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.
PROMPT January 9th
Write about some important life skills that are rarely taught but extremely useful?
Oh man. This prompt almost makes me wish I hadn't drank beer followed by tequila earlier, leading me to pass out only to wake up due to the alarm I set for myself at midnight to remind me to post a blog entry.
I mean, come ON, there is no other rational response to everything that's going on right now.
Consequently, despite having been asleep for hours whilst dreaming of living in a sane universe, I am still drunk.
Which brings me to my first Important Life Skill That Is Rarely Taught But Extremely Useful:
Instead of actually teaching this, we throw kids of various socioeconomic backgrounds together in a blender and hope that things work out between them. This allows them to quickly figure out whether they're considered worth defending or not. Unless they play sportsball, the answer is "not."
And this is somewhat related to the second Important Life Skill That Is Rarely Taught But Extremely Useful:
One does not have to be an Advanced Supergenius like me, or even have moderate intelligence, to learn how to think critically and discern truth from propaganda. On the other hand, even the most otherwise intelligent people will fail at this unless they are taught how to spot bullshit.
I don't want people being told what to think. But teaching people how to think needs to be an integral part of education.
This is probably unrelated to a final Important Life Skill That Is Rarely Taught But Extremely Useful:
People generally have a bad relationship with money. Sure, money is an abstraction, but it's a important abstraction for dealing with life's vicissitudes. Some basics of personal finance are better being taught early, and one cannot trust parents, who have not learned such skills, to convey them to their children.
I had to pick these things up from Life, but some people never seem to learn.
There are probably other things, but... again... tequila. Which may not be the best way to cope, but I never claimed to be an expert in any of the above areas.