Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks for Imperator Furiosa

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:14 PM

Charm School

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:28 AM

"When the first Harry Potter book appeared, in 1997,
it was just a year before the universal search engine
Google was launched. And so Hermione Granger,
that charming grind, still goes to the Hogwarts library
and spends hours and hours working her way through
the stacks, finding out what a basilisk is or how to
make a love potion."

— Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker  issue dated
     St. Valentine's Day, 2011

More recently, Gopnik writes that

"Arguing about non-locality went out of fashion, in this
account, almost the way 'Rock Around the Clock' 
displaced Sinatra from the top of the charts."

— Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker  issue dated
     St. Andrew's Day, 2015

This  journal on Valentine's Day, 2011 —

"One heart will wear a valentine." — Sinatra

" she has written a love letter to Plato, whom 
she regards as having given us philosophy.
He is, in her view, as relevant today as he ever 
was — which is to say, very."

New York Times  review of a book by 
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, April 18, 2014

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Once Upon a Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:31 PM

This post's title was suggested by the previous post
and by today's news of a notable sale of a one-copy
record album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."

See as well posts from Tuesday, March 11, 2014,
the day Emma Watson unveiled a new trailer

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:28 AM

"If you have to, start out 'Once upon a time.'"

— Zenna Henderson in her story "Loo Ree"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 PM

In memory of economic historian Douglass C. North,
who reportedly died Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 —

We needed new tools, but they simply did not exist.”

Related reading and viewing —

Beattyville, Kentucky and Log24 post About the People.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dirac and Line Geometry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:29 AM

Some background for my post of Nov. 20,
"Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines" —

First page of 'Configurations in Quantum Mechanics,' by E.M. Bruins, 1959

His earlier paper that Bruins refers to, "Line Geometry
and Quantum Mechanics," is available in a free PDF.

For a biography of Bruins translated by Google, click here.

For some additional historical background going back to
Eddington, see Gary W. Gibbons, "The Kummer
Configuration and the Geometry of Majorana Spinors,"
pages 39-52 in Oziewicz et al., eds., Spinors, Twistors,
Clifford Algebras, and Quantum Deformations:
Proceedings of the Second Max Born Symposium held
near Wrocław, Poland, September 1992
 . (Springer, 2012,
originally published by Kluwer in 1993.)

For more-recent remarks on quantum geometry, see a
paper by Saniga cited in today's update to my Nov. 20 post

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Saint

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Edith Stein, doctoral dissertation, 1916 —

"The goal of phenomenology is to clarify and thereby
to find the ultimate basis of all knowledge."*

"Ziel der Phänomenologie ist Klärung und damit
letzte Begründung aller Erkenntnis."

* A phrase echoed by Ong's words in the previous post.

Overlook Video

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:26 AM

People watching President John F. Kennedy’s
TV announcement of Cuban blockade during the
missile crisis in a department store.  (Photo by
Ralph Crane/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture
Collection/Getty Images) 

A Sunday opinion column from 2011,
"The Enduring Cult of Kennedy" —

"In this landscape, the death of J.F.K. looms up
like the Overlook Hotel." — Ross Douthat
on November 27, 2011

From this journal on that date


Saturday, November 21, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Two figures to whom the word "visionary" has
recently been applied — 

Paul Laffoley at news.artnet.com

William P. Thurston at AMS Notices  (Dec. 2015)

A more classic example of a visionary is, of course, William Blake.

The Undertaking

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Masonic pyramid in 
'Being There' (co-writer of screenplay-- Robert Jones)

Inscription on the "Being There" pyramid:

Life Is A State Of  Mind

Brightness at Noon*

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A recent not-too-bright book from Princeton —

Some older, brighter books from Tony Zee

Fearful Symmetry  (1986) and
Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell  (2003).

* Continued.


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:09 AM

See Weyl Crossroads and Schicksalstag .

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060806-Einsatz.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

On Logic and Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Black monolith with text from The New Yorker of Nov. 30-- DeLillo on devil worship in 'Midnight in Dostoevsky'

See as well All Souls' Day and November 16.

The Zero System

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For the title phrase, see Encyclopedia of Mathematics .
The zero system  illustrated in the previous post*
should not be confused with the cinematic Zero Theorem .

