Had the pleasure of attending the First Friday Fractal show at the Planetarium, at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science, in Albuquerque. Wow! Jonathon Wolfe puts on a fantastic show. I saw one of his presentation in a classroom setting. Although the logic was the same, the impact of flying thru fractals projected on the dome, is something else altogether. What a show! It got me thinking…
One of the amazing things about fractals is that they produce patterns that we can see in Nature. We can see that Nature is using a similar technique to produce patterns involving matter and energy. How does that happen? Does Nature have a formula written down somewhere? Let’s compare the two, looking for the common elements.
The computer generated fractal phenomenon is purely informational. A formula is processed, and the results reprocessed using the same formula. The repeating patterns are the result of processing information. There is no matter or energy represented, only pure information.
A computer is processing pure information, nothing but ones and zeros. In order to compare the two we can look at Natural process as also processing information. Instead of ones and zeros, the Natural system processes atoms and molecules. It manipulates them to produce its fractal patterns in real matter.
The point of LifeOS is that information processing is fundamental, to the interaction between matter and energy, as well as to life itself. Fractals show that, without a doubt, the model of life as an information process is valid. We can assume the rules that Nature follows to produce its fractals exist, somewhere. They are certainly not written down in a mathematical formula, but exist in some medium, that not only retains the same relationship between values as the formula, but adjusts variables and even formulas, to suit the situation.
As shown in the magnetic cactus experiment, it is the magnetic field that adjusts the appearance of spines in cacti. It is the magnetic field in the growing tip of the onion that plots its pattern for growth.
Although reductionists like to jump on fractals to point out how simple process, repeated over and over can produce complexity, the fact that these billions upon billions of simple steps are coordinated to produce a specific outcome, infers a higher control mechanism is at work.
Networks in complex systems grow in two ways… hierarchical and scale free. In biological systems, these two options are woven together into networks that display both characteristics. Organs develope elaborate internal networks that use both types to accomplish their role in a larger outcome. Organs are connected to their peers and the larger networks through external, primarily scale free, type links, but include hierarchical elements, as well.
The coordinating element on all of these interactions is electromagnetic energy, expressed through fields. It is these purely informational fields of energy, distinctly nonmaterial, that guide growth, whether it be in crystals, biological systems or galaxies.
So, i guess this book isn’t finished, just yet.