Stung Eye
Stung Eye

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A new processing sketch: The Seekers V2.0

As always, you will need to install Java For The Desktop to view the sketch. Versions 1.0 and 1.5 can be viewed here (dead link).

The Seekers are the result of my fascination with collective and swarm intelligence in the animal/insect world. The goal of each seeker is to locate an active gold mine (represented by yellow circles) and begin transporting the gold home (represented by the green square.) The goldmines shrink in size as they are depleted by the seekers. Depleted mines are replaced by new active mines which are spawned at a random location within the seekerspace.

There are three types of seekers:

  • Blue seekers randomly move through the seekerspace looking for mines.
  • Purple seekers know the location of a gold mine and are on there way to mine gold.
  • Red seekers are transporting gold home.

    A blue seeker can become purple in two ways:

  • Randomly stumble across a mine.
  • "Telepathically" receive a mine location from a friend.

    Each time a seeker arrives at a gold mine it will transmit the location "telepathically" to a certain number of friends. If these friends are within a specified call radius they will become purple and begin transporting gold home.

    The Seeker applet allows you to control the number of seekers, their telepathic call radius, the number of friends they will attempt to contact when they arrive at a mine, and the number of mines in the seekerspace. The parameters can be set my clicking and dragging the "handles" below the numbers they represent.

    Play around. Click on the seekerspace to reset. If your computer can handle it, I recommend at least 20000 seekers with 5 mines.

    Try setting the call radius around 200 (the width and height of the seekerspace is 400), with the number of friends set around 150. With these settings seekerswarms will begin to form, moving around the seekerspace devouring mines. These swarms are reminiscent of flocking birds or bee swarms. Emergence?


    Some related links:

  • Collective Intelligence in Social Insects

  • The Soul of the White Ant - Written in 1937 by Eugene Marais. A study of the termite community. The entire book is online.

    Widening the scope:

  • Noosphere Evolution and Value Metabolism (pdf)

  • The Metaweb - The Global Mind Just Got Smarter

  • The Transitioner - Collective Intelligence in the Economy (wiki)

  • Blog of Collective Intelligence - This fascinating blog is active once again.

  • The Psychology of Cyberspace

    Off Topic:

  • Wolfenstein 5K - The classic 3d shooter coded in 5K of javascript. (via

  • Blender3D - the first and only fully integrated 3D graphics creation suite allowing modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, realtime interactive 3D and game creation and playback with cross-platform compatibility. And it's Free!

  • Flux - Submit a 800x600 image to be displayed in a Toronto gallery installation.

  • Brendan Dawes - Interactive design, comment and exploration.

  • TrAnSfAtTy - Super models frolic inside a universe of meat, a paraplegic DJ priest... WTF?



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