Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Wednesday October 22, 2003. I woke up much earlier than I had been lately, without trying to.

Yesterday I wrote: "Description by pattern: The two writers who come first to my mind are William Blake and Ayn Rand. I'll need to do a fair amount of thinking before I can explain this."

An easier example: Arnold Toynbee, who looked at history and saw historical cycles. (See the condensed version of _A Study of History_.) More recently, Neil Howe and William Strauss have explained American history in terms of four-generation cycles (http://wwww.fourthturning.com). [These aren't the only historians who see such patterns. But Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel isn't easy to read, and Carroll Quigley was a bit of a flake.]

Imagine a character who, when he looks at plants, sees sequences of Fibonacci numbers. (Best explanation I've found: Fibonacci numbers and the golden section in nature; seeds, flowers, petals, pine cones, fruit and vegetables. ... Fibonacci Numbers and Nature....
www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibnat.html ) Showing the reader what such a character sees is another example of description by pattern. [And I now know that some people use Fibonacci numbers to forecast the stock market.]

Some synesthetes literally see patterns. They see numbers lined up along the number row; they see days, weeks, and years in patterns which they can easily grasp. I gather that this can be quite useful.

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