"We spoke of Mr. Hooke's observations of snowflakes - their remarkable property, which is that each of the six arms grows outwards from a common center, and each grows independently, of its own internal rules. One arm cannot affect the others. And yet all the arms are alike."Baron Von Leibniz speaking to Daniel Waterhouse in the novel The System of the World by Neal Stephenson, page 695.
I have oft heard the old saw about how no two snowflakes are alike, and I have often observed that all six arms of a snowflake are alike, but it never occurred to me to consider how that happened. Mr. Hooke refers to Robert Hooke.
My son gave me a copy of Neal Stephenson's latest book - Read Me, so I was finally free to read his last book which I had been saving because really good books are few and far between, and I always want to have something in reserve, you know, just in case no more good books ever show up.