The other day, I bumped into these interesting (but sold out) “trading cards” from mysterious and delightful Imaginary Foundation. I immediately did a web search and found a remaining set ($18) at an e-tailer (they only had one deck left). They came today, and they’re really nice. It’s a shame they aren’t selling them anymore.
The idea was to collect 23 “giants of pattern recognition,” scientists, technologists, philosophers, even some pattern-hunting hardware (Big Blue, The Hubble Telescope). The packaging is simple and handsome and the 23 black, white, and shades of blue cards have a name/photo on one side and then baseball card-like “stats” on the reverse (a “Meta Pattern,” the big idea the person is known for, some factoids, famous quotes, published works, web resources, etc.). Each card also has a hole in the corner and you’re invited to peer through it, beyond the patten-seeker you’re looking at, to discover your own “meta patterns” on the other side. Some might find this silly, but I think the cards and their overall effect are charming and educational. I collect card games, trading cards, flash cards, tarot cards, etc., so I’m thrilled to add these to my collection. If you can scare up a deck, they’d make a swell Christmas present.