Fractal Taxonomy


Fractal:  A repeating pattern that displays at every scale. Fractals are not limited to geometric patterns but can also describe processes in time, sounds, structures and two dimensional arrays.

Taxonomy:  The science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. Organisms are grouped together in taxa ( singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a supergroup of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is regarded as the father of taxonomy. Linnaeus developed a system known as Linnaean classification for categorization of organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms. The Linnaean system has progressed to a system of modern biological classification based on the evolutionary relationships between organisms both living and extinct.

Human taxonomy:

Domain:     Eukaryote

Kingdom:    Animal

Phylum:    Chordate

Subphylum:    Vertebrate

Class:     Mammal

Order    :    Primate

Family:     Hominid

Genus:     Homo

Species:     Sapien

To do: Rather than think of a hierarchical taxonomy, imagine that the linnaean pattern exists at each level from deep within the species-clade up to and possibly beyond, the domain-kingdom.  Working our way down into deeper levels of G-rev causality ( Genetic revision). Continuing deeper within an organism,  after the individual member of the species,  we enter successively smaller realms of genetic causality:  the organ (orgum), the cell (cellum) , the chromatin (chromum), the DNA, RNA ( protum-as in protein), individual exons (Genum), base pairs and single bases (Parum)

Genetic material not at DNA-RNA ( tidum-as in nucleotidum), single atoms in their entirety (unitum), electrons (electrum), protons and neutrons in their entirety ( nucum), quarks (quarkum) pi-mesons, leptons etc. (mesum) particles or waves comprising radiation (wavum). Every level that can sustain a genetic revision ( G-rev i.e. mutation) event is assigned a linnaean name. For Darwin, evolution centered on the individual organism – the locus of natural selection, for Richard Dawkins, it is the Gene, Gould argues for the species as the locus of speciation. Any level, from the pi meson to the clade might be the locus of an effective G-rev ( mutation) i.e. a potential starting point for speciation. Assign a Linnaean name to each one of the possible sites of causality. Acknowledge them all. Each level of this expanded, fractal taxonomic array has local fractal logic; i.e. each level becomes the center of the taxonomic hierarchy. Naming is an important step in understanding.


JB Questions and Observations:

  1. Key thinkers are like air conditioner expansion valves – a small but significant player in a system that transforms that which comes before into something new. If dealing with human thinkers as expansion valves, the transformative genius becomes an archetype. An HVAC expansion valve turns liquid into gas which absorbs heat. Confusion is heat in human affairs and will be intermittently absorbed-transformed.  Looking at the 8,000 year continuum of building in the Anatolian village of Catal Huyuk, dwellings evolve into precursor temples and over 700 years of refinement, the iconic Parthenon emerges as the summa, the apotheosis, a single building as an expansion valve, coloring all buildings that follow.  Literature begins with stories around a paleolithic campfire. These primal, mythical stories evolve into Greek drama then into Ovid, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare on into archetype-expansion valve Mark Twain from whom all 20th century literature has evolved. Expansion valve icons are geniuses by definition. Call them EVs (expansion valves). Not every genius is an expansion valve but all expansion valves are geniuses. See “The Titanic Twelve” JB essay #65
  2. Last common ancestor of woodchuck-opossum?
  3. Lincoln’s  greenback issue  was the largest act of faith in the history of the United States of America at the time of their introduction in 1862 – ironic that this happened during the Civil War.
  4. We read, see, hear over and over ad nauseum about strictures laid upon a population by one religion or another and of the resulting physical, moral, social, spiritual, intellectual and political paralysis. People cocoon themselves with confining filaments always and in all ways, no church necessary. Religion becomes a phantom excuse for timidity, cowardice, conservatism;  the confusion and fear of a constricted life but without religion,  people would be immobilized altogether.
  5. “Each work of literature teaches us how to read it as we go along” – Prof. Thomas C. Foster
  6. Irony is the ultimate sign of the Postmodern. Irony is by definition multivalent i.e. the stuff of multiple readings.
  7. See: JB essay “Taxonomic Gearbox” Feb. 23. 2015


June 9, 2016    11:28 AM