Explorable Explanations

ENVIRONMENT ⇆ ECONOMY

A lot of people – on all ends of the political spectrum – believe it's the environment versus the economy. Climate versus capitalism. Mother Nature versus markets. I've run out of alliterations, but my point is: what if this isn't a zero-sum game? What if we could find win-win solutions – ways to…


LOOPY: A Post-Mortem

Loops changed my life. Three years ago, I picked up a copy of Donella Meadows' Thinking In Systems. The core idea of her book is this: we humans tend to think of the world in linear cause-and-effect – X causes Y, Y causes Z, and so on. But the world is…



Why Simulate?

When most people hear the word “simulation”, they probably think about The Matrix, and whether we're all living in a simulation or something. But real simulations are made for a purpose. They're created to figure out the past, improve the present, or explore possible futures. So the good news is,…


First Draft - I'd Like To Be A Machine

Back when I was a Computer Science student, stuck in my stress & sadness... I just wished I could kill my emotions, represented here as a fat gecko named Sticky. Why couldn't I be more like Spock or Sherlock? I'd be so much more efficient without all these darn emotions…


First Draft - Parable of the Polygons

The following is the very first draft of Parable of the Polygons, originally posted to a semi-secret Github Gist. I sketched it up shortly after meeting Vi Hart at the Explorable Explanations workshop. Compared to the final thing, a lot was removed: most notably, the shapist cartoons, and background information…


Explorable Explanations: The Plan

Okay, wow. The Explorable Explanations movement has been gaining a lot of traction in the last few months. Between my & Vi's Parable of the Polygons becoming a Games For Change finalist, the launch of Earth: A Primer, the Now I Get It! Jam, this Explorables round-up, and my launch…


I Do And I Understand

Okay, Confucius probably wasn't talking about videogames. Still, you don't learn how to ride a bike from a lecture. You get on that bike, fall down, and learn from your mistakes. You don't learn how to talk to people from a textbook. You reach out, open up, and let yourself…


Pop-Up Textbooks

The first pop-up books were not for children. They were meant for scholarly and academic audiences. The first question is... why would they do that? The first known book with paper mechanisms was created by Matthew Paris, a 13th century monk. His work, the Chronica Majorca, had a spinnable paper…


Explorable Explanations

Explorable Explanations. Interactive non-fiction. Active essays. Glogs. We never came up with a name for what we're doing, but at least we know we're not going to use "glogs", which is like blogs and vlogs, except it's glogs. This weekend, I attended a small 20-person workshop on figuring out how…