Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday December 29, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:21 PM
The Gift

Plato's Diamond

Robert Stone,
A Flag for Sunrise:

"'That old Jew gave me this here.' Egan looked at the diamond. 'I ain't giving this to you, understand? The old man gave it to me for my boy. It's worth a whole lot of money– you can tell that just by looking– but it means something, I think. It's got a meaning, like.'

'Let's see,' Egan said, 'what would it mean?' He took hold of Pablo's hand cupping the stone and held his own hand under it. '"The jewel is in the lotus," perhaps that's what it means. The eternal in the temporal. The Boddhisattva declining nirvana out of compassion. Contemplating the ignorance of you and me, eh? That's a metaphor of our Buddhist friends.'

Pablo's eyes glazed over. 'Holy shit,' he said. 'Santa Maria.' He stared at the diamond in his palm with passion."

For further details, click on the diamond.


Related narratives:

Today's online Times on
the Saturday, Dec. 27,
death of an artist:

Robert Graham obituary, NY Times, 12/29/08

"Dale Wasserman… the playwright responsible for two Broadway hits of the 1960s, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest' and 'Man of La Mancha,' died on Sunday [December 21, 2008] at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., near Phoenix….

Mr. Wasserman wrote more than 75 scripts for television, the stage and the movies, including screenplays for 'The Vikings' (1958), a seafaring epic with Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas, and 'A Walk With Love and Death' (1969), a John Huston film set in 14th-century Europe….

He feuded with… John Huston, who gave the lead female role in 'Walk' to his teenage daughter, Anjelica, against Mr. Wasserman's wishes. And he never attended ceremonies to receive the awards he won."

Accepting for Mr. Wasserman:
Mr. Graham's widow,
Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson


Monday December 29, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Her Scalloped Shore

A meditation for Becket’s Day on James Joyce, Santiago de Compostela, and the death of Pope John Paul II

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday December 27, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM


Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday December 26, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM

“Wayne C. Booth’s lifelong
study of the art of rhetoric
 illuminated the means
 by which authors seduce,
 cajole and lie to their readers
 in the service of narrative.”

New York Times, Oct. 11, 2005

Roberta Smith in a New York Times Christmas Day review of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art:

“He ends the show with Ed Ruscha’s painting ‘The End.’ But if you consult the brochure, you’ll see that it also lists one final object up above, near the ceiling. This is the green LED exit sign that directs you out of the gallery. The sign, designed by Mark Wamble, Dawn Finley and Ben Thorne of Interloop Architecture, is, like everything else here, in the Modern’s collection. Here, of course, it is also just doing its job.”

Other Christmas Day endings —

Those of W.C. Fields– see Cafe Society (April 14, 2007)– and, this year, of Eartha Kitt:

Eartha Kitt in NYT obituaries, Dec. 26, 2008

From April 12 last year:

Kurt Vonnegut online obit, NYT April 12, 2007

This Way to
the Egress

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday December 25, 2008

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

Christmas Card

Top center front page, online NY Times, Christmas 2008-- Pinter dead at 78


Oct. 11-14, 2005:

'A Poem for Pinter,' conclusion: 'Tick Tick Hash.'

'The Interpreter'-- Sean Penn to Nicole Kidman-- 'My Card.'
Click to enlarge.

"My card."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday December 23, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

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

of the undying snake
     from chaos hatched,
Whose coils contain the ocean,
Into whose chops
     with naked sword he springs,
Then in black water,
     tangled by the reeds,
Battles three days and nights,
To be spewed up
     beside her scalloped shore….”

— Robert Graves,
   “To Juan at the Winter Solstice”

Tuesday December 23, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:20 AM

Kindred Spirit

On the late film director Robert Mulligan, who died early Saturday [Dec. 20, 2008] at 83:

Mulligan received a best director Oscar nomination in 1963 for “[To Kill a] Mockingbird”….

While some debated whether he had a discernible personal vision in his films, Mulligan was known for his casting and direction of children, including “[Up the Down] Staircase,” where he personally interviewed more than 500 New York high school students.

Sensing a kindred spirit, Francois Truffaut was a vocal champion, particularly cognizant of what he perceived as undue criticism of Mulligan’s work for lacking a particular “style.” Mulligan himself was dismissive of critics/cineaste talk: “I don’t know anything about ‘the Mulligan style,’ ” he told the Village Voice in 1978. “If you can find it, well, that’s your job.”

Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter

Thanks to desconvencida for a trailer of “The Man in the Moon” (1991), Reese Witherspoon’s first film and Mulligan’s last.

Mulligan also directed Natalie Wood in a personal favorite of mine, “Love with the Proper Stranger.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday December 22, 2008

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

The Folding

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5


“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!”

This recalls the title of a piece in this week’s New Yorker:”The Book of Lists:
Susan Sontag’s early journals
.” (See Log24 on Thursday, Dec. 18.)

In the rather grim holiday spirit of that piece, here are some journal notes for Sontag, whom we may imagine as the ghost of Hanukkah past.

There are at least two ways of folding a list (or tale) to fit a rectangular frame.The normal way, used in typesetting English prose and poetry, starts at the top, runs from left to right, jumps down a line, then again runs left to right, and so on until the passage is done or the bottom right corner of the frame is reached.

The boustrophedonic way again goes from top to bottom, with the first line running from left to right, the next from right to left, the next from left to right, and so on, with the lines’ directions alternating.

The word “boustrophedon” is from the Greek words describing the turning, at the end of each row, of an ox plowing (or “harrowing”) a field.

The Tale of
the Eternal Blazon

by Washington Irving

Blazon meant originally a shield, and then the heraldic bearings on a shield.
Later it was applied to the art of describing or depicting heraldic bearings
in the proper manner; and finally the term came to signify ostentatious display
and also description or record by words or other means. In Hamlet, Act I. Sc. 5,
the Ghost, while talking with Prince Hamlet, says:

‘But this eternal blazon
must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.’

Eternal blazon signifies revelation or description of things pertaining to eternity.”

Irving’s Sketch Book, p. 461

By Washington Irving and Mary Elizabeth Litchfield, Ginn & Company, 1901

Related material:

Folding (and harrowing up)
some eternal blazons —

The 16 Puzzle: transformations of a 4x4 square
These are the foldings
described above.

They are two of the 322,560
natural ways to fit
the list (or tale)
“1, 2, 3, … 15, 16”
into a 4×4 frame.

For further details, see
The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

Moral of the tale:

Cynthia Zarin in The New Yorker, issue dated April 12, 2004–

“Time, for L’Engle, is accordion-pleated. She elaborated, ‘When you bring a sheet off the line, you can’t handle it until it’s folded, and in a sense, I think, the universe can’t exist until it’s folded– or it’s a story without a book.'”

Monday December 22, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Fides et Ratio

Part I:

Continued from…

    December 20, 2003

White, Geometric,
   and Eternal

Permutahedron-- a truncated octahedron with vertices labeled by the 24 permutations of four things

Makin' the Changes

(From "Flag Matroids," by
Borovik, Gelfand, and White)

Edward Rothstein,

Edward Rothstein on faith and reason, with snowflakes in an Absolut Vodka ad, NYT 12/20/03

White and Geometric,
 but not Eternal.

Part II:

Cocktail: the logo of the New York Times 'Proof' series

For more information,
click on the cocktail.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday December 21, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

An excerpt from Simon Blackburn’s 1999 review of Eco’s Kant and the Platypus:
Prominent literary intellectuals often like to make familiar reference to the technical terminology of mathematical logic or philosophy of language. A friend of mine overheard the following conversation in Cambridge during l’affaire Derrida, when the proposal to grant an honorary degree to that gentleman met serious academic opposition in the university. A journalist covering the fracas asked a Prominent Literary Intellectual what he took to be Derrida’s importance in the scheme of things. ‘Well,’ the PLI confided graciously, unblushingly, ‘Gödel showed that every theory is inconsistent unless it is supported from outside. Derrida showed that there is no outside.’

Now, there are at least three remarkable things about this. First, the thing that Gödel was supposed to show could not possibly be shown, since there are many demonstrably consistent theories. Second, therefore, Gödel indeed did not show it, and neither did he purport to do so. Third, it makes no sense to say that an inconsistent theory could become consistent by being ‘supported from outside’, whatever that might mean (inconsistency sticks; you cannot get rid of it by addition, only by subtraction). So what Derrida is said to have done is just as impossible as what Gödel was said to have done.

These mistakes should fail you in an undergraduate logic or math or philosophy course. But they are minor considerations in the world of the PLI. The point is that the mere mention of Gödel (like the common invocation of ‘hierarchies’ and ‘metalanguages’) gives a specious impression of something thrillingly deep and thrillingly mathematical and scientific (theory! dazzling! Einstein!) And, not coincidentally, it gives the PLI a flattering image of being something of a hand at these things, an impresario of the thrills. I expect the journalist swooned.
An excerpt from Barry Mazur’s “Visions, Dreams, and Mathematics” (apparently a talk presented at Delphi), dated Aug. 1, 2008, but posted on Dec. 19:

“The word explicit is from the Latin explicitus related to the verb explicare meaning to ‘unfold, unravel, explain, explicate’ (plicare means ‘to fold’; think of the English noun ‘ply’).”

Related material: Mark Taylor’s Derridean use of “le pli” (The Picture in Question, pp. 58-60, esp. note 13, p. 60). See also the discussion of Taylor in this journal posted on Dec. 19.

Sunday December 21, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Interpretive Grids

Projective points as grids interpreting the structure of an affine space

The 15 grids in the picture at right above may be regarded as interpreting the structure of the space at left above.

This pair of pictures was suggested by yesterday’s entry at Ars Mathematica containing the phrase “a dramatic extension of the notion of points.”

For other uses of the phrase “interpretive grid,” see today’s previous entry.

Sunday December 21, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

A Sontag Sermon

I:   Against Interpretation,”
       by Susan Sontag
II:   An interpretation
       of Sontag that introduces
       the concept of
       the interpretive grid
III: An Interpretive Grid

Related commentary:
Texas Law Review and
Michigan Law Review.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday December 20, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 AM

Cheap* Epiphanieshttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif
for the Church of
the Forbidden Planet

Mid-day lotteries Dec. 19:
* NY 198  http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif PA  918

From 9/18:

O the mind, mind has mountains,
   cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man fathomed.
   Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there.


Evening lotteries Dec. 19:
* NY 198  http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif PA 414

From 4/14:

"minds blazing, to the barricades"

The New York Times
    on the Wheeler effect

See also
Bloomsday for Nash:
The Revelation Game —

      Black disc from end of Ch. 17 of Ulysses

For details,
click on the
black hole.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday December 19, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Inside the
White Cube

Part I: The White Cube

The Eightfold Cube

Part II: Inside
The Paradise of Childhood'-- Froebel's Third Gift

Part III: Outside

Mark Tansey, 'The Key' (1984)

Click to enlarge.

Mark Tansey, The Key (1984)

For remarks on religion
related to the above, see
Log24 on the Garden of Eden
and also Mark C. Taylor,
"What Derrida Really Meant"
(New York Times, Oct. 14, 2004).

For some background on Taylor,
see Wikipedia. Taylor, Chairman
of the Department of Religion
Columbia University, has a
1973 doctorate in religion from
Harvard University. His opinion
of Derrida indicates that his
sympathies lie more with
the serpent than with the angel
in the Tansey picture above.

For some remarks by Taylor on
the art of Tansey relevant to the
structure of the white cube
(Part I above), see Taylor's
The Picture in Question:
Mark Tansey and the
Ends of Representation

(U. of Chicago Press, 1999):

From Chapter 3,
"Sutures* of Structures," p. 58:

"What, then, is a frame, and what is frame work?

This question is deceptive in its simplicity. A frame is, of course, 'a basic skeletal structure designed to give shape or support' (American Heritage Dictionary)…. when the frame is in question, it is difficult to determine what is inside and what is outside. Rather than being on one side or the other, the frame is neither inside nor outside. Where, then, Derrida queries, 'does the frame take place….'"

* P. 61:
"… the frame forms the suture of structure. A suture is 'a seamless [sic**] joint or line of articulation,' which, while joining two surfaces, leaves the trace of their separation."

 ** A dictionary says "a seamlike joint or line of articulation," with no mention of "trace," a term from Derrida's jargon.

Friday December 19, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:29 PM


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday December 18, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Polar Opposites

Susan Sontag in
this week's New Yorker:
"The mind is a whore."

Embedded in the Sontag
article is the following:

The New Yorker on Santa's use of the word 'ho'

I Ching hexagrams as a Singer 63-cycle, plus zero

Act One

South Pole:

David Mamet's book 'A Whore's Profession'

Hexagram 21 in the King Wen sequence

Shi Ho

Act Two

North Pole:

Susan Sontag

Hexagram 2 in the King Wen sequence


"If baby I'm the bottom,
you're the top."
Cole Porter   

Happy birthday,
Steven Spielberg.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday December 17, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM
The Dance

“… physicists are doing more
than ‘discovering the endless
 diversity of nature.’ They are
     dancing with Kali….”

Gary Zukav,
Harvard ’64

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday December 16, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:00 PM
The Square Wheel

From The n-Category Cafe today:

David Corfield at 2:33 PM UTC quoting a chapter from a projected second volume of a biography:

"Grothendieck’s spontaneous reaction to whatever appeared to be causing a difficulty… was to adopt and embrace the very phenomenon that was problematic, weaving it in as an integral feature of the structure he was studying, and thus transforming it from a difficulty into a clarifying feature of the situation."

