Friday, 11 July 2008

Freedom, fractals and the internet part 1

After spending a few hours yesterday updating my blog, discovering shelfari, etc. I felt a particular type of nausea that I get from the internet. Everywhere you go, an entire new world opens in front of you, with profiles to upload, people, pictures, texts, and all these tools to - well, to organize the infinite. It made me think of fractals, as in fractals you zoom in and in, into new worlds. And, unlike matryoshkas, they are not smaller and smaller. So here is an example, let's start from the classical Mandelbrot set: you've all seen this.

Now we zoom in:

We can continue to do so, changing filters, as you would change glasses, or light or perspective, and new worlds appear, which are, well, very different - although the patterns are still there, in their infinite transformations:

The classical Mandelbrot set reveals within itself... a carnival day. We could be in Venice, New Orleans, Rio:

Walking around on this carnival day, escaping the crowds, and searching even deeper, we find an enchanted garden. It was already contained within the carnival, but we could not see it:

This discovery, this exploring of the infinite, though, gives me pleasure and a sense of peace and belonging. So why does the internet's infinity give me pain? I have some ideas on that for my next posting. Meanwhile, I'd like to hear your opinion.


sage said...

I think there's too much on the internet and sometimes it sucks us in... the net reminds us of our limitations, only a few centuries ago there were still a few individuals who had read all the great works, that's no longer possible...

Nice art

Ahna Fender said...

Yes... Internet Brain Drain. A familiar, nauseous, blurry-eyed state where information saturation has reached its peak and you've forgotten to breathe (for how long now?) when really you should be out enjoying some fresh air, or cutting your toe nails or god, anything but staring into the screen! And yet it's strangely compelling... Which explains why I'm here! :)