31 May, 2006

pictures of infinity

I have never had the kind of mind necessary to appreciate the mathematics behind them, but I have always been fascinated by fractals.

Supposedly, the phenomenally complex geometry behind their composition is capable of explaining all the intricate shapes that Nature creates. Looking at the gorgeous pictures from this exquisite site, I think I believe it.
Trying to contemplate the theory behind fractals makes my brain feel that it's expanding like an over-inflated balloon. Looking at them makes me feel like I'm peering between the cracks of the world into the stuff that lies beneath, and holds it all together.

Blatte's Backgrounds was recently featured on the always-worth-a-gander Neat-O-Rama. Blatte is a Canadian guy who creates fractal-based computer desktop images. How he does it, I'm not going to even pretend to understand. All I know is, they are mind-boggling and breath-taking. And they are free to download for use on your personal computer.

I have never been a religious person as such, but if there is a Power of some kind behind the forms and actions of the Universe, I believe this is the closest we mere mortals can get to a visual representation of that Power, and its potential. These images make me feel simultaneously like a tiny part of a giant world, and a singularly spectacular example of its creation. Am I seeing the tiniest matter magnified infinitely more than the most powerful microscope? Or is this what the Universe looks like as a whole, when viewed from a vast distance? If fractal theory holds true, then the answer is: both. The minute evolves from the massive. The expansive can be seen within the infinitesimal. Even the tiniest point within the whole is sublimely beautiful, if only you look carefully enough.



Blogger snaz said...

Sometimes the awareness of JUST HOW MUCH there is I don't understand about the universe makes my head hurt. Othertimes it makes me oddly happy. Not 'blissfully ignorant' exactly. More that it's freeing to think how insigificant humans really are, so maybe it's okay if, before I die, I just plant some trees and concentrate on being good to the other insigificant beings around me.

May 31, 2006 5:25 pm  
Anonymous Zoe said...


And the winner is: the love child of laryngitis and a viral infection!!

Lucky me.

At least I get to pop some Codryl and legitimately miss a few days of uni.

Thanks for your concern, and tips for the Maltesers. I feel like im a geriatric, sucking on them, but alas, no pain! Just delicious sludgey Milo-tasting goodness.

Cough Cough,

May 31, 2006 10:29 pm  
Blogger Steph said...

Wow, really nice pics. Makes me feel like the insignificant speck i really am.

June 01, 2006 11:58 am  
Blogger Goo said...

well stated man! breathtaking images. i'm back blogging again btw. in case you miss my sillinness, come visit me again at my new addy: soulfukt

June 02, 2006 1:05 am  

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