Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday September 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
Hat Tip

Today’s New York Times
on the Sept. 22 death
of William D. Rogers,
architect of United States
policy on Latin America–

When Rogers died during
a Virginia fox hunt,

“An Episcopal priest was called,
the hounds were collected
and the hunters gathered
for a short service on the spot.

‘One by one, they rode past him
and tipped their hats’….”

Rachel Cobb photo of man returning a crucifix to Huichol village chapel

A man returns a crucifix
to a Huichol village chapel.

Photo by Rachel Cobb
for National Geographic

 “The Eagle soars in
      the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs
      pursues his circuit.”

— Opening lines of  
Choruses from ‘The Rock’,”
Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1934

Sunday September 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM
Trinity Church

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070930-Trinity_Church_today.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Funeral services will be held
at Trinity Church, Upperville,
at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.”

The source:

William D. Rogers, Diplomat and Attorney

Today’s previous entry had
 a different image of Rogers
with a quotation from
  Wallace Stevens’s “The Rock.”
Stevens, though raised as
a Presbyterian, was a
secular poet.

Since Rogers’s funeral
is to take place in
a Christian church,
it seems fitting to
grant equal time to
a Christian poet of
at least equal stature:

“Though you forget the way
    to the Temple,
There is one who remembers
    the way to your door:
Life you may evade,
    but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.”

— Thomas Stearns Eliot,
  “Choruses from ‘The Rock’

Sunday September 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:23 AM

Sunday September 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:14 AM
Death on Yom Kippur

“William D. Rogers, a lawyer who helped plan the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ approach to Latin America and then served as a principal policymaker for the region during the Ford administration, died Sept. 22 near his home in Upperville, Va. He was 80.

Mr. Rogers, a devotee of fox hunting, died during a hunt after suffering a heart attack while riding his favorite horse, Isaiah, his son William said….

His son William said his father was declared dead almost immediately by a doctor participating in the fox hunt. An Episcopal priest was called, the hounds were collected and the hunters gathered for a short service on the spot.

‘One by one, they rode past him and tipped their hats,’ William said.”

— Douglas Martin and Sarah Abruzzese, New York Times, Sept. 30, 2007

“Enter the rock….”
New American Standard Bible

VA Lottery, Yom Kippur, Sept. 22, 2007: Day 409, Night 062

For the meaning of the Virginia Lottery
number on the night of Rogers’s death,
see The Beauty Test.

For the meaning of the Virginia Lottery
number on the day of Rogers’s death,
see Garden Party.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday September 29, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM

From The New York Times
on the Feast of
St. Michael and All Angels:

NYT obituaries, Michaelmas 2007, with Wolfgang Panofsky

Recommended reading in the afterlife
for Rabbi Shapira:
The Man as Pure as Lucifer,”
by Graham Greene

Recommended viewing in the afterlife
for Dr. Panofsky, son of Erwin Panofsky:

An Instance of the Fingerpost, starring Kate Beckinsale

“Pray for the grace of accuracy.”
— Robert Lowell, quoted in
a web page titled
Is Nothing Sacred?

“The page numbers are
generally reliable.”
— Steven H. Cullinane,
Zen and Language Games

Related material:
Sacred Passion:
The Art of William Schickel
U. of Notre Dame Press, 1998

Click on the fingerpost
for further details.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday September 28, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:25 AM
8:20 PM ET:

See Venn Diagrams and Finite Geometry and today’s comments at my Wikipedia page.

This update replaces the original Log24 entry of 6:25 AM today.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday September 27, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:00 PM

This afternoon I added a new page to finitegeometry.org and updated the Geometry of Logic page.  These changes are due to my coming across the Usenet postings of Carol von der Lin.

Thursday September 27, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM
The Holy Spook

Classics 101 —
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070915-HumanStain.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Prof. Coleman Silk introducing
 freshmen to academic values

(See September 15. )

"The communication
of the dead is tongued with fire
   beyond the language of the living."