* More precisely, in the part showing the 15 lines fixed under
   a zero-system polarity in PG(3,2).  For the zero system 
   itself, see diamond-theorem correlation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:45 PM

(Continued from November 13)

The work of Ron Shaw in this area, ca. 1994-1995, does not
display explicitly the correspondence between anticommutativity
in the set of Dirac matrices and skewness in a line complex of
PG(3,2), the projective 3-space over the 2-element Galois field.

Here is an explicit picture —

Anticommuting Dirac matrices as spreads of projective lines


Arfken, George B., Mathematical Methods for Physicists , Third Edition,
Academic Press, 1985, pages 213-214

Cullinane, Steven H., Notes on Groups and Geometry, 1978-1986

Shaw, Ron, "Finite Geometry, Dirac Groups, and the Table of
Real Clifford Algebras," undated article at ResearchGate.net

Update of November 23:

See my post of Nov. 23 on publications by E. M. Bruins
in 1949 and 1959 on Dirac matrices and line geometry,
and on another author who gives some historical background
going back to Eddington.

Some more-recent related material from the Slovak school of
finite geometry and quantum theory —

Saniga, 'Finite Projective Spaces, Geometric Spreads of Lines and Multi-Qubits,' excerpt

The matrices underlying the Saniga paper are those of Pauli, not
those of Dirac, but these two sorts of matrices are closely related.

Alyssa’s Maxim

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The Eleven

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 AM

For fans of mystic numerology —


The Wrench and the Circle*

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:48 AM

Two Log24 posts from October 2, 2015 —

Source Code

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM 

See a search for Bogus Source in this journal.

That search yields a quotation from poet 
Wallace Stevens, whose birthday is today —

"The poet finds that as between these two sources:
the imagination and reality, the imagination is false,
whatever else may be said of it, and reality is true;
and being concerned that poetry should be a thing
of vital and virile importance, he commits himself to
reality, which then becomes his inescapable and
ever-present difficulty and innamorata."

The Return

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:29 PM 

The late Brian Friel on Derry —

"… every going away was a wrench 
and every return a fulfilment."

Related material —

Wrench in this journal
and Circle Unbroken.

See as well Hymn (August 30, 2013).

* The title is a reference to Quality Report (Aug. 24, 2015).

Rhymes with Scary

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:02 AM

"Gaitskill isn’t scary because she conjures monsters;
monsters, she points out, are almost always in fashion.
What makes her scary, and what makes her exciting,
is her ability to evoke the hidden life, the life unseen,
the life we don’t even know we are living. The critic
Greil Marcus, a champion of her work, calls her a
descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne."

— "Mary Gaitskill and the Life Unseen,"
      by Parul Sehgal

Yogi’s Maxim

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:48 AM

"When you come to a nexus in the time flow…."

See as well the recent post Tab Icons from the Clearing

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein to Her Younger Self:

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

"Remember, Genesis IS Skynet."

Above: New York Times Book Review  of Sunday, November 22, 2015.

Perhaps Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex , was 
"exposed to a nexus point in the time flow while she was in
 a quantum field
" ? 

For a Fellow of All Souls*

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:20 PM

See posts tagged All Souls 2015.

* Oxford webpage.

Highlights of the Dirac-Mathieu Connection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

For the connection of the title, see the post of Friday, November 13th, 2015.

For the essentials of this connection, see the following two documents —

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chemistry 101

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:12 PM

For Dr. Thompson

Probably not the page 101 that
Dr. Thompson wanted, but it will
have to do.

Apocalypse Wow (continued)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

For fans of the Holy Bible —

“I have stolen more quotes and thoughts and purely elegant
little starbursts of writing  from the Book of Revelation than
anything else in the English language— and it is not because
I am a biblical scholar, or because of any religious faith, but
because I love the wild power of the language and the purity
of the madness that governs it and makes it music.”

— Hunter S. Thompson, Author’s Note, Generation of Swine

(Requoted from White Stone, a Log24 post of March 2, 2005.)

See also the work of another psychopharmacologist
in today's noon post.

Looney Tune

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

For the late psychopharmacologist Joel Elkes and
the late songwriter P. F. Sloan

" Inspired by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
and other events, he wrote 'Eve of Destruction.'
He later said, 'I was arguing with this voice that seemed to
know the future of the world.' "

— Terence McArdle in last night's online Washington Post

See also Tuesday's posts Tab Icons from the Clearing

— and, later, Meditation on an Icon:

Jack in the Box, by Natasha Wescoat

The above image may be viewed
as a midrash on a picture by
the late Dr. Elkes —

Midnight in the Garden

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM


Are we there yet?

