Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fractal Dimension of Delight or Despair

It never ceases to amaze us how many times we see patterns repeat and laws of nature apply at various scales.

Economic growth progresses in cycles and epicycles, history repeats, social phenomena come and go and come again, normal distribution applies and self-similarity at all levels is exhibited in all phenomena; natural and artificial, historical and cosmic; all manifestations of reality are subject to the same forces which act upon them, whatever their location, whatever their scale, whatever we believe to be their wider subjective importance or otherwise.

As we engage in our psychogeographical praxis in and for Aberdeen, we find that the fractal dimension also extends to the urban realm (of course it does!), it being necessary only for us to slow down for the resolution of our senses to increase. In this way we seek and find the delight which forms the texture of our lives in the urban context. We connect forward and back the small to the large, the past to the future, the specific to the general and vice versa; this helps to lead us towards an independent and autonomous understanding of the world which we walk through; that being our ultimate aim both for ourselves and for all our fellow townspeople.

However, there is a negative corollary: Where by finding the connection between the specific to the general across orders of magnitude of scale we find delight, we might also find a warning for and from Aberdeen's urbanism. We saw this photo of a gardening contractor's van on the "Writing From Scotland" blog:

The wider significance of the fact that the garden contractor who's van this is believes that their Aberdonian clients would regard the removal of practically all greenery from their gardens and its replacement with blockwork and gravel as being a desirable outcome should be obvious to regular readers.

With thanks to Christine Laennec at Writing From Scotland for permission to reproduce the photo.


John Aberdein said...

' being necessary only for us to slow down for the resolution of our senses to increase.'


'resolution' in at least two senses?

uair01 said...

Ha! You've almost mentioned one of my pet theories of fractality: that in any boring area you can always find small islands of interestingness - and also the other way around. You might have to descend to detail level, but there is always something worthy of contemplation!

Anonymous said...

This is pretty funny to me, but that's only because I live out in a desert, where this type of change has become more and more popular. They call it 'xeriscaping', and the better companies will still plant some plants in the yard, but they make sure they're plant adapted to live in the desert on very little water. We need this here because water is both expensive and scarce to us, but I doubt this is true in Aberdeen.

As I am not a regular reader, I probably don't see this point in the same way, but I personally see it as a sign that many people don't have the time and energy to spend on upkeep of a beautiful green yard anymore, especially since so many people were just doing those things as a status symbol. Makes more sense to have less greenery in that case, although I would personally prefer more. Hope to come back around, this looks like a very interesting blog, even for one who has never visited Aberdeen.