Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday January 31, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM

“At times, bullshit can only be
countered with superior bullshit.”
Norman Mailer

“It may be that universal history is the
history of the different intonations
given a handful of metaphors.”
— Jorge Luis Borges (1951),
“The Fearful Sphere of Pascal,”
in Labyrinths, New Directions, 1962

“Before introducing algebraic semiotics and structural blending, it is good to be clear about their philosophical orientation. The reason for taking special care with this is that, in Western culture, mathematical formalisms are often given a status beyond what they deserve. For example, Euclid wrote, ‘The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.'”

— Joseph A. Goguen, “Ontology, Society, and Ontotheology” (pdf)

Goguen does not give a source for this alleged “thoughts of God” statement.

A Web search for the source leads only to A Mathematical Journey, by Stanley Gudder, who apparently also attributes the saying to Euclid.

Neither Goguen nor Gudder seems to have had any interest in the accuracy of the Euclid attribution.

Talk of “nature” and “God” seems unlikely from Euclid, a pre-Christian Greek whose pure mathematics has (as G. H. Hardy might be happy to point out) little to do with either.

Loose talk about God’s thoughts has also been attributed to Kepler and Einstein… and we all know about Stephen Hawking.

Gudder may have been misquoting some other author’s blather about Kepler.  Another possible source of the “thoughts of God” phrase is Hans Christian Oersted. The following is from Oersted’s The Soul in Nature

“Sophia. Nothing of importance; though indeed I had one question on my lips when the conversion took the last turn. When you alluded to the idea, that the Reason manifested in Nature is infallible, while ours is fallible, should you not rather have said, that our Reason accords with that of Nature, as that in the voice of Nature with ours?

Alfred. Each of these interpretations may be justified by the idea to which it applies, whether we start from ourselves or external nature. There are yet other ways of expressing it; for instance, the laws of Nature are the thoughts of  Nature.

Sophia. Then these thoughts of Nature are also thoughts of God.

Alfred. Undoubtedly so, but however valuable the expression may be, I would rather that we should not make use of it till we are convinced that our investigation leads to a view of Nature, which is also the contemplation of God. We shall then feel justified by a different and more perfect knowledge to call the thoughts of Nature those of God; I therefore beg you will not proceed to [sic] fast.”

Oersted also allegedly said that “The Universe is a manifestation of an Infinite Reason and the laws of Nature are the thoughts of God.” This remark was found (via Google book search) in an obscure journal that does not give a precise source for the words it attributes to Oersted.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070131-OerstedGudder.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday January 29, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

By Indirections
(Hamlet, II, i)

“Michael Taylor (1971)…. contends that the central conflict in Hamlet is between ‘man as victim of fate and as controller of his own destiny.'”– The Gale Group, Shakespearean Criticism, Vol. 71, at eNotes

Doonesbury today:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070129-Robot4A.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Personality is a synthesis of possibility and necessity.”– Soren Kierkegaard

On Fate (Necessity),
Freedom (Possibility),
and Machine Personality–

Part I: Google as Skynet

George Dyson–
The Godel-to-Google Net [March 8, 2005]
A Cathedral for Turing [October 24, 2005]

Dyson: “The correspondence between Google and biology is not an analogy, it’s a fact of life.”

Part II: The Galois Connection

David Ellerman–
“A Theory of Adjoint Functors– with some Thoughts about their Philosophical Significance” (pdf) [November 15, 2005]

Ellerman: “Such a mechanism seems key to understanding how an organism can perceive and learn from its environment without being under the direct stimulus control of the environment– thus resolving the ancient conundrum of receiving an external determination while exercising self-determination.”

For a less technical version, see Ellerman’s “Adjoints and Emergence: Applications of a New Theory of Adjoint Functors” (pdf).

