Make a Story Line Exponential

A story can be like life. At every moment it can diverge into multiple directions, creating an exponential story space, not a linear story line.

William P. Thurston and Jeffrey R. Weeks. The Mathematics of Three-dimensional Manifolds. Scientific American, pages 108–120, July 1984.

Tonight, I went to a lecture by mathematician Cedric Villani about John Nash.

The Institute for Figuring: Hyperbolic Plane. Increase the number of stitches in each row, the amount you increase by is the exponential rate. This one is made by Diana Taimina.

He mentioned exponential spaces and showed us a nice piece of crochet (demonstrating an exponential in hyperbolic space, which has more dimensions, as it’d be represented in euclidean space, which has fewer dimensions). It reminded me of the exponential story.

The exponential story

A user-generated story that, with each run, can go in any direction. It can even go backwards into prequels, the only limit being the chapters so far created.

Made by me while thinking. Every current chapter takes the place of a Chapter 1.

Each chapter can lead to any number of chapters

At the end of a video on YouTube, we see a selection of related videos. It’s apparently possible to define which videos appear in that selection. If we imagine videos as segments of a story, we get this:

1. I post a video online in which I tell a part of a story
2. You click to continue the story
3. You post a video with the next chapter of the story
4. My chapter and your chapter are now concatenated, joined up
5. As others add next chapters to the end of any video, or even to the beginning, an exponential story tree grows
6. At each view, viewers see a different route through the story tree

Disney bought the concept

Downgrading it to a linear written story added to by users. Lucky for us (art director Samy Ghoumane and me), it still won an award for the mechanics.

The exponential version was never used…

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