# Using Fractals to explain social interaction, synergy and life creation

This is a series of post on how fractals and their development would explain about the development of social interaction, synergy and social capital.

The basic formula for fractal is Z=z*2 + C

If we were to denote z = (a+bi) where a and b  are “real number” and i is the imaginary number of square root -1, then by definition z is a complex number.

Let’s replace z = a + bi by an idea “created” due to an interaction between two ideas (or two nodes).

a denotes a known idea or information (e.g. known knowledge or information that can be explicitly described, explained) though it is a “variable” that would depend on the scope and complexity.  This is the explicit idea or information (or knowledge) that we could refer to under existing knowledge framework

b denotes a variable that is associated with the tacit idea, knowledge that are yet likely embedded in one’s “mind”, or hidden within thoughts, that needs to be mined out, or could only be manifested through “tinkering” as explained by John Seely Brown.

i is the fundamental imaginary idea or “intuitive” idea that might not be known by the person, or what is in the dream, and could be the power particle that we are looking for.

bi is then the number of such fundamental imaginary ideas that emerged out of the mind (or brain of human)

Then z= a + bi could represent the ideas that are emerged from both explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge

What happens if two ideas of a network interact with each other?  We could denote the result as z*2 = (a+bi)(a+bi) = a*2 + 2abi – b*2

a*2 – b*2 denotes the resultant explicit knowledge and

2abi denotes the resultant implicit tacit knowledge

Now f(z) or z = z*2 + c could then be represented as

z (on the left hand side of the equation) = emergent knowledge (or learning)

z*2 = zxz refers to the interaction between z and z

c= boundary condition (which could be a stimulus, catalyst, but an initial condition which could “spark” the interaction, this could be based on the mediation of technology or social media).  So c could be the tools used, in the case of social networking, or the mediator such as teacher, classmate, in the case of classroom teaching.  These are the extrinsic motivators or factors that would initiate the interaction.

Let me put all these into a social context.

(a) Social interaction

When a person A interacts with a person B, within a social media (e.g. a blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Quora), which is denoted by c, then the emergent learning (or knowledge) that may result from such interaction is

z = z*2 + c

The development of this fractal into different fractal patterns would depend on (a) the z (ideas, information, knowledge) themselves

(b) the boundary conditions (and the ecology)

(c) how the interaction occurs

This concept could be applied to the interaction in case of communication between two persons, or interaction between an actor (a person) with a non human actor (could be an animal, a machine, a media, an artifact) or a network.

The product of such interaction would be emergent and its development is also based on the initial boundary condition.

So, the synergy emerging out of an interaction of actors (in networks) is greater than the sum of its parts mainly because z*2 +c = (a+bi)(a+bi) +c= a*2 + 2abi – b*2 +c is normally greater than a*2.  and so “network” collaboration or cooperation would likely generate more ideas than those coming from individuals.

However, using the above formula, there may also be noises involved in the interaction, which may be denoted by c being a negative value.  So if the noise – c value is big enough, then the resultant value of z*2 +c could be less than z*2 meaning that there could be a loss of synergy.  This also explains why conflicts (which may be denoted by c) could often hinder or even lessen the resultant synergy out of the interaction.  This explains why some ideas are amplified, resonated, and other ideas being dampened.

Further explanation about how these ideas are resonated, developed are explained here.

The above could also be used to explain the formation, development of networks, Networks, ecology under Connectivism, and that of Actor Network Theory and Community of Practice, all based on the Fractals.

(b) Origins of life.  This is a re-post from my previous blog post on Fractals

I have written an article (never published) back on 22 November 1997 at 11:36 pm.  Here is part of it (though some other parts have been added/revised now):

A basic mathematical theory on the multiplication of cell.
(details not shown)

As life begins in the multiplication of cells:
Imagine a round cell is now sub-divided into two identical cells of the same size as the original one.

The surface area of the multiplied cells could be equal to the surface of another cell of radius r2

By equating 4x pi x r2xr2 = 2 x 4 x pi x r1 x r1

r2 = square root 2 x r1

This suggest that the cells increase by square root 2 the original size of the radius but two-folds in area for any division of cells.

