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7/11/2005
Victor Niederhoffer: An Interesting Discussion of Plant Problems

An interesting discussion of plant problems is contained in the excellent book Mathematics in Nature by John A. Adam. He points out that "plants face problems that humans have -- how to occupy space, receive sunlight, and interact with the environment in an optimal fashion". Thus, they have to make sure that they donít interfere with each other too much. They solve this problem by in general by acting in a "most irrational" manner. In general this leads to a Fibonacci pattern where each number in a series, like leaf distance, or numbers of petals is the sum of the previous two. Markets also have a similar problem in not interfering with the sunlight of the public providing nourishment for the higher forms in the feeding chain and decomposers and thus, amazingly it might be possible for a Fibonacci-like solution to the consecutive ranges in markets, the relations of moves in one market to another (the oak leaves are generated 2/5 of a rev apart, 1/2 for elm, 3/8 for rose -all the numerators and denominators in these fractions are Fibonacci numbers)

I can't leave this subject without quoting this beautiful, resonant paragraph: "Nature, in its elegance and economy, often repeats certain forms and patterns...like the similarity between the spiral pattern in the heart of a daisy and the spiral of a seashell, or the resemblance between the branching pattern of a river and the branching pattern of a tree...ripples that flowing water leaves in the mud, the tracings of veins in an autumn leaf...the intricate cracking of tree bark...But underlying all the modifications and adaptations is a hidden unity. Nature invariably seeks to accomplish the most with the least- the tightest fit, the shortest path, the least energy expended. Once you begin to see these basic patterns, donít be surprised if your view of the natural world undergoes a subtle shift." (from By Nature's Design by Pat Murphy. Yes, we see these patterns in markets--- but they have to be predicted.

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