N(N-1)/2

For N things, there's N(N-1)/2 possible connections.

It's weird to have a mathematical formula as your life philosophy, but there it is. I keep in mind that it doesn't matter how many new things I add to my life, it's how new things connect with and enhance what I already have. The brain doesn't grow by adding new neurons. It grows by making new connections.

How do I apply this math to my life?


Learning: When it comes to knowledge, breadth is as important as depth. Gotta learn things outside of my field. This year, I've finally been learning up on all the arts & humanities that "techies" like me usually dismiss. Everything I've learnt so far on psychology, sociology, anthropology, media studies, and literature has made me a better artist... and a better person. By increasing my breadth, everything I do increases in depth.

Craft: When I add new mechanics to a game, I make sure that mechanic interacts with most of the other mechanics. This allows for more emergent behaviour. When I write a story, I try to reuse/combine as many plot points and characters as possible, to make the story feel tighter. Maybe, I also really love tragicomedy since it lets me combine crying in sadness with crying in laughter.

Creativity: Videogames + Writing = Playable Posts. Dys4ia + The Walking Dead = Coming Out Sim 2014. Portal + Fahrenheit 451 + Black Mirror = Nothing To Hide. I combine my inspirations, across genres and mediums and topics, to create something originally derivative.

Friends: I'm not good at staying in touch with friends, really. That's something I'm trying to work on. But anyway, if connectionism is my philosophy, I should seek to connect my friends with each other, so that we're all mutual friends. Win-win-win all around.

Systems: This connection-first philosophy even, uh, connects to my broader views on technology, politics, and social organizations. I believe in decentralization. P2P, open source, local governments, markets, grassroots activism, flat hierarchies, etc. The theme of connectionism resonates throughout.


The Western scientific mind focuses too much on things, rather than how these things connect. Reductionist, rather than holistic. We ignore how social structures severely impact how individuals live, and vice versa. A focus on gathering more things, more resources, more humans, rather than making the most of what we already have.

Aaaand this silly little post on math ended up being about art, education, and society in general.

See? Connections!