Parable of the Polygons

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.54.02 AMParable of the Polygons is a “playable post” on how harmless choices can make a harmful world.

Nicky Case and I started working on this dynamic explanation of Schelling’s segregation simulator months ago. Little did we know that matters of systemic bias would be even more topical now.

It’s changed a lot as we struggled to make the unusual format work and the ideas come through. I mean, if there’s two subjects that get a really defensive and hateful reaction, it’s mathematics and social justice, so we figured we’d do them both at once.

The simplest design choices took weeks of trying different things. We hope this design, with small rhetorical examples integrated into the text and larger simulations breaking up sections, with cute little shapes and very explicitly stated rules/goals, with graphical double-sliders and changing percentages integrated into text, will seem as obvious to you as it does to us in retrospect. Also we put it in the public domain (creative commons zero).

So give it a read, or maybe a play!

edit: now available in spanish!