    Click image to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Meditation on an Icon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:29 PM

Note the "share icon" at top right of the first image
in the previous post:

This suggests a review of the phrase "Outside the Box"
in this journal. An image from that review:

Jack in the Box, by Natasha Wescoat

The Physics and Theology of Building Blocks

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 PM



Neither of the above prose passages inspires confidence, since
building blocks are, by their very nature, not  infinitesimal.

See the post Being Interpreted of August 14, 2015 —

Slouching Towards Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:18 PM

                                           From Google News on 17 Nov. 2015

Tab Icons from the Clearing

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 AM

From the current New Yorker 

"Bostrom has a reinvented man’s sense of lost time.
An only child, he grew up—as Niklas Boström—in
Helsingborg, on the southern coast of Sweden.
Like many exceptionally bright children, he hated
school, and as a teen-ager he developed a listless,
romantic persona. In 1989, he wandered into a library
and stumbled onto an anthology of nineteenth-century
German philosophy, containing works by Nietzsche
and Schopenhauer. He read it in a nearby forest, in
a clearing that he often visited to think and to write
poetry, and experienced a euphoric insight into the
possibilities of learning and achievement. 'It’s hard to
convey in words what that was like,' Bostrom told me…."

— Raffi Khatchadourian 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Good Question.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM


Uploaded on Sep 17, 2009

Who'll love the devil?
Who'll sing his song?
Who will love the devil and his song?

"The pictures are understood to have been taken
just a few minutes before three gunmen burst into
the venue at 9.40pm (8.40pm GMT) as the
Californian rock band were launching into one of
their favourites, Kiss The Devil."

Read more: DailyMail.com.

The End of the Tour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:00 AM

From this date four years ago —

Click the following image for other examples of "complex style."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Diamond and the Cube

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Anyone who clicked on the Dirac search at the end of
the previous post, "Dirac's Diamond," may wonder why the
"Solomon's Cube" post of 11 AM Sunday, March 1, 2009,
appeared in the Dirac search results, since there is no
apparent mention of Dirac in that Sunday post.

Use the source

<!– See also "a linear transformation of V6… which preserves
the Klein quadric; in this way we arrive at the isomorphism of
Sym(8) withthe full orthogonal group O+(6; 2)." in "The
Classification of Flats in PG(9,2) which are External to the
Grassmannian G1,4,2 Authors: Shaw, Ron;
&#160;Maks, Johannes;&#160;Gordon, Neil; Source: Designs,
Codes and Cryptography, Volume 34, Numbers 2-3, February
2005 , pp. 203-227; Publisher: Springer.&#160; For more details,
see "Finite Geometry, Dirac Groups and the Table of Real
Clifford Algebras," by R. Shaw (U. of Hull), pp. 59-99 in
Clifford Algebras and Spinor Structures, by By Albert
Crumeyrolle, Rafa&#322; Ab&#322;amowicz, Pertti Lounesto,
published by Springer, 1995. –>

Dirac’s Diamond

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The title refers to a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey —

Detail from the above image —

An alternate version from astrophysicist Peter Coles

See also Dirac in this  journal.


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

See Damnation Morning in this journal.

Transfiguration Attempt

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:48 AM

"… a certain subgenre of pop-conscious postmodern
fiction, written mostly by young Americans, has
lately arisen and made a real attempt to transfigure
a world of and for appearance, mass appeal, and

—David Foster Wallace, "E Unibus Pluram:
    Television and U.S. Fiction" in
    The Review of Contemporary Fiction  in 1993

There was no Log24 post in 2015 on the Feast of
the Transfiguration (August 6).  I offer instead some
posts from the preceding day

St. Andrew’s Day…

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM


Every Picture Tells a Story*

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

* As does every release date.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Space Program

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:26 PM

A quote that appeared here on April 14, 2013

"I know what 'nothing' means." — Joan Didion

Dirac on the 4×4 matrices of an underlying nothingness —

"Corresponding to the four rows and columns,
the wave function ψ  must contain a variable
that takes on four values, in order that the matrices
shall be capable of being multiplied into it." 

— P. A. M. Dirac, Principles of Quantum Mechanics,
     Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 1958,
     page 257

Show and Tell

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Show:  Tamara Munzner: Keynote on Visualization Principles

Tell:  Fast-Talking Dames

Search for a Center

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

See Geometry + Center in this journal.