Ellerman was apparently a friend of, and a co-author with, Gian-Carlo Rota.  His “theory of adjoint functors” is related to the standard mathematical concepts known as profunctors, distributors, and bimodules. The applications of his theory, however, seem to be less to mathematics itself than to a kind of philosophical poetry that seems rather closely related to the above metaphors of George Dyson. For a less poetic approach to related purely mathematical concepts, see, for instance, the survey Practical Foundations of Mathematics by Paul Taylor (Cambridge University Press, 1999).  For less poetically appealing, but perhaps more perspicuous, extramathematical applications of category theory, see the work of, for instance, Joseph Goguen: Algebraic Semiotics and Information Integration, Databases, and Ontologies.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday January 27, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Art and the
Holy Spirit

Madeleine L'Engle in The Irrational Season (1977), beginning of Chapter 9 (on Pentecost):

"The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is the easiest of this not-at-all-easy concept for me to understand.  Any artist, great or small, knows moments when something more than he takes over, and he moves into a kind of 'overdrive,' where he works as ordinarily he cannot work.  When he is through, there is a sense of exhilaration, exhaustion, and joy.  All our best work comes in this fashion, and it is humbling and exciting.

After A Wrinkle in Time was finally published, it was pointed out to me that the villain, a naked disembodied brain, was called 'It' because It stands for Intellectual truth as opposed to a truth which involves the whole of us, heart as well as mind.  That acronym had never occurred to me.  I chose the name It intuitively, because an IT does not have a heart or soul.  And I did not understand consciously at the time of writing that the intellect, when it is not informed by the heart, is evil."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday January 26, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:48 PM
"… at last she realized
what the Thing on the dais was.
IT was a brain.
A disembodied brain…."
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

"There could not be an objective test
that distinguished a clever robot
from a really conscious person."

— Daniel Dennett in TIME magazine,
issue dated Mon., Jan. 29, 2007


Daniel Dennett in his office


Daniel Dennett, Professor of Philosophy
and Director of the
Center for Cognitive Studies
at Tufts University,
in his office on campus.
(Boston Globe, Jan. 29, 2006.
Photo © Rick Friedman.)

Hexagram 39:

I Ching, Hexagram 39

The Judgment

Obstruction. The southwest furthers.
(See Zenna Henderson.) 
The northeast does not further.
 (See Daniel Dennett.)
It furthers one to see the great man.
 (See Alan Turing.)
Perseverance brings good fortune.

"If telepathy is admitted
it will be necessary
to tighten our test up."
Alan Turing, 1950

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday January 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM
The Dead Shepherd
starring E. Howard Hunt
and James Jesus Angleton

From this morning’s
New York Times:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Hunt.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tim Weiner in today’s New York Times:

“Mr. Hunt was intelligent, erudite, suave and loyal to his friends….

Everette Howard Hunt Jr. was born in Hamburg, N.Y., on Oct. 9, 1918, the son of a lawyer and a classically trained pianist who played church organ. He graduated from Brown University in June 1940 and entered the United States Naval Academy as a midshipman in February 1941.

He worked as a wartime intelligence officer in China, a postwar spokesman for the Marshall Plan in Paris and a screenwriter in Hollywood. Warner Brothers had just bought his fourth novel, ‘Bimini Run,’ a thriller set in the Caribbean, when he joined the fledgling C.I.A. in April 1949.

Mr. Hunt was immediately assigned to train C.I.A. recruits…. He moved to Mexico City, where he became chief of station in 1950. He brought along another rookie C.I.A. officer, William F. Buckley Jr., later a prominent conservative author and publisher, who became godfather and guardian to the four children of Mr. Hunt and his wife, the former Dorothy L. Wetzel.

In 1954, Mr. Hunt helped plan the covert operation that overthrew the elected president of Guatemala….

By the time of the coup, Mr. Hunt had been removed from responsibility. He moved on to uneventful stints in Japan and Uruguay. Not until 1960 was Mr. Hunt involved in an operation that changed history.

The C.I.A. had received orders from both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his successor, President John F. Kennedy, to alter or abolish the revolutionary government of Fidel in Cuba. Mr. Hunt’s assignment was to create a provisional Cuban government that would be ready to take power once the C.I.A.’s cadre of Cuban shock troops invaded the island…. 

He retired from the C.I.A. in 1970 and secured a job with an agency-connected public relations firm in Washington. Then, a year later, came a call from the White House….

Mr. Hunt’s last book, ‘American Spy: My Secret History in the C.I.A., Watergate and Beyond,’ written with Greg Aunapu, is to be published on March 16 with a foreword by his old friend William F. Buckley Jr.

Late in life, he said he had no regrets, beyond the Bay of Pigs.”

Related Material:

Game Boy,
Philosophy Wars,
and the following:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Solomon.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Andre Furlani, quoted in
Log24 on January 19:

“In his study of The Cantos,
Davenport defines the Poundian
ideogram as ‘a grammar of images,
emblems, and symbols, rather than
a grammar of logical sequence….
An idea unifies, dominates, and
controls the particulars that make
the ideogram’.”

For such an ideogram,
see Bright Star and the
(clickable) symbol from
Philosophy Wars:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070103-DoubleCross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Pound2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Photo from Miami University site

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday January 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Quine vs. Kierkegaard

“The most prominent critic
of the modal notions is Quine.
Throughout his career, he has
argued against the use of notions
like necessity and possibility.”

— Michael J. Loux,
Note 1 of Chapter 5,
“The Necessary and the Possible,”
in Metaphysics:
A Contemporary Introduction

(Routledge, second edition,
January 1, 2002)

Personality is a synthesis of
possibility and necessity.”

— Soren Kierkegaard,
The Sickness Unto Death

Related material:

Plato, Pegasus,
and the Evening Star

Diamonds Are Forever

Dream a Little Dream

Update of 3:45 PM:

From Arts & Letters Daily
this afternoon–

“Existentialism is not all gloom,
even if Heidegger looks pretty sour
in those photos. It’s a philosophy
that America needs now, says
the late Robert Solomon…

See also Jan. 2,
the date of
Solomon’s death
in Switzerland,
and click on the
following symbol
from that date:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070103-DoubleCross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday January 22, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM
A Brief Alternate Version of

The Diamond Age:
Or, a Young Lady’s
Illustrated Primer

Piper Laurie is 75.

For Piper Laurie
on her birthday

“He was part of my dream, of course–
but then I was part of his dream, too!”

— Lewis Carroll,
Through the Looking Glass
Chapter XII (“Which Dreamed It?”)

He looked at her face.  She was very drunk.  Her eyes were swollen, pink at the corners.  “What’s the book?” he said, trying to make his voice conversational. But it sounded loud in the room, and hard.
      She blinked up at him, smiled sleepily, and said nothing.
      “What’s the book?”  His voice had an edge now.
      “Oh,” she said.  “It’s Kierkegaard.  Soren Kierkegaard.”  She pushed her legs out straight on the couch, stretching her feet.  Her skirt fell back a few inches from her knees.  He looked away.
      “What’s that?” he said.
      “Well, I don’t exactly know, myself.”  Her voice was soft and thick.
      He turned his face away from her again, not knowing what he was angry with.  “What does that mean, you don’t know, yourself?”
      She blinked at him.  “It means, Eddie, that I don’t exactly know what the book is about.  Somebody told me to read it, once, and that’s what I’m doing.  Reading it.”

— Walter Tevis, The Hustler

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday January 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:22 AM
Spielberg, A.I., and Robot Wisdom

Related material:

An entry of
Dec. 29, 2006,
and entries of
Jan. 20, 2007.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday January 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:14 PM
California Dreamin’
Xanga footprints this afternoon:

California /90871732/item.html  1:14 PM
California /364492065/item.html   1:06 PM
California /365894946/item.html  1:04 PM
California /13339976/item.html   1:04 PM
California /543036518/item.html  12:59 PM
California /554871237/notes-for-ch…  12:55 PM
California /542741247/for-william-…   12:52 PM
California /language.aspx?returnur…   12:51 PM
California /33631118/item.html  12:50 PM
California /90556045/item.html   12:36 PM

Saturday January 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From today’s online New York Times:

Maestro of the Ego

Norman Mailer, author photo

As Tom Hanks might say,
“… and by ‘+’ I mean artistic vision.”

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday January 19, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
Triple Kiss

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070119-TripleKiss.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I bent to kiss the lovely Maid,
And found a threefold kiss return’d.
— “The Crystal Cabinet

The above illustration of a classic Blake verse is for Anthony Daniels, a critic of Ezra Pound. The illustration may appeal to Daniels, since it is, like the persona presented by Daniels himself, petit-bourgeois and vulgar.

