Stand at the edge of the rabbit hole, and peer inside:
Here's a latest obsessive thought of mine, borne (grown) out of playing around in the back yard: what would a model of the garden look like?
And not just the garden, but: what would a model of this tree look like?
The ash tree is unhealthy, the way ash trees are often unhealthy around here due to whatever disease afflicts them, and we're going to take it down. The leaves popped out late, and many branches have none at all. What is going on in a twig that sprouts a leaf? In a branch that sprouts a twig? In a trunk that sprouts a branch? In a root system that feeds a trunk? I assume these are at least somewhat solved problems. Every university has a department of agriculture, and understanding How Things Work, especially plants of all kinds, is surely something that they've studied and are refining continuously.
But I don't know it. And I don't really want to read about how things work, but fart around a little and observe things and build a model myself, and then feed in expert information as I go along. I can't get inside a plant and figure out how it works. I don't even have a particular interest in it. But I am interested in how the smaller models of plants themselves fit into a larger model as components, and how they start to interact with each other, how things emerge from the interactions, etc. Can you play that model forwards and backwards to see what happens? Let AI-sus take the wheel? Set up a game of SimGarden over the winter to inform what you plant in the spring and how you maintain in the summer and fall? Build models of plants that are interchangeable between garden models so that individuals can create and tweak plant models and share? Wasn't that a feature with SimCity ages ago, creating buildings and sharing them?
And so on. Outside—