charlie's blog

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I'm reading The Most Human Human and ran across the following:
I tend to think about large projects and companies not as pyramidal/hierarchical, per se, so much as fractal. The level of decision making and artistry should be the same at every level of scale.
I really like this way of looking at things, and it matches my personal experience very well. I can easily imagine our company this way. At large scale you can see big departments and projects and the decisions that guide those. Zoom in to the level of one department or project and you find more interactions and decisions, which have smaller significance, but which still take time and creativity to perform well. Zoom in even further and you find individuals, who are applying themselves to small portions of a problem space, making decisions and looking for elegant solutions to whatever bit of the problem they're working on. Every level matters.

I'll leave you with the following lyrics from Mandelbrot Set by Jonathan Coulton. The song really has nothing to do with the above (other than being about fractals), but it's fun.
Mandelbrot Set, you're a Rorschach Test on fire
You're a day-glo pterodactyl
You're a heart-shaped box of springs and wire
You're one badass fucking fractal
And you're just in time to save the day
Sweeping all our fears away
You can change the world in a tiny way


  • "The level of decision making and artistry should be the same at every level of scale."

    That quote really reminds me of a book I've been reading lately, "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins. He makes the case that the human brain works exactly like this. The same kind of processing goes on at all scales, low level or high.

    Whether recognizing an edge in a tiny portion of your field of view or identifying some abstract concept, the circuits have the same design, with similar amounts of input connections. They are just flexible enough to apply to different domains.

    By Blogger Roice Nelson, At May 16, 2013 at 9:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]