It was inspired by today’s two previous entries and by Daniels’s remarks, in this month’s New Criterion magazine, on Ezra Pound:

“Of his poetry I shall say nothing: not being fluent in Greek, Chinese, Italian, Farsi, and so forth, I do not feel much qualified to comment on it…. I shall merely confess to a petit-bourgeois partiality for comprehensibility and to what Pound himself called, in the nearest he ever came to a mea culpa with regard to his own ferocious anti-Semitism at a time of genocide, ‘a vulgar suburban prejudice’ against those who suppose that their thoughts are so profound that they justify a lifetime of exegesis if ever their meaning is to be even so much as glimpsed through a glass darkly.”

— “Pound’s Depreciation

Daniels, here posing as a vulgar suburban petit-bourgeois, is unwilling to examine Pound’s poetry even “through a glass darkly.”  This echoes the petit-bourgeois, but not vulgar,  “confession” of today’s previous entry:

“I didn’t expect much–didn’t look out the window
At school more diligent than able–docile stable”

— “A Life,” by Zbigniew Herbert

Pound, editor of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”– published in the first issue of the original Criterion magazine in 1922– might refer Daniels to the ghost of Guy Davenport:

“‘The architectonics of a narrative,’ Davenport says, ‘are emphasized and given a role to play in dramatic effect when novelists become Cubists; that is, when they see the possibilities of making a hieroglyph, a coherent symbol, an ideogram of the total work. A symbol comes into being when an artist sees that it is the only way to get all the meaning in.’….

In his study of The Cantos, Davenport defines the Poundian ideogram as ‘a grammar of images, emblems, and symbols, rather than a grammar of logical sequence…. An idea unifies, dominates, and controls the particulars that make the ideogram’…. He insists on the intelligibility of this method: ‘The components of an ideogram cohere as particles in a magnetic field, independent of each other but not of the pattern in which they figure.'”

— Andre Furlani, “‘When Novelists Become Cubists’: The Prose Ideograms of Guy Davenport

Related material:

A remark
on form and pattern
by T. S. Eliot
(friend of Pound
and founder of
the original
Criterion magazine)

Friday January 19, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Semantic Transparency

"… semantic transparency … would allow disparate systems to share some understanding of the actual concepts that are represented…"

IBM Developer Works on October 7, 2003

From Wikipedia's
"Upper Ontology"
Epiphany 2007:


"There is no neutral ground
that can serve as
a means of translating between
specialized (lower) ontologies."

 There is, however,
"the field of reason"–
the 3×3 grid:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click on grid
for details.

From a Log24 entry of January 7, 2007:

"One of the primary critiques of modernism that Learning from Las Vegas was engaged in, as Frederic [sic] Jameson clearly noted, was the dialectic between inside and outside and the assumption that the outside expressed the interior. Let's call this the modernist drive for 'expressive transparency.'"

Aron Vinegar of Ohio State U., "Skepticism and the Ordinary: From Burnt Norton to Las Vegas"

From this week's New Yorker (issue dated Jan. 22, 2007)–

"A Life," by Zbigniew Herbert
(translated from the Polish by Alissa Vales):

I was a quiet boy a little sleepy and–amazingly–
unlike my peers–who were fond of adventures–
I didn't expect much–didn't look out the window
At school more diligent than able–docile stable

For the rest of the poem, click here.

From the Wikipedia article on Zbigniew Herbert:

"In modern poetry, Herbert advocated semantic transparence. In a talk given at a conference organized by the journal Odra he said: 'So not having pretensions to infallibility, but stating only my predilections, I would like to say that in contemporary poetry the poems that appeal to me the most are those in which I discern something I would call a quality of semantic transparency (a term borrowed from Husserl's logic). This semantic transparency is the characteristic of a sign consisting in this: that during the time when the sign is used, attention is directed towards the object denoted, and the sign itself does not hold the attention. The word is a window onto reality.'"

(Wikipedia cites as the source–
Herbert's talk at the meeting "Poet in face of the present day," organized by the "Odra" journal. Print version: Preface to: Zbigniew Herbert "Poezje," Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warszawa 1998, ISBN 83-06-02667-5.)