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The Boston Globe,
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007-

Psychiatrist treated veterans
using Homer

Work made him

Dr. Jonathan Shay
(Harvard Class of 1963)


"When Boston psychiatrist Jonathan Shay wanted to understand the psychological toll of the Vietnam War on the veterans he treated, he turned to the 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey.'

The classical Greek epics perfectly encapsulate the mental damage of combat, said Shay, who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Boston….

Today, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will announce that Shay, 65, has been selected as a 2007 MacArthur fellow 'for his work in using literary parallels from Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" to treat combat trauma suffered by Vietnam veterans.'….

'I was hearing elements of the story of Achilles over and over again,' Shay said.

Achilles, the hero of the 'Iliad,' is mistreated by his commander, who takes a girl, a prize of war, from him. Achilles is also tormented by the loss of his best friend in the Trojan War. With his ethical universe upended, he goes berserk.

Soon, Shay began to work on his first book, 'Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character.'

In the book, he interspersed the story of Achilles with examples of his patients' losses and contentious relationships with their commanders in Vietnam to illustrate some of the causes of the troops' psychological wounds."

The first word of the 'Iliad,'
Menin, is written in Greek
on Professor Silk's blackboard
in the photo at top.
It means "wrath."

Related material:

The wrath of a Vietnam
veteran, portrayed by
Ed Harris, in the film
"The Human Stain,"
and a calmer Harris in
the illustration below,
from Log24, Oct. 8, 2005:

A History of Death

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051008-HistHarris3.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Adapted from
the film
"A History of Violence"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday September 25, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM
A Song is a
Terrible Thing
to Waste

“Teach us to
number our days.”
The New Yorker,
Oct. 1, 2007

Link from previous entry:
on a day numbered


Come, Mister Tally Man…

Catherine O'Hara in Beetlejuice

Related material:
The Crimson Passion
and this morning’s
Harvard Crimson:

Faust’s Kickoff

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070925-Faust.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
See also the home page
of today’s online New Yorker

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070925-NYer.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

— as well as
Harvard at the Grammys (2/12/07),
The Fullness of Time (7/29/04),
and Soul at Harvard (9/18/04).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday September 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 AM
Psalm from
the Underworld

I reserved the time slot of this entry, 1:06 (a reference to Epiphany), on Sept. 24 after encountering the following passages in

The New Yorker,
issue dated Oct. 1, 2007–

James Wood on Robert Alter’s new translation of the Psalms:

“At any time, God can cancel a life. ‘So teach us to number our days,’ as the King James Version has it, ‘that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.’….

The ancient Hebrew word for the shadowy underworld where the dead go, Sheol, was Christianized as ‘Hell,’ even though there is no such concept in the Hebrew Bible. Alter prefers the words ‘victory’ and ‘rescue’ as translations of yeshu’ah, and eschews the Christian version, which is the heavily loaded ‘salvation.’ And so on. Stripping his English of these artificial cleansers, Alter takes us back to the essence of the meaning. Suddenly, in a world without Heaven, Hell, the soul, and eternal salvation or redemption, the theological stakes seem more local and temporal: ‘So teach us to number our days.'”

The reference to “numbering our days” recalled Saturday morning’s Yom Kippur entry on the days numbered 8/09 and 9/12.  Here is another such entry, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Lottery:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070924-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For a midrash,
see last year’s
7/07 and 2/10
as well as
this year’s
7/07 and 2/10.

For another psalm
from the underworld
see Toy Soldiers.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday September 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
The New Yorker,
issue dated
Sept. 24, 2007:



On Oct. 10, Stephen King
opens the new season
of “Selected Shorts”
at Symphony Space as
the host of readings from
The Best American
Short Stories 2007
 which he guest-edited.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/BestAmSS07.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:
“When you care enough…”
(Aug. 20 in Summer Reading)

Update of 5:00 PM EDT
Monday, Sept. 24, 2007:

See also King’s essay
“What Ails the Short Story”
on the inside back page
of next Sunday’s (Sept. 30)
New York Times Book Review.

Sunday September 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:51 AM
Autumn Equinox–
5:51 AM EDT today.

