Sometimes maths can make a very clear point about a complicated subject.
Vi Hart, internet mathematician, has worked with games designer Nicky Case to put together this lovely playable blog post, Parable of the Polygons. It’s based on a mathematical model by economist Thomas Schelling, and it’s about social behaviour, and how personal bias, even in small amounts, can lead to much greater systematic bias and segregation on a large scale. Nothing can explain it as well as itself, so play through each of the steps and see how the maths works for yourself.
Vi has herself been surprised at how strongly positive the reaction to the project has been – despite being maths-based, and a possibly slightly critical comment on all of our own attitudes, it’s had a huge amount of attention on Twitter, and all the feedback she’s had has either been positive, or a feature request.
The post has already been translated into Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, and Github users with other languages would be welcome to chip in. It’s all available for forking on Github.