This is Life, a simple computer game designed by John Conway in 1970. It has three rules:
– Birth rule: An empty, or “dead,” cell with precisely three “live” neighbors (full cells) becomes live.
-Death rule: A live cell with zero or one neighbors dies of isolation; a live cell with four or more neighbors dies of overcrowding.
– Survival rule: A live cell with two or three neighbors remains alive
It has fascinated people for years.
”I first encountered Life at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 1978. I was hooked immediately by the thing that has always hooked me — watching complexity arise out of simplicity.
Life ought to be very predictable and boring; after all, there are just three simple rules that determine the position of some dots on a grid. That really doesn’t sound very interesting until you start tweaking those rules and watching what changes.
Life shows you two things. The first is sensitivity to initial conditions. A tiny change in the rules can produce a huge difference in the output, ranging from complete destruction (no dots) through stasis (a frozen pattern) to patterns that keep changing as they unfold.”
– Brian Eno