This is issue 25 of the irregular ezine bracket bracket.     b r a c k e t   b r a c k e t   2 5  b y   P a u l   S m e d b e r g

Here's a simple little Flash movie called

Hexagrammaton   START

which has two interesting properties:
the movie/pattern/program repeats
every 109,909,688* years . . .

(or sooner
if you reload the page)

and the movie can be used for divination
as a "front end" to the I Ching.

What will you be up to
in 109,909,688 years?

Ask the I Ching

What will stuff be like in 110 million years? Most sciences find that question hard to answer. Plate techtonics points to a bigger Atlantic and smaller Pacific Ocean. Cosmology is equipped to make some reasoned guesses. Evolutionary biology looks more than 110 million years into the past, but there hasn't been much exercising of the little grey cells in the direction of predictive evolutionary biology. Most other sciences just don't have a temporal horizon that reaches 110 million years.

There aren't a whole lot of species that have lived longer than 110 million years. So far, pretty low stuff. Bacteria. Jellyfish. Insects. Basically the class of species that I will refer to as "yucky" or "kind of yucky". Which points to the weakly reasoned corollary that any successor species on the evolutionary path will look at humans and other mammals as being yucky or kind of yucky. And that our successors as dominant species will be transcendently cute.

On the other hand, cosmetology, the science of cosmetics, notes that no species which has attained the use of cosmetics has ever reversed that choice. I hazard that it would be likely that some members of any successor intelligent species would use cosmetics. Rouge could outlast humanity.

What other stuff we invented could outlast humanity? Maybe electromagnetic communication. Maybe the zipper. Maybe plumbing. Maybe trying to predict the future. Maybe sports.

When humans are extinct, will some form of soccer still be played by someone or something? Will members of that species bet on the games? Legally?

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Stills from the Hexagrammaton:

*The length of time it will take the Hexagrammaton to repeat -- 109,909,688 years -- was figured thusly:

Essentially, the Hexagrammaton consists of six copies of the same movie each with a slightly different playing length. Specifically: 611, 619, 625, 631, 641, and 653 frames long at a speed of 18 frames per second (which is slower on some slower computers). None of these numbers shares a prime divisor, so the pattern as a whole will only repeat after 611 x 619 x 625 x 631 x 641 x 653 frames. Which is about 110 million years. Longer even than the re-edit of Apocalypse Now.

The shapes in the Hexagrammaton are derived from an image of water flowing in a stream.

I took a tiny detail of this picture, used a tracing program to render the bitmap as curves. Then I made the curves symmetrical. I am not so much the artist who made these curves, but rather the editor who extracted them from nature.

©2001 Paul Smedberg who is slowly responsible for the content.