## The Mandelbrot Bet

*“There are lines which are monsters.”*

Eugène Delacroix

*Voice notes to self on the development of the escape-time algorithm – Daniel Rostrom*

*Remember, the answer is always simple. That’s not to say the simple answer is the correct one. The danger to avoid is the assumption that the simple answer, by the sole nature of its simplicity, is the correct one.*

*The escape-time algorithm is the simplest algorithm for generating a representation of the Mandelbrot set. The answer lies in the infinity of the escape-time algorithm. Repeat the calculation for each x, y, z , t point and make your decisions based on the behavior of that calculation. Pick a value for time, t, square it, add a constant. Take the new number, square it, and add the same constant. Forever, do it forever. Simple.*

“Give me a moment before you shove any more of that stuff in my mouth.”

“Sorry, Daniel, it’s hard for me to guess when you’re ready for another spoonful.”

## Praise for "The Mandelbrot Bet"

“'The Mandelbrot Bet' by Dirk Strasser presents its aeon-spanning tale with ... clever exposition. Certain elements of this story recall Asimov’s 'The Last Question', but Strasser poses his own ultimate dilemma, at once unusual and universal, and leads to a conclusion that gave me chills."

"The story captures the human in science and the science in the human ... Dirk Strasser’s “The Mandelbrot Bet” explores the conflicts of morality and truth."

"Dirk Strasser’s mind-bending 'The Mandelbrot Bet' is the kind of time travel I can get behind."

"A brilliant wheelchair bound physicist devises time travel and experiences the end of the universe. I liked the narrative structure of this one and the vision for the end of the universe."

"Dirk Strasser’s 'The Mandelbrot Bet' exudes some deadpan humor as a time traveling scientist’s success comes at the expense of a missed connection."

"A paralyzed man in a quantum computerized chair seeks to ... escape his current existence. What we find when he succeeds is a parallel to death, the ultimate escape. What we learn is that our focus should not be on escaping but on loving the life before us."

Tangent Online 2014 Recommended Reading List

See the Locus review of the anthology.

*–**Bureau 42*"The story captures the human in science and the science in the human ... Dirk Strasser’s “The Mandelbrot Bet” explores the conflicts of morality and truth."

*–**Pop Culture-Y*"Dirk Strasser’s mind-bending 'The Mandelbrot Bet' is the kind of time travel I can get behind."

*–**Two Dudes in an Attic*"A brilliant wheelchair bound physicist devises time travel and experiences the end of the universe. I liked the narrative structure of this one and the vision for the end of the universe."

**4 stars***–Goodreads*"Dirk Strasser’s 'The Mandelbrot Bet' exudes some deadpan humor as a time traveling scientist’s success comes at the expense of a missed connection."

*–BennitheBlog*"A paralyzed man in a quantum computerized chair seeks to ... escape his current existence. What we find when he succeeds is a parallel to death, the ultimate escape. What we learn is that our focus should not be on escaping but on loving the life before us."

*–**Tangent*Tangent Online 2014 Recommended Reading List

See the Locus review of the anthology.

## Publication History

“The Mandelbrot Bet” was published in December 2014 in the Tor anthology

*Carbide Tipped Pens*, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi.