Imaginary Foundation's All-Star Pattern Seekers Trading Cards

Cards Grid
Our friends at the Imaginary Foundation have just published a wonderful set of trading cards featuring their favorite big thinkers and sensemakers. The All-Star Pattern Seekers Trading Cards "pay tribute to 23 giants of pattern recognition -- pathfinders and ideanauts whose shadows loom large across three millennia of discovery." Included are the likes of Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, Marie Curie, James Lovelock, Hubble Telecope, Joseph Campbell, and many others. Click the image above to see them all. The set, in an embossed box, is $18. Also available is a new t-shirt design: "To understand is to perceive patterns." Each shirt includes 7 of the trading cards. Imaginary Foundation



  1. @Davep:
    The pattern I’m perceiving is 1 woman, 2 machines, and 21 men. And not one of them non-white. Good job, Imaginary Foundation!

  2. U.S. right wing demands a 24th card be added featuring St. Ronald of Reagan begin in 5….4….3….2…

  3. At first, I see nothing. But now I have had my mushrooms, and I see the Apocalypse.

    I always see the Apocalypse. So there is probably no cause for alarm.

    Unless I’m right. That does happen from time to time.

  4. I’m interested in hearing who would be in other people’s personal sets of cards… Mine wouldn’t necessarily be “pattern seekers,” but anyway: Andy Warhol, William S. Burroughs, Jacques Vallee, JG Ballard, Brion Gysin, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Timothy Leary, PT Barnum, Stewart Brand, RU Sirius… I better stop while I’m a head. ; )

  5. Are they trading cards if you buy them as a set? Shouldn’t you get one with every chocolate frog and have to actually trade your duplicates to make a complete set?

  6. Mendeleev please.
    Saw the pattern and used it to predict the discovery of, and the properties of previously unknown elements.

  7. #5 David Pescovitz,

    Benoit Mandelbrot, Georges Braque, Joseph Beuys, Bridget Riley, Richard Feynmann, Martin Gardner, Buckminster Fuller, Daniel Dennett, Philip K Dick, Alfred Jarry, Samuel Beckett, Ludwig Wittgenstein, William Blake, Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci, R D Laing, Eric Satie, John Cage, Robert Hooke, Marcel Duchamp, Mark E Smith, David Hume, David Lindsay, Thomas Pynchon, Alexander Rodchenko, Sigmar Polke, Arnold Geulincx.

  8. Evariste Galois – group theory

    William Kingdon Clifford, FRS – Clifford algebra (the algebra of physics, in particular the Dirac theory of the electron), proposed that mass and energy are curvatures of space more than 30 years before Einstein

    Richard Feynman – Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, Feynman Lectures, nanotechnology, etc.

    Claude Shannon – information theory

    Jagadis Chandra Bose, FRS – inventor of radio, millimeter-wave remote-control in the 1890s

    Carl Friedrich Gauss – the greatest mathematician

    Robert Hooke, FRS – discoverer of cells and much else

    Douglas Hofstadter – author of Godel, Escher Bach

    Benjamin Franklin, FRS

    Robert Anton Wilson – uncategorizable writing

    Samuel Delany – SF writing

    Gene Wolfe – fiction

    K. Eric Drexler – molecular nanotechnology

    Neal Stephenson – writing

    Charles Stross – SF writing

    Rudy Rucker – SF writing

    Greg Egan – SF writing

    John Brunner – wrote the most accurately predictive SF novel, The Shockwave Rider

    Rene Magritte – painting

    M. C. Escher – prints

    Leonardo da Vinci – drawings, inventions, physics investigations

    Gottfried Leibniz – mathematics and philosophy

    Epicurus – the most scientific of the early Greek philosophers

    I’m getting tired, but need to mention:
    Homer, J.S. Mill, Montaigne, Jung, Pascal, Spinoza, Mark Twain, Lewis Caroll, Scott Adams, Bill Watterson, George Carlin, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Imhotep, and John Taylor Gatto

  9. @12

    Rosalind Franklin was not actually working for Watson and Crick. Also, her writings indicate that she was already aware of the structure of DNA by the time Watson and Crick were offered a sneak glance at plate 51. So really, shouldn’t she maybe get a card, herself? Technically, she would have been eligible for the Nobel prize if she hadn’t died five years prior to the decision to award it to Watson and Crick.

  10. How ’bout Aristotle?

    Figured out the basic pattern of narrative structure that is the foundation for much of western literature / theater / film / poetry / music.

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