The formula f(Z) = ZxZ +C could be a general formula for explaining this division of cells (I don’t think I have learnt anything about fractals in 1997, and I just made up that formula to prove my point in the division of cells).  So, when I watch the video now and realise that the same formula was used in fractal formation, I was so amazed.  I am just not sure where I got that idea from.  Remember in 1997, the Internet wasn’t popular as yet, and I don’t think I knew the formula as mentioned in the M-SET.

But I really did a lot of original work without referencing to any literature.

Let  Z be a complex number denoted by a+bi, you could derive that

C=square root 2 x a (working not shown here)

If we apply this principle to the multiplication of basic cell, it means that one cell will be divided into two, and the two cells will be divided into four and so onwards.

It seems that the square root of 2 is the mysterious figure that should be investigated.  And I suggest that this is fundamental “number” that could unfold the origins of life – i.e. square root 2.  That is, if we keep squaring root the 2 objects, then it would become 1.

This is similar to the concepts of uniting the sperm and ovary in human birth, where the ovary will begin to subdivide once the sperm unite with ovary.  So the sperm is C and ovary is Z, where the ovary multiplies when the sperm entered into the equation, and the life begins.  Does it make sense?

I will pause at this point.

I will use the above to explain the development of online resonance, Instructional Design, PLENK, Community of Practice, and Social Capital in coming posts.

# About Fractals – a revisit and reflection

I have been thinking about fractals for the last few years, and found some renewed interests here in its application in social media.

I believe that there might be some ground breaking ideas behind fractals especially in describing how it could be represented as a pattern in
(a) our brain
(b) our origins of life
(c) our way of communication and networking, especially in a complex open networked environment
(d) our future of education.

Here are my meanderings:

The basis of fractals is routed from (you could watch the video series 1-6 and it was mentioned in one of them on the formula of fractals basis https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/the-map-is-the-treasure/

f(Z)= Z x Z +C  where Z is a complex number (a+bi) – where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of -1, an imaginary number.  I include this as a brief background only, and I must admit that I am too new to it. 🙂

This is similar in concept to the Newton’s iteration equation in solving numerical problem, which is also fundamental in computation using iteration.

Relating again on the video https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/the-map-is-the-treasure/development of fractals based on just the growth of two lines (could be both equal in length, or unequal, with same or different directions) is fascinating, as this may provide some cues in lots of areas:

(a) Our brain.  First, I suspect that the development of dendrites in the nerve cells and the connections are formed could be simulated using the fractals development pattern.  I don’t know if there are any simulation based on that, but surely the full brain scan provides a pattern that could be studied in greater details, to see how such “fractals” are formed and developed.  I realise patterns of fractals appear when I wash my hairs with hot water, and such images of fractals could be “visualised” naturally.  Have you got similar experience?

(b) Origins of life.  I have written an article (never published) back on 22 November 1997 at 11:36 pm.  Here is part of it (though some other parts have been added/revised now):

A basic mathematical theory on the multiplication of cell.
(details not shown)

As life begins in the multiplication of cells:
Imagine a round cell is now sub-divided into two identical cells of the same size as the original one.

The surface area of the multiplied cells could be equal to the surface of another cell of radius r2

By equating 4x pi x r2xr2 = 2 x 4 x pi x r1 x r1

r2 = square root 2 x r1

This suggest that the cells increase by square root 2 the original size of the radius but two-folds in area for any division of cells.

The formula f(Z) = ZxZ +C could be a general formula for explaining this division of cells (I don’t think I have learnt anything about fractals in 1997, and I just made up that formula to prove my point in the division of cells).  So, when I watch the video now and realise that the same formula was used in fractal formation, I was so amazed.  I am just not sure where I got that idea from.  Remember in 1997, the Internet wasn’t popular as yet, and I don’t think I knew the formula as mentioned in the M-SET.

But I really did a lot of original work without referencing to any literature.

