Page Created: 8/6/2014   Last Modified: 6/12/2022   Last Generated: 8/7/2023
- What is this, a memoir or new age mumbo jumbo?
- Is this some kind of mid-life crisis?
- You seem to disagree with all sectors of society. What do you agree with?
- Dude, your pages are too long.
- Is there a mobile or e-book version? I want to read it on my mobile device.
- Do you have an https encrypted URL?
- Why do your pages have a delay before loading in Firefox?
- Why can't I comment on your blog entries?
- How are many of the things you talk about related? You are taking things out of context.
What is this, a memoir or new age mumbo jumbo?
Years ago I decided I would write two books, a memoir and a fractal philosophy. But I found that I couldn't separate them, as much of the "evidence" for my philosophies comes from certain life experiences. So then I decided to first release it as a custom-designed website, as the site itself was also part of it. In one aspect, it is a holistic art piece, and I consider the entirety as much as I do each individual essay.
There is much science behind this philosophy, and the 2009 book Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell helps to outline the problem of measuring "complexity". Complexity has not yet emerged as a distinct scientific field and parts of it fall under different academic disciplines, and only a a few universities offer degree programs↗. Complexity, complexity theory, complexity science, complex systems, or whatever it will eventually come to be known, is a new, multidisciplinary science. However, my fractal philosophy is more specific, as I propose that the key to measuring complexity is rooted in fractal geometry (which is one of the theories out there). In some essays I hit upon topics in another new discipline called Science, Technology and Society (STS), but I go farther than that and propose that a full understanding will require a full multidisciplinary approach, not just across scientific or social science disciplines, but across all human disciplines. I also tend to intersect with various branches of philosophy such as ontology, epistemology, aesthetics, the philosophy of science, ethics and law, and metaphysics.
Many authors that write works of both non-fiction and fiction have a unique understanding of reality which fascinates me. Sometimes you have to work something into a story, and my life stories were my first choice as they were shaped by the fractal world around me.
Our subjective experiences are very hard to communicate. If we want to try to be objective, then scientific papers are perhaps one of our best methods, but it wasn't just about science or knowledge, it was about "shape", something that crosses into the artistic realm.
Is this some kind of mid-life crisis?
If so, then I've been having mid-life crises since I was 9... No, I've been working on these specific concepts since I started working on my film when I was 28. I am always working on something.
You seem to disagree with all sectors of society. What do you agree with?
I don't disagree necessarily, but in order to be an individual, to express our individual views, we have to refrain from simply repeating group dogma. I don't talk about how much I agree with groups often, because I only agree with certain aspects and can't vouch for the group as a whole.
Each individual bounces around between groups, internalizing some of them, disagreeing with some of them. The groups shape us, be we also have free will to decide who we listen to. Groups are not people. They are the artificial constructions made by people.
Dude, your pages are too long.
Is there a mobile or e-book version? I want to read it on my mobile device.
Not yet, as I am still researching responsive web design and may incorporate a simple version of it one day. I don't like it when sites present different experiences to mobile devices or different user agent strings. It seems to work okay on both mobile Firefox and mobile webkit-based browsers on my old 4.7 inch smartphone with a medium text size. Double-tapping on the page text will expand it to fill the screen (and it can always be turned sideways if needed).
In April 2016, however, I improved my static site generator to also perform EPUB generation, but I only use this function internally to allow me to construct and visualize a temporary "book" to see what it might look like if I do decide to publish one. While I think of this website as a "book in hypertext format", I do hold myself to stricter standards concerning actual books (the physical paper ones), as their static and persistent nature deserves higher-quality curation and proofreading to ensure that it will remain relevant in the future, which takes time due to the sheer number of pages, as I don't have a staff of editors at my disposal (it's just me). As I iteratively revise this growing website year after year, I notice that some things change more slowly than others. It is these converging, slow-changing concepts that I'm trying to eventually isolate for such a book, as they have that timeless quality that I am seeking.
Do you have an https encrypted URL?
No, currently this is by design. This type of encryption requires more CPU and network bandwidth, and I originally designed the site to be as simple as possible for the small computers hosting it to serve out pages. I'm not sure yet what I think about the recent campaign by several organizations to make https the new default for surfing the web, even wanting to make it mandatory. It makes sense in a way, even on a public site like this, for analogously, you don't expect that someone is looking in your book bag as you walk back and forth to the public library, or even tampering with the books you carry home to read, and it may benefit those in closed or repressive societies. But in an open society like the one I live in, if this is a problem, we can fix that problem using open channels (as long as we do it before we lose those channels). For if we lose civility, we lose something just as important as our individual privacy, as they are interdependent. Thinking of encryption as a panacea, in my opinion, could distract us from this realization. This might be idealistic naivete on my part, but I do know for certain that ideals formed the foundation for much of our civilization and our individual selves.
Why do your pages have a delay before loading in Firefox?
Related to what I just said above, in August, 2021, with the release of Firefox 91, Mozilla defaulted to the HTTPS protocol in private browsing mode↗, a fundamental change to the way web browsers have operated for 3 decades. This means that if private browsing mode is turned on (which will even auto-activate if "Never remember history" is selected), it first tries to connect to greatfractal.com via HTTPS (which does not exist, as mentioned above), and it does this even if you specify "http://" in the URL. But after a timeout period (currently 3000 ms, at the time of this writing), it then falls back to HTTP. So there is a 3-second delay clicking between pages on this site if using Firefox private browsing mode, a delay that is not related to my servers, which are very fast using unencrypted, static pages. On my own browser, I've set my "dom.security.https_first_pbm" about:config setting to false to restore the old functionality and remove those annoying delays.
Why can't I comment on your blog entries?
I only created a rudimentary comment system for the main articles and essays, not for my blog, as my goal wasn't to create a system, forum, or social network for back-and-forth discourse, especially since my weblogs are less structured and formalized than the main articles and essays. All of my yearly blog posts are simply stored in a single text file for that year, and the sequential entries don't even have their own page, which is required by the CommentSystem, or even a subject title. They're just my random chronological entries, and the blog system would have to be re-designed to allow such functionality, which I don't really want to do.
How are many of the things you talk about related? You are taking things out of context.
Exactly. That is exactly what I am trying to do, take things out of context. I'm not looking within a micro context, but looking at a macro context and seeing how that thing in the macro context expresses itself in the micro contexts, like applying "levels of analysis" to a mathematical fractal. Over the years, I've found that I can see many of these patterns, and see irony on a daily basis. I see expressions of the same things repeated over and over in slightly different ways.
For example, a mechanic may call a piece of circular metal a retaining ring. An electrical engineer may call it a circuit. A mathematician may call it a torus. A jeweler may call it an earring. A network engineer may call it a topology. A computer scientist may call it a hierarchical protection domain. A toy manufacturer may call it a flying ring. I can go on like this forever...
And that is just a simple shape. But in all of these contexts, that shape has a property that transcends them, it has a universal property that is important in the same way to all of those contexts. The Universe is full of many more complex shapes than this one.
Those shapes are what interest me, those objects of a higher order, those archetypes, those symbols. But they aren't just objects in front of us, they are objects that compose us and compose our world, that run through everything. They are hard to find, and once found, they masquerade as different things in different contexts. In language, our context helps us understand things, and our brains evolved around this for efficiency, so it is difficult for most people to see these things as they cross from context to context. But I have stayed on the hunt, searching for them as I passed through each context, as it is critical to how I think.
I use multiple analogies since analogy is a way of "shape-matching". I can say it looks like this in this field, it looks like this in another field, etc, so that you can see the higher-order shape to which I am referring.
One of the reasons I did well in the computer field was because when I was inside a certain context, using somebody else's software, I questioned how it worked and how it was related to other software (because I knew that it was all generated from a finite system, the computer), and I quickly created a model in my head, and once I had this model, I saw this in other software, a type of design or usage pattern.
The world is the same way--we are inside the software, inside our various contexts, and we need to break out of these contexts to see the pattern.