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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some fractals are a little more interesting than others...


Thai said...


Debra said...

Why is this a fractal please ?
I can see why this "fractal" could be more interesting than others...
I can just... feel and smell her skin, and hear the way her hair whips back...

Dr John said...

I am with Debra Thai. Fabulous post which I thank you for but I am not getting why this is fractal. I do not see a geometric pattern repeated at every scale in this photo. Maybe if she were naked?

Thai said...

The Fibonacci sequence is clearly fractal.

Here is a random fun video I pulled up

... I think you have read of JP's reference to Elliot Wave theory, etc...?

Thai said...

PS- I disagree with the mystic anthropomorphisism at the end.

...Why they fail to see this emerges from the geometric subunits is beyond me but it is what it is?

Dr John said...

This is interesting Thai and I think there is something to it however on the edges it looks like post hoc retro-fitting. It's like Bible code stuff but not as flaky. If you have a template and you want to look at the world through those glasses you can at times make things fit. In economics this should lead us to be able to make very accurate predictions of future events. Who has demonstrated they can do this using this method as apposed to just going backwards and shoe horning what has happened into this Fibonacci sequence? I also am not buying the tie in of the ratio as to why people tend to answer questions at a certain ratio or its prediction of crowd behavioral response. This would not seem to be the case in elections.

Dr John said...

Also pleased do not misunderstand my questioning Thai.I do think there is something very compelling here as it relates to the natural world of geology, cosmology and even biology. Things start to break down for me though when we are talking about social systems, behavior and economics.

Debra said...

Thai, I think that the video is an example of.. analogic thinking.
Seeing... spirals in one place and then looking for them in another place, and because you're finding them in different places, assuming that you are dealing with an identical phenomenon.
The problem with comparing stock market phenomenon with tree roots, for example is that consciousness gets in the way.
We are quite a ways away from "mother nature" at this time, and we seem determined to push ourselves as far away as possible at this time.
And... what about the Milgram experiment ?
It doesn't look particularly Fibonacci to me.
That's like...85% and 15% for Milgram.
So, from the comments, it looks like I agree with Doctor John.
Although I am quite convinced that our behavior is much more school of fish than we are aware of, I am praying that we will never be able to predict...
The game would be NO FUN if we could predict.
Safe (sex) but no fun...

Thai said...


never mind

John, fractals

Fibonacci is fractal as any individual number in the sequence is always created by combining the sum of the two preceding numbers in the sequence. Mathematically the Fibonacci curve is clearly an equation which undergoes iteration, etc...

That is all I'm saying.

Fibonacci curves are just as relevant to social systems, economics and mental health as they are to geology, biology and ecology. If complex/chaotic modeling is at all helpful in understanding geology, it is just as helpful in understanding social sciences, mental illness, economics, etc... How could the laws of science apply to one system but not another?

... And as I said before, I don't think we can predict the future in these sciences very accurately in the way I think you are meaning by using this- the math itself tells us this.

We can't predict when the next earthquake will arrive, etc... but we can observe it follows similar behaviors very clearly.

And I am most definitely not saying that all behavior is Fibonacci, not even close.

Deb, we are mother nature. There is no difference between "us" and "our minds" and "our societies" and "her".

Thai said...

I'm not a Louis Farrakhan numerologist if that is what you are getting at.

... "And the number 3!!!" ;-)

Dr John said...

Thai, I understand your description of a Fibonnaci curve as fractal and how it applies to certain observed phenomenon. I do not agree however with your statement:"How could the laws of science apply to one system but not another?"

We judge the value of these predictive "laws" by how well they work. The laws of physics work pretty well at predicting the behavior of the things we are studying on an individual level before they happen. There is no human agency in an electron and I just do not agree at all we can attempt to take the same sorts of generalizations we make about fundamental particles or even large bodies in the universe and apply them to other areas as you admit. If all we can do is backtrack and explain them as part of a scheme that we see playing out how is this different than Pat Robertson telling us God is punishing earthquake victims and cherry picking a bible quote?(not as crazy for sure) In the end do you expect our knowledge of these systems to expand to the point where we will be able to predict based on our understanding of fractals or the Fibonacci sequence and alter outcomes in some way?

Thai said...

John, evidence for the B-E condensate

If I read you correctly, you are drawing a distinction between certain things I would not agree with you on.

At some level, everything is made of the same stuff

Seeing human behavior as different than geology is a form of mysticism in my opinion.

Why would one be different than the other?

Thai said...

By the way, a close friend of mine sent me the following interesting factoids about B-E condensates.

... See if any of them sound familiar. ;-)

1. Can create quantum vortex (also known as dark solitons (a kind of low temperature quantum black hole)

2. Under some conditions, BECs can implode, then explode. A phenomena know as a bosenova


3. (Predictably) BECs can display interference patterns as they collectively take on a single wave function.

... Anything sound familiar? ;-)

Thai said...

Re: "There is no human agency in an electron"

The universe does appear to be fractal.I can't prove it but all evidence points to this fact.

... Or put another way:

A=B is the same as B=A

There sure is a lot of evidence to support the notion that electron agency in humans. I'm sure I need not make this case to a physician.

Yet you feel its converse is not true? Why?


Be well

Debra said...

But Thai...
Just HOW do we see geology, by the way ?
Maybe, like there're TONS of things we THINK WR KNOW about geology that are really just... prejudices.
There's an example that I find very telling.
For hundreds of years we seemed to think that biology=classifying plants, and animals, etc, etc, and we spent mucho time playing our cute little classification game WHICH IS A LINGUISTIC GAME, and we told ourselves that we KNEW lots of stuff about the animals because we could classify them.
That's a crock of shit.
Because... while we were busy classifying them, we were NOT busy observing their behavior, watching how they lived, and played, and ate.
Even now... we are not spending much time really OBSERVING the day to day life of the animals, sorry.
And regardless, we STILL manage to think that we know lots about them because of those dumb shit... CLASSIFICATIONS, once again.
Classification is a problem that goes way beyond biology, RIGHT DOCTOR JOHN ?
It is a... linguistic problem.
To a certain extent... the fractal problem IS a classification...
I think that the itch to predict is like a modern day resurgence of Doctor Frankenstein.
Hell was talking about the prediction game in the jungle. He made a reference to.. HUBRIS.
I completely agree.
The prediction game translates as hubris.
The Greeks were ALREADY talking about hubris.
They concluded... that hubris inevitably led to some extremely unpleasant consequences for the individuals who allowed themselves to get caught up in it, and I would add... for the societies that allow THEMSELVES to imagine that they are going to..put man in God's place, however and whatever you imagine God to be.

Thai said...

Deb, we are talking about entirely different things.

Move on

Be well

Dr John said...

I am not sure Thai how that is evidence for the B-E condensate? Eoth works way better than T-C stimulation at impairing moral judgment. Would that support it? Just because things are made of the same stuff does not mean they behave the same way.Steam and Ice behave very differently despite being made of the same "stuff". It is all those variables that alter its behavior. Same with people.This is where I take issue with making anything but very common sense generalizations when it comes to comparing people and tectonic plates. I think you see a connection I am missing. Maybe it exists on a grand scale. Day to day however I cannot see what the value is.

"There sure is a lot of evidence to support the notion that electron agency in humans. I'm sure I need not make this case to a physician.

Yet you feel its converse is not true? Why?"

Thai I am not sure I am following you. When you say electron agency in humans, what are you speaking of? You speak as if you see people as automatons in some way acting out based purely on these quantum forces predetermined by such laws. Is there room for volition or "free will" in this reductionary fractal universe? If so how?

Thai said...

Alcohol is just as good evidence for the BE as magnetism.

PS- take away the BE reference in what I was saying as I think I confused you. By saying BE, I was implying mental processes obey the same laws of physics that geology does, that's all. My idea of a BE explanation for consciousness is obviously conjecture. I do see that.

Re: electrons in humans or determinism vs. free will

As I said above

Further "free will" is clearly a fractal problem as there as so many levels one can take the discussion to...

Do I think we have the ability to choose whether to kill each other as is commonly meant when people talk about free will in everyday philosophical conversations?

Absolutely yes

But do we really have absolute free will?

Depends on what you mean.

You need to eat to live and while it is true that you can chose to refuse nutrition and die, it is also true you will not be around to continue the free will conversation with others if you do. So is this really free will?

Let me say I see the problem of how externalities always influence everything thereby making the ability to predict with reductionis models impossible.

Thai said...

Or to agree with Deb: a holistic approach is as real as reductionism.

The problem is we have no good models to think in holistic terms as we have to reduce the whole in order to consider it in the first place.

More is different

Thai said...

Holism requires faith ;-)

Thai said...

And John, of course different things behave differently in different environments.

This is not inconsistent with what I'm saying

Thai said...

If the following fractal analogy helps, I'm talking on floor 3 of the building and you are taking on floor 10

... Deb is usually talking about the workers who built the building ;-)

Dr John said...

Ok. I would agree with all of your f/u posts. I think in the end we agree its all made of the same "stuff". Us included. I do not buy into blank slate free will. You give good examples of why this is not true so I will not repeat yours. Somewhere on the plane however lies volition as a "human" concept. If we forget it we have chaos and anarchy. We all need to get fractal I suppose.

Thai said...

I have noticed a certain tendency for people to switch between free will and beyond my control whenever it is most convenient. ;-)

Thai said...

And we agree, the mind is a template. The blank slate is a total lie

Dr John said...

"I have noticed a certain tendency for people to switch between free will and beyond my control whenever it is most convenient. ;-)"

A the very large, pale underbelly that is the dead fish we call psychiatry. For our next discussion my friend. John

Debra said...

Interesting that we inevitably get down to discussing the conditions for freedom.

Thai said...

Deb, the discussion has always been here.

If I may comment, I think you simply have a hard time translating some technical language.

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