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September 28th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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fractal geometry of nature?

Has anyone read Benoit Mandelbrot's The Fractal Geometry of Nature? I believe that is close to the title if not the title itself. Anyway, I was wonderng if it's suitable for those of us who are not schooled in higher geometry. I could just look up a review but I always wonder if the reviewers realize that many of us are simply not at the same level as the authors. The good reviewers should know this, but I have purchased a book or two in my life based on a review and it was a mistake. But your comments will be appreciated!
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October 1st, 2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Re: fractal geometry of nature?

I've taken a glance at it, but never read it thoroughly. It's written at a "low level" math-wise, but I remember it reading a bit like a philosophy text: a bit difficult to parse.
I would give more specific info, but that's all I really know.

Cheers.
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October 6th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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Re: fractal geometry of nature?

Thanks so much! My background is in Religion and Philosophy, and I teach Religion and Ethics so that sounds as if it's the book for me. Much appreciated!
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October 6th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #4
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Re: fractal geometry of nature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by empiricus
My background is in Religion and Philosophy
Totally off-topic: what branches of philosophy?
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October 9th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: combining Philosophy, Math, Humanities

I studied both the Classics along with the Hebrew and Greek Bible. Mainly through Greek study (Classical and Hellenistic or koine) I came in contact with metaphysical (i.e., a view of reality) approaches (e.g., Platonic divided line, the "One" of Plotinus, Pythagorean enthusiasm for numbers) and through the Classics along with the Hebrew and Greek Bible I encountered my first ideas of Moral Philosophy.

Interestingly, not so much on Philosophy of Religion (though I think that is a fascinating subject). So more in the line of Religion and Ethics.

That's why I find ideas as Mandelbrot's of concern. Can we understand the world in a comprehensive way using comprehensive means instead of reducing it to one approach? Humanities thinkers generally stay away from mathematical tools, those in the Sciences may look down on Existentialist or Phenomenological views. That's too bad.

Just note most of the reviews on Steven Brams' text, Biblical Games. The best review comment was that Brams had offered another way to look at a biblical passage although the same reviewer thought that Brams did not take recognition of other studies. And maybe that's true, but I don't think it's any more deficient than those humanities studies that eschew use of mathematics.

Some folks skewered Mandelbrot's ideas, now fractal geometry is more in favor--as far as I know.

Thus, I would hope that a humanities attitude could be a part of a mathematical view. And so my curiosity about Mandelbrot.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by empiricus
My background is in Religion and Philosophy
Totally off-topic: what branches of philosophy?
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