Thursday, July 9, 2009

(1) Smart Code

Chapter Five. SMART CODE

My pilgrimage almost came to a thundering halt when it came
to information theory and code (which is a carrier of information).
It was at this point that I felt that I had walked into a maze of very
complicated theoretics, nearly coming from and leaning forth
in all directions. Talk about "complexity," I was overwhelmed. I
couldn't even get a handle on any of this--and I once considered
myself a physicist, working on cutting-edge fusion research.
But when it came to my foray into "smart code," well I seemed
such a loser! I couldn't even find one of those yellow-backed
book-pamphlets that said "Information Theory for Dummies."

As it happened, however, I was lucky. One of the luminaries of
Fractal Theory presented a lecture which I attended. It was a
presentation open to the public, hence the presenter nearly
made it understandable.

I came to understand that a fractal is a computer-generated
geometric shape that can be split into parts. It can be iterated
down to the lowest point, flipped and reiterated from the smallest
of scales, yet remaining self-similar, forward to large scale
topological dimensions that can picture natural objects such as
clouds, mountain ranges, coastlines, snowflakes, and even
lightening bolts.

This lecture on Fractals took my breath away. Here we had a
mathematical fractal based on an "equation that undergoes
iteration, a form of feedback based on recursion." Albeit based
on computer-generated geometrics, far beyond Euclidean
geometric language, my imagination caught fire over Fractals.

Still not fully understanding the intricate basis of Fractals, I
believed that such a sophisticated means of carrying information
from an infinitely small process--via iteration--that results in the
depiction of large-scale natural objects could conceivably relate
to a kind of cosmic code. It's a stretch, but boy it is sophisticated.

[From the dictionary: FRACTALS are useful in modeling structures
in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales,
and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as
fluid turbulence and galaxy formation. ITERATION is the repetition
of a mathematical or computational procedure.]

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