English history, fractals, and Donald Trump

The Fractal Geometry of Nature may be Benoit Mandelbrot’s most famous book, but have you ever heard of the fractal geometry of history?

I hadn’t either — until I watched the six-minute video “The Abandoned Hill with Two Members of Parliament,” presented by the ageless Tom Scott, who usually talks about linguistics or math.

OK, the title is a tad misleading — but only a tad.

You’ll have to watch it yourself to discover how it is misleading and how it isn’t. What I want to address is the question of the fractal geometry of history. Scott claims that if you zoom into history, or zoom out and get the big picture, you’ll see detail at all levels of magnification. Thus, a fractal.Oh, what about the specific content? When you watch the video, you’ll see that actually the abandoned hill no longer has two members of Parliament. It’s now part of an equitably districted system, designed by an independent commission. Just like the USA.

Oh, wait…

The last words of Scott’s narration are “It is extremely difficult to convince people with power to give it up willingly.” Let’s hope he’s wrong. If you listened to Chris Wallace’s interview this morning with President Trump, you may be worried.

Categories: Life, Math