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Due to the appreciation of the fractal images I use here and on the Colorado Confluence Facebook page (, and the interest in fractals and the Mandelbrot Set that that appreciation has generated, as well as the relevance of fractals to my overarching evolutionary ecology of natural, human, and technological systems paradigm (see the essays linked to in the first box at Catalogue of Selected Posts, and particularly The Fractal Geometry of Social Change, for an explanation and description of the connection), I’ve decided to post here a few different video “zooms” of the set.

These are not just visually interesting and beautiful displays: They are the exploration of the underlying patterns of complexity found in nature. The Mandelbrot Set is an extremely intricate fractal generated by iterations of a simple (though mathematically sophisticated) mathematical algorithm. Zooming in on any part of the swirling pattern reveals a degree of complexity equal to that on the larger scale, across limitless levels. I selected such images to represent Colorado Confluence because I believe (as many of my essays on Colorado Confluence explicitly expound upon) that life in general is of an essentially similar nature, swirling patterns of complexity within complexity, and that our challenge, in this human endeavor of ours, is to continue to ever-better align our consciousness and our efforts with these subtle and intricate systems of which we are a part. Enjoy!

Notice the coral-like formations in this one!

There are many, many more Mandelbrot Set zooms out there! Look for the most beautiful ones, and comment here or on the Colorado Confluence FB page with the URL.

Buy my e-book A Conspiracy of Wizards

I have changed the default posting and commenting settings so that I have to approve posts and comments before publication. I will try to gradually change the individual settings for those who have already made relevant posts and comments, so that they can continue to do so freely and instantly, and will do the same for new posters and commenters once they have demonstrated that they are here to use rather than abuse the site. I apologize for this unfortunate necessity.

The blogosphere is a cacophony of arbitrary assertions, unreliable information, angry retorts, and assumption-laden quick commentaries. Long, thoughtful explorations of issues and aspects of our lives are resented on many sites, high volume being instantly equated with low density, and in-depth analysis conflated with unnecessary verbosity. There are reasons for this: The lack of quality control and editorial assistance involved in instantly self-published compositions leadto a lack of confidence on the part of others that investing a large amount of time is worth the effort. And the world has become a more sound-bite driven place, relying more on quick hits of factoids and headlines than insightful discussion of underlying dynamics and implications. The rapid, massive flow of information is a deluge in which no one can swim, and those who try are left grabbing fractured pieces rather than comprehensive narratives.

But lengthy composition does not imply poor quality. Those of us who still read books, read books that are hundreds of pages long, without generally complaining that the author failed to make his or her point in less than 200 words. Even the magazine articles we read are generally of a length that would be greeted with derision in the blogosphere. But those who self-publish are not necessarily writing works of inferior quality, and thoughtful essays cannot be reduced to soundbites without destroying their value entirely.

I started this blog (just over seven weeks ago, as I write) in order to create a more thoughtful haven on the internet, a place where we do something more useful than post links and quick retorts and escalating flame wars. I wanted to create a confluence of thoughts and ideas, a place where people can teach and learn from one another, where we can all lift one another up by using this technology of collective consciousness in a more deeply nourishing way.

But though a fair number of people have been stopping by on a daily basis to read my posts, very few have posted anything of their own. I can’t make this clearing house of ideas and insights and ponderings and contemplations work all on my own; I need the help of others who are also thinking about the world in which we live. Please, post your essays here, on any topic of interest to you, and send the link to this page to everyone you know who might wish to do the same. Let’s create a real confluence of thought, and imagination, and aspiration, right here, and, hopefully, gradually, flowing together with all other such efforts wherever they may be, everywhere.

I look forward to reading your thoughts about the world in which we live, and what we can do to improve the quality of our lives.

I just wanted to bring to your attention the new page linked to in the pages box (currently on the left margin, toward the top), which is duplicated below. Please let me know if there are any posts you think should be added, or subtracted, from the list. Thanks.

As the quantity of material here grows, and my ability to keep up the pace declines, I thought it might be useful to keep a running list of my favorite posts and posts that have received a high number of page-hits, so that visitors who enjoy these essays can usually find something they haven’t read that’s worth reading, even if I haven’t written anything new since their last visit.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find that it was worth your while!

