A Conversation for Central Place Theory as a Measurement of Beach Popularity
Flipside Started conversation Jan 4, 2000
Your observation seems very true! I might be totally wrong about this this theory of mine but please read and respond with your inevitable complaints. It seems to me that everywhere in nature you can find patterns simular to that of you beach theory. For some examples, it was preposed in the book "Contact" by Carl Sagan, that if you were to figure all the numbers in pie and convert them to simple binary they would eventually form a geometrically perfect circle. Along with other exponencial numbers, there could possibly be other "messages" hidden in every exponential number there is. Is this true? Mankind will not know for sure for a abhorrently long time. As stated by Carl Sagan, what if it was? It would meen that there could be a message deeply woven in to the very fabric of the universe! In the very mathmatical equivalent of objects! Imagine that! Who put the message there? The geometric structure of a particular fruit can be expressed in a simple equasion. In fact, almost all of mathmatics is based on finding the mathmatical equivalent of things found in nature. How can one belive in random occurrnces and chaos, as it were, when these mathmatical facts control our very lives each day? Will futher investigation of this phenomena prove that there exists a "destiny" woven into the very fabric of our human figures?
C Hawke Posted Jan 7, 2000
Mmmm not sure about the secret messages and stuff, but a diving friend has told me various shell fish and other aquatic stuff seem to match this pattern.
I think it's purely because we all need our own space, man.
TurboThy Posted Oct 21, 2000
Some sorts of cauliflower (light green pointy ones, I don't know if it's normal cauliflower that's just not ripe) display what seems like fractal patterns in their...well, flowers. Or cauli. Whatever.
bethinabirch Posted Oct 28, 2000
well, um, it seems to me that math is a just another way of describing/understanding the world - its no wonder that the world is described by it - that's the point.
C Hawke Posted Oct 28, 2000
Ah the chicken and egg syndrome, you are of course quite correct, math(s) are just an invention based on our observations and Central Place theory takes these observations and tries and bends it to a non-real world and then measures the deviation of the real world to the calculated non-real world. I always found that strange.
Having said that and studied (when I was your age, a long time ago) CPT in Human Geography and spending a summer on a beach, I'll state that my usage of the theory matches reality closer than its normal usage
Whatever, its good to see something I wrote is still being found and read.
MuseSusan Posted Nov 2, 2003
Human beings are very good at taking lots of coincidences/natural phenomena and drawing mathematical conclusions about them. My personal favorite is the connection between the Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci Sequence, and naturally occurring patterns. The Golden Ratio (I'll explain fully for anyone who isn't already familiar with it; if you're bored you can skip down to the next paragraph) was determined by the Greeks as the ratio of sides of a rectangle of certain proportions such that you could cut that rectangle into two pieces, a square and a rectangle, and the new rectangle would have the same proportions of its sides. Thus, 1/(GR-1)=GR. The number comes out to approximately 1.618, and the Greeks concluded that this was the most natural and beautiful ratio that could exist in nature.
The Fibonacci Sequence was created by (who else) Fibonacci to describe things like the multiplication of populations over time. If you have one pair of rabbits and every year they give birth to another pair of rabbits, which mature and give birth to a new pair each year starting the year after they were born…the number of adult pairs of rabbits each year is: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… Each term in the sequence is the sum of the two terms before it.
Interesting things happen when you take each term in the Fibonacci Sequence and divide it by the term before it, thus giving you a new sequence: 1, 2, 1.5, 1.66, 1.6, 1.625… This sequence, as the number of terms approaches infinity, converges on 1.618, the Golden Ratio, from both above and below. So two seemingly unconnected things are in fact very closely connected. Coincidence? Probably not. If you start with a square 1x1 and add another square 1x1, then add a square to their long side, 2x2, then add a square to that long side, 3x3, then add a square to that long side, 5x5, and so on, always adding a square to the long side of the rectangle, you ought to get closer and closer to a rectangle that has the Golden Ratio. Try it by drawing a picture.
This is why a lot of times we find strange and surprising connections between things, when we start applying mathematics. We don't notice at first, but the equations we use are just variations of one another, or things like that, rather than some kind of destiny (I'm not saying the destiny isn't there, I'm just saying that the connection between math and nature doesn't prove it).
Interestingly, pairs of adjacent terms in the Fibonacci Sequence show up all the time in nature: in the shape of the spiral of seeds in a sunflower, in many parts of the human face. In fact, much of the human face is made up of lines that are related by the Golden Ratio, and scientific studies have concluded that we humans find those faces most attractive which most closely follow the Golden Ratio. So it seems the Greeks were right—the Golden Ratio is both natural and beautiful.
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