Bruce Eckel on Grass Farming
Update : (Hat-tip Folknology) Michael Pollan talk at TED
Update 2 : I wonder, actually, if "grass farming" could be the new "pattern languages"?
What I mean is, patterns gave us a new way of thinking about the architecture of large software systems, and in particular thinking about their dynamics.
It seems that if we take the idea of grass-farming seriously, we're really talking about understanding the symbiotic relationships between species (and lets translate that to software-systems / agents) and finding ways to tune the interactions between them for improved performance (or resilience if that's what we prefer).
It's a bold but simple metaphor which I think inspires a lot of productive thinking. Perhaps not as rich as Alexander's work, but still a powerful idea to muse on. And I can imagine people starting to document the various symbiotic interdependencies using patterns.