Archetypal Self-organized Systems

I want to see something like Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi, or Powaanisqatsi but with science. I imagine the title would be something like "Biological Cybernetics" but in a language not English. The gist : take high resolution footage of biological and technological processes, and group systems with common underlying dynamics into chapters.

Example chapters might include

  • swarms : birds, fish, ants, bees, locusts, robots, simulations, people, herds
  • dendritic growth : trees, neurons, cities, vasculature, coral, slime mold, fractures in pavement, erosion
  • vascular transport : dendritic growth, but zoom in on the things that move around inside
  • dividing systems : mostly just cellular life here, maybe some crystal growth, time-lapse industrial development
  • decay processes : oxidization, rot, death
  • pattern formation : animal coat patterns, chemical reaction diffusion systems, genetic patterning in embryos, cortical patterns
  • burning systems : fires, slowed down explosions, disease propagation in plant tissue, disease propagation in bacterial culture, disease propagation in society, certain brain waves
  • waves : water, air, brains, dunes, traffic, light, electrons, sound
  • oscillatory systems : planetary orbits, shifting seasons, tides, cycles of reproduction, day/night wake/sleep, breathing, heartbeat, cellular oscillations


  1. It's been 30 years since Cosmos. I think the time is right for a new "science is awesome!" show, a la Planet Earth or Life. Call it Universe.

    Finding the right narrator might be tricky. The only person I can think of off-hand is Leonard Nimoy, but that's too stereotypical. Maybe a woman, maybe with a vaguely exotic accent.

  2. I hear there was some show that might have involved


    but I seem to have missed it. perhaps too young or too old or no cable television

  3. With a mix of stock footage, good writing, and James Cameron tech, Feynman could easily be resurrected for tv to get people interested.

  4. Biffmotron: Dr. Olivia Judson (of "Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation"), perhaps? I think she's done voice work before. Of course this would be for values of "vaguely exotic" that include "English", but.

    I'll boost this signal and see if anyone's interested.

  5. Thank you octopod; ( when I think British and Science, I think of "Look Around You" )