Jessica Kerr (known to computers everywhere as @jessitron) is a software developer, speaker, and symmathecist. (A symmathesy is a learning system composed of learning parts. To her, each software team is a symmathesy composed of the people on the team, the running software, and all of their tools.) @jessitron is another of those people who apply ideas from outside software to software, including in her role as a developer advocate at Honeycomb, a company that aims to make the workings of software visible to its developers. Were she not engaging, personable, and enthusiastic, she'd be scarily like me. This conversation is about C. Thi Nguyen's book Games: Agency as Art, whose blurb starts, "Games are a unique art form. Game designers don’t just create a world; they create who you will be in that world. They tell you what abilities to use and what goals to take on. In other words, games work in the medium of agency."
- C. Thi Nguyen, Games: Agency as Art, 2020
- Pandemic (cooperative board game), 2008
- Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow, 2019
- John Kay, Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly, 2010
- The "Farm to Tabor" podcast episode: "Donut science, cars, & grassfed beef", 2018
- James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, 1998
In the podcast, I mentioned classic English country gardens. I riffed a bit on Tom Stoppard's play "Arcadia". It "explores the relationship between past and present, order and disorder, certainty and uncertainty. It has been praised by many critics as the finest play from 'one of the most significant contemporary playwrights' in the English language. In 2006, the Royal Institution of Great Britain named it one of the best science-related works ever written." I cut the riff out because – embarrassingly – I couldn't remember the names of either the play or its author. From personal experience, I can recommend this full cast performance for a road trip. On that trip, we also listened to the Alzabo Soup podcast's multi-episode commentary.
Photo credit: me