FRACTAL LOGIC

Nonlinearity

Fractal geometry is concerned with the morphologic (the interrelationship between each part of a system) and the amorphous (the nonlinearity of these parts). Its general currency has been affirmed by a culture that values such criteria (Julia sets, the fractal's derivative, were known during the First World War but failed to achieve reasonable interest among the scientific community). The teleological ideals of determinism, which encompassed the Euclidean paradigm, were deconstructed by the post-structuralists, in particularly Foucault. His genealogical analysis attempted to undermine the supremacy of the 'master narrative' by celebrating the singularity of events - it was preoccupied with the 'parts' not the 'whole'. Furthermore, genealogy attempted to reveal the multiplicity of factors behind each event - the nonlinearity of these 'parts'. The freedom of the signified in Foucaultian analysis demands infinite versions of history. Therefore the 'truth' hovers indefinitely between different versions never fixing on an absolute, like a 'border skirmish' in a fractal. But this merely reminds us of the fractal's infinity; it does not reveal that the 'freeplay' in discourse is structured by the same self-similarity. The self-consciousness of dissemination in post-structural discourses, for example Lacan's Ecrits (1977), demands that I should broaden my argument in order to to prove this. Instead, I will discuss the 'infinity' of the signified within language.

When you perceive a can of coke, a signification is made. This 1 master-signified is the synthesis of infinite 'signifieds' that depend on context. By this I mean, your perception of the object relies on, and could be altered by, seemingly insignificant factors; for example, the signification of 2 light acting upon the can, creating fluctuating wavelengths in the brain; or the influence of spacial environment - which therefore involves 'the environment's' master-signified (also consisting of infinite signifieds).

'There is in effect no signifying chain that does not have ... a whole articulation of
relevant contexts suspended 'vertically', as it were, from that point.'
(Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious, p.154, 1977)

If the master-signified exists through differance, nonetheless it exists, meaningless. It consists of an infinity of signifeds on signifieds, each one infinite in their own right, each infinity another signified. A self-similar structure can be seen in the 'scaling' of every signified: from the coke can's master-signified to a tiny blip, 'suspended vertically' from the chain of signification (the breeze from under a door in the spacial environment) they are the same entity: a signified composed of infinity. Although dynamic, the master-signified is the finite entity in which these infinities can take place. Subsequently, I would argue that signification is a fractal process.

This claim undermines the dichotomous 'logic' of post-structuralist and logocentric thought by affirming their opposite. It offers a paradox: the finite is infinite! Fractal 3 logic has offered us this concept through the medium of computer visualisation. This was because our cognitive processes were (and still are) confined to discourse; discourse ordered by the dichotomous logocentricism of Christian civilisation. Post-structuralism sought to deconstruct the binary oppositions within language, but by marginalizing the finite, it created another dichotomy:

'Derrida, Foulcault and other modern Nietzscheans ... having lost faith
in the progressive character of history, they are reacting against the
Enlightenment.'
(Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, p.184, 1993)

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