## Mandelbrot Set Originally Found In 13th Century (Early April's Fool) 122

Posted
by
Hemos

from the my-history-degree-does-matter! dept.

from the my-history-degree-does-matter! dept.

lines writes

*"I was amazed to find out that the Mandelbrot Set was discovered by a 13th century monk -- way,***way**before the advent of non-human computers. Apparently, a mathematician spied a mini-mandelbrot masquerading as the Star of Bethlehem in an illuminated manuscript's depiction of the Nativity scene. It turns out that this particular monk, Udo of Aachen, was attempting to mathematically describe a soul's path to Heaven. (For those unfamiliar with it, here's a quick introduction to the Mandelbrot Set.)"**Update 30 mins later**by**J**: Yes, this is an old April Fool's joke - and a cleverly done one, too.
## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:3)

about as well done as most of the "All your base are belong to us" Photoshop jobs, and just about as easy to spot. Hemos reallyYou mean those aren't real? Somebody didn't really tattoo 'all your base are belong to us' onto his ass and get chased by cops through a corn field?

## Well, hey.... (Score:2)

- A.P.

--

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

## It would not have been possible, Roman numbers (Score:2)

There is a very famous letter from a merchant to a mathematician in Germany were he asks where he should send his son for studying so that he can learn proper mathematics. The reply from the mathematician was that if he were just to learn how to add and substract, it would be sufficient to stay in Germany. But if he wanted to learn how to multiply it would be necessary to go to Florence (in Italy, has a very old university).

The problem for mathematics in Europe were the Roman numbers. They didn't allow a purely syntactical calculation like the arabian numbers we use now (try to add II and CIIX by writing them in a table like we learn now in school!).

Arabian numbers were first introduced in Europe with Adam Ries in the 16th century (I think).

Sebastian

## Re:It would not have been possible, Roman numbers (Score:2)

http://www.charlesworth.com/isr/issues/isr231/1379 _18/ [charlesworth.com]

Those of you familiar with German can also have a look at a short overview of Adam Ries' "Rechnen auff der Linihen" from 1518, which describes how to calculate the multiplication on the Abacus and is considered as the first mathematical book for the common people: Rechnen auff der Linihen [aol.com]

After "Rechnen auff der Linihen", he wrote "Rechnen auff der Linihen und der Federn" which also is considered as the introduction of the Arabic numbers to Central Europe.

(see Adam Ries [learnetix.de] - German)

The Arabic numbers had been introduced to Europe in 1202 by Leonardo Fibonacci (who also found the famous "fibonacci numbers", now a standard algorithm for describing recursion).

And last but not least, also an article in English: Adam Ries [st-and.ac.uk].

Sebastian

## OK, I'm gullible. (Score:1)

I was almost willing to believe it, despite the extraordinary unlikliness of it all (what can I say, I like unlikely things), until I saw the "infra-red photograph" of the Codex Udolphus.

Did anyone else notice that the "handwriting" is just a pasted-in snippet of the Voynich Manuscript [att.com]? Clearly Ray Girvan is up on his obscure un-translated early renaissance alchemy texts, at least.

## Re:Comments on hoax (Score:2)

2. The bit about "disputing the bible's claim that pi = 3" really ruins the plausibility. No one except atheists trying to disprove the bible has ever claimed that the bible says pi = 3.Actually, there's a bit in the OT about Solomon's Temple where pillars are supposed to be one cubit across, three cubits around, and circular. Jewish scholars debated this in the Middle Ages; generally they agreed that the measures recorded were merely approximate, but one school argued that the presence of God actually changed the geometry of parts of the Temple to a non-Euclidian form where pi really did equal three.

Steven E. Ehrbar

## Gullible isn't in the dictionary. Look it up. (Score:1)

like the moon

you are changeable,

ever waxing

and waning;

hateful life

first oppresses

and then soothes

as fancy takes it;

first posting

and taking away

just an April fool's joke.

## Re:I could be wrong.. (Score:1)

## I could be wrong.. (Score:2)

If it's not a fake, then, well, wow. IIRC, the mandelbrot set is a plot on the real/imaginary axes of the "rate" at which the function approaches infinity for each coordinate.. it seems odd that a monk would use the same technique for describing the fractal. Especially since this technique is just begging for a high amount of computation. Unless I'm missing something, aren't there many possible ways to describe the mandelbrot set other than using this technique? I'd imagine a monk with limited computational resources would decide on a description of the fractal that would be more concise and elegant and less computationally intense than plotting it!

## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

## Re:Which ones? (Score:2)

algorists, as they tend to punch the wrong dots.--

## Re:A math teacher once told me... (Score:1)

Altamira has a Photoshop plugin, Genuine Fractals [206.63.152.155], that does this. I haven't tested it out yet, but I remember favorable reviews for it. It only requires a "G1" Mac with 32 megs, so the process of generating the fractals can't be too hard (of course, Photoshop users are accustomed to waiting for ages for something to happen).

For a (seemingly exhaustive) survey of the state-of-the-art (as of 1999) in fractal image encoding, check out this page [ucsd.edu], which Google seems to like a lot.

--

How many classes do you have to take## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

It's semi-plausible and appears to have a lot of details.

Also, just because its two years old doesn't mean everyone has heard about it.

What I am trying to say is that hindsight is 20/20.

Anyone can be a genius after the facts come out.

Give Hemos a break, at least he spelled everything right!

## Re:Didja know "gullible" isn't in the dictionary? (Score:1)

## Free My Soul! (Score:1)

## Re:Funny! (Score:1)

## Which ones? (Score:2)

---

## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

## Re:A fractal generator (Score:1)

## Re:A fractal generator (Score:2)

I've just checked their news page and the team seem to be alive and well and signing copies of the program at SourceForge.

## Re:Wrong date on Florins (Score:2)

## Re:It would not have been possible, Roman numbers (Score:2)

## Re:No, I was too busy marvelling... (Score:2)

Medeival artists followed the classical Roman practice of strict symmetry. Ancient mosaics look like stiffly posed group photos -- the most important figure is placed in the center and larger, flanked by other figures carefully balanced on each size by number, size and importance. This scheme was so engrained that even the greatest artists always followed it slavishly. Leonardo's

Last Supper(ca 1495) used the science of perspective, but followed the careful convention of balancing every element on one side with a nearly identical element on another. At the end of the Rennaisance artists began to try alleviate the monotony of exact symmetry by replacing it with symmetrical balance -- several persons on one side might be balanced by a horse on the other.By one hundred years later, symmetry was entirely out of the window as artists used perspective, value, and advanced composition techniques subtly draw the eye to the main subject obliquely. Compare a rennaisance painting by Michelangelo [ibiblio.org] or Titian [ibiblio.org] to a baroque painting by Carvaggio [ibiblio.org].

This illustration is too symmetrical to be late 16th c (although it might have been done in an antique style), but must be at least 15th c due to the use of perspective (although subtle) and the attempt to avoid exact duplication while keeping strict symmetry.

## Re:OT Re:No, I was too busy marvelling... (Score:2)

Myself, I was noticing the background was very da Vinci-esque, and was thinking late 15th, but willing to grant maybe mid-15th, because the style of illustrating the rocks in the foreground was not sufficiently naturalistic. I was being conservative: 1449 minus 150 equals 1299, or the last moments of the 13th century.The means of arranging the subjects was typical of the fifteenth c. and earlier; the landscape and certain foreground elements were probably only technically possible with at least 15th c drawing technique. I expect the schematic way the rock was rendered was due to it coming from an illuminated majiscule and aside from the unwelcome distraction of a carefullly rendered rocky surface in the middle of a letter, it had to be rendered in colored ink instead of paint (it might even be an engraving -- I don't remember). The style would have been highly implausible in the full swing of the baroque era, but allowing that the context demanded a somewhat old fashioned design I'd be willing to grant early baroque. It might also be much, much later and much, much more self consciously old timey(e.g. like Wm Morris [lbwf.gov.uk]). I don't know much about medieval art though.

Please! They had a different, but not wholly unfathomable aesthetic. They found symmetry beautiful, and it is not merely in their paintings this appears. We find it, for instance, in their dance choreographies: what is done to the left is then done to the right. It was an expression of order and "mesura" (measure, balance, harmony).That's a good point, but the painters of the time definitely were really laboring to find ways to break out of symmetry. They experimented with numbers, sizes and values so that compositions maintained an overall visual symmetry while breaking topical symmetry.

