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DJ Patil pulls a two-foot-long metal bar from his backpack. The contraption, which he calls a double pendulum, is hinged in the middle, so it can fold in on itself. Another hinge on one end is attached to a clamp, which he secures to the edge of a table. “Now,” he says, holding the bar vertically, from the top, “see if you can predict where this end will go.” Then he releases it, and the bar begins to swing wildly, circling the spot where it is attached to the table, while also circling in on itself. There is no pattern, no way to predict where it will end up. While it spins and twists, with more velocity than I’d have imagined, Patil talks to me about chaos theory. “The important insight,” he notes, “is identifying when things are chaotic and when they’re not.”

Generation Flux: DJ Patil


The New York Times R&D Lab Explores How Content is Shared

OWNI published its thoughts on the ten most creative digital projects of 2011. Included is work from MIT’s Media Lab, independent artists and scientists, design firms and open collaborations.

Above, we have Cascade from the New York Times R&D department.


Cascade is a by NYTimes R&D department that allows precise analysis of the structures that underlie sharing activity on the web. Initiated by Mark Hansen and working with Jer Thorp and Jake Porway (Data Scientist at the Times) the team spent 6 months building the tool to understand how information propagates through the social media space. While initially applied to New York Times stories and information, the tool and its underlying logic may be applied to any publisher or brand interested in understanding how its messages are shared.

Take some time to click through to watch some inspiration.

(Source: futurejournalismproject)

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