There isn’t a method. Lose everything. Let go completely. Use no energy to fight the storm. Drift. Then play with it.

—Alan Watts, Thusness

John Conway’s Game of Life, the cellular automata game

Life was devised in 1970 by John Horton Conway, a young mathematician at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. The game is played on a 2-dimensional grid. Each cell can be either “on” or “off”. Each cell has eight neighbors, adjacent across the sides and corners of the square. The Life rule can be simply expressed (in terms of the way it affects a cell's behavior from one generation to the next) as follows: If a cell is off and has 3 living neighbors (out of 8), it will become alive in the next generation. If a cell is on and has 2 or 3 living neighbors, it survives; otherwise, it dies in the next generation.