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.
|Kids these days with their... um... kid stuff.
The one constant across all of human history is the older generations freaking out over something that the younger generation is doing.
They [Young People] have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things -- and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning -- all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything -- they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.
More complaints about "kids these days" from millennia ago can be found here.
Anyway, the Cracked article linked first above.
Once upon a time, there was a world before Fortnite, COD, and even Angry Birds when most people needed to visit arcades and other public places to get their video game fix.
I was one of those kids in 1982.
Yet instead of enjoying their time outside of the house, socializing at arcades as they gamed with their friends, basically, everyone and their mom thought that video games were actively destroying their brains, sparking mass hysteria among parents.
And before that, it was hippie stuff, and before that it was jazz, and before that it was... I don't know... writing, maybe. Or revolutions against colonial oppressors.
"GRONK! FLASH! ZAP! Video Games are Blitzing the World!" read a cover of Time Magazine in 1982.
On the other hand, maybe it did destroy my brain; I have a distinct memory of Pac-Man being Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" (before they finally stopped being so fucking sexist about these things), but in researching this blog entry, it seems that the Pac-Man "Man of the Year" cover was actually a spoof done by Mad Magazine. Mad, of course, was Cracked's main rival at the time, but more importantly, it was published by the same people who published Time.
Everything is connected somehow.
Time did, however, once select "the personal computer" or something similar as "Man of the Year," notably before they changed it to "Person of the Year," thus illustrating that to people back then (People was a popular magazine then too), the computer was more important than the wimmins.
In an attempt to curb this "electronic blight," with 4,000 to 5,000 consoles popping up in arcades, pizza parlors, grocery stores, and drugstores, city officials passed regulatory laws, only allotting video games in commercial or industrial areas. Because nothing says good, wholesome fun like a bunch of unsupervised children heading down to their local factory district area to play some Pac-Man, right?
Also, I don't remember any of this. I got my video game fix in arcades and at the local 7-Eleven.
"Officials say they are responding to complaints from parents that children have skipped school or stolen money to play the games and made a nuisance of themselves," the anchor said over footage of kids seemingly having a great time playing games.
Said 7-Eleven was located right across the road from my high school. I'd leave extra early in the morning to stick stolen quarters (okay, they weren't really stolen, but it's not like I had a job at the time) into Ms. Pac-Man and/or Galaga prior to trudging over to prisonschool.
I got really, really good at Galaga, by the way. When the first Avengers movie gave it a nod, I might have cheered right there in the movie theater.
I don't recall that I ever skipped school just to play video games. But I can't say I never played video games when I skipped school. It's just that the owners of that particular convenience store were narcs, and if a kid was there during school hours, we'd get told upon.
Incidentally, I had occasion to pass by that high school fairly recently, because it was on the way to a microbrewery I wanted to try -- I think this was in November of 2019, because it was definitely in the Before Time, but still recent -- and behold, there is still a 7-Eleven across the (now four-lane) road from the high school. It does not, however, still house video game consoles, but the cashiers still looked like narcs. This shouldn't be surprising, since that convenience store is also next to the FBI Academy. Yes, that FBI Academy; it's right across the line from Quantico.
Point is, there have always been things that kids do that freak adults right out. This, I think, is an important part of childhood, and I hope it never changes. Because, it's not in spite of these moral panics that civilization keeps right on chugging along, at least for now.
It's because of them.