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Web of Stories offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their life stories.

Encountering New York’s hippy culture

Jean-Claude Carrière


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A new geometry of nature

Benoît Mandelbrot - Mathematician

So a big part of my work in the '60s consisted in creating mathematical structures that would represent different flavours of 1/f noise in different times - and those flavours are extremely different from each other. It is not as if they are different chapters of the same part in a book; they almost belong to different parts of the book, 'The Great Book Of Science', then their formulas were generalised to tackle turbulence. I mentioned 'The Great Book Of Science' because suddenly I remembered, as I often do, this wonderful quotation of Galileo Galilei that 'The Great Book of Science', or 'The Great Book Of The Universe' is written in mathematical characters which are circles, lines and triangles, and without them one errs for ever in the dark labyrinth. Galileo was right in terms of the language that the book uses, that is, mathematics, but wrong in terms of whose dialect was being used. And as time went on and as I was developing the various formulas and formulations for the various fields, it became increasingly clear once again that Euclid was simply not adequate for it on the one hand, and on the other hand that something else could be constructed. A new geometry of nature, the purpose of which is to represent not everything that the old one had left aside, but a big part of those. And by extraordinary luck, coincidence, or perhaps for reasons very profound that I don't understand, this second batch of geometric phenomena did include as important things as fluctuation of rivers, turbulence, mountains, etc., etc.
Francis Crick - Scientist
Walter Murch - Film-maker
Murray Gell-Mann - Scientist
Oliver Sacks - Scientist