Seeking Beauty

Jim al-Khalili describes the Beauty in Equality derived from disparate observations of nature and combined in beautiful equations. Is there anything like that in what we build for the internet? Can we have more of it?

Alan Kay and colleagues reduced computation to a slightly more complex version of the lambda calculus upon which they derived the modern computer user interface.

Objects + Primitives ⇒ Representation + Manipulation.

Carver Mead and colleagues reduced field-effect transistors and economies of scale to spatial design with colored pencils and email fabrication.

Materials + Fabrication ⇒ Circuits + Systems.

Fiber-optics and packet-switching enable networks of networks connecting all computers into a social medium.

Browser vendors and standards negotiations enable programs to spread by ecological principles.

Capital and markets enable the creation of new needs quickly satisfied while ignoring global problems.

I hope to find beauty comprobable to Kay and Mead as I rummage through available technology. But darker forces demand attention to details that seem contrary to my quest. Engineered disfunction from siloed interoperability to mechanical invasion of privacy confound everything.

I closed a request to simplify two wiki operations into one with an argument loosely based on my own sense of beauty. The abstractions I had developed didn't allow it. Was the request wrong or the abstractions weak? This is the residue left in the back of my mind. github