Re: virus: Fractals and drips

Robin Faichney (robin@faichney.demon.co.uk)
Sat, 12 Jun 1999 08:32:31 +0100

In message <19990612022442.AAA24289@camail2.harvard.edu>, Wade T.Smith <wade_smith@harvard.edu> writes
>On 06/11/99 16:30 the inimitable Eric Boyd made this comment
>
>>You're probably right about that, Wade. Much of fractal mathematics
>>is about self-similairity, or the emergence of pattern/order from
>>chaos. Both of those tie right into my understanding of memetics.
>
>Thanks, Eric, because I was reacting to what I know, which is precious
>little, but what I do know is that, yes, a math that somehow managed
>_reactions_ in a chaotic environment would seem to be the only one that
>would work- in the sense that we could tilt and shine some patterns out
>of it.
>
>The other side of my 'feeling' is that the maths I have seen, and not
>understood, seem to be interesting academic exercises, but never seem to
>have any predictive power, and do not seem to have the germ of 'creative'
>formation that fractal math does, and do not map over the general
>territory.

You're right about the predictive power -- systems dynamics modelling in general, of which fractal-related stuff is a subset, can't predict specific events, only statistics. And it doesn't take much to throw them well off, either. :-) (Makes me happy because I don't like to think of myself as predictable.)

-- 
Robin Faichney
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