Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Origin of Crop Circles

Hello from Crestone, Colorado— high in the southern Spanish Peaks of the Rockies. The occasion is a New Age conspiracy conference where I'm representing my publisher, The Invisible College Press. My lecture yesterday was on Atlantis and Mu. Today I’m introducing the panel on Crop Circles. If you’ve ever wondered about where these come from, read on. After Monday, I’ll get back to “normal” subject material, like the downfall of unfettered free market capitalism in a world disillusioned with dysfunctional democracy (smile face).

I know about the origin of crop circles because I've made some of them myself. All you need is a good imagination, a clandestine group of friends to help you, some basic equipment like snowshoes and a precise GPS unit for each member of the team, and finally, a background in mathematics with a special emphasis on fractal geometry. It is also essential that the team members know how to keep a secret.

I get out there on occasion with snowshoes on my feet and a GPS unit in my hands. Using the GPS units does seem like cheating, but they're absolutely essential for the kind of things we're doing now. We haven't made a true circle for years now. Nobody gets excited about a circle anymore. It's all about Fractals now. Fractal images. And, of course, I'm keen on this as well, since the Fractals involve pure mathematics. We're really turning out some first rate effects. We're keen on geometric representations of the Fibonacci Progression. They're very popular with the reporters because they photograph so well from the air. And then we're doing nice things with the Phi Ratio, and Platonic Solids, and the Vesica Pisces, and the Golden Mean. We got off on a tangent, nine or ten years ago, with hexagons. We linked up ten hexagons to form a complex queue that actually looked three-dimensional. It was up at Stonehenge. The press took to calling this, the Julia Set.' That seemed to start a fad with hexagons, and it's been hexagons ever since.

Now, the Julia Set was never primarily hexagonal, but that was the wording used by the reporters. They're weren't mathematicians. They're just bloody idiots. They wouldn't know a bloody Julia Set from a Mandelbrot Set, but you can bet they'd always call it the Julia Set because Julia is easier to spell than Mandelbrot. Those blokes who report the news are notorious slackers, and the blokes who watch the teley don't know anything either, so it doesn't matter what things get called. Of course I still get the chance, from time to time, to slip in a few of my prime arrays of circularities, and my luxentric angulations. But those design structures are way over the head of most people. Nobody seems to get it, even other mathematicians. Nobody gets it. These, of course, are the arrays that people cite to prove that crop circles are extraterrestial in origin, since nobody can cite a terrestrial math formula that would yield such a pattern.

Since most crop circles occur in England, I've written this blog in British rather than American.

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