by Robert Waltz
Not for the faint of art.
A complex number is expressed in the standard form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is defined by i^2 = -1 (that is, i is the square root of -1). For example, 3 + 2i is a complex number.
The bi term is often referred to as an imaginary number (though this may be misleading, as it is no more "imaginary" than the symbolic abstractions we know as the "real" numbers). Thus, every complex number has a real part, a, and an imaginary part, bi.
Complex numbers are often represented on a graph known as the "complex plane," where the horizontal axis represents the infinity of real numbers, and the vertical axis represents the infinity of imaginary numbers. Thus, each complex number has a unique representation on the complex plane: some closer to real; others, more imaginary. If a = b, the number is equal parts real and imaginary.
Very simple transformations applied to numbers in the complex plane can lead to fractal structures of enormous intricacy and astonishing beauty.
Happy birthday, Emily
Being my usual sunny, optimistic self ("sunny" as in "can cause heatstroke, burns, and blindness" and "optimistic" as in "sarcastic"), I've been saying things like "2020 was only the preface" and "flipping a calendar changes nothing but the calendar."
One thing I hope I will not do: repeat my 2020 "blogging every day" achievement. Because if I do that, it would mean I will have been stuck at home all year again, rather than traveling like I want to. Not that I can't blog when I travel, usually; it's just that I'm not going to make myself take the time to do an entry every day.
I know some people are traveling anyway. With proper precautions and care, it's not in itself hazardous. It's just that, for me, the whole purpose of traveling is to visit breweries and restaurants, and it's a crapshoot as to whether those are open in a particular area or not. Not to mention the mask-averse plague rats that infest nearly every location. Also, the main trip I want to take is to Europe, and last I heard there were still travel restrictions there.
Other than that, obviously, I don't know. If 2020 taught me anything, it's that people will believe stupid shit... and that predicting what will happen is useless when external events can fuck everything up. On last year's New Year's Day entry, I wrote: "I have some plans, but life has a way of interfering with them." Prescience? Nah, pessimism. I also wrote in one of its comments: "Seeing the country before it plunges into apocalypse..." with regards to a reason why I traveled a lot in the teens. So really, 2020 didn't change my attitude much.
A few things, besides travel, that I would like to do this year: see movies in the theater, drink, do the biweekly Zoom meetings for WDC folks (see yesterday's entry), listen to music, play computer games, blog, learn more French and maybe Dutch, continue doing Comedy and Fantasy newsletters monthly, and attempt to be funny.
But like I said. No guarantees, except that there are no guarantees. Paradox!