02.26.2016: The 1975 came out with their second album entitled I Love It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet Unaware Of It and referred to as the equally hard to remember ILIWYS.
They didn’t know they’d set my life in motion. Five years of trying, failing, trying better, observing, growing, changing, processing, exploring, moving, feeling, sensing….
Am I awake? Good question. Probably one I never thought to ask before I’d heard of Matty Healy from Michael. The answer is more complicated than you’d think. But at least I ask the question now. I didn’t even know it was something to consider prior to 2016.
This past weekend was a crazy pursuit of seemingly unrelated questions popping into my head that all led to answers I didn’t know would come. Not because I wasn’t curious before, but because sometimes you have to know how to pose the question before you can find what it is you are looking for.
Why did J send me a video about universal mathematical principles in the midst of me learning about infinity? Why did I start watching Sapolsky when I did? Why did Sapolsky mention the very same mathematical principle J’s video discussed?
Turns out J has been watching Sapolsky’s lecture series over the past year. He’s been thinking about this stuff because this is the sort of stuff he always thinks about. It’s the basis of our intellectual affinity. That he is interested in Sapolsky is no mystery. I clued him in last winter. That Sapolsky’s lecture is based on J’s favorite author, James Gliek, is interesting, but great minds think alike. That I came upon the video on chaos and reductionism with no external provocation the same week he happened to watch it is very interesting. What are the odds? Slim, but calculable. A synchronicity, or as Tyler calls them, lighthouses that let you know you’re on the right path.
I see yellow butterflies (the very symbol of chaos theory) when I am on the right path. I saw one almost directly after J asked if he could come over on Tuesday and I said yes. They’re always there at the pivotal moments.
I spent a lot of time on Friday and Saturday imputing questions into Google now that I had the correct search terms. Chaos theory, complexity, fractals, fractal intelligence, fractal mutations, autism and midline defects, neural tubes, Intense World Theory, intuition and fractals.
The last one led me to an article that just had me giddy:
The article talks about a man getting assaulted and experiencing a concussion, the result of which was a Matrix-like synesthetic experience. He now saw geometric shapes everywhere, the way Neo sees code. What shapes? Fractals.
Our brains might have evolved to look for fractals. EEG tests show lowered stress in patients after viewing fractals with similar dimensions as those found in nature. Maybe this is why nature is pleasing to us. Maybe it’s why patients heal faster when they recover in rooms with views of trees.
An immunologist and founder of (my alma mater) University of Arizona Institute on Place and Wellbeing thinks that looking at fractals might result in happy feelings because looking at fractals stimulates the nerve cells in the pathway between the visual cortex and parahippocampal place area, where there is a high density of endorphin receptors.
Zen gardens and Jackson Pollock (Jack the “Dripper” according to another article) paintings exhibit fractal shapes that aren’t obvious. But they might be the brain’s attempt and creating beauty through intuitive practices that end up pleasing us in ways we can’t intellectually describe. Is this the same objective beauty that the Greeks discovered in a more abstract, more conceptual form?
And if seeing fractals is objectively pleasing, maybe hearing them is too. Melodic structure has been analyzed and what does it reveal? Fractals, baby. Yeah. You got it.
What if this is the basis for synesthesia? Why a certain note sounds red (for me and Tyler, it is middle C, though our reds vary in opacity and shade). If there are underlying mathematical concepts to our perception, maybe they translate in these ways that most people just think are cute parlor tricks.
And maybe art snobs aren’t snobs at all. Maybe they’re just more sensitive to mathematical truths and that results in a higher sensitivity to things that are bad but tolerable or even pleasing to others.
If consciousness is fractal, what if the woo woo is just another layer of complexity beyond what most people have? In discussing sentience, Sapolsky brings up Kasporov’s chess match against Big Blue. After he lost, friends tried to comfort him by saying that Big Blue only won because it had more quantity of data at its disposal. Kasparov supposedly responded to the effect of “Yes, but with more quantity you get more quality.”
These are all just thoughts, but I wouldn’t have them if I hadn’t followed several rabbits down several holes this weekend, completely sober.
I probably wouldn’t have talked to J and we probably wouldn’t have had a super engrossing conversation about ketamine and the meaning of words, non-linear thinking and Pan Sonic, a musical twosome who explored the sonic properties of wave forms to make aurally pleasing ambient music.
The point is that I’m asking questions now. I think I always did, to a lesser extent. I used to think I had the answers. Then I thought I was asking the right questions but no one had any answers. Then I realized I didn’t even know how to ask the question. It led to a most pleasing state of saying, “I don’t know” and “Tell me” and “Let’s explore this.” Where it goes from here, I couldn’t tell you. I’ll check back five years from now on 02.26.2026.
I don’t want to live in a world where everything is known, expected, predictable. I’ve already told you how irritating that can be. But I do love confirming things that pop up into my head when I’m doing something seemingly unrelated. “Oh, this thing I have never studied and had no way of knowing is real?”
Sometimes, thanks to Google’s natural language search, the edification is instant. Sometimes, even Google doesn’t know and it requires me learning global concepts in order to posit my questions in the right way. And sometimes, it takes science time to catch up to the things I intuitively know are true, like Intense World Theory.
There’s so much that science hasn’t claimed when it comes to autism. I think most autistics are happy to call it a neurological difference. But I don’t agree. I think the reason so many of us say we feel like aliens is because we’re fundamentally different down to the Legos that build us. Our DNA might have fractal mutations that cause all our tubular (literal, not in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sense) structures shorter. Iterated billions (or more) of times over, it makes for all sorts of interesting phenomena that we experience.
But we’re a minority, so we’re gaslit into submission, trying not to stick out, and using the non-autistic paradigm to describe our inner worlds. Once we are freed from that, we can explore what gifts our differences bring. But, until then, we’re going to keep getting burned at the stake for heresy. I’ve seen it. It doesn’t end well for people who jump out too far in front of the crowd.
Speaking of which, here are two widely considered autistics just clowning around with electrons:
Boy oh boy was Tesla a brilliant weirdo. Just Google “Tesla and pigeons.”
Life for me in 02.26.2021 is grand. I just got my first vaccine, administered with incredible efficiency by the U.S. Air Force over on the other side of Eastern Parkway. This is the first of two Pfizer Covid vaccines.
But really, it’s just the first of several. As the virus continues to mutate, we’re going to be getting boosters the way we get software updates on our phones.
The virus will mutate. That’s a given. Especially since not everyone is following optimal hygiene protocols. According to a recent medical journal article, Covid superspreaders follow the Paredo Principle: 20% of the causes lead to 80% of the outcomes. I just witnessed what is a potential superspreader event: Purim. Tons of revelers. Not a single mask. Oy vey!
Well, it’s a date. Five years from today I’ll check in and see what has become of me. Buenos nachos and hasta la pasta. I’m out.