Explaining the Fractal

So… I had a vacation a while back, and since I didn’t have to work, I was instantly bored, and started working. After about a day and a half, I started working on my site, trying to figure out a way to stop comment spammers. (Comment Spammers –> Complete jackasses). That soon turned into rewriting the whole site from scratch, and teaching myself some CSS stuff so it’d be pretty. Turns out, that took a lot longer than I expected, and I didn’t finish until pretty much right now.

So… since I was redoing everything, I figured I should completely redo everything, so I went through my pictures and resorted them so it’s not so crowded. Turns out that took a long time too. I also made the thumbnails a bit bigger, cause I think they look better that way. While I was working through that, I came up with a logo idea that I liked, and that leads us to those images that I had up here the last few weeks.

If you’ve ever read Jurassic Park you may recall a few things. First, you might recall that it was awesome. Second, you might recall that between major chapter groupings there was a page with an image and a small quote from Ian Malcolm explaining chaos theory. They were numbered Iterations, (Iteration 1 through 7 I believe). Those Iteration images are all different iterations of a famous fractal known as “The Dragon Curve” (or now “The Jurassic Park Fractal”).

The idea is pretty simple: You start with a straight line, drawn from the top to the bottom. Each iteration, you take what you have, copy it, and rotate it 90° from the end point of the original item. So, we start out with this:


Iteration 0

Now, we copy that, and from the end point (the bottom), we rotate that copy 90° to the left, we get the follow after the first iteration:


Iteration 1

Making sense so far? Now, we take that whole item (an L shape) and copy it and rotate it from it’s endpoint, and we get this:


Iteration 2

So, each iteration, things get twice as complex. And this pattern continues:


Iteration 3

Now we reach Iteration 4. This one is important for 2 reasons. First, it is this shape that was used for “Iteration 1” in Jurassic Park. One could argue that it was poorly named (as it’s Iteration 4, not 1), but I think in the context of the book, the Iterations are meant to represent the Park and all that went with it. As Malcolm’s argument was that something seemingly basic would inevitably lead to complexities no one could predict or control, starting with something fairly basic but with some complexities at the start seems to fit better… that, and it would require 4 extra sections at the beginning to fit those other guys in. The second reason why this is important is that as this is the 4th iteration of my personal website I’ve created, using this item as my new logo seemed to fit nicely. So we now have this:


Iteration 4

Now, this pattern continues on and on, and eventually we get some pretty amazing images, like Iteration 12, which I believe may be where the “Dragon Curve” name comes from


Iteration 12

So that explains what was up with those images, where this site has been, and all that. So if you run across something that’s busted or looks messed up, lemme know, and I’ll see if I screwed something up. If you’re a comment spammer, and you start spamming me, and you hose this site the way you did to the last one, I do believe I will harm you physically.

Anyway, I’ve had plenty of things I’ve wanted to write about the last few months. Hopefully now that this is back up, I’ll be able to start writing some of those things.

3 thoughts on “Explaining the Fractal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *