Benoit Mandelbrot died last week. He was the guy who came up with the Mandelbrot set
(nifty graphic from flickmospam)
That’s a cool mathematical thing where if you look deeper at this fractal, crank up the magnification, it goes on forever. It’s not like looking at stones or a piece of glass, where you can come to the end of a thing. And it’s not like life, which does come to an end.
Mr. Mandelbrot was raised Jewish. His obituary doesn’t make any mention of religious interests. It is not for me to judge whether or not he knew God in a saving way.
But I sure hope he didn’t expect his life to go on in an ever-deepening way, the more introspective he got.
Zeno’s Paradox, where you get half-way from here to there in a set amount of time, is fun to play with from a mental perspective. If you buy into it, then you can never reach anywhere, because you’re always so close without reaching there. Very fractally, very Mandelbrotish. But in the real world, it doesn’t happen that way. You get to church, you get to the store, you get to the end of your life.
What do you think will happen at the end of your life – a spiral into nothingness? A bunch of oblivion? A chance to work it off, to earn a better eternity than you did when you had a physical body? Or do you face what’s in the Bible, a judgment from God, and then either Heaven or Hell?
Why do you believe that?
And are you living that way?