I don't dispute that they found symmetry appealing (nor that they had gorgeous results), but the new techniques of perspective certainly demanded a more naturalistic way of integrating the subject with the background. Works of this era often have the characters almost floating in a plane in front of a carefully rendered perspective landscape. Tremendous compositional energy swirled in the topical plane while the background served as decoration. The baroque masters really found a way to both liberate that energy into three dimensions and integrate perspective into composition -- it was unambiguously and advance in

techniqueif not necessarilyaesthetics. I think their closeness to the problem of liberating that energy accounts for the strong diagonal arcs that move through their paintings.So to criticise the composition of an early Ren painting by the standards of a Baroque composition, is like criticising a work of prose fiction for not rhyming and having iambic pentameter. That's not what it's supposed to do, not how it's supposed to work, never what it was intended for. It misses the point.Well, I'm criticizing in the sense of analyzing, not disparaging. I find the works I cited very pleasing and indeed ingenious. They were less technically sophisticated, but nonetheless innovative.

## Re:other resources... (Score:2)

Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

## Re:other resources... (Score:2)

Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

## Re:Correct link (Score:1)

## A fractal generator (Score:2)

## OT Re:No, I was too busy marvelling... (Score:2)

Myself, I was noticing the background was very da Vinci-esque, and was thinking late 15th, but willing to grant maybe mid-15th, because the style of illustrating the rocks in the foreground was not sufficiently naturalistic. I was being conservative: 1449 minus 150 equals 1299, or the last moments of the 13th century.

YKYBITSCATLW! I spend a-lot-but-not-enough time looking at early 13th century pictoral evidence of/for women's clothing. If all -- if

any13th century illuminations were as naturalistic and clear as this one, my life would be much, much easier. I confess my first thought was "13th century? Bah! You can tell what she's wearing! I wish!"Now, as a med/ren-geek myself, I must take issue with your tone in:

Please! They had a different, but not wholly unfathomable aesthetic. They found symmetry beautiful, and it is not merely in their paintings this appears. We find it, for instance, in their dance choreographies: what is done to the left is then done to the right. It was an expression of order and "mesura" (measure, balance, harmony).

Furthermore, the positioning of people (and, interestingly, buildings) in Italian (at least) Ren painting had all sorts of complex symbolism which was evident to contemporary viewers, but not to the naive modern viewer. When we moderns look at a painting, we expect to look into a window; we expect to

look atthe figures of a painting. But the contemporaries of da Vincireadpaintings. They expected them not merely to be beautiful, but tohave meaning, to, perhaps, tell a story, or express and opinion. When you think about it, they were much more semiotically aware.So to criticise the composition of an early Ren painting by the standards of a Baroque composition, is like criticising a work of prose fiction for not rhyming and having iambic pentameter. That's not what it's supposed to do, not how it's supposed to work, never what it was intended for. It misses the point.

## No, I was too busy marvelling... (Score:3)

... how an allegedly medieval monk knew how to paint a picture with renaissance perspective.

Mandlebrot, schmandlebrot. According to the accompanying picture, he figured out the vanishing point 150 years before anyone else!

## A little early for April Fools, isn't it? (Score:1)

## complex numbers as coordinates (Score:2)

Complex numbers have been studied for centries, but it was not until 1797 that the Norwegian Casper Wessel, in a paper read before the Royal Academy of Denmark, brought out the fact that since i^2 = -1, and since -1 could be looked upon as a unit vector which has been rotated through 180 degrees, then i could be looked upon as a unit vector which has been rotated halfway, or 90 degrees, or from the x-axis to the y-axis.

Reference: "Laplace Transforms for Electronic Engineers" by James Holbrook.

So our 13th century monk would have had to invent the concept of geometry on the complex plane, as well. Smart monk!

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## I believe he was refering to the date... (Score:2)

Cheers,

Rick Kirkland

## Anyone notice this at the bottom (Score:5)

I think that sums it up.

## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

And shouldn't a book title be underlined?Historically underlines were standardized upon as a way of adding emphasis or setting somethign apart only after the typewriter made it impractical to

italicizethe things you ought. Now that this is no longer the case, I think that that convention is slowly evaporating, and both underlines and italics are considered appropriate.## Re:Actually it's a Julia Set (Score:1)

For some reason I thing that Lorentz was one of these peopleI don't know of Lorenz (I assume that's who you meant) doing any work with fractals directly. However he did a lot for chaos theory, by discovering a normal problem that displayed sensitive dependance on intitial conditions (he had a weather simulator. After seeing some interesting behaviour, he wanted to watch it again, so he typed in the same seeds, but they weren't printed out with the full precision that was used interally, so before long he got qualitatively different results. Trying to isolate this behaviour which struck him as odd (how can 0.000001 difference change everything?) he simplified his system and came up with the Lorenz Attractor [swin.edu.au] - rather than settling on a point or into an oscillating pattern, his system approached a curve of infinite complexity - a strange attractor.Sorry, once I start typing, I just can't stop!

