Gnarly CAs:

Cellular Automata for Pattern Creation

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Autonomous software bots can create complex, colorful digital patterns. You just have to tell them what to do.

By Rudy Rucker

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Cellular automata (CAs) are single-celled digital life forms that grow inside computer memory like bacteria, creating complex, beautiful patterns that you can copy-paste onto web pages and even onto clothing. They’re easy to make, because they literally make themselves.

I find CAs fascinating in the same way that I used to love lava lamps — or blobby analog light shows in ...

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