Power Laws and an Apology to Sir Putts-a-lot

Sometime in I’d say 2000, I stated that Sir Putts-a-lot was uncreative or at least failed to express it.  I wouldn’t say he was offended but it’s not exactly a “howdy” either.  He mentioned the next day that he’d created a picture by drawing a large number of small circles.  He then went through in successive cycles and connected close dots and removing others to get a new field of dots.  I called this process uncreative and it’s taken me 7 years to realize I was wrong.

I’d failed to think through the ramifications of that process and I was failing to be sufficiently creative.  I wonder what would have occurred if new dots were added to open spaces.  This procession is the source of Conway’s Game of Life, at least in a somewhat primitive way.  A slightly educated guess also makes me think that dots would be distributed along a power law distribution.  A phenomenon that governs markets, sand grain size and a host of other shit.  The scale factor would depend on Sir Putts-a-lot and probably could have been used as a proxy of his mood.  The Boltzmann function sparked my curiosity of statistical physics as well as leading me to things I’d grow to realize I’d never understand any time soon.  Boltzmann was a scientist ahead of his time but sadly a man of his time.  Science mourns his departure but his is a tombstone I want to see before I die and simply says “S = K log W” (this was written before ‘ln’ became standard notation for natural logs).