[LMB] OT: Dune

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Fri Oct 29 20:32:18 BST 2021

On Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 6:40 PM Elizabeth Holden <alzurite at gmail.com> wrote:

> Could you explain about the novel being a fractal?

Fractals have the property of self-similarity:  if you zoom in on a section
of it, you will find a 'copy' of the larger pattern, necessarily not
identical to the original one, but eerily like it.

See https://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-are-fractals/ for an
amusing opportunity to zoom in on the Mandelbrot fractal.

Dune is the same way:  its core ideas are recursively present in smaller
and smaller sections of the story, to the point of individual conversations
mirroring the larger themes.  One obvious example:  Paul and Jessica
crossing the desert, and Paul reminding her that they must walk in a
non-repeating fashion to prevent sandworms from being attracted to a rhythm
and killing them.  That's a symbolic, somewhat allegorical restatement of
the entire series of Dune novels' main theme.  The dinner party is another
excellent example of "as above, so below".

> I think I saw him as a hero (albeit a boring one), so I quite possibly
> missed the point of the book entirely. All the more reason I should read it
> again, though I'm not in any hurry to.

He's what the Fremen wanted, but he's exactly the opposite of what they

His son is precisely what humankind needs... which is why they call him
'Tyrant' for his entire 3,500 year reign.  "Someone had to endure the
agony... and he was always the stronger."

Matt "if you walk without rhythm, you won't attract the worm

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