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Product and services are easier to produce than ever before. There is less and less friction between the creation and the the distribution of an idea. So many products and projects are able to be produced on so many interfaces and in so many forms that it could be argued that there is "an epidemic of value".
In his essay After the Orgy, "Baudrillard uses analogies from fractal science to discuss the rapid creation of value. “Value is being produced in a rambling manner – willy nilly – discursively. A system of value which floats above reality, like oil on water; never really attached”.
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari used the term "rhizome" to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation.
A rhizome works with horizontal and trans-species connections, while an arborescent model works with vertical and linear connections. Their use of the "orchid and the wasp" was taken from the biological concept of mutualism, in which two different species interact together to form a multiplicity (i.e. a unity that is multiple in itself). Horizontal gene transfer would also be a good illustration.
"...to suggest that culture too is infinitely divisible, proliferates cancerously, leads randomly and exponentially from the particular to the general, and from stability to instability. These fluctuations lead to effects that Baudrillard, employing chaos theory, calls 'strange attractors'. This is quite beyond rationalist claims to verifiability, truth and reality."
“At the fourth, the fractal (or viral, or radiant) stage of value, there is no point of reference at all, and value radiates in all directions, occupying all interstices, without reference to anything whatsoever, by virtue of pure contiquity”.
As the ability to produce value increases, the difference in value become very slight. Sometimes the value is metastatis, cancerous -- the idea of so many apps on Facebook clogging up everyone's E-mail boxes. Until Facebook understood the crises and compressed all of the app requests into a small box. Placing them into storage -- filing them.
"...to suggest that culture too is infinitely divisible, proliferates cancerously, leads randomly and exponentially from the particular to the general, and from stability to instability. These fluctuations lead to effects that Baudrillard, employing chaos theory, calls 'strange attractors'. This is quite beyond rationalist claims to verifiability, truth and reality." (p.6)
Apple Computer's product and feature release cycle is fractal-like. The iPhone was released an a direct response to the complexity of existing mobile devices. Jobs' keynote speech announcing the iPhone showed rows of phones with many buttons and interface elements. He dissolved those interfaces with a single screen and one sensor - the accelerometer. The allowed the iPhone device to take on the form of many other devices from sensors to games, books and whoopee cushions. The first iPhone was a simple set of capabilities, and each version increased in complexity until the phone became a bundle of sensors accessible by a small glass screen and reachable by other external wearable devices.
Apple innovation cycle increases released at a high expense for a limited audience, and then a more complex object is introduced more cheaply because the supply chains are set up to produce the more complex items at a lower cost.
Apple also utilizes multiple levels of aesthetics within a systems and objects. Stores, packaging, programs, apps, customer support are all self-referential.
- After the Orgy, p.6.
- Baudrillard, Jean. Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena. Radical Thinkers. 2009. p. 5; 13.
- The fractal product curve greatly resembles the cycling of a Julia fractal set. Julia sets are generated by the formula z=z^2+c,where c is a complex parameter and correspond to areas outside the Mandlebrot set curve. Julia sets are created by shifting around the outside of a Mandlebrot set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afosk6o6NmE T=30
- Jobs, Steve. Keynote at Macworld Conference & Expo 2007. Posted to YouTube by taro yamada 20 Jan 2011. Accessed 28 Jan 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uW-E496FXg 5:40.