Fractal Friday

Fractal: Noun, a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation OR Adjective, relating to or of the nature of a fractal or fractals. Synonyms for the adjective: unmethodical · uncoordinated · undirected · disorganized · unarranged · unplanned · unpremeditated · indiscriminate · random · inconsistent · desultory · patchy · fragmentary · sketchy · sporadic · spasmodic · fitful · inconstant · intermittent · irregular · erratic · stray · spot · casual · occasional · haphazard · chaotic · nonlinear · entropic


On this day in 1863, which was also a Friday, the Battle of Gettysburg ended with a Union (Northern) victory. The battle was the largest ever fought on the American continent, as well as the costliest one in terms of casualties in US history with about 50,000 in the three days.

Gettysburg is almost certainly the most studied battle by American military historians and many people are far more qualified than I to discuss the details and ramifications. Many of those who have studied it, but not all, consider Gettysburg to be the turning point in the Civil War in that Robert E. Lee’s army did not attempt any more strategic offensives.

You may think I have completely lost my mind, but I am more convinced than ever that the US as we know it will not exist in 50 or 100 years. Some catalysing event, most likely the election of a President with extreme views, will cause those states opposed to that election to leave the country. Of course, that is what happened before the Civil War as the election of Abraham Lincoln was the “last straw” for Southern states and, beginning with South Carolina, a total of 13 states seceded from the country.

This time, however, I think the states that were responsible for creating the event will bid good riddance to those states that want to leave the US. What happens to national defense, maintenance of interstate highways, collection of taxes and disbursement of government revenues, etc. are impossible to know in advance. However, in the American political world, real debate has ended. Each side simply yells louder and louder often engaging in nothing but propaganda and lies. An uninformed population buys the agenda that suits its a priori view of the world, almost never engaging in a rational analysis of the situation. I think “social media” is not what its advocates claim, a way to unite the world, but is instead a great divider as it makes climbing into bubbles way too easy.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Do I even want to mention that Lincoln will not resuscitate the Continental and will, instead, build nothing but crossovers and SUVs? Not really…too depressing.


I readily acknowledge that I am an idiosyncratic person. My views and tastes often defy categorization and usually, but not always, stray from the mainstream. “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

I am asking all of you to cast a vote on which of these three idiosyncratic automobiles, that have been discussed in this forum over and over (and over and over…), you prefer.



All of these photos were taken by me. The top is a Cadillac XLR, the middle is a Buick Reatta convertible (I prefer the coupe but couldn’t find a picture of one on my phone) and the bottom is a Cadillac Allante.

You can choose your favorite using any criteria you want. I would just like to read your thoughts after babbling about these cars for so long.


I will not be posting tomorrow and probably not on Sunday. I might, in fact, return to a five-day posting schedule only posting on weekends when the mood strikes. Have an enjoyable, safe and sane Fourth.







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10 thoughts on “Fractal Friday

  1. I also think the country as a whole is disintegrating. I’m not sure that states, with the exception of a few of the smaller ones would separate entirely from the union. Many, or most, of the larger states have liberal urban areas but large conservative rural areas. And the urban areas need the rural areas more than the opposite (not many cattle farms in New York city). Then the problem shifts to folks moving out of the expensive urban areas to the lower cost suburban/rural areas, but bringing their desire to have the same services and political views to that area. Then the friction starts in that area.The problem with most of the groups that want change, one way or the other, is they are too fixated on what THEY want, to join forces with similar groups. So you end up with single focus small groups that change nothing, but cause all kinds of hate and discontent everywhere.
    I’m not sure what the future holds, my crystal ball got busted a few years back, but am glad I probably won’t be around to see it.

    Of the 3 cars pictured, if someone was offering me my choice for free, I would probably go with the XLR. Not because I’m a Caddy kind of guy, but because it looks more like a “pony car” than the other 2.


  2. I prefer to stay out of political discussions, but it’s hard to argue with your logic. We have lost the magic of compromise to our great detriment.

    Regarding the cars, my vote would go to the Allante, if those were my only choices. Have a safe Independence Day weekend, my friend.


  3. I choose the Allante in honor of Kelly Bundy. Hopefully there are Married with Children fans in your readership.


  4. I shall not prognosticate on the future as I know better. However, me and my house shall be prepared for what ever eventually occurs.

    With respect to the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee was moving blindly because J.E.B. Stuart had the Confederate cavalry galloping about the countryside instead of shadowing the Union Army and reporting the Union progress back to Lee. Also, Lee’s position was reversed at Gettysburg compared to his previous battles. He was attacking a fixed Union position which had close interior lines. The Confederate failure to turn the Union left at Little Round Top on the second day, doomed Lee’s chances of a victory. The Union failure to pursue Lee in his retreat to Virginia lengthened the war for another year and led to the horrific losses in Virginia in 1864.

    The performance hot rod person that I am requires me to vote for the Cadillac XLR. I would prefer the silver color and the engine without the supercharger.


    1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Philip.

      So far, the Reatta has had no votes. I was just curious what the readers thought of these “oddballs” about which I write so often.


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