The Politics of Consciousness

Information and Energy: Past, Present, and Future

The Evolutionary Ecology of Audio-Visual Entertainment (& the nested & overlapping subsystems of Gaia)

Lords and Serfs on the Global Manor: Foreign Aid as Noblesse Oblige

Problems Without Borders

The Politics of Anger

The Foundational Progressive Agenda

The Tyranny of Blind Ideology

Why Fame Is Attractive

Deforestation: Losing an Area the Size of England Every Year (including a long passage on “Political Market Instruments,” which is why I included this post here).

The Elusive Truth

“Is Religion A Force For Good?”

The T Party…, THC, That Is

Systems Analysis, Politics, and the Uneasy Alliance of Ignorance and Privilege

Liberty & Society

A Positive Vision For Colorado

The Economic Debate We’re Not Having

The Conservative v. Progressive Debate

Democracy’s Defect Is In The “Demos”

Sound Mind, Sound Body, Sound Society; Sound Good?

Environmental Open Forum

Pro-Life Dogma v. Life-Affirming Sentiment

Is It Wrong to Require People to Buy Health Insurance?

A comprehensive overview of the immigration issue

Real Education Reform

The Real Deficit

The Restructuring of the American and Global Economy

Why Michael Bennet Truly Impresses Me

Sunday Briefs: Glenn Beck on Slavery, How Free Should Speech Be, & the Social Relevance of How We Conceptualize God.

The More Subtle & Salient Economic Danger We Currently Face

Click here to buy my e-book A Conspiracy of Wizards for just $2.99!!!

Why “Colorado Confluence”?

1) This blog is intended to be the confluence, the “flowing together,” of diverse people, thoughts, and modalities. All are welcome, of all ideologies, from all walks of life. It is where political debate, social analysis, and cultural explorations are invited to converge, a meeting place for knowledge, analysis, and imagination.

2) It is focused on the confluence of the many rather than the influence of the few. It emphasizes what we become in combination, taking into account our myriad contributions, but focusing on what we can create together.

3) It can also become a place that helps inform and organize efforts to implement good ideas, working with other organizations and think tanks both to disseminate information and to inspire the development of innovative policies. It can become a place where theory meets praxis, a confluence of thought and action, a home for our collective genius.

4) Here in Colorado, where some of our major cities are sited at the confluence of rivers, and where water is a precious natural resource that to some extent both defines and divides us, the concept of confluence, of coming together on merging streams, takes on added poignancy.

5) Lastly, while this is a Colorado-based blog, it is one that invites all to join, from anywhere in the country or world; and invites contributions on topics from the most global to the most local, relating to any place and any time. This is a locus of convergence rather than of exclusion.


A bile-free zone

For the time being, there are just three rules we ask that everyone respect: 1) Don’t break the law. Do not plagiarize or commit libel. Cite your sources, and avoid attacking individuals. Reasonable, fact-based criticism of public figures is acceptable, but as a means to a positive end rather than as an end in itself. 2) No hateful or incendiary speech. Remarks that denegrate groups of people or individuals will not be tolerated. 3) Do not post anything with the intention of harassing or annoying any other poster, even in minor ways. If it’s not good natured, don’t post it. Avoid even the hint of ad hominem attack. If it has the potential to be misunderstood or to cause hurt feelings, take pains to cure it of that defect. And, on the other side of the coin, resist reacting to perceived slights against you (email us instead). There are plenty of blogs and comment boards characterized by a toxic environment. We have no intention of becoming another one.


A vehicle for improved understanding and social change

Colorado Confluence has a purpose: To celebrate and cultivate our communal mind, in service to the continuing refinement of our social instititutional landscape. This is a forum for finding, sharing, generating and developing good ideas of all kinds, in all forms. It’s a place for exploring the possibilities. It’s a place to discover the narratives that illustrate both what is and what can be. It’s a place to consider how well our local, state, and federal governments, our schools, our religious institutions, our cultural and social venues, our businesses, our community organizations and political organizations, our various old and new communications media, and all of our myriad social institutions and technologies, serve our continuing endeavor to increase the robustness, sustainability, and fairness of our shared existence. And it’s a place to discuss how to do better.

Click here to buy my e-book A Conspiracy of Wizards for just $2.99!!!