Friday, 11 February 2011
Feedback is all around us. Some philosophers and scientists believe that consciousness itself is nothing but feedback; it's the brain thinking about the brain. Thinking about thinking creates feedback, and that may have been one of the sparks of human consciousness. That is what is so interesting about seeing a smaller example of a feedback system and be able to, when you look at one of these patterns, to see everything from hurricanes to swastikas, and all kinds of things in between. Some mathematicians to this day, even with chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics, say "How can such complex behavior arise from such a simple system?" These systems also have meaning in the physical world. What we have in video feedback is an incredibly simple system that is deterministic in design yet we get incredibly complex output from the system, even if there's no human invention. When everyone thinks of fractals they think of a digital environment, and here is this totally analog environment which I never understood before producing beautiful, self- referential images.