The winds are blowing off of the Rockies, hitting the Front Range with brute force. The winds make walking around campus either fun or near impossible, and shake my townhome with enough force to rattle the ornaments on the mantel. The odd thing about the winds is the warmth.... it isn’t the slightest bit chilly. Still, the leaves have fallen from the trees around the school buildings, left to now dance around in the breeze. That shaking mantel is covered in tinsel and lights.... nevermind the warmth; it’s nearly the holidays!
So, here’s an odd assortment of things to do on a windy Tuesday evening. Each of these distractions, like the winds, are strangely unseasonal. At the same time, they might hint at the behavior of complex systems. (Like unseasonal climate changes?) Or, if not, they may at least suggest strange behavior. Two will take some clicking, two will appear somewhere else. All will appear on screen. Collectively, they’ll keep you busy for a while. Now, as I go to hunt other oddities, I’ll leave you to puzzle out which of these means what...
Dino Central Park ...somewhat reminiscent of the Subservient Chicken, in that begging for a Turing Test sort of way... why do they keep coming back for more?
Colors of Infinity (link is to youtube; first installment below.) ...imagine what happens when they take Stephen Hawking and Beniot Mandelbrot to be interviewed in a program narrated by Arthur C. Clarke, and tie it together with David Gilmore’s music.
Bonus for Colorado people tonight: "Colors of Infinity" will be showing on KRMA-6 (PBS) at 9:30pm MST. Bonus for people across the pond: you can buy it on DVD. Bonus for everyone else, who says, "who needs TV or computers when you can read the book?": Amazon has it.
Ok, I tried the first delight and was indeed delighted to hear said that fractals are all about Infinity and Infinite Precision. I haven't spent enough time learning about the Chaos Theory (which usually poses next to some amazing factals), but I feel it's actually all about Order (actually so much of it that any hope of Chaos gets banned for all eternities). I mean, isn't Chaos supposed to be the absence of Order? My younger bro tried once to explain it to me, but it seems to have gone out the other ear. Oh, well for an uneducated guy like me the second delight was more appropriate. It showed me how educated people might react to my primitive outrageous questions about the Chaos Theory. The third delight bridges the gap. It's where science meets your average gamer and they both enjoy a decent point and click adventure, waving their pale green socks and feeding herons with potato chips. And since chapter three is still under construction, it's a kind of delight open to the future. Being future oriented (though I'd prefer to be the here-and-now type) I always say "the best is yet to come". You may ask me "will you still be alive when it comes?", or concerning wider phenomena "will anyone still be alive alive when it comes?" Well, be brave, ride the waves, as Karmen says. If you ask for guarantees for the future what real delight can you possibly find in whatever may (or may not) be in store. That's not to say I'm against Predictive Science. At least not before I get to know what it is about.
I'm back after some homework in Wikipedia. Gosh! I'm one step less ignorant now, having glimpsed the vastness of my ignorance. Basins of attraction, phase spaces, transfer operators, all rotating irrationally in my head. Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme enters the stage spinning and staggering after having learned that the Earth is actually rotating. So it is "deterministic chaos" we are talking about. But what about the ancient Chaos and his motherless son Erebus? The poor chaps would need to dig long tunnels to enter today's wondrous scientific universe as illegal immigrants. As for my former, rather poetic notion of chaos, at least for now, I know: it's in my mind, hand in hand with Utopia. Yet the archives of Chaotic Utopia may eventually show me some connections with the outside world, so I keep reading on and gazing at Friday's fractals.
Stelios, thanks for visiting! I also apologize for my delay in responding to comments... I seem to be eternally behind!
You raise many interesting points in your comments, which I don't have time to respond to (I hope my other readers will do a bit of research on their own into some of your mythological references... they are quite enjoyable!) Instead, I'd like to refer you to this piece:
...I think it touches on some of the questions you pose. But I'll let you decide.
Thank you Karmen, a very refreshing metaphor indeed. I am slowly getting your point. It is the border between chaos and order we are examining and admiring, and it is by comparing between them that we perceive each. Also I was glad to find "entropy" mentioned. I knew I would encounter it somewhere. I searched for it, but got stuck in Dangerous Knowledge and then got completely involved in the other Epistemology and Complex Adaptive Systems items of February '07 and forgot about the search.
I see you've been at Jay's again. Long ago, I saw you sitting there at the bar, but I was too shy too talk to you there. Luckily, you left a note with your adress on it, so I followed you to your (old) home, and I was immediately welcome. Only on the internet...
By the way, Jay's has got a great treat since a few weeks, don't know if you've tried it. It's called "Anika's Odissey". (Think Samorost...)Sure to get you in a warm fuzzy mood for a while.
And after that, I'll buy you a "Sprout".
And after that, I won't take advantage of the warm fuzzy situation, I'll just go home. Ain't I nice.
(See, I do have my good moments. Just wish they would come more often. Or actually, last longer.)
btw, thanks for "Tipping Point". Relaxing.