Design Accountability

As an adult, I too shamed those who are naive.  I too lost a certain respect for lofty words anchored in hope. I also sought a religion of concrete and substantive vows.

Until I ran out of options.
Some dreams have substance. 

Some dreams have mass.

They exist at that turning point. They grow in patches of fire that burn our fears. They are watered by tears that do not fall. 

There is a physical form to those dreams. Those dreams we pull on like rope when that waking hour work jeers at us. Those dreams that we lean in on like that rope pugilists square their fortunes in. Those dreams that sound like a familiar voice on our side of rope tugging along with us.

No, our world is still made of blood and those thirsty to taste it. But there are dreams that can silence heart beat if listen.

Big ideas with purpose and sweat nurturing have depth and volume. There is a weight to dreams we design with accountability.

Dreams big enough to sail to moons on. If only we trust them enough to sacrifice our small steps towards them.

Chladni Figures: Amazing Resonance Experiment

I was watching that new Rings of Power show, and the opening credits have these abstract shapes forming and reforming in sand. They seemed strangely familiar, and I suddenly remembered I'd seen them before, they're Chladni figures! (1/x)

Because Tolkien's legendarium has all those fictional writing systems, you might think they're just, y'know, magic runes or whatever. And some are sort of familiar, like this tree maybe? But most are abstract, and strangely organic. (2/x)

But I somehow remembered seeing these before, in Ernst Chladni's 1787 classic, Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klanges! I saw it for the first time when the @PublicDomainRev featured it- (3/x)

And they are organic, because it's a natural phenomenon! Sand really will form these patterns when the surface its on resonates at the right frequencies, which is what Chladni was studying (building on an earlier discovery by Robert Hooke).

It's really magical to see it happening live, these complex shapes seem to just form out of nowhere. Here's a real Chaldni figure produced with a violin bow:

As I understand it, the sand gets jostled around by the vibrating sections, but along 'nodal lines', it doesn't vibrate, so the sand settles there. You're sort of seeing a cross-section of the wave vibrating the plate.

But so yeah compare that video of the real Chladni figure forming with the show's credits (here's a sample), and I think it's clearly what they're trying to evoke-

I think this is a surprisingly cool deep cut, and spot-on thematically. In Tolkien's legendarium, the creator god Ilúvatar sort of creates the world out of music. The beauty of these figures is just a physical manifestation of the harmony of the 'Music of the Ainur'?

I'm honestly amazed something so symbolic and thematic made it into production past the Amazon studio execs, who presumably were like "we're thinking something Game of Thrones-y? Maps and all that?"
So, well done to whoever was responsible for it!

Well, now I *do* know who was responsible for it! The studio Plains of Yonder put the sequence together, the creative director was kind enough to respond. And their site provides some background as well, check it out-

It seems the prompt they received was "simple, stark and beyond anything we would have thought of" and not, as I alleged, "something Game of Thrones-y, maps and all that". But I was right about the music of the Ainur at least!

Originally tweeted by Alexander King (@LiterallyAKing) on September 11, 2022.