Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fractal Time

I haven't thought about fractals in a long time. Here is a picture of one. Real purdy, ain't it? Amazing that something so pretty could be a mathematical wonder. And I have to ponder this: What makes a fractal so appealing? According to Wikipedia, a fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity. A mathematical fractal is based on an equation that undergoes iteration, a form of feedback, based on recursion. Because they appear similar at all levels of magnification, fractals are often considered to be infinitely complex in informal terms." Huh?

A fractal, at its core, is a repetition of a pattern over and over again, in the exact same sequence. And one fractal gives birth to a smaller but identical fractal, theoretically to infinity. Do you see the left end of the fractal above? If you were to magnify that a million times, it would look just like the swirl from which it grew. Slowly drifting off into eternity on a teensy, tiny scale.

If I were to have a fanciful theory of fractals, it would be fractal time theory. No, I am not a mathematician or a physicist, so I have no intimate knowledge of fractals. But the concept is fascinating as a rich source of pseudo-science, real science and fantasy.

What if we are all one on never ending procreative series of fractals? What if everything that has happened, has happened many times before and will happen countless times again? And what would happen if an anomaly founds it's way into the equation, throwing the pattern off-kilter?

Sometimes, I like to think that everything has happened before (ie. deja vu) and sometimes I like to think that a glitch in the programming can lead to another set of beautiful diagrammatic, mathematical equations.

Either way, I am surprised time and time again, life and life again. I think each person has their own fractal, each community, country, world. And to really mix my science, math and science fiction, every once in a while a free radical comes along to bump against your fractal causing it to change in unimaginable ways.



The Flower of Scotland said...

This fractalization of how we think the world is comes not upon us as a new thing.

In William Blake's poem, “Auguries of Innocence,” where the poet writes of being able to see “a World in a grain of sand” we have a poetic insight into the holographic nature of reality. The late physicist, David Bohm, articulated his theory of reality within the ambit of these terms.

A hologram is a picture taken using lasers to illumine the object being photographed; the distinguishing feature of the hologram is that no matter into how many pieces you cut the picture, each piece contains the whole of the picture. This view of reality harkens at least as far back as Anaxagoras in western philosophy and is my own preferred view of reality. Indeed, I believe that each of us is the presence of the whole because we are the temple of the Presence of the Whole, the Mighty I AM Presence, God.

We can look into a grain of sand and see infinity because we can only see what we already are; similarly, we see love, beauty, and truth for the same reason. What "evil" we see is owing to our inability to realize our own unity and wholeness in consciousness; we see ourselves as fragmented and, accordingly, see that same fragmentation, imperfection, and incompleteness in the world.

Blessings on your curiosity.

Immagaddus said...

I probably will get a copy from my mates sister in London.
I look forward to read it over the Christmas.

Take Care.