Fractal of the Day
by Jim Muth

Prime-Cut Fractal ©
Jim Muth's fractal image in GIF format (640x480).

FOTD -- May 09, 2009   (Rating 7)

Fractal visionaries and enthusiasts:

Today's image shows a Z11+C minibrot gone crazy.   The parent fractal is a grossly inflated Mandelbrot set that is quadratic only on the surface.   Once we dive any depth into it, the M-set takes on Z11 characteristics.   Today's image is located in the East Valley area of a tiny minibrot just beyond the spike of the large minibrot on the main spike of the parent almost-Mandelbrot set.

I chose the image to be FOTD for May 9 because it is one of the most decorative higher-order minibrots I have ever stumbled upon.   The name "Prime-Cut Fractal" means little beyond its sound.   The rating of a 7 is just about FOTD average.   The calculation time of 10-1/4 minutes is slower than FOTD average, but may be avoided by viewing the finished image on the FOTD web site at:
In yesterday's discussion I told of a book-club offering of a book about the imminent collapse of civilization due to climate change (AKA global warming).   Since then I have checked more of the books being offered.   I found one about 'the myth of the self'.

According to the author of this book, there is no such thing as 'the self'.   What we perceive as the conscious 'self' is the content of a sophisticated model of reality generated by our brains.   Whenever our brains successfully pursue the strategy of creating a unified and dynamic inner portrait of reality, we become conscious.   In a sense, conscious experience is a form of virtual reality, a real-time world-model that can be viewed as a permanent simulation.   (A lot of fancy words indeed!)

It's probably an interesting book, but I'll not order it.   The author has apparently not bridged the gap between neurons and consciousness.   I wonder what the non-existent but always-the-same thing is supposed to be, which he claims appears from nowhere to become our illusory selves when our brains begin 'creating a unified and dynamic inner portrait of reality', whatever that means.

Also, if conscious experience is a form of virtual reality and the world we appear to experience around us is a permanent simulation, as the author apparently supposes, then the brain that he claims creates the simulation must itself be a part of the simulation.

I see circular reasoning once again taking the place of true critical thinking.   One of these years someone might actually bridge the gap between brain and mind, if one actually exists, but it will not be in the year 2009.

I have been reading books attempting to explain self-awareness for many years, and in that time I have seen the explanations grow ever more preposterous and unconvincing.   The only thing I have become convinced of is that our science is missing something of monumental importance, most likely non-physical, though not necessarily the teachings of any one religion.

A mixture of clouds and sun here at Fractal Central on Friday, and a temperature of 77F 25C were enough to keep the fractal cats' crankiness under control.   Light rain in the evening caused no problems, while less work than expected kept me under control.

If all stays under control, the next FOTD will be posted in 24 hours.   Until then, take care, and after all these years, our greatest thinkers can't even tell us what we are.   It's almost unbelievable.


Jim Muth
jamth@mindspring.com
jimmuth@aol.com

START PARAMETER FILE=======================================

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frm:NewDivideBrot      { ; Jim Muth
  z=(0,0), c=pixel, a=-(real(p1)-2),
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  z=z^2*fn1(z^(a)+b)+c
  |z| < 1000000 }

END PARAMETER FILE=========================================

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O's Fractal Art Gallery,
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