Fom Nabokov's Transparent Things (pdf):

"Its ultimate vision was the incandescence of a book or a box grown completely transparent and hollow.  This is, I believe, it: not the crude anguish of physical death but the incomparable pangs of the mysterious mental maneuver needed to pass from one state of being to another.  Easy, you know, does it, son."

Related material:


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070119-Confession.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Friday January 19, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:11 AM

Twisted Honeycomb

From a review in today’s New York Times by Janet Maslin of Norman Mailer’s new novel, The Castle in the Forest:

“The wise beekeeper does not wear dark clothing, lest it pick up light-colored pollen. Italian bees are gentler and more chic than the Austrian variety. The mating box, capping fork and spur-wheel embedder are essential tools for apiculture. And all power in the beehive rests with a treacherous but fragrant bitch.

All this bee talk crops up in ‘The Castle in the Forest,’ Norman Mailer’s zzzzz-filled new novel about Adolf Hitler’s tender, metaphor-fraught and (in this book’s view) literally bedeviled boyhood. So it is not a stretch for the book’s jacket copy to insist that ‘now, on the eve of his 84th birthday, Norman Mailer may well be saying more than he ever has before.’ More about beekeeping– absolutely.”

Related material:

Twisted Honeycombs

Twisted Honeycombs

and Geometry for Jews

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Tuesday January 9, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 PM
Logos and Logic
(private, cut from prev. entry)

The diamond is used in modal logic to symbolize possibility.

  The 3×3 grid may also be used
to illustrate “possibility.”  It leads,
as noted at finitegeometry.org, to
the famed “24-cell,” which may be
pictured either as the diamond
figure from Plato’s Meno

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/poly-24cell-sm.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click for details.

  — or as a figure
with 24 vertices:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/poly-24cell-02sm.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click for details.

The “diamond” version of the
24-cell seems unrelated to the
second version that shows all
vertices and edges, yet the
second version is implicit,
or hidden, in the first.
Hence “possibility.”

Neither version of the 24-cell
seems related in any obvious
way to the 3×3 grid, yet both
versions are implicit,
or hidden, in the grid.
Hence “possibility.”

Tuesday January 9, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM
For Balanchine's Birthday

(continued from
January 9, 2003)

George Balanchine

Encyclopædia Britannica Article

born January 22
[January 9, Old Style], 1904,
St. Petersburg, Russia
died April 30, 1983, New York,
New York, U.S.

Photograph:George Balanchine.
George Balanchine.
©1983 Martha Swope

original name 
Georgy Melitonovich Balanchivadze

most influential choreographer of classical ballet in the United States in the 20th century.  His works, characterized by a cool neoclassicism, include The Nutcracker (1954) and Don Quixote (1965), both pieces choreographed for the New York City Ballet, of which he was a founder (1948), the artistic director, and the…

Balanchine,  George… (75 of 1212 words)

"What on earth is
a concrete universal?"
— Robert M. Pirsig


From Wikipedia's
"Upper Ontology"
Epiphany 2007:

"There is no neutral ground
that can serve as
a means of translating between
specialized (lower) ontologies."

There is, however,
"the field of reason"–

the 3×3 grid:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click on grid
for details.

As Rosalind Krauss
has noted, some artists
regard the grid as

"a staircase to
  the Universal."

Other artists regard
Epiphany itself as an
approach to
the Universal:

"Epiphany signals the traversal
of the finite by the infinite,
of the particular by the universal,
of the mundane by the mystical,
of time by eternity.

Richard Kearney, 2005,
in The New Arcadia Review

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070109-Kearney2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Kearney (right) with
Martin Scorsese (left)
and Gregory Peck
in 1997.

"… one of the things that worried me about traditional metaphysics, at least as I imbibed it in a very Scholastic manner at University College Dublin in the seventies, is that philosophy was realism and realism was truth. What disturbed me about that was that everything was already acquired; truth was always a systematic given and it was there to be learned from Creation onwards; it was spoken by Jesus Christ and then published by St. Thomas Aquinas: the system as perfect synthesis. Hence, my philosophy grew out of a hunger for the 'possible' and it was definitely a reaction to my own philosophical formation. Yet that wasn't my only reaction. I was also reacting to what I considered to be the deep pessimism, and even at times 'nihilism' of the postmodern turn."

— Richard Kearney, interview (pdf) in The Leuven Philosophy Newsletter, Vol. 14, 2005-2006

For more on "the possible," see Kearney's The God Who May Be, Diamonds Are Forever, and the conclusion of Mathematics and Narrative:


"We symbolize
logical necessity
with the box (box.gif (75 bytes))
and logical possibility
with the diamond (diamond.gif (82 bytes))."


Keith Allen Korcz 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050802-Stone.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"The possibilia that exist,
and out of which
the Universe arose,
are located in
     a necessary being…."

Michael Sudduth,
Notes on
God, Chance, and Necessity
by Keith Ward,
Regius Professor of Divinity,
Christ Church College, Oxford
(the home of Lewis Carroll)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Sunday January 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Thursday, April 7, 2005  7:26 PM

In the Details

Wallace Stevens,
An Ordinary Evening in New Haven:


Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for God.”  It is the philosopher’s search
For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made

   … Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,
That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

Julie Taymor, “Skewed Mirrors” interview:

“… they were performing for God. Now God can mean whatever you want it to mean. But for me, I understood it so totally. The detail….

They did it from the inside to the outside. And from the outside to the in. And that profoundly moved me then. It was…it was the most important thing that I ever experienced.”

“Skewed Mirrors”

Click on the above to enlarge.


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick2.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above may be of interest to students
of  iconology — what Dan Brown in
The Da Vinci Code calls “symbology” —
and of redheads.

The artist of Details,
“Brenda Starr” creator
Dale Messick, died on Tuesday,
April 5, 2005, at 98.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
AP Photo
Dale Messick in 1982

For further details on
April 5, see
Art History:
The Pope of Hope

Sunday January 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Birthday Greetings
to Nicolas Cage
from Marxists.org

Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Various forms of “the modern movement” that include “… the modernist school of poetry (as institutionalised and canonised in the works of Wallace Stevens) all are now seen as the final, extraordinary flowering of a high-modernist impulse which is spent and exhausted…” —marxists.org:

“One of the primary critiques of modernism that Learning from Las Vegas was engaged in, as Frederic [sic] Jameson clearly noted, was the dialectic between inside and outside and the assumption that the outside expressed the interior.* Let’s call this the modernist drive for ‘expressive transparency.'”

Aron Vinegar of Ohio State U., “Skepticism and the Ordinary: From Burnt Norton to Las Vegas

* Jameson, Frederic [sic]. 1988. “Architecture and the Critique of Ideology.” The Ideologies of Theory: Essays, 1971-1986. Volume 2. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 59.

Steven Helmling, The Success and Failure of Fredric Jameson, SUNY Press, 2001, p. 54–

Jameson “figures the inside/outside problem in the metaphor of the ‘prison-house of language’….”

      Jung and the Imago Dei:

 “… Jung presents a diagram  
    to illustrate the dynamic
      movements of the self….”

…the movement of
a self in the rock…

Stevens, The Rock, and Piranesi's Prisons

Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
by Harold Bloom,
Cornell U. Press, 1977

“Welcome to The Rock.”
— Sean Connery

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070107-Bridge.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
“… just as God defeats the devil:
this bridge exists….”
Andre Weil

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070107-Magneto2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The bridge illustration
is thanks to Magneto.

Sunday January 7, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Short Story

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Related material:

In Lieu of Rosebud,
Damnation Morning

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Saturday January 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Picture of Nothing

On Kirk Varnedoe’s
2003 Mellon Lectures,
Pictures of Nothing“–

“Varnedoe’s lectures were ultimately
about faith, about his faith in
the power of abstraction,
and abstraction as a kind of
anti-religious faith in itself….”

The Washington Post

Related material:

The more industrious scholars
will derive considerable pleasure
from describing how the art-history
professors and journalists of the period
1945-75, along with so many students,
intellectuals, and art tourists of every
sort, actually struggled to see the
paintings directly, in the old
pre-World War II way,
like Plato’s cave dwellers
watching the shadows, without
knowing what had projected them,
which was the Word.”

