Cloud Blooms and Algorithms
“Accept nothing as factual unless it makes sense, logically.”
First of all we very frequently, most of us anyway, have a knee-jerk reaction of fear of the mere word “algorithm”. And yet, and yet, an algorithm is honestly a very simple concept. All it means is that using a system of symbols, symbols we can literally just make up, to explain a function. The function can be honestly, anything! Anything! Just an idea that gets a bit complex to put together in prose.
An algorithm is like the rendering, the formula (whatever you might call it) of a molecule, or even better a compound. The scientific representations of elements are all based on Latin – making the whole scientific study universally understood (no need to get into all of that). Most of the international scientific community is essentially based on various Latin, and some Greek, nomenclature. There is really no justification in doing this; it is just the way it all was first written down and it stuck.
Even the Chinese, who were first on the scene with most of this stuff, use the Latin and Greek – now? Why because they have to. The Chinese were far advanced of any European scientific community with hundreds of innovations. They just kept everything in-country; wouldn’t let anybody in, wouldn’t let anything out. By the time they opened up to the rest of the world, a lot of stuff was pretty much carved in stone. They were stuck. If you want to be part of the rest of the world, ya gotta do it however the majority are already doing it. Being a very pragmatic culture, they got in line.
So some years ago I got interested in calculus. Through my interest and study I find that rarely do the words calculus and algorithms intersect and almost never coincide; at least in most written definitions of the words. For instance a quick Wiki study doesn’t include both words in either text on each.
My conjecture is that calculus (and I realize most of us also run like rabbits from the word calculus) is merely the use of algorithms in the same manner as object oriented computer programming.
“Hey! I’m already bored! Get to it! WTfuck?”
Please, dear reader, stick with me just a little longer.
We, my little family and I, live in an area immediately adjacent to the largest inland body of water on the plant; being the Chesapeake Bay. This not a boast, but a geographical topographical – accepted as such, mostly – fact. Topographically in terms of elevation changes, which can be calculated using algorithms, there is not a whole lot. Compared to almost any mountainous region, it’s pretty flat. However, due to the presence of so much water in relation to such a variegated landscape, we get a lot of weird weather.
Or, seemingly minor changes in the temperature over the land, due to the prevailing winds to those slower temperature changes of various rivers, bays, inlets, marshes, vast wetlands and even some access to open ocean, the weather can go just crazy. Being a motorcycle rider, about 50% to 70% of my travel time, I notice this; out of necessity, I notice weather changes. A cloud bloom is pretty much just what the words combine to indicate. As dandelions and mushrooms seem to generate overnight, in almost anyplace where conditions are even close to permitting, cloud blooms can also occur. A clear blue sky to a crackling thunderstorm in minutes.
The presence of and the corresponding prevalence of these cloud blooms could be, fairly easily, calculated using predetermined algorithms. Or, once it is determined that X is the result of factors Y, calculated through established patterns as objects, we get Z. A cloud bloom. Note: Really, don’t make me get into the details. Think about it for a minute. No, this isn’t algebra, since each element represents essentially massive amounts of data. Once that data is accumulated, do we really need to repeat it? End Note.
The agile human mind, can observe quickly and amass objects of apparent physical conditions, compare and contrast those objects of data with other objects of data as algorithmic conclusions and perform basic calculus formulations.
High feathery clouds spread from horizon to horizon with a steady wind – “Is it gonna rain?” “Nah.”
Quickly blooming low level clouds with rising swirly wind – “Is it gonna rain?” “Yup.”
Looking out the window of this coffee shop right on the Bay, I just witnessed a small cloud bloom far off to the east. As I watched, it flattened across the bottom and turned dark. Across a clear blue sky roughly transcribing a diagonal to the land to the northwest, a massive lightening strike. Where I sit, not a drop of rain, the sun is shining and there is no wind whatever.
Somehow, after all these years, I find there is an interesting analogy a person could draw from a simple knowledge of math, plus what I just witnessed nature accomplish and life itself – life as we know it, that is. That’s just a thought though.
Just published “Twelve Roses for Kathy – A journey on a motorcycle out of the darkness of bipolar disorder”