Mandelbrot set & Platonic mathematics

Michael Tobis tobis at skool.ssec.wisc.edu
Sat Feb 12 21:49:30 EST 1994


In article <CKsLoL.8J4 at kaiwan.com>, ming at kaiwan.com (ming of mongo) writes:

|> 	There are plenty of goofy pop science books on the subject of 
|> fractals and chaos, mostly writen by people who read other goofy pop 
|> science books.  Chaos theory, or the little I understand of it, seems to 
|> be the most beautifull, and interesting branch of mathematics that i have 
|> ever seen.  But, it's hard, much to hard to get from a dime novel science 
|> book.  It is based on non-linear equasions, which are so dificult that 
|> approximation is the accepted way to deal with them, even among advanced 
|> mathematicians.

Well, sorta. The results of the tehorems about chaotic systems are not
approximate. Otherwise, nicely said.

|> 	I hope you retain your objectivity while reading on the subject.  
|> there are some good books on the subject, although they treat it only in 
|> a very general way.  "Chaos" by James Gliek, is one that doesn't get 
|> bogged down in fantasy.  It is mostly, however, about the scientists that 
|> brought chaos theory about, and not so much about the math.

Gleick's book is just as bad as the rest. If you have a little math
(undergrad calculus would do) and really want an idea what it is about, read
Ian Stewart's _Does God Play Dice?_ If you CAN'T read that book, kindly
refrain from mentioning "chaos theory" publicly. I especially wish Michael
Crichton and Steven Spielberg had taken this advice.

mt

what a wierd list of newsgroups...



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