On Stephen King’s
Birthday, 2001–

A Reading List

“to observe King’s birthday,
the High Holy Days,
the autumn equinox,
et cetera”

On Stephen King’s
Birthday, 2007-

The Pennsylvania Lottery
numbers were 809 and 912.

For parts of a story
about these numbers,
see “Summer Reading
(Aug. 7 – Sept. 22).

Sunday September 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM
Symbol of Venus
Shine on,
 shine on.

Daisy May   

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday September 22, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:25 AM
PA Lottery

PA Lottery Sept. 21, 2007: Mid-day 809, Evening 912

Click on image
 for soundtrack.

See also
8/09, 9/12.

Saturday September 22, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:23 AM

"It was only in retrospect
that the silliness
became profound."
— Review of  
Faust in Copenhagen

Saturday September 22, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:22 AM
The Magic of Numbers

"Emphasis will be placed on discovery through conjecture and experimentation."

Elena Mantovan, pre-2007 undated Harvard syllabus for Quantitative Reasoning 28, "The Magic of Numbers"

"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, said Shakespeare, are of imagination all compact. He forgot the mathematician…. Those who win through to the end of The Magic of Numbers will be for the rest of their lives in touch with the accessible mystery of things."

Review, Harvard Magazine, Jan/Feb 2004

"Lear becomes almost lyrical. 'When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down/ And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh/ At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues/ Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too/ Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out– And take upon's the mystery of things/ As if we were God's spies.' That is a remarkable, haunting passage."

— Father James V. Schall, Society of Jesus, Georgetown Hoya, undated column (perhaps, the URL indicates, from All Hallows' Eve, 2006)

Related material:
The Crimson Passion,
Beauty Bare,
Gross To Step Down.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday September 21, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:28 AM
Word and Object

"We may recall the ideal of 'dryness' which we associate with the symbolist movement, with writers such as T. E. Hulme and T. S. Eliot, with Paul Valery, with Wittgenstein. This 'dryness' (smallness, clearness, self-containedness) is a nemesis of Romanticism…. The temptation of art… is to console. The modern writer… attempts to console us by myths or by stories."

— Iris Murdoch  

"The consolations of form,
the clean crystalline work"

— Iris Murdoch, 
"Against Dryness"

"As a teacher Quine
was carefully organized,
precise, and conscientious,
but somewhat dry
in his classroom style."

Harvard Gazette 


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The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070921-Lindenbaum-Tarski.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Myth and Story:

The five entries ending
on Jan. 27, 2007

"There is such a thing
as a tesseract."
Madeleine L'Engle  

Friday September 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:23 AM


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday September 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday September 19, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:00 AM
Einstein, God, and
the Consolation of Form

“The kind of thing that would make Einstein gag”

Peter Woit, Sept. 18, 2007

    “– …He did some equations that would make God cry for the sheer beauty of them. Take a look at this…. The sonofabitch set out equations that fit the data. Nobody believes they mean anything. Shit, when I back off, neither do I. But now and then, just once in a while…
     — He joined physical and mental events. In a unified mathematical field.
     — Yeah, that’s what I think he did. But the bastards in this department… bunch of goddamned positivists. Proof doesn’t mean a damned thing to them. Logical rigor, beauty, that damned perfection of something that works straight out, upside down, or sideways– they don’t give a damn.”

— “Nothing Succeeds,” in The Southern Reporter: Stories of John William Corrington, LSU Press, 1981

“The search for images of order and the loss of them constitute the meaning of The Southern Reporter.”

Louisiana State University Press

“By equating reality with the metaphysical abstraction ‘contingency’ and explaining his paradigm by reference to simple images of order, Kermode [but see note below] defines the realist novel not as one which attempts to get to grips with society or human nature, but one which, in providing the consolation of form,* makes the occasional concession to contingency….”

Richard Webster on Frank Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending

We are here in the
Church of St. Frank.

