Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Fractal Microscope

I'm sure this isn't the only online Mandelbrot zoomer thingy around, but it's the one linked by Wikipedia, which is how I found it.

Fractals played a very important role in my development as a geek. Back in the 1980's, fractals were "cool" even among people who didn't know anything about math and computers. Being able to write a BASIC program to draw the Mandelbrot set or that Feigenbaum-birfucation-whatsit would impress the chicks and get you laid back then..

Well, not really. (I wish) But it was amazingly cool that using only really basic math (no calculus, not even trig required!) you could make these amazing pictures that looked a lot like the psychedlic acid-trip depictions that were popular again in the late 80's because of the Wonder Years and 20th anniversary of Woodstock and such.

(Note: I've never done LSD myself, so I can only assume that when you do it, it really does look like the Mandelbrot set)