10 January 2006

Mandelbrot Set

Lately I've found myself very interested in fractals and, in particular, what's known as the Mandelbrot Set. In a totally nerdy moment of jpeg euphoria, I recently uploaded all of the drag&drops from my Mandelbrot folder to Flickr. I made a Mandelbrot Set photo set. Get it? :)

Sometimes, when I'm intensely engaged in something, I find that I'm a bit speechless as to why. It's strange. Usually I can't shit up, but when I love something, I can't talk about it... That's how I'm feeling about the Mandelbrot Set.

I was never a math or science buff (far from it!), but the more I read about fractals, and the M-Set, especially, the more hungry I become for info. I'm finding myself wishing I could drop everything and take a physics class.

Fractal images were the spine of rock concert posters of the 60s and 70s, but they were around for at least a decade before people had a more developed vocabulary for them. Interestingly, the race to visualize the Mandelbrot Set (a passionate endeavor for many, as the bazillion Google Image links will testify), parallels the race to develop PCs and printers capable of processing graphics.

The more interesting parallel, of course, is the way in which these super complex and beautiful structures are mirrored in nature. In a certain way, their presence might make the imitative arts seem rather frivolous. But, then, I've always been one for frivolity. :)


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