## Re:A math teacher once told me... (Score:1)

to wit:

f(x)=1/x

x->1/n f(x)=n

Where "n" is the number of stars in the universe.

As for going from a fractal graph to a formula

____________________

## Re:other resources... (Score:2)

In high school (over 10 years ago - eeek!) me and a friend would set up an Apple IIe ... with a Mandelbrot program written in BASIC..., we would let it run until our class..., where it would complete by the end of class, and save to floppy.Wow, and at the same time (1990), I was using an Ardent Titan supercomputer, and made a realtime flythrough program. It could generate a 512x512 plot in 1/30th sec, and wherever your mouse was centered, it would zoom in just a little closer for the next frame. Psychedelic.

Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. :)

## Re:Non-Human Computers? (Score:2)

How many 17th century computing machines are you familiar with?Well, I don't actually know how to operate or build one, but Blaise Pascal built a mechanical computer in the 17th century.

## Comments on hoax (Score:2)

2. The bit about "disputing the bible's claim that pi = 3" really ruins the plausibility. No one except atheists trying to disprove the bible has ever claimed that the bible says pi = 3. It says there was a lake 30 cubits around and 10 across. Maybe St. John the Mushroom Head thought that "I saw a molten lake of fire 30 cubits around and nine and five hundred forty-nine thousanths cubits across" didn't fit the meter very well. Overall, the bit about pi should just be rewritten to make it more plausible.

3. profanus et animi is great: Material vs. Spiritual. Or maybe better translated as Real and Imaginary.

4. Fractals don't have "infinite detail" anymore than x*x + y*y 4 has infinite detail. Yes, you can keep bumping up the resolution, but the information content is totally captured in the equation generating it. (i.e. fractal image compression isn't magic.)

5. The update that this is a hoax should be removed from the summary so that people have an opportunaty to fall for it before they read the comments.

## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

I'mthe dumbass?Pphhphptthththtpptththt!

## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

## Oh, come on! (Score:3)

Update 20 mins later by J: Yes, this is an April Fool's joke - very well done, too.It's about as well done as most of the "All your base are belong to us" Photoshop jobs, and just about as easy to spot. Hemos really had his head up his butt on this one. It's a

two year old jokefor crying out loud!## Watch out for lightening bolts. (Score:3)

"I was stunned," Schipke says. "It was like finding a picture of Bill Gates in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The colophon [the title page] named the copyist as Udo of Aachen, and I just had to find out more about this guy."I don't think the All Mighty is going to be to pleased with this comparison.

## How to generate simple fractals (Score:1)

* On the X,Y plane, pick three points which are the corners of an equilateral triangle.

* Now pick any fourth point, and plot it.

* Now randomly choose one corner of the triangle, and move the plot point halfway towards it. Plot that point, then pick another corner, move halfway, and plot again. Repeat.

If you let this run for a while, the points converge into a shape called a Sierpinski Gasket, which is a readily-recognizable series of nested triangles. By varying the location and number of the control points, the transformation rules used to alter your plot point (use different movement rules, for instance, or weigh the probabilities of choosing those rules in some way) you can produce a wide variety of interesting and beautiful fractals.

## Re:Anyone notice this at the bottom (Score:1)

Could BSDevel be.... Mr T?

## Oh, come on (Score:1)

I saw this about 4 years ago..

And how could it not be a fake.?

I have to say, there're a lot of things on

## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

## Re:Non-Human Computers? (Score:1)

## Re:Anyone notice this at the bottom (Score:1)

Speaking of April Fool's, you do realize he was pointing out the date and not the copyright?

## Re:other resources... (Score:2)

I mean, I personally frequently find it hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that I got my first computer. I mean, *20 years*? It doesn't seem like that long ago that people who were 20 years old were "old".

Rich

## Trick Of Course.... (Score:1)

## Wrong date on Florins (Score:2)

Plus, there is no Harvard Journal of Historical Mathematics, or if there is, Harvard's libraries don't know about it.

