3D in the Browser, Neurons in a Petri Dish, and the Beauty of Splines – Live and Learn #7
Welcome to this edition of Live and Learn. This time with a set of rules for life, work, and health, a paper on neurons living in a petri dish, a series of low-level networking tutorials, and more. Enjoy.
✨ Quote ✨
An artist writes for the same reason Da Vinci swang his brush: to capture the essence of life.
– Nik Göke
🪴 Projects 🪴
When you work and you forget how time passes, that's when you know that you are working on the right thing.
I've been forgetting time a lot lately, while building 3D demos on the web. It's amazing what one can do these days in a browser. The momentum that 3D has right now is incredible. And there's so much to learn. Only a handful of people shape the field right now. Hanging out on Discord servers, building awesome tools together. And all is out there, open-sourced, free for everybody to benefit from, and improve.
A little thing I built with this tooling: A 3D model viewer for @Quaternius's models.
If you want to dive into this ecosystem as well – the pmndrs github is the best starting point.
🖇️ Links 🖇️
Networking Tutorial Series by Ben Eater. The internet is a bunch of connected machines doing computations. But how does the underlying engineering work? How do we transmit information over thin strands of wire? Simply by making them switch on and off quickly? There is a hidden complexity here, that when peeled back shows an absolute engineering marvel. This video series dives into networking from exactly that engineering perspective, peeling back all the layers of complexity, one after another.
Neurons learning in a petri dish by Brett J. Kagan. People use real neurons in Petri dishes, to understand how brains work. Over time, they make the neurons in the dish learn how to play the game pong. Keep in mind, this is only a bunch of neurons on a plate. Yet, when linked together they can show goal-driven behavior and even play simple games. When reading this paper, it's not that hard to imagine that our mass of connected neurons can give rise to us – our emotions, imagination, and behavior.
The Continuity of Splines by Freya Holmer. Every letter of the text you read, is using a spline to be displayed. But what is a spline? And how does a computer draw text with it on a screen? It turns out that simple things – like drawing a curve on a computer screen – are a microcosm of their own. Filled with nuances, details, and things to learn. While watching this, shivers ran down my spine, as key concepts fell into place and the beauty of mathematics connected to how computer graphics work. Videos like this are rare.
Rules for Life, Health and Work by Nikita Loboev. My favorite rule is also the first rule: "Make. Learn. Write. Design. Share." This summarizes how I want to work and live. Creating beautiful, useful, and awesome things, then sharing them with the world. Nikitas page is a gold mine for triggering reflection and introspection. Because you can contrast the rules on the page, with your reactions to them, and thereby choose which rules to incorporate into your life as well.
🌌 Midjourney 🌌
Some underwater scene inspiration from Midjourney. I am trying to build something in the browser that has the same feel as these images. But it should be 3D and you should be able to move around. But getting the shaders right is difficult.
🎶 Song 🎶
Breathing Underwater by Hiatus Kaiyote.
I hope you found this newsletter useful!
Have ideas for improving it? Please let me know.