# Zoom!

I wonder if this would be pleasant to watch on ‘shrooms.

It’s pretty intense even sober and drinking nothing more powerful than Earl Grey tea:

The ‘mandelbulber’ renderings of sets as 3D objects mess with my mind very hard – the synthetic depth cues and textures fool my brain into thinking I’m seeing something real enough that it’s unsettling.

The second one, the endlessly complex geometric objects, vaguely resembles a fever nightmare I had when I was a kid.

It’d be interesting to edit the mandlebulber 3D set into a video from Elite:Dangerous, “whoah, look what I found!” (flies around in it for a while)

1. DonDueed says

The second vid reminds me of the feeling of overwhelming awe that I had when I first saw Forbidden Planet as a teenager. Specifically, the scene in which Morbius takes the crew deep inside the vast Krell machine.

2. I’m high af right now and that was a thing of beauty!

3. polishsalami says

I kept expecting the Mandelbulber one to reveal some weird-ass alien. (“Greetings, Earthling!”)

4. kurt1 says

Contemplating infinity on psychedelics doesn’t sound like the best of ideas. In the end you do a Cantor and just go crazy (Ok, that one’s a myth). Once i looked at a black foam mat with some dirt on it, and it turned into the universe. Which was interesting for about an hour, I almost got lost in it.

5. cvoinescu says

That is impressive!

Of course, we all know that’s just a small portion of a much, much larger object, and a lot of it is made of the same infinitely detailed mathematical foam.

The fun part? The Mandelbrot set is just one particular two-dimensional section of a vast four-dimensional object, which is just as weird and trippy all over.

Julia sets are sections in the other two dimensions, and there’s a different Julia set for each point of the Mandelbrot set.

6. says

cvoinescu@#5:
The fun part? The Mandelbrot set is just one particular two-dimensional section of a vast four-dimensional object, which is just as weird and trippy all over.

I did not know that!

Is the Mandelbrot set an object, or a plot of a function? I’ve been fascinated with fractals ever since Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach came out. My tendency is to imagine it as an object that exists “out there” which various things explore, but I know it doesn’t really exist. To me, it feels like a vast unexplored space – a distant island that you can travel to and bring back pictures from. The self-similarity of the sets is what gives it that persistent feeling I suppose.

7. says

WMDKitty — Survivor@#2:
I’m high af right now and that was a thing of beauty!

I watched Planetary Traveler once when I was on ‘shrooms and it was surprisingly fun. Nice, emotionally neutral content that is visually captivating.

The blocky metallic squares thing would go really well with some Mino Vaknin or Plastikman.

8. says

DonDueed@#1:
The second vid reminds me of the feeling of overwhelming awe that I had when I first saw Forbidden Planet as a teenager.

Me too! I wish there was a 3D VR version of the metallic cube-space – it would be amazing to immerse oneself in that.

What’s weird to me about fractals is the complete absence of depth cues. If it was rendered for 3D viewing, that would be somewhat addressed. Then I’d need some echoing music or something to give me a sense of size and space.

9. cvoinescu says

Is the Mandelbrot set an object, or a plot of a function?

The graph of a function is a set — specifically, it’s the set of pairs (x, f(x)) for all x in the domain of the function f. I used “object” loosely, to mean not much more than “thing”.

The Mandelbrot set is a set — more specifically, a subset of the complex numbers. In the representations we usually see, the points of the set itself are shown in black, and the points not in the set are rainbow-colored based on how many iterations we need to figure out that that point is not in the set (actually a little more complicated than this, to get smooth gradients rather than sharply delimited bands, but that’s the general idea).

However, the formula, z[k] = z[k-1]^2 + c, has two parameters: z[0] and c, both complex numbers, so four dimensions in all. For z[0] = 0, the set of points c for which z[k] does not diverge is the classic Mandelbrot set. For a fixed c, the set of points z[0] for which z[k] does not diverge is a Julia set. These are all “sections” through the set of all (c, z[0]) pairs for which z[k] does not diverge. That’s the four-dimensional object I was talking about.

10. says

cvoinescu@#10:
That’s the four-dimensional object I was talking about.

Thank you for the succinct explanation.