My medieval history studies finally serve me well...

## Re:It's not a moandelbrot set (Score:2)

## Re:It's not a moandelbrot set (Score:2)

gee, if you're going to try to strictly parse semantic labels of mathematical terms, they're not really complex, either, they're pretty straightforward. They're all numbers.I am, and no they're not. They're complex because they have two parts.

Besides, imaginary numbers are just the nonreal part of complex numbers; "complex" implies you're going to see both real and imaginary valuesYou are, zero is the real number. And before you point out that any real number can just as easily be considered complex because i has a coefficient of zero, you're right, but that doesn't change the fact that imaginary number is a poor label.

## Re:Non-Human Computers? (Score:1)

## not really that funny (Score:1)

## Re:Non-Human Computers? (Score:1)

computer

Pronunciation: k&m-'pyü-t&r

Function: noun

Usage: often attributive

Date:

1646:

one that computes;specifically: a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process databold emphasis mineHow many 17th century computing machines are

youfamiliar with?## hell... (Score:2)

Besides, the mandelbrot set relies on a pretty recent advancement in mathematics: the use of complex numbers as (x,y)-coordinates on a plane.We didn't even have the

X,Yplain back then, either.Rate me on

Picture-rate.com[picture-rate.com]## This is a hoax. (Score:1)

## I guess none of the editors read Kuro5hin (Score:1)

-Mike

## Suppression of valid work (Score:1)

## And in other news... (Score:1)

stillclaims that this has no bearing on their patent for a single-click fractal.## Re:Non-Human Computers? (Score:2)

## Oh, *please* (Score:1)

## Re:Actually it's a Julia Set (Score:1)

I went to a talk by Mandelbrot, and he is basically a monster ego with feet and a big mouth.I went to a lecture by Mandelbrot, some 10 years ago. He was very self-effacing, and claimed he was embarrassed by the use of his name to describe the set.

When did you see him? Perhaps someone took him down a peg or two in between the two dates?

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## Didja know "gullible" isn't in the dictionary? (Score:3)

isa pretty funny hoax, though.--

## Re:It's not a moandelbrot set (Score:1)

Oh, and wouldn't it be nice if slashdot supported the tag?

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## Re:It's not a moandelbrot set (Score:1)

--

## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

and James Gleick eludes to it in "Chaos".Don't you mean "alludes"? And shouldn't a book title be underlined?

All in good fun. And my punctuation is intentional.

--

## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

--

## A math teacher once told me... (Score:1)

Yes that is a blank stare.

## other resources... (Score:1)

I was always, fascinated by it in school.

Does anybody have any links ??

meatplow.

fuckbunny.org [fuckbunny.org]

## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

You have no appreciation for the amount of spare time people in the middle ages must have had. If they had the brains to, they probably would have counted to 10,000 just for fun each day.

Let's see. What shall we do today? Kill some innocents out of complete ignorance...did that twice this week. Kick some pebbles? Done that. Work slavishly for the fiefdom...every day this week. Guess I'll stare at this wall for a while and then let my imagination run wild to think up some daemons so we can go kill some more neighbors.

## It's not a moandelbrot set (Score:1)

Furthermore, this image bears only a very remote oliking to a mandelbrot set image in a x-y plane (which in turn is a recent invention too).

It can be anything artistic, but definitely not a mandelbrot set image.

## Since nobody else will admit it... :) (Score:1)

## Re:Old April Fool Joke (Score:1)

(Offtopic!?)

## "and his helper, Thelonius" (Score:1)

## Re:hand calculations (Score:2)

Mandelbrot considers himself the 'father' of fractals.

This may be just the ego 'punch' that he needs.

## Re:Funny! (Score:1)

## hand calculations (Score:2)

## I recommend... (Score:1)

Fractint. I used it back in college during my Computer Graphics classes, and eventually my teacher just gave everyone else a copy so they would all see what a fractal was, and which fractals were the most popular.You can get it at the Fractint WWW pages [triumf.ca].

Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I## Are things like this really a surprise?? (Score:1)

## Re:Anyone notice this at the bottom (Score:1)

This one's on Hemos

(end comment) */ }## Re:Didja know "gullible" isn't in the dictionary? (Score:1)

## I told 'em (Score:1)

andshrimp!Bugrit!

