Spirals: plus ça change
[ by Charles Cameron — a striking image from the Cassini probe, a “spiral” staircase ]
Spirals, which are close to concentric circles and close to ellipses, can also be “squared” or “oblonged” — pattern recognition is not always neat in its observation of definitions, and this can as easily be a cognitive feature as a bug:
Besides, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose could almost be the motto for pattern recognition, emphasizing the naturally cross-disciplinary, cross-silo nature of analogical cognitive strategies.
The top panel image is of the North Pole of Saturn, as recently captured by NASA’s Cassini mission. As blog-friend Bryan Alexander notes at Infocult, NASA says of this image, which it calls The Maelstrom:
The vortex at Saturn’s north pole — seen here in the infrared — takes on the menacing look of something from the imagination of Edgar Allan Poe.
December 31st, 2013 at 11:11 pm
Just after writing this post, I decided to watch one of the videos my younger son David (15) gave me for Christmas — a boxed set of 24 documentaries on my topic of special interest, titled End of the World – 2012 Apocalyptic Prophecies and Inexplicable Phenomena, featuring 33 hours of Mayans, space-craft, indigo children and the rest.
I was barely five minutes into my exploration when I came across this “spiral” reference, taken from John Jay Harper, Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21st Century:
I could say a whole lot about the psychology inherent in that paragraph… and the relationship of revelation, inspiration and the individual.
Okay. Do you suppose the world ends not with a bang nor a whimper — but with a spiral?
Ahem: this kind of synchronicity could get (JL Borges’ favorite word >) vertiginous…
January 1st, 2014 at 9:47 pm
Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing these visuals. What strikes me about the Saturn photo is the pin point at the bottom—or is it at the top, or perhaps infinity(?)…not sure, but I’ve long thought Boyd’s OODA learning framework was more spiral than linear—though I’ve not the skills to prove the hypothesis.
January 2nd, 2014 at 12:41 am
the pin point at the bottom—or is it at the top, or perhaps infinity…
Yup. A fascinating (open) question…
It would seem to me that OODA would be a spiral through time, no? — represented as a circle for simplicity, but implicitly spiral in practice?
January 2nd, 2014 at 2:33 pm
I have one word for you, Charles: Uzumaki.
January 2nd, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Thanks, Bryan — I must investigate.