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Log24, Aug. 23, 2005:

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–
theological analogy of Son’s procession
as Verbum Patris, 111-12″

— Index to Joyce and Aquinas,
by William T. Noon, S.J.,
Yale University Press 1957,
second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang?
Overcome by metaphysical lassitude,
I finally reach over to my bookshelf
for The Devil’s Bible.
Turning to Genesis I read:
‘In the beginning
there was nothing.
And God said,
‘Let there be light!’
And there was still nothing,
but now you could see it.'”

— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology,
Slate‘s “High Concept” department

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070106-Bang.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


“…Mondrian and Malevich
are not discussing canvas
or pigment or graphite or
any other form of matter.
They are talking about
Being or Mind or Spirit.
From their point of view,
the grid is a staircase
to the Universal….”

Rosalind Krauss, “Grids”

For properties of the
“nothing” represented
by the 3×3 grid, see
The Field of Reason.

For religious material related
to the above and to Epiphany,
a holy day observed by some,
see Plato, Pegasus, and the
Evening Star
and Shining Forth.

Saturday January 6, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:31 AM

An Epiphany
for the Birthday
of E. L. Doctorow,
Author of
City of God

(Doctorow wrote about
New York. A city more
closely associated with
God is Jerusalem.)


On the morning of January 2 this year, inspired by Sambin’s “basic picture,” I considered an entry dealing with Galois lattices (pdf).  This train of thought was halted by news of the death earlier that morning of Teddy Kollek, 95, a founder of the Israeli intelligence service and six-term mayor of Jerusalem. (This led later to the entry “Damnation Morning“– a reference to the Fritz Leiber short story.)

This morning’s entry reboards the Galois train of thought.

Here are some relevant links:

Galois Connections (a French weblog entry providing an brief overview of Galois theory and an introduction to the use of Galois lattices in “formal concept analysis“)

Ontology (an introduction to formal concept analysis linked to on 3/31/06)

One motive for resuming consideration of Galois lattices today is to honor the late A. Richard Newton, a pioneer in engineering design who died at 55– also on Tuesday, Jan. 2, the date of Kollek’s death.  Today’s New York Times obituary for Newton says that “most recently, Professor Newton championed the study of synthetic biology.”

A check of syntheticbiology.org leads to a web page on– again– ontology.

For the relationship between ontology (in the semantic-web sense) and Galois lattices, see (for instance)

Knowledge Organisation and Information Retrieval Using Galois Lattices” (ps) and its references.

An epiphany within all this that Doctorow might appreciate is the following from Wikipedia, found by following a link to “upper ontology” in the syntheticbiology.org ontology page:

  • There is no self-evident way of dividing the world up into concepts.
  • There is no neutral ground that can serve as a means of translating between specialized (lower) ontologies.
  • Human language itself is already an arbitrary approximation of just one among many possible conceptual maps. To draw any necessary correlation between English words and any number of intellectual concepts we might like to represent in our ontologies is just asking for trouble.

Related material:

The intellectual concepts
mentioned by Richard Powers
at the end of tomorrow’s
New York Times Book Review.
(See the links on these concepts
in yesterday’s “Goldberg Variation.”)

See also Old School Tie.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Friday January 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM
For Twelfth Night:

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Detail of cover,
collection of stories
by Zenna Henderson

In Twelfth Night, the character Feste

“.. seems to be the wisest person within all the characters in the comedy. Viola remarks this by saying ‘This fellow’s wise enough to play the fool’…. Since Feste is a licensed fool, his main role in Twelfth Night is to speak the truth. This is where the humor lies….”


Friday January 5, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Goldberg Variation

Photo op for Gerald Ford

Final page of The New York Times Book Review, issue dated January 7, 2007:

On using speech-recognition software to dictate a book:

"Writing is the act of accepting the huge shortfall between the story in the mind and what hits the page. 'From your lips to God's ears,' goes the old Yiddish wish. The writer, by contrast, tries to read God's lips and pass along the words…. And for that, an interface will never be clean or invisible enough for us to get the passage right….

Everthing we write– through any medium– is lost in translation. But something new is always found again, in their eager years. In Derrida's fears.  Make that: in the reader's ears."

Richard Powers (author of The Gold Bug Variations)

Found in translation:

Klein four-group

Click on picture
for details.

