The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Fractal Pathing

Infinity FreewaySo here I am, writing again – despite myself. For the size of the posts you would think I said more than I did. I don’t know if it will teach me to be a bit less wordy (I know the library’s blog would appreciate that) but I have a feeling I’ll at least figure out where to put the “Read More…” button if not write a better first paragraph. My apologies ahead of time.

And the biggest problem is ideas – not the lack of them – but keeping the writing of them on track and smaller than treatise size. A piece I began the other day on buzz words in politics has turned into pages exploring rhetorical philosophy.

It doesn’t really bother me, I’ll just write the buzz word piece when I’m done with this one. Unless I digress again, then it gets pushed back a bit more…

And that’s the thing; the fractal nature of thought. Paths leading off in every direction, leading to more paths, ad infinitum. Simplicity creating complexity.

z<=>z^2+c. Simple. Yet it unleashed a revolution in computer graphics, and describes my world. The principle of the fractal equation is taking a point on a complex plane (c) and running it through the equation a number of times while keeping an eye on z and how fast it either screams off into infinity or it circles about a fixed number and assigning a color accordingly. Points on the plane next to each other can have dramatically different characteristics. Infinite points, infinite potentials.

Standing in the middle of so many paths I want to run down them all. Down every branch and byway. Climb the trees and dig in the dirt.

And I try.

Now that sounds all sappy and noble, doesn’t it? Well, it’s actually rather frustrating and overloads what little circuitry still resides in the brain pan, so I just run as fast as I can down the ones that look fun and hope I don’t fall off an edge. It’s kind of like going out and looking for each piece that might fit it a puzzle that you don’t have the picture for. The payoff is when you create your own piece that not only fits, but enlarges the puzzle.

The at-once frustration and comfort that there is more to learn, more to understand, more pieces to find, and more to create.

2 responses to “Fractal Pathing

  1. Andrea D'Intino October 11, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Cool stuff, love fractal(psychedelic) painting

  2. sacredcalf October 11, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Nice to see you stopping by, Andrea! Yes, fractals all by themselves are wonderous things.

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