My fractal commute: prelude

This is just a preview of a much longer posting that I’ve meant to write for a while, but haven’t gotten it rolling just yet.  Get it – rolling – about a commuting post?

I’ve come to realize that the path taken in my semi-regular commute is starting to look like a fractal.  I drive to work – yes, in Boston there is public transport, but it’s awkwardly suited for my home and office – and since rush hour is quite long, I use a wide variety of tricks to improve my time.

One of my annoyances is stoplights.  I don’t mind them most of the time, and firmly believe they are a useful at keeping society safer and more civilized.  I just don’t like waiting at one for more than a single cycle, which often happens during rush hour.  So I optimize my commute to avoid stoplights.

Now just avoiding stoplights isn’t going to turn a commute – even a Boston one, where some roads were laid down by cows – into a fractal.  But it’s a start, and a number of other factors, including maximum speed and interestingness, really do push my commute into a number of strange directions.

So this posting is partly to whet your appetite, but mostly to prompt me to write up a proper essay on the topic, including pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back …, oh, sorry got carried away.  But I will have a few jaggedy graphics to show, and true map geeks can see if they can backsolve where I work by overlaying on the local road grid.  (Note: all roads are paved; 17in wheels don’t like rocks.)

2 thoughts on “My fractal commute: prelude

  1. 1. Hey, stop using my email for your comments.

    2. Yes, I remember that you were a Math and Economics major. Now everyone else in the world does too.

    3. Hey, that’s what the Next key is for.

  2. 1) Please no. For all this is good in this world no.

    2) Your point reminds me of the classroom irrational conjecture that Some particular beach has an approaching infinate coastline.

    3) Really, don’t. Don’t want to read it, too much trouble for nothing. Really!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *