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They Shall Know You By Your Gait

random walks of simple rectangular shapes

A random walk is a meandering pattern with no set structure. The first recorded random walk—kind of—was made by John Venn (of the famous Diagrams) in his 1888 book The Logic of Chance (specifically the third edition).

Well, it wasn’t quite random, as it used the digits of pi rather than true randomness. (Each number, 0 to 9 [about which more later],stood for a specific direction to move the line from one spot to the next.) The digits of pi are unpredictable, yes, but only the first time. One you go through the exercise of calculating them out, it’s obviously not unpredictable any more.

It’s unclear to me why Venn used pi instead of something like dice, or even a roulette wheel, as he should have known pi was a fixed constant, but his point was still made: mathematical chance can be interesting to watch as it unfolds, even aesthetically so.

My title is based on a 2018 supposition that scientists in China have developed a system to identify a person from their gait. (At the time it reportedly took about ten minutes to make a judgment from analyzing an hour of video.) That system uses a side or front view, like a Muybridge series, not a top-down view like mine, which are more like the patterns of dance instructions.

Mambo anyone . . . ?

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