Marjorie Garber,
Harvard University

* “The consolations of form” is a phrase Kermode quoted from Iris Murdoch. Webster does not mention Murdoch. Others have quoted Murdoch’s memorable phrase, which comes from her essay “Against Dryness: A Polemical Sketch,” Encounter, No. 88, January 1961, pp. 16-20. The essay was reprinted in a Penguin paperback collection of Murdoch’s work, Existentialists and Mystics. It was also reprinted in The Novel Today, ed. Malcolm Bradbury (Manchester, Manchester U. Press, 1977); in Revisions, ed. S. Hauerwas and A. MacIntyre (Notre Dame, U. of Notre Dame Press, 1981); and in Iris Murdoch, ed. H. Bloom (New York, Chelsea House, 1986).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday September 18, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday September 16, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday September 15, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM
The Crimson Passion
Professors: Post Your Syllabi
Professors should post their
course syllabi before move-in,
not after class has started

The Harvard Crimson

Published On Friday, September 14, 2007  12:54 AM

"Classes start in three days, and that means it’s time to… examine course syllabi– that is if you can find them…." More >>

Classics 101:
The Holy Spook

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins in 'The Human Stain'

Prof. Coleman Silk introducing
 freshmen to academic values

The Course Begins:

Larry Summers, former president
of Harvard, was recently invited,
then disinvited, to speak at a
politically correct UC campus.

A Guest Lecturer Speaks:

"This is so pathetic. I used to write long disquisitions on the ethical dimensions of behavior like this, but years of it can make a girl get very tired. And that's because this stuff is tiresome, and boring, and wrong, and pathetic, and so very indicative of the derailed character of academic life. It's more important to keep punishing Summers for a comment he made years ago– and apologized for many times over, and essentially lost the presidency of Harvard over– than it is just to move on and let free exchange happen on campuses. I doubt Summers would have devoted his time before the Regents to theorizing gender (not that I would personally care much if he did– I was not so mortally wounded by his observations as others were), and he is a brilliant man with much of value to bring to a visit with the Regents. But what does that matter when the opportunity to mob a politically incorrect academic presents itself?" —Erin O'Connor on Sept. 15, 2007

Illustration of the Theme:

Clarinetist Ken Peplowski
plays "Cry Me a River"
as Nicole Kidman focuses
the students' attention.

A sample Holy Spook,
Kurt Vonnegut, was introduced
by Peplowski on the birthday
this year of Pope Benedict XVI.

"Deeply vulgar"
Academic characterization
of Harvard president Summers

"Do they still call it
 the licorice stick?"
Kurt Vonnegut

Related Material:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070915-Summers.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Midnight Drums for Larry

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday September 13, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:57 AM
Scorsese Is
Kennedy Center

“Scorsese, 64, a native New Yorker, thought of being a priest and went to the seminary after high school. But he changed his mind and built a catalogue of great films, many of which are considered the best of their time.” — Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2007

His Life.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070913-DeNiro.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

My Card.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051012-MyCard.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Columbus Day, 2005

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday September 13, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM
Lease Renewed

The New York Times
Thursday, September 13, 2007–

Burt Hasen, Artist Inspired
by Maps, Dies at 85

Burt Hasen, a New York painter who drew inspiration from his experience working with maps as a military technician during World War II, died on Friday [September 7, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 85 and lived in Lower Manhattan….

During the war he served in the Air Force in the Pacific, where his duties involved close study of aerial maps, an activity that lastingly influenced his work. His densely worked canvases often had an overhead perspective….Toward the end of his life, many of his seemingly abstract paintings were based directly, and in detail, on maps….

In 2006 Mr. Hasen, his wife and the other tenants of a five-story building at 7 Dutch Street near the South Street Seaport made news when they organized against their landlord’s attempt to evict them from the rent-regulated lofts they had occupied for more than 30 years. They subsequently had their leases renewed.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070913-Map.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
Gravity’s Rainbow

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday September 12, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:01 PM
Vector Logic

Geometry for Jews
(March 2003)
discussed the
following figure:

The 4x4 square

Some properties of
this figure were also
discussed last March
in my note
The Geometry of Logic.

