05250501 – Jock Cooper
After my recent post on fractools, I thought I’d wade through all of those 156,000 results via Google for Fractals (images). I’ve written a personal pattern recognition algorithm that incorporates and encodes my taste in fractals allowing it to filter out all those passÃ© Julia sisters and mandlebrothers, anything with garish colour pallets and anything familiar.
It found these:
Amazing fractal cityscape circuit board elevations, some in 3d. Cities look like circuits of buildings, circuits have roads and data traffic systems. These make me think of Mark Wilson’s beautiful plotter drawings, some of my favourite all-time computational circuit-board schemas, mentioned during the dataisnature embryo stage.
Talking of Fractal cities, check out ‘Connecting the Fractal City’ – a very impressive article about the negative side effects of modern cities drifting away from a growing fractal distribution to an automobile-centric uniformity. This is one of the best articles I’ve found on the web for some time.
In my last fractal outburst I mentioned using L-systems as a psychogeographical tool (Socialfiction has done a lot of work with psychgeoAlogorithms) for navigating cities and even subway systems. Then I find this in my blog’s comments from blprnt, an L-system train network with nodes (stations) and automated trains!
The best fractals of all are the ones already occurring in nature. To get a taste for natural fractals try procuring a Romanesque cauliflower. All members of cauliflower family are fractal but the Romanesque is a particularly beautiful and clear example for those who haven’t met her before.
‘The key notion of a fractal is that it possesses structure on a hierarchy of scales. A structure defined at an overall size x implies something similar at a size rx, where r is a scaling factor like 1/3. For a structure to be fractal, there exist substructure at decreasing sizes r2x, r3x, r4x, etc. A true mathematical fractal has self-similar structures going all the way down to the infinitesimal scales. For a physical fractal, the smallest scales become too small to see, so this implies a range of scales from very large to the very small.
The number r is called the “scaling factor”, and can in theory be any fraction. In most common fractals it is usually some fixed number between 1/2 and 1/10. Naturally-occurring fractals, such as cauliflowers exhibit a nested structure with r not very different from 1/3 (Salingaros, 1995; Salingaros & West, 1999)’.
Textone.org has an application that builds clumps of broccoli (or forests) visualised from website content. The application takes the entire syntactic structure of a site, pages, content and links and makes trunks, branches and leaves. The installation version also processes the information into sound in realitme. So go grow a forest from your blog.
Finally, check out this rather ordinary Fractal, but notice the extremity at its epicentre, its an inverted buddhabrot! Which is as good in fractaland as an inverted pentagram to those that ‘know’ and who have powers……