Langton’s Ant – Hex pattern

Langton's Ant - 6

Click here to see it running.

Mostly similar to the previous Langton’s Ant experiment, this one uses a hexagon-ish algorithm instead of a quad. Because I am using square pixels to draw the results, it isn’t precisely a hexagon, but it is close enough to get the point across. Actually, the “ant” view is quite a bit more interesting than the heatmap view.

Click the Flash movie to toggle between the views.

Langton’s Ant with Heat Map

Langton's Ant Heat Map

Click here to see it in action.

This is an update to the previous Langton’s Ant experiment. For this one I have added a heat map which shows the frequency with which the “ant” visits each cell in this grid. The more visits to a cell, the “hotter” the color. Click the application to toggle between the ant view and the heat map view.

I am really enjoying playing around with this thing. I have “hex” and “oct” variations (the above is a “quad”) waiting in the wings, and am exploring what it will take to make a 3d version, which hopefully I will have done this weekend.

I Am A 39-Year Old Fanboy

Neal Stephenson reading from Anathem

Neal and me

The bald fella with the big facial hair is Neal Stephenson, author of many wonderful books including Cryptonomicon – my freshly-signed copy of which he is holding – and Anathem, which is his latest book. He was at Schuler Books and Music on 28th Street yesterday for a reading and Q-and-A session. He was very personable, if quite tired-out from the book tour, which has taken him all over the country in a fairly short amount of time.

During QA, I asked him what he thought the next Age might be, in the context of the ages he described in his early novel, Interface  (A run-down of those ages is here). He got a funny look on his face and said “You’re asking me to predict the future.” Then he went on to opine that people nowadays seemed to be increasingly afraid of anything of significant complexity, and they were looking for simpler lives. One way they (we) are doing this is to latch onto people with powerful personalities and let them lead the complicated lives while we follow safely in their wakes. This is an observation toward which I will need to direct some significant thought.

After I finish reading Anathem.

Langton’s Ant, Reboot

Langton's Ant

Click here to run the ants.

Another Cellular Automaton experiment. The rules for this one work as follows:
0. Place an ant on a grid.
1. check the color of the square the ant is on.
2a. If the square is red, turn it black and turn to the left.
2b. If the square is black, turn it red and turn to the right.
3. Move forward one square and repeat.

No interaction here; it will do the same thing every time you visit.

If you are patient, some interesting things begin to happen around iteration 10,000.