You existed. You existed now as a fractal. Definition: A fractal is generally a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be broken into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. Maybe I was a fractal. Maybe the photographer was a fractal. Maybe we were all fractals.
I conceived, developed and applied in many areas a new geometry of nature, which finds order in chaotic shapes and processes. It grew without a name until 1975, when I coined a new word to denote it, fractal geometry, from the Latin word for irregular and broken up, fractus. Today you might say that, until fractal geometry became organized, my life had followed a fractal orbit.
There's a theory that says that life is based on a competition and the struggle and the fight for survival, and it's interesting because when you look at the fractal character of evolution, it's totally different. It's based on cooperation among the elements in the geometry and not competition.
One simple but powerful consequence of the fractal geometry of surfaces is that surfaces in contact do not touch everywhere. The bumpiness at all scales prevents that. Even in rock under enormous pressure, at some sufficiently small scale it becomes clear that gaps remain, allowing fluid to flow.
I started collecting aerial photographs of Native American and South Pacific architecture; only the African ones were fractal. And if you think about it, all these different societies have different geometric design themes that they use. So Native Americans use a combination of circular symmetry and fourfold symmetry.
I probably spend more time writing than reading science fiction. I find that science-fiction literature is so reactive to all the literature that's gone before that it's sort of like a fractal. It's gone to a level of detail that the average person could not possibly follow unless you're a fan. It iterates upon many prior generations of iterations.
Like a fractal, wetiko operates on multiple dimensions simultaneously-intra-personally (within individuals), inter-personally (among ourselves), collectively (as a species), as well as trans-personally (in a realm beyond our personal selves). Those afflicted with wetiko consume, like a cannibal, the life force of others-human and nonhuman-for private purposes or profit, and do so without giving back something from their own lives.
Enchanting is not the word that would immediately spring to mind when describing a play that deals with fractal geometry, iterated algorithms, chaos theory and the second law of thermodynamics, but it is a perfect fit for Tom Stoppard's astonishing 1993 play, which is as beautiful as it is brilliant. This is one Stoppard drama that you don't have to be Einstein to understand -- you can feel it as well as think it. (...) Breathtaking, exhilarating and deeply satisfying.
Cocoa-buttered girls were stretched out on the public beach in apparently random alignments, but maybe if a weather satellite zoomed in on one of those bodies and then zoomed back out, the photos would show the curving beach itself was another woman, a fractal image made up of the particulate sunbathers. All the beaches pressed together might form female landmasses, female continents, female planets and galaxies. No wonder men felt tense.
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Evolution has no foresight. Complex machinery develops its own agendas. Brains - cheat. Feedback loops evolve to promote stable heartbeats and then stumble upon the temptation of rhythm and music. The rush evoked by fractal imagery, the algorithms used for habitat selection, metastasize into art. Thrills that once had to be earned in increments of fitness can now be had from pointless introspection. Aesthetics rise unbidden from a trillion dopamine receptors, and the system moves beyond modeling the organism. It begins to model the very process of modeling. It consumes evermore computational resources, bogs itself down with endless recursion and irrelevant simulations. Like the parasitic DNA that accretes in every natural genome, it persists and proliferates and produces nothing but itself. Metaprocesses bloom like cancer, and awaken, and call themselves I.
On westminster Bridge, Arthur was struck by the brightness of the streetlamps running across like a formation of stars. They shone white against the black coats of the marching gentlefold and fuller than the moon against the fractal spires of Westminster. They were, Arthur quickly realized, the new electric lights, which the city government was installing, avenue by avenue, square by square, in place of the dirty gas lamps that had lit London's public spaces for a century. These new electric ones were brighter. They were cheaper. They required less maintenance. And they shone farther into the dime evening, exposing every crack in the pavement, every plump turtle sheel of stone underfoot. So long to the faint chiaroscuro of London, to the ladies and gentlemen in black-on-black relief. So long to the era of mist and carbonized Newcastle coal, to the stench of the Blackfriars foundry. Welcome to the cleasing glare of the twentieth century.