The French Connection

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:29 AM

(As opposed to the connection of the previous post)

See also Glucksmann in recent Log24 posts.

"The center cannot hold …."

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Connection between the 16 Dirac Matrices and the Large Mathieu Group

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Note that the six anticommuting sets of Dirac matrices listed by Arfken
correspond exactly to the six spreads in the above complex of 15 projective
lines of PG(3,2) fixed under a symplectic polarity (the diamond theorem
). As I noted in 1986, this correlation underlies the Miracle
Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis, hence also the large Mathieu group.


Arfken, George B., Mathematical Methods for Physicists , Third Edition,
Academic Press, 1985, pages 213-214

Cullinane, Steven H., Notes on Groups and Geometry, 1978-1986

Related material:

The 6-set in my 1986 note above also appears in a 1996 paper on
the sixteen Dirac matrices by David M. Goodmanson —

Background reading:

Ron Shaw on finite geometry, Clifford algebras, and Dirac groups 
(undated compilation of publications from roughly 1994-1995)—

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Unbaked, the Baked, and the Half-Baked

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:07 PM

Consider the trichotomy of the title as applied to the paragraph
by Adam Gopnik in the previous post (The Raw, the Cooked,
and the Spoiled

The following quotation seems to place Gopnik's words
among the half -baked.

"L'axe qui relie le cru et le cuit est caractéristique du passage
à la culture; celui qui relie le cru et le pourri, du retour à la nature,
puisque la cuisson accomplit la transformation culturelle du cru
comme la putréfaction en achève la transformation naturelle."

— Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paroles données, p.54, Plon, 1984,
     as quoted in a weblog

See also Lévi-Strauss's bizarre triangle culinaire  (French Wikipedia) —

The source of this structuralist nonsense —
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1969. “Le triangle culinaire.”
L’Arc  no. 26: 19-29.

The Raw, the Cooked, and the Spoiled

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

On the late French philosopher André Glucksmann,
a paragraph from The New Yorker

The style could be overwhelming at times, and was
often a more effective instrument of intellectual
pleasure than political persuasion. But, in return,
it produced a thousand small epiphanies—
for instance, his lovely mordant point, made at length
in one of his books, that between the “raw” and the
“cooked”—the simple binary beloved of structuralism—
there was always the “pourri,” the rotting, the rotten.
Our refusal to take in the rotting as a category of its own
was, he suggested, with a delighted literary grimace,
a kind of moral blindness, part of a fake dialectic that
blinded us to the muddled, rotting truth of the world.
The real world was not composed of oscillating
dialectical forces; it was composed of actual suffering
people crushed between those forces. — Adam Gopnik

See also

Click the above image for some backstory.

Will Success Spoil Jenny Wells?

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"… ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns." — Franz Kafka

Adam Bernstein in The Washington Post  yesterday on the late actress Betsy Drake —

" She also wrote a novel, Children, You Are Very Little  (1971),
about a 10-year-old girl who goes to outrageous comic lengths
to defy the mean adults in her life and unite her broken family.
A Time  magazine reviewer praised its 'flair and ferocity.'

'Adults demand that children understand what they’re trying to say,' 
Ms. Drake remarked at the time, 'but too often they interpret a child’s
most serious moments as stupid or cute or funny. So children, in
self-defense, learn to play for the laugh. It’s a style of craziness,
a style of survival, a style of distancing. I learned this style as a child
but I’m not really impressed with my comic or ironic side. I’d much
rather write straight out of despair.' "

The New York Times  in 2014 on Drake's friend, painter Bernard Perlin —

" His early gallery work reflected the realist influence of Ben Shahn,
who had been a colleague at the United States Office of War Information
in 1942 and 1943. Perhaps Mr. Perlin’s most notable work from this period
is 'Orthodox Boys,' from 1948, which depicts two Jewish boys discussing
a Jewish text in front of a wall covered with graffiti. "

Midrash for Perlin —

See this morning's previous post on two un-orthodox Jewish boys and an
un-orthodox text.

For Bernstein and Horowitz

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:17 AM

Detail of Box Style I Ching: Hexagram 14.

Click image for some backstory.

The Horowitz of the title reportedly died Nov. 2.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:05 PM

See a footnote added to a post from yesterday
for some material found today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Hookup

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

"Language is about the world— we use it to communicate
about things. So we must ask what this 'aboutness' is:
what is it and how does it work? That is, how does language
manage to hook up with reality?"

