Turbulence, that’s what we’ve got. Things pressing against other things in irregular ways, and energy goes squirting around in complex, dynamic, ways as materials are displaced and look for another way of getting into equilibrium.

The history of all times is fractally complicated. To fully describe the history of any instant, requires a data-set the size of the entire universe – bigger, actually, since you need vectors not just positional data. When I see a storm I think of cryptography: it’s a great mass of complexity that was procedurally generated from some fairly simple processes, and the result is not random it’s (in principle) unknown. Obviously, I’m not a creationist, but I do think it’s funny that ‘god’ seems to have used the same kind of procedural generation system as computer games: you use a single seed in a random number generator to create something apparently unknowably complex. Creationists get this totally wrong, as they do everything else, when they try to claim that life could not have arisen by chance because the probability involved is so small, etc. Well, if you have a big computer and a particle generation system you can create a ‘storm’ that cannot be unwound back to the original random seed – yet it’s predictable once you know the starting conditions. If you take a terabyte of data and encrypt it with an unknown key, I can’t even tell that data from random sampled noise – but, if I have the key, I can verify every bit of it is correct.

Anyhow, that’s just my brain firing on low coffee. When I see a thunderstorm, I think of cryptography.

This is great stuff. I wish I could get really messed up and watch it but I have a surprising lack of psychoactives in my coronavirus bunker. This would be great on red wine and shrooms.

The music is really well done, too. There’s a lot of beautiful storm chasing in that account. If you like things a bit more cyclonic, he’s also done a series called Vorticity.

Imagine what the storms on Jupiter might look like, if we could see them. I remember reading somewhere that scientists believe that some of the storms on Jupiter may rain diamonds. Again, these things are predictable given the start conditions and a few simple rules. But, like a can of paint with colorant added, there is no way you can stir it backwards so that the color comes out and the paint returns to its original base tone.


  1. johnson catman says

    Those are simply amazing!

    Filmed entirely in Arizona during the 2018 Summer monsoon. Over 85,000 frames of time-lapse, 32 days chasing, and nearly 15,000 miles

    on the first one.

    Approximately 120,000 frames of time-lapse captured over 54 days and nearly 40,000 miles driven during the Spring months of 2018 and 2019

    for the second one. That is some serious dedication.

  2. says


    dangerous clouds roll in. the light is blotted out. even the music hints at something grim, dark, evil behind. when the light is gone, lightning flashes, and the destruction begins.

    a pretty good description of what’s going on in my head these days too.

  3. jrkrideau says

    “God created the world in 7 days and we haven’t seen much of him since.” (God draws θ
    from an urn and then is out of the picture)
    Andrew Gelman

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