The elegance of math is something that has always fascinated me.
In ninth grade I won the state mathematics championship with a project that looked at some of the implications of nonlinear measurement. Almost 50 years ago. I doubt I could understand the modern version of this ninth grade knowledge from the 1960s.
In 1969 I discovered the lava lamp in the East Village of Manhattan. Back then the East Village was one of the most run-down parts of New York, as was Harlem. I wish I had purchased townhouses in both the East Village and Harlem back then. Former heroin shooting galleries are now multi-million dollar townhouses and four star restaurants.
I digress. In a place of not much beauty the lava lamps glowed and flowed in the storefront windows on Eighth Street a few blocks from the Fillmore East. The geometry of the lava flows through the lamps was comforting and of great beauty in a place where it was pretty ugly if you weren’t stoned. The power and beauty of math.
Later fractals. First accessible to all with the programs on the PCs in the 80s. Better lava lamps. The even greater beauty of sophisticated mathematical models. All without waiting an hour for the lava lamp to heat up.
Now just about anyone can watch nonlinear models flow on the screen of their smartphone. A retina screen makes a great lava lamp. The elegance of mathematics once again shines on in beauty.