Codex of the Synapse: Folio B4.2

Script as Scripture: Fractals in Pattern Language Script


"How long is the coast of Britain?" - Benoit Mandelbrot

The Pattern Language Script, like any drawing, consists of lines and the spaces bewteen lines. However, a closer look at these lines reveals that each strand of scripted Pattern Language is itself made up of multiple lines separated and defined by spaces. These sub-lines are in turn made up of yet finer strands and proportionatley smaller spaces. At every level of magnification the general appearance of the script is the same, even if any specific composition of lines may be unique, seemingly random in its calligraphic loops and turns . The Keepers, true to their belief in the porosity of all things deny the existence of a final, indivisible strand. Every line ultimately reveals the hybrid of gaps and similar sub-strands that compose it.

The Pattern Language Script may be drawn with a pencil in the Transcription Ritual, or laid out as a formation of crops on a Keeper's farm, or even appear on its own as microscopic fissures in a Synaptic fragment. In all cases, though, the Script always follows the essential rhythm of self-similarity repeated on a finer and finer scale. Anything that adheres to this fractal geometry is said to be "Scriptural", or sacred, by the Keepers. The Keepers try to apply their wordless Scriptures in everything they do, from arranging the dinner table to large-scale urban-planning. A farming Keeper may place his fields of corn next to a neighbors cornfield along Scriptural lines. In the field itself, the corn-rows may follow the irregular lines of the script. In turn, the farmer, on an occasional late-summer evening, may venture into his field to practice the Transcription, scribbling the script on a drying husk, to reiterate the pattern a third time, for luck.

This quality of self-similarity means that any single phrase of Pattern, no matter how small, contains the blueprint of the entire Pattern language. A phrase of a few numbers in sequence (1,2,4,8,.....) can describe the course of those numbers to infinitity (or infintesimality), even though the exact phrase itself is never repeated. Even the seemingly chaotic surface of a stone or a cloud formation may be the Scriptural, the recursion of a simple shape, a phrase of pattern, on a smaller and smaller scale.