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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The African Origin of Fractal Designs and the Computer Binary Code

Last year I wrote an article entitled Orunmila’s Machine: The Meta-Mechanics and Reduplication of the Ancient African Internet. Therein I stated that the Ifa divination system is a reference point for the “Information Superhighway” that we use on our laptops, desktops, and smart phones. Today, a friend showed me a video that added to what I had shared over a year ago.

The lecture below features Ethno-mathematician Ron Eglash, who is the author of African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design. According to Eglash’s bio “the book examines the fractal patterns underpinning architecture, art, and design in many parts of Africa. By looking at aerial-view photos—and then following up with detailed research on the ground—Eglash discovered that many African villages are purposely laid out to form perfect fractals, with self-similar shapes repeated in the rooms of the house, and the house itself, and the clusters of houses in the village, in mathematically predictable patterns.”

                                       Is this a fractal design too?


                                     What about this?

As Eglash puts it: “When Europeans first came to Africa, they considered the architecture very disorganized and thus primitive. It never occurred to them that the Africans might have been using a form of mathematics that they hadn’t even discovered yet.” I’m sure someone reading this has a great talent that they’re not sharing because someone told them that it is useless and of no intrinsic value. Perhaps this will inspire you to reconsider what you have to offer the world.