Friday January 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:26 AM
Time and the River

Front page of The New York Times Book Review, issue dated January 7, 2007:

“Time passes, and what it passes through is people– though people believe that they are passing through time, and even, at certain euphoric moments, directing time.  It’s a delusion, but it’s where memoirs come from, or at least the very best ones.  They tell how destiny presses on desire and how desire pushes back, sometimes heroically, always poignantly, but never quite victoriously.  Life is an upstream, not an uphill, battle, and it results in just one story: how, and alongside whom, one used his paddle.”

Walter Kirn, “Stone’s Diaries”

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Thursday January 4, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Readings for wise men
on the date of
T. S. Eliot's death:

"A cold coming we had of it…."

"… a Church is to be judged by its intellectual fruits, by its influence on the sensibility of the most sensitive and on the intellect of the most intelligent, and it must be made real to the eye by monuments of artistic merit."

— T. S. Eliot, For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order, published by Faber & Gwyer, London,  in 1928.

The visual "monuments of artistic merit" I prefer are not those of a Church– except, perhaps, the Church of Modernism.  Literary monuments are another matter.  I recommend:

The Death of Adam

The Novels of Charles Williams, and

Let Sleeping Beauties Lie.

Related material
on style and order:

Eliot's essay on Andrewes begins,
"The Right Reverend Father in God,
Lancelot Bishop of Winchester,
died on September 25, 1626."

For evidence of Andrewes's
saintliness (hence, that
of Eliot) we may examine
various events of the
25th of September.

("On September 25th most of
the Anglican Communion
commemorates the day on which
Lancelot Andrewes died."

In Log24,
these events are…

Sept. 25, 2002

"Las Mañanitas"

Sept. 25, 2003

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Sept. 25, 2004

Sept. 25, 2005

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Sept. 25, 2006

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(Yau and Perelman)

It seems that I am
somewhat out of step with
  the Anglican Communion…
though perhaps, in a sense,
in step with Eliot.

Note his words in
"Journey of the Magi":

Birth or Death?
There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt.
I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;
this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us,
like Death, our death.

See also entries for
Dec. 27, 2006 (the day of
Itche Goldberg's death) —

Photo op for Gerald Ford

— "Least Popular
Christmas Present
" —

and for the same date
three years earlier

"If you don't play
some people's game, they say
that you have 'lost your marbles,'
not recognizing that,

while Chinese checkers
is indeed a fine pastime,
a person may also play dominoes,
chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks,
drop-the-soap or Russian roulette
with his brain.

One brain game that is widely,
if poorly, played is a gimmick
called 'rational thought.'"

Tom Robbins

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Wednesday January 3, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM
The Wanderer:

“What on earth is
a concrete universal?”
Robert M. Pirsig  

Hexagram 56

“James Joyce meant Finnegans Wake to become a universal book. His universe was primarily Dublin, but Joyce believed that the universal can be found in the particular. ‘I always write about Dublin,’ he said to Arthur Power, ‘because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world’ (Ellmann 505). He achieved that goal in Ulysses by making Bloom a universal wanderer, the everyman trying to find his way in the labyrinth of the world.” —The Joyce of Science

Related material:

From A Shot at Redemption

The Past as Prologue:
Grand Rapids Revisited

Constantine (cartoon) and Donald Knuth

John Constantine,
cartoon character, and
Donald E. Knuth,
Lutheran mathematician

“…. recent books testify
further to Calvin College’s
unparalleled leadership
in the field of
Christian historiography….”

“I need a photo opportunity,
I want a shot at redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard.”

A photo opportunity —

Photo op for Gerald Ford

and a recent cartoon:

Cartoon of Gerald Ford with halo

History, said Stephen….

From Calvin College,
today’s meditation:

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Tuesday January 2, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Introduction to

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the Double Cross

This time slot, 7:00 AM EST,
Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007,
was reserved earlier.

It now (mid-day Jan. 3)
seems an appropriate place
for the following
illustration —

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050221-Spider.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Spider Jerusalem

— and for a link to
comments on the
Fritz Leiber story
Damnation Morning.”

Monday, January 1, 2007

Monday January 1, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 PM
The Fano plane

Tiling by heptagons

For further details, click on the pictures.

Happy 007.

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