I learned yesterday from Jonathan Westphal, a professor of philosophy at Idaho State University, that he and a colleague, Jim Hardy, have devised another geometric approach to logic: a system of arrow diagrams that illustrate classical propositional logic. The diagrams resemble those used to illustrate Euclidean vector spaces, and Westphal and Hardy call their approach “a vector system,” although it does not involve what a mathematician would regard as a vector space.
Westphal and Hardy, logic diagram with arrows
Journal of Logic and Computation
15(5) (October, 2005), pp. 751-765.
Related material:
(2) the quilt pattern
below (click for
the source) —
Quilt pattern Tents of Armageddon
(3) yesterday’s entry
“Christ! What are
patterns for?”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday September 11, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Tuesday September 11, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:07 AM

Battlefield Geometry

"The general, who wrote the Army's book on counterinsurgency, said he and his staff were 'trying to do the battlefield geometry right now' as he prepared his troop-level recommendations."
Steven R. Hurst, The Associated Press, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007

"'… we are in the process of doing the battlefield geometry to determine the way ahead.'"
Charles M. Sennott, Boston Globe, Friday, Sept. 7, 2007

"Based on these considerations, and having worked the battlefield geometry … I have recommended a drawdown of the surge forces from Iraq."
United States Army, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007

Related material:

Log24 entries of
June 11 and 12, 2005:

Desert Square, from xxi.ac-reims.fr/terres-rouges/essai/histoire.htm

"In the desert you can
remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one
for to give you no pain."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday September 10, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:07 AM
The Story Theory
of Truth

“I’m a gun for hire,
I’m a saint, I’m a liar,
because there are no facts,
there is no truth,
just data to be manipulated.”

The Garden of Allah  

NY Lottery Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007: Mid-day 223, Evening 416

The data in more poetic form:

To 23,
For 16.


23: See
The Prime Cut Gospel.
16: See
Happy Birthday, Benedict XVI.

Related material:

The remarks yesterday
of Harvard president
Drew G. Faust
to incoming freshmen.

Faust “encouraged
the incoming class
to explore Harvard’s
many opportunities.

‘Think of it as
a treasure room
of hidden objects
Harry discovers
at Hogwarts,’
Faust said.”

Today’s Crimson   

For a less Faustian approach,
see the Harvard-educated
philosopher Charles Hartshorne
at The Harvard Square Library
and the words of another
Harvard-educated Hartshorne:

“Whenever one
 approaches a subject from
two different directions,
there is bound to be
an interesting theorem
expressing their relation.”
Robin Hartshorne

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday September 8, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

A Little Mystery

May 25, 2007:

Reba McEntire, Saturday Evening Post, Mar/Apr 1995

"Let's give 'em somethin' to talk about,
A little mystery to figure out"

— Scarlett Johansson singing on
Saturday Night Live, April 21, 2007

Related material:

Today's previous entry
and the following:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070908-Fisher.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Saturday September 8, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM

The Intensest Rendezvous

"There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling….

Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling,
Do not forget what flowers
The great boar trampled down in ivy time.
Her brow was creamy as the crested wave,
Her sea-blue eyes were wild
But nothing promised that is not performed. "

— Robert Graves,
    To Juan at the Winter Solstice

Symbol of the evening star

The Devil and Wallace Stevens:

"In a letter to Harriet Monroe, written December 23, 1926, Stevens refers to the Sapphic fragment that invokes the genius of evening: 'Evening star that bringest back all that lightsome Dawn hath scattered afar, thou bringest the sheep, thou bringest the goat, thou bringest the child home to the mother.' Christmas, writes Stevens, 'is like Sappho's evening: it brings us all home to the fold.' (Letters of Wallace Stevens, 248)"

— "The Archangel of Evening," Chapter 5 of Wallace Stevens: The Intensest Rendezvous, by Barbara M. Fisher, The University Press of Virginia, 1990, pages 72-73

"Evening. Evening of this day. Evening of the century. Evening of my own life….

