turf at The Sublemon. What are women afraid of? Why do women matter? How are women useful? Do these questions have gender-specific answers? In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell says that a hero is “someone who has found or achieved or done something beyond […]

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Let’s Play! Narrative Discovery vs. Expert Guides

by Ryan Tanaka 01.21.2015

Ryan Tanaka is a resident blogger, visiting us from his home turf at The latest musical work that inspired this article can be found here. (Animated music video!) If you’ve been watching South Park’s recent episodes, you might have noticed YouTube commentator PewDiePie making a few cameos here and there near the top corners […]

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On the Design of Escaped Realities

by Venkat 01.16.2015

Human beings have this amazing ability to retreat from reality without knowing precisely what reality is, in which direction it lies, and how to solve the converse problem of deliberately approaching it. We have gotten so good at this game of retreat that we’ve even managed to define an entire frontier of virtual reality to […]

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Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture

by Sarah Perry 01.08.2015

Sarah Perry is a resident blogger visiting us from her home turf at The View from Hell. A selective sweep occurs when a new, beneficial gene mutation appears and quickly sweeps across a population, erasing the genetic diversity that existed prior to the sweep. Similarly, languages have “swept” across continents as the cultures they belonged […]

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