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## Re:hand calculations (Score:1)

--

## Is it just me... (Score:1)

---

## Re:A math teacher once told me... (Score:1)

## Re:Oh, come on! (Score:1)

0. Didn't look at the copyright.

1. It's well written.

2. Ramajun - if a poor Indian college dropout can come up with hundreds of new mathematical insgights (and rediscover others) in his spare time, it seems plausible that a monk (who could have been copying the bible

by hand) could have some astounding mathematical insights.3. The stuff about imaginary numbers being associated with the devil reminded me of "true" Greek tales about the gods being angry with the discovery of irrational numbers - the legend may be the source for that part of the hoax.

4. After enough math courses, the ideas expressed here (except for the Mandelbrot set) strike me as elementary. Imaginary numbers, probability axoims, ordinal infinity, and Cartesian coordinates seem intuitive. They're not, of course, and I would never come up with all of them on my own, but halfway through a math minor they seem like givens.

OK, I got taken. Just trying to feel less stupid.

## Score one for /. (Score:1)

The only thing left to prove the integrity of

'News for nerds. Stuff that matters.' That was a long, long time ago. Now it should read, 'News for herds, Stuff that generates ad revenue'

## Re:I Love Calculus (Score:1)

## Re:Score one for /. (Score:1)

I've read the FAQ, and notable by it's omission is any forum for a discussion on

But back to the point at hand,

The

## Re:I could be wrong.. (Score:1)

the mandelbrot set is a plot on the real/imaginary axes of the "rate" at which the function approaches infinity for each coordinate.Actually, the mandelbrot set itself doesn't take into account the rate. The mandelbrot set is just the set of all points that don't escape to infinity ever. You cannot actually have a picture of this, without computing for an infinite amount of time (at least with current methods). All the computer pictures of the Mandelbrot set are just approximations. Anyway, in a normal Mandelbrot fractal picture, the actual Mandelbrot set is everything in black.

## Re:other resources... (Score:1)

Another good one that even lets you compile your own fractal algorithms into it. For Mac only though. Fractal Designer [unige.ch]

## Re:I could be wrong.. (Score:1)

## Re:other resources... (Score:1)

## Re:Actually it's a Julia Set (Score:2)

The guy lucked out in my opinion. He had an interest in something already known and other people developed the technology for him to take the credit. The sad thing is that this is worse than patent law since Mandelbrot will always get way more credit than he deserves.Gaston Julia did not discover the Mandelbrot set. He discovered the Julia sets. These are related to the Mandelbrot set, but are not the same. For every point in the Mandelbrot set, there is a corresponding Julia set.

Both sets use the formula z := z^2 + c, but they differ in what z0 and c are. In the Julia Sets, z0 is the point on the plane and c is a constant that defines which Julia set it is. For the Mandelbrot set however, z0 is always 0, and c is the point on the plane. In this way, the Mandelbrot set is a table of contents for the Julia sets. Each point on the plane that is in the Mandelbrot set corresponds to a Julia with that point's coordinates as its c that is connected. All the points not in the Mandelbrot set correspond to Julia sets that are not connected. This was the work that Mandelbrot did, and that is why the fractal is rightfully named after him, just as the Julia fractals are named after Gaston Julia.

Lorentz was not working on either the Mandelbrot or Julia fractals. He was working on simplified differential equations for modeling weather. This led to his discovery of the Lorentz attractor. Basically, his work showed that fractals and chaos were abundant in nature. The fact that we will never be albe to accurately predict the weather more than a month in advance also stems from his work. This is commonly known as the Butterfly effect, i.e. a butterfly flaps its wings in Central Park and a 3 months later, a hurricane doesn't hit Japan.

To the best of my knowledge he never acknowledged the work done by the meterologists. When I saw him he also claimed the results of the conjectures as his own and went out of his way to disparage the people who did the real work.I've never heard Mandelbrot try to disparage anyone in anyway. In fact, its mostly the other way around. People disparaged him because he would write papers in many different journals in widely varying fields, although really they were all in the field of non-deterministic systems, or whatever they are calling it now. People viewed him as an outsider, and therefore dismissed his work without considering it.

## Non-Human Computers? (Score:2)

"I was amazed to find out that the Mandelbrot Set was discovered by a 13th century monk -- way, way before the advent of non-human computers".as compared to those pesky human computers.

Smartassesis what we call them suckers.## not as absurd as the real thing, sometimes ... (Score:2)