At Christmastime my parents held open house on Sunday evenings, and a dozen or more people gathered around the piano, and the apartment was full of music, and theology was sung into my heart."

— Madeleine L'Engle, Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation

From the date of
 L'Engle's death:

Pavarotti takes a bow

Some enchanted evening…          

Saturday September 8, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:49 PM


Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday September 7, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

This place was reserved at 9:29 PM Sept. 7, 2007.

The place now seems suitable to note a memorial to Burt Hasen, an artist who died on Sept. 7, 2007.  For the memorial itself, see Sept. 13, 2007, 2:02 AM.

Friday September 7, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM

The New York Times online,
Friday, Sept. 7, 2007:

Madeleine L’Engle,
Children’s Writer,
Is Dead

"Madeleine L’Engle, who in writing more than 60 books, including childhood fables, religious meditations and science fiction, weaved emotional tapestries transcending genre and generation, died Thursday [Sept. 6, 2007] in Connecticut. She was 88.

Her death, of natural causes, was announced today by her publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux."

More >>

Related material:

Log24 entries of
August 31

"That is how we travel."

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070831-Ant2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Wrinkle in Time,
Chapter 5,
"The Tesseract"

— and of 
September 2
(with update of
 September 5)–

"There is such a thing
as a tesseract."
A Wrinkle in Time  

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thursday September 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Pavarotti takes a bow

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday September 2, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:11 PM

Comment at the
n-Category Cafe

Re: This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week 251)

On Spekkens’ toy system and finite geometry


  • In “Week 251” (May 5, 2007), John wrote:
    “Since Spekkens’ toy system resembles a qubit, he calls it a “toy bit”. He goes on to study systems of several toy bits – and the charming combinatorial geometry I just described gets even more interesting. Alas, I don’t really understand it well: I feel there must be some mathematically elegant way to describe it all, but I don’t know what it is…. All this is fascinating. It would be nice to find the mathematical structure that underlies this toy theory, much as the category of Hilbert spaces underlies honest quantum mechanics.”
  • In the n-Category Cafe ( May 12, 2007, 12:26 AM, ) Matt Leifer wrote:
    “It’s crucial to Spekkens’ constructions, and particularly to the analog of superposition, that the state-space is discrete. Finding a good mathematical formalism for his theory (I suspect finite fields may be the way to go) and placing it within a comprehensive framework for generalized theories would be very interesting.”
  • In the n-category Cafe ( May 12, 2007, 6:25 AM) John Baez wrote:
    “Spekkens and I spent an afternoon trying to think about his theory as quantum mechanics over some finite field, but failed — we almost came close to proving it couldnt’ work.”

On finite geometry:

The actions of permutations on a 4 × 4 square in Spekkens’ paper (quant-ph/0401052), and Leifer’s suggestion of the need for a “generalized framework,” suggest that finite geometry might supply such a framework. The geometry in the webpage John cited is that of the affine 4-space over the two-element field.

Related material:

Update of
Sept. 5, 2007

See also arXiv:0707.0074v1 [quant-ph], June 30, 2007:

A fully epistemic model for a local hidden variable emulation of quantum dynamics,

by Michael Skotiniotis, Aidan Roy, and Barry C. Sanders, Institute for Quantum Information Science, University of Calgary. Abstract: "In this article we consider an augmentation of Spekkens’ toy model for the epistemic view of quantum states [1]…."

Skotiniotis et al. note that the group actions on the 4×4 square described in Spekkens' paper [1] may be viewed (as in Geometry of the 4×4 Square and Geometry of Logic) in the context of a hypercube, or tesseract, a structure in which adjacency is isomorphic to adjacency in the 4 × 4 square (on a torus).

Hypercube from the Skotiniotis paper:



[1] Robert W. Spekkens, Phys. Rev. A 75, 032110 (2007),

Evidence for the epistemic view of quantum states: A toy theory

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 2Y5 (Received 11 October 2005; revised 2 November 2006; published 19 March 2007.)

"There is such a thing
as a tesseract."
A Wrinkle in Time  

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