Let  Z be a complex number denoted by a+bi, you could derive that

C=square root 2 x a (working not shown here)

If we apply this principle to the multiplication of basic cell, it means that one cell will be divided into two, and the two cells will be divided into four and so onwards.

It seems that the square root of 2 is the mysterious figure that should be investigated.  And I suggest that this is fundamental “number” that could unfold the origins of life – i.e. square root 2.  That is, if we keep squaring root the 2 objects, then it would become 1.

This is similar to the concepts of uniting the sperm and ovary in human birth, where the ovary will begin to subdivide once the sperm unite with ovary.  So the sperm is C and ovary is Z, where the ovary multiplies when the sperm entered into the equation, and the life begins.  Does it make sense?
(c) way of communication and networking, especially in a complex open networked environment.  I have written a post on this – the map is the treasure https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/the-map-is-the-treasure/
(d) our future of education.  Given the current trend, could we predict the future using fractals as pattern?  May be.  I am still pondering on this, but I would postulate Z (future education) = Z (present education + imaginary or predicted condition of education) x Z (present education + imaginary or predicted condition of education) + C (paradigm shift: based on networking, social media and technology affordance, and promotion and support from government, institutions, communities, local and global networks, social medias etc.)

The following is just my intuitive thoughts only.
Finally, assume that a is our present life, b is our future life (imaginary) in the Z=a+bi then if our present life is “equated” to our future life, then we will have eternal life (as a Catholic, that is a teaching by Jesus Christ).  The eternal life could also be a reality by applying the principle of multiplication of cells.  Also our faith will multiply as a multiple of two just as the cell division.  This is also how religious beliefs gain its life in its spread of good news, IMHO.

Hope you don’t mind me sharing these really “strange thoughts” with you, but I could assure that you would never find it in any literature, as I made all these up myself.

I am posting it here onto my blog, though such are just half-baked ideas, not yet ready for “cooking”.

Let me know what you think.

Photo: From wikipedia on Fractals

I enjoyed watching this video about chaos and order

Postscript:

I love watching these videos on fractals too.  This is Part 6 of 6.  I have shared it in my previous blog post.

# Blogging

There is a trend in the decline in blogging as mentioned here

Blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are losing their allure for many people — particularly the younger generation.

I found this quite an interesting trend, as I have found many “fellow” bloggers slowing down in the postings in the blogs, or might have stopped blogging altogether.  However, there was also an increase in some of those bloggers participating or interacting in the Facebook and Twitter during the past year.

Why would people blog?  Why would people (bloggers) switch to other social media like Facebook and Twitter?

Why blogs: Personality prediction of blogging provides an interesting account on personality factors and how these factors could be used as a prediction of the likelihood  of being a blogger.

The results of two studies indicate that people who are high in openness to new experience and high in neuroticism are likely to be bloggers. Additionally, the neuroticism relationship was moderated by gender indicating that women who are high in neuroticism are more likely to be bloggers as compared to those low in neuroticism whereas there was no difference for men. These results indicate that personality factors impact the likelihood of being a blogger and have implications for understanding who blogs.

Future research should examine whether there is any such relationship between technology adoption and openness to new experience and whether the relationship between blogging and openness persists as blogging becomes more widely adopted.

If the above research findings are valid, then it may be interesting to explore the following:

1. Is blogging and openness related? Are bloggers more open as compare to others who do not blog?  What happens when bloggers shift their choice of expression from blogging to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter? Will such people maintain their openness in those media?

2.  Are the 5 major personality factors able to predict people’s involvement, participation and interaction in social media like Blogging, Facebook and Twitter?

3. What are the critical factors in determining whether people would use social media and Web 2.0 (apart from the personality factors)?

The big five predicting blogging are:

Extraversion

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

Neuroticism

Openness

Reference: Guadagno, R. E. et al., Who blogs? Personality predictors of blogging, Computers in Human Behavior (2007), doi:10.1016/j.chb.2007.09.001

Postscript: Would genes link to social networking?

An interesting map here from this source of schoolzandtoolz.