Friday, June 11, 2010

In Memoriam: Thai McGreivy

Dr. Thai McGreivy, a regular commenter on this blog, passed away on Sunday night after unexpectedly suffering a massive heart attack the previous Monday.

Thai made many friends here; though I didn't get to meet him face to face, I greatly appreciated and respected his insightful, passionate and often humorous remarks on the issues presented in Sudden Debt. He was my friend.

For me, his enduring legacy will always be fractals, a subject that I was only vaguely familiar with until Thai explained that our world's complex beauty can be best described through the simple elegance of fractal mathematics. He used a picture of the Mandelbrot set as his avatar to keep reminding us of the importance of fractals in everyday life. It wasn't long before I, too, started discovering fractals everywhere, from a bush on the side of the road where I went biking (a passion that we apparently both shared), to persistently similar fluctuations in financial markets. In fact, I was working on a piece called Fractal Finance when I was told of his untimely passing.

But I will always have a much more personal, emotional and lasting appreciation of Thai. You see, some weeks ago I presented fractals to Sofie, the love of my life. Sofie is, among other things, an extremely gifted and talented artist whose paintings are eerily evocative of fractal images. As soon as she saw the infinite sequence of images generated by the simple formula zn+1 = zn2 + c tears of joy came to her eyes. "I have always known of this deep within me" she said, "I am so happy to see it before my eyes. Thank you so much."

Thank you Thai. We shall always remember you.

An Image Generated From The Mandelbrot Set

(by Hellasious; Here is a link to the original

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