Care to play asteroids?

I've been playing around with the examples available on paper.js. The controls for the game, if you're interested in playing:

space bar = random teleport
z = shoot
up arrow = forward
left/right arrow = turn
f = show stats

You'll have to click read more to begin playing.

Cultural Anthropology and Philosophy while waiting in line at Starbucks

I was in New York City a week ago. Before I went into work, I was waiting in line to order a coffee at Starbucks. Finally arriving at the front of the line I walk up to the register, but a man with a Middle Eastern accent jumps in front of everyone and shoves a hundred dollar bill in the cashier's face. He demands three espressos. Without going into detail about the confused and frustrated look on my face, while I walked to work I compared Middle Eastern and American culture. I was curious about their cultural approaches when it comes to reserving a table at a restaurant and ordering what you want at a market (in this case, a coffee shop).

Edward Hall in his book the Hidden Dimension observes we don't notice our own cultural norms until we come up against another culture with a different set of tacit rules. Having come up against a Middle Eastern interaction, I asked myself, what does the line represent in American culture? I think the answer to this question goes back to 1776 - standing in line means that everyone is created equal. It's a utilitarian solution to ensure everyone's needs and wants are of equal value.

The Middle Eastern man trying to order his espressos must have felt just as frustrated as me, trying to figure out why he couldn't order his espresso. My Iranian father occasionally expressed these frustrations at restaurants when he wasn't served immediately. Growing up, I had a difficult time understanding why he wouldn't make a reservation ahead of time. Instead, he would make a scene after hearing there's a two hour wait time when he arrived at the restaurant. Now that I'm 3000 miles away from where I grew up, Los Angeles, I feel like I have a new understanding for this part of Middle Eastern and American culture.

What do other people think, what does the line represent?

Presenting the Design Process at Parsons

I was graciously invited by a friend to speak to her design students about the most important thing I learned while studying design: the design process. All other tools I've learned in my short design career have been to support solving problems. The following slides and pictures show a story about how I communicated the design process to freshman and sophomore design students at Parsons.

During the presentation, I gave two examples of previous work experience, describing how I've understood the design process fitting within the work environment. I ended with a short design scenario, asking the students to identify the design problem and propose how they might go about researching, prototyping, and testing a solution to the design problem.

Visualizing Volume v3

I finally had a chance to write a math tool for TuvaLabs to visualize volume. You can see it live at this link, and it's also below. If you have any feedback or thoughts about other math tools that I should make, please leave a comment about it.

Source Code: Audio Visualizer with Processing and Minim

I was playing around with processing and the minim library without any goal in mind. The end result was a trippy audio visualizer that might work really well at dance clubs. Anyone know any DJs that might be interested?

I've set the visualizer to one song by Sufjan Stevens and another by Radiohead, so you can get a feel for how it responds to music. The code is waiting for microphone input and then turns the spectrum of sound into beautifully symmetric rotating and spinning circles.

I've uploaded the code to github in case anyone is interested in playing with it.

Fred Wilson speaking about Data Science, Competitive Advantage, Big Data and Other things

A great watch, if you have the time. What's particularly interesting is the discussion of competitive advantage around creating a system that aggregates openly available data. The advantage comes from creating a space for discussions to occur within your system, these discussions become privately held data. Then, these discussions can't be replicated by a competitor as easily, which keeps people coming back to your system.