— Colin McGinn in Philosophy of Language :
The Classics Explained
 , MIT Press, Jan. 16, 2015, 
as quoted by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
in The New York Review of Books , Oct. 8, 2015

See also a Harvard Crimson  review of another book by McGinn.

Exit the Chancellor

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"The office of Chancellor has a long history…." — Wikipedia

Princeton Symmetry

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:37 AM

From this journal nine years ago today, on the
anniversary of Stanley finding Livingstone —

Click on the image for the Princeton connection.

Related art — Search Log24 for Time + Eternity.

See as well the theater producer pictured in last night's post
and a Princeton-related* review of one of his productions.

Footnote of November 11, 2015:

* Related, that is, only by the "Princeton connection" mentioned above.
For another Princeton connection of interest, see a symposium at
Princeton University on May Day, 2015 —


A sample symposium participant:

Somewhat Mysterious

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:00 AM

This post was suggested by an obituary of a Polish painter from this
morning's online New York Times  that mentions Stanislaw Zamecznik

Zamecznik's granddaughter Marianne Zamecznik discusses
him in a note on an exhibition in Sweden that took place on
Nov. 19, 2012 —

"Since 2009 I have been working with the legacy left behind
by my grandfather, Stanislaw Zamecznik, a Polish exhibition
architect, whom I never met, but that was always present,
that dear ghost, both through my father and grandmother`s
accounts, and by his somewhat mysterious standing in the
Polish avant-garde history."

See also Marianne Zamecznik in this journal and two posts 
from the above exhibition date, Nov. 19, 2012.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Forever Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:00 PM

The title is that of a recent Museum of Modern Art exhibition —

The Forever Now:  
Contemporary Painting
in an Atemporal World

December 14, 2014 – April 5, 2015

Related art —

Click the above image for its occurrences in this journal.

Whether this image has, in art critic Peter Schjeldahl's words,
"symbolic force and function," the reader may decide.

A Particular Mind

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:30 AM

"The old, slow art of the eye and the hand, united in service
to the imagination, is in crisis. It’s not that painting is 'dead' 
again—no other medium can as yet so directly combine
vision and touch to express what it’s like to have a particular
mind, with its singular troubles and glories, in a particular
body. But painting has lost symbolic force and function in a
culture of promiscuous knowledge and glutting information."

Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker ,
     issue dated Jan. 5, 2015

Cover of a 1980 book on computer music that contains a
helpful article on Walsh functions —

See, in this book, "Walsh Functions: A Digital Fourier Series,"
by Benjamin Jacoby (BYTE , September 1977).  Some context:
Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Excerpts from a search for Steve + Jobs in this journal —

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The box at the end of this morning's Sunday School post contains
a footnote by one "Charles Townsend Harrison, art historian and
critic, born 11 February 1942; died 6 August 2009."

For some religious remarks from the reported date of Harrison's
death, see the Log24 posts of 6 August 2009.

Sunday School

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Zen and the Art

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Painted Word (Illustrated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Related material:

Clarifying Dyson

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The previous post quoted a passage from Turing's Cathedral ,
a 2012 book by George Dyson —

It should be noted that Dyson's remarks on "two species of
bits," space, time, "structure and sequence" and logic gates
are from his own idiosyncratic attempt to create a philosophy
based on the workings of computers.  These concepts are not,
so far as I can tell, part of anyone else's approach to the subject.

For a more standard introduction to how computers work, see
(for instance) a book by an author Dyson admires:

The Pattern on the Stone , by W. Daniel Hillis (Basic Books, 1998).


I etch a pattern of geometric shapes onto a stone.
To the uninitiated, the shapes look mysterious and
complex, but I know that when arranged correctly
they will give the stone a special power, enabling it
to respond to incantations in a language no human
being has ever spoken. I will ask the stone questions
in this language, and it will answer by showing me a
vision: a world created by my spell, a world imagined
within the pattern on the stone.

A few hundred years ago in my native New England,
an accurate description of my occupation would have
gotten me burned at the stake. Yet my work involves
no witchcraft; I design and program computers. The
stone is a wafer of silicon, and the incantations are
software. The patterns etched on the chip and the
programs that instruct the computer may look
complicated and mysterious, but they are generated
according to a few basic principles that are easily
explained. . . . .

Hillis's title suggests some remarks unrelated to computers —

See Philosopher + Stone in this journal.

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