Which made me remember Ken Perlin, whom I used to see at the more interesting conferences (when I went to them), along with his NYU posse. I dug up his site on his Academy Award for his noise generation function that has revolutionized computer graphics and animation; and then he has a nice online slide presentation called Making Noise that explains the whole history. I remember thinking that we needed a similar noise function for social activity in modeling of social network behaviors, but I don't know if anyone has done this yet... Chris Crawford, in his game engine design efforts? (Whatever happened to Chris, anyway?) The Maxis guys?