Fractal Aesthetic

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Fractal Aesthetic is a term used to describe multiple levels of aesthetics within a system or object. For instance, a computer can have one level of aesthetic, the operating system inside it another level, and the programs that run on that operating system another level. On phones, the concept of an in-app purchase increases the layer of fractal aesthetic further inward. Users of these systems are more likely to fall prey to Future Runoff.

Software engineer Paul Graham argues that addictiveness is accelerating.,[1] and that our technological progress means that there will be an "increasing numbers of things we like will be transformed into things we like too much." He notes that technology has always been accelerating. By Paleolithic standards, technology evolved at a blistering pace in the Neolithic period.[2]

Fractal aesthetics lead to fractal value. Fractal value is the idea that value is so easily created that it begins to fold in on itself and create smaller versions of its value at increasing rates. Hipster culture relies on minute changes and signifiers. Fark, Slashdot and 4Chan are all spaces in which value has become increasingly fractal due to speed. This fractal value affects culture and makes culture a fractal itself.

The first generation of colonization began with empty space, and ended when the space was filled. Then, the space turned inward, as seen in industrial London. Space, having turned in on itself, began to resemble a fractal. Once urban space began to fill, another space was turned on into itself; this is the space of the mind.


  1. Graham, Paul. The Acceleration of Addictiveness. Published Jul 2010. Accessed 15 Aug 2012.
  2. Ibid.