Watch 100 Randomly Ticking Metronomes Achieve Synchronicity

Dan Colman, Open Culture, Jan 13, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've shown smaller versions of the metronome phenomenon before, but this version with 100 separate and independent metronomes is spectacular. It's an illustration of synchronicity, the idea that autonomous but connected entities can self-organize. What makes synchronicity possible is the medium of connection, in this case the platform holding the metronomes, which responds in reaction to their movement. Notice that there is never anything like a signal that "we must synchronize"; each metronome exerts an independent and meaningless push against the platform as a consequence of its ticking to its own tune.

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