I'm Samuel Arbesman, a scientist and writer.

I spend my time trying to catalyze the adjacent possible. I think a lot about the science of complex systems and the eldritch technologies that surround us, and love to find unexpected collisions between disparate ideas.

I’m the author of Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension and The Half-Life of Facts. My writing has been called "delightfully nerdy" by the Wall Street Journal.

I’m Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital. I'm also a Senior Fellow of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder and Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation.

In my spare time, I build tools for creative thought and serendipity, such as Blink Microscope and Digital Humanism. I also made the Overedge Catalog.

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Sign up for my newsletter, where you can stay on top of my writing and projects, and also follow along as I work out the ideas I’m currently thinking about. Be prepared for science + technology + wonder.


Want to share something interesting? You can reach me via email at sam@arbesman.net

Selected Writing


My Erdos number is 4, due to my coauthorship with Jon Kleinberg, and my Bacon number is 1, due to my appearance as an extra in the documentary Connected: The Power of Six Degrees, which features Kevin Bacon. This means my Erdos-Bacon number is 5, one of the lower such numbers in the world of science.

On the side, I have coined a new word, named an asteroid, and created an eponymous constant. I am also responsible for the Milky Way Transit Authority subway map.

I’m a product of HyperCard, Martin Gardner, science fiction, and LEGO.