5. Essays in Exploration: Resisting Reduction

These essays were finalist selections in the 2018 Resisting Reduction essay competition and are in conversation with Joi Ito’s manifesto by the same name. As essays are published, readers are encouraged to share and engage with each article and the ideas put forward by their authors.


by Louisa Penfold
Feb 19, 2019
Exploring how the coming together of a new materialist approach to education with the experimental practices of artists and designers can open up expansive possibilities for children’s creative learning.
Feb 19, 2019
A transdisciplinary discussion of artificial intelligence, biomimicry, data science, and software engineering research. Can we frame the development of evolutionary intelligence in these terms?
Feb 07, 2019Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Decentralization is the process of dispersing power away from a central authority. It has never been possible on a global scale—until now. But can it foster abundance without excess, multiplicity without superfluity, and complexity without chaos?
by Saahil Jayraj Dama
Jan 22, 2019Updated: Feb 04, 2019
Today too many people are still deprived of basic amenities such as medicine, while current patent laws continue to convolute and impede innovation. But if allowed, AI can provide an opportunity to redefine this paradigm and be the catalyst for change—if.
by Matthew Claudel and Matthew Shafer
Jan 24, 2019
Techno-optimists on the vanguard of the so-called Singularity have given rise to a seductive machine: a networked society optimized for exponential growth. How do we manifest alternatives to reductive aggregation?
by Michael Andrea
Jan 17, 2019
Resisting reduction as a concept is inherently about the experience of being human. What is it to be human in the modern world? Are all reductions of this experience to be resisted? If not, which parts of the human experience would we want to reduce, or enhance?
Jan 10, 2019
Silicon Valley conveys a monolithic reliance on exponential presumptions of AI, resulting in Singularity. Consequently, as a collaborative system, does it promote herd behavior in favor of reductionism?


  • “How to Raise a Reductionist” by Andre Uhl and Ben Draper


  • “Playing Intelligence” by Michel Erler

  • “Gaming the System: The Role of Play in Creative Design” by Scott Penman

  • “Xenodesignerly Ways of Knowing” by Johanna Schmeer

  • “Defining the Dimensions of the ‘Space’ of Computing” by Weiwei Hsu and Hugh Dubberly

  • “A Genealogy of Perfect Thinking, Told in Four Parts” by Jeffrey St. Onge

  • “Entangled Flourshings: Ecology, Design and Resisting Reduction,” by Dan Gavshon Brady, James Pockson and Merlin Sheldrake

  • “I Want You to Want Me to Want You [and vice versa]: The Simple Complexity of Sexual Consent” by Nora Bateson

  • “Practical Paradoxes when Resisting Reduction” by Ben Tolkin