Seeds+T: The Art Of Scaling Is A Twisted Kolam

Scaling, it seems, is more than arithmetic and Art, it seems, is more than aesthetics. Meet Geoffrey West, professor at Santa Fe Institute who explores how the non-linearity of scaling affects organisms, cities and companies. And meet Shivoham, an engineer who shares how she got tangled in the Indian Art form Kolam (Rangoli) and how it takes her all the way from simple art to ritual, culture, math and cosmology.

Scaling and Systems: A Non-Linear Relationship
The year is 1962, and three scientists proposed to study the impact of the hallucinogen LSD on elephants. An elephant named Tusko was chosen. Now the question was how much LSD should be injected into Tusko, given that he weighed a massive 3,000 kg. A safe dosage for a cat was around one-tenth of a milligram per kg of body weight. Hence, the safe dose for Tusco would be 300 miligrams, or so the scientists concluded, given its weight. A shot of 297 milligrams was finally injected into the elephant. Tusko died one hour and 45 minutes later. The scientists basically made the mistake of assuming that the dosage for an elephant would follow a linear scale, which it clearly did not. Read Full Story »

Kolam - Computing and Cosmology
Kolams are curved line patterns drawn by the women of Tamil Nadu every morning in front of their houses after sprinkling water and cleaning the ground... Whereas the western approach to art, science, and math is based on a separate and independent existence of the material and the transcendental world, the Indian approach sees no such dichotomy. Indian art, including Kolam, is rooted in a sacred cosmology. Read Full Story »

'Be the Change' Idea: Perhaps we can equate linear scaling with growth and non-linear scaling with emergence/evolution. Find out where you want to grow and where you want to evolve in your life and ponder on what kind of scaling is appropriate for both. Meanwhile, wake up early in the morning, and like a talented Tamil woman, place rice flour as dots to make a square matrix and weave a Kolam pattern around those dots that might connect you with the universe.