When publishing on the Web, I feel a tension between (1) targeting my writing streams to specific audiences versus (2) allowing all dimensions of my interests coexist in one place. For example, most of my followers are likely expecting ideas on product management. If I were to publish something different on Medium, maybe some readers would reclassify my stream as noise. Yet, I hold the fantasy that a small fraction of my followers will follow the deeper, more obscure threads that link product management to my interest in maze design (see Why I Draw Mazes). Acting on this delusion, I’d like to share with you my recent labyrinth drawing, “A Brain Scaled by a Machine.”
I’ve been drawing mazes since my childhood, but I feel this labyrinth breaks into new territory for me. On the surface, it may look like a large, complex, free-hand drawn maze. However, I created this labyrinth (it’s a “labyrinth” because it contains no choices or dead-ends) by creating only two maze forms that repeat across the grid at different rotations.
The maze was inspired by the evolving interplay between humans and machines. We often see humans identify jobs for computers to perform. However, I believe we’re going to increasingly encounter the inverse: systems where machines identify problems for humans to solve. The labyrinth plays with the concept by placing human touch, a free-hand drawn maze, within the larger context of a formal structure. The human contribution is scaled through automated repetition and transformation.
If you have any feedback on whether you’d like to see more or less of this type of post, please let me know!