John Baez at 7:14 PM UTC on research:

"I just don’t want to reinvent a wheel, or waste my time inventing a square one."

For the adoption and embracing of such a problematic phenomenon, see The Square Wheel (this journal, Sept. 14, 2004).

For a connection of the square wheel with yesterday's entry for Julie Taymor's birthday, see a note from 2002:

Wolfram's Theory of Everything
and the Gameplayers of Zan

Related pictures–

From Wolfram:


A Square

From me:


A Wheel

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday December 15, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Happy Birthday,
Julie Taymor

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/Gameplayers12.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"Julie Taymor… will be directing Helen Mirren in a big-screen adaptation of The Tempest. Dame Helen, in a gender-switch from the original, will be playing Prospera, the usurped Duchess possessed of a vast library and magical powers."

— John Murphy at Bardolatry.com on November 21, 2008

A vast library…

On searching for Garden of Eden patterns (GEP's):

"The grid is a staircase to the Universal…."

— Rosalind Krauss, quoted here on Weyl's birthday, 2004

"I find the whole topic of GEPs a deeply interesting one, from many viewpoints: mathematical, philosophical, physical….

… the obvious problem is, that the required computational time is growing rapidly with the size of the grid, and even for a small grid, like 4×4 (=16 cells) there are 216=65536 possible patterns…."

cateye at RichardDawkins.net

… and magical powers

The date of cateye's post was Sunday, October 21, 2007.

For related material see Log24 on Sunday, October 21, 2007.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday December 14, 2008

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

The New York Times of Sunday, May 6, 2007, on a writer of pulp fiction:

His early novels, written in two weeks or less, were published in double-decker Ace paperbacks that included two books in one, with a lurid cover for each. “If the Holy Bible was printed as an Ace Double,” an editor once remarked, “it would be cut down to two 20,000-word halves with the Old Testament retitled as ‘Master of Chaos’ and the New Testament as ‘The Thing With Three Souls.'”

Epigraph for Part One:

Ours is a very gutsy religion, Cullinane.

James A. Michener

Lurid cover:
The Pussycat

The Pussycat of the film 'The Owl and the Pussycat,' starring Barbra Streisand

Epigraph for Part Two:

Beware lest you believe that you can comprehend the Incomprehensible….

Saint Bonaventure

Lurid cover:
The Owl

Diamond Theory cover, said to resemble Proginoskes in 'A Wind in the Door'

Click on the image for a
relevant Wallace Stevens poem.

Sunday December 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Ideas and Steps

“Somehow it seems to
fill my head with ideas
 only I don’t exactly know
what they are!…. Let’s have
 a look at the garden first!”

— A passage from
Through the Looking-Glass

“… it’s going to be
 accomplished in steps,
this establishment of
the Talented
 in the scheme of things.”

Anne McCaffrey

On the seven steps of Charles Williams:

“If we assume Williams was responding to a psychological need to express himself, then we may also assume that Williams wrote these seven steps in compliance with Jung’s theory that an author, who believes strongly enough in some set of ideas, has to write about them.”

— Dennis L. Weeks (a former student of Walter J. Ong, S. J.) in Steps Toward Salvation: An Examination of Coinherence and Substitution in the Seven Novels of Charles Williams (New York, Peter Lang Publishing, 1991), page 9

On the twelve steps of Christmas:

So set ’em up, Joe…

Sunday December 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

A figure from
Nobel Prize day, December 10,
and from Eugene Wigner‘s
birthday, November 17:

The 3x3 square

Also on December 10:
  the death of Constantine–

Mildred Constantine, 95, MoMA Curator, Is Dead

(Click for details.)

Related material:

Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life,
Photos by Tina Modotti,
Art Wars for Trotsky’s Birthday,
as well as
Art Wars, June 1-15, 2007:

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

  “Ay que bonito es volar  
    A las dos de la mañana
— “La Bruja

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday December 13, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

The Shining
of Dec. 13

continued from
Dec. 13, 2003

“There is a place for a hint
somewhere of a big agent
to complete the picture.”

Notes for an unfinished novel,
The Last Tycoon,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Internet Movie Database
Filmography:William Grady

The Good Earth (1937)
casting: Chinese extras

A Place for a Hint:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix08A/081213-Tea2.jpg(From the book Tangram)

See also
yesterday’s entries
as well as…

Serpent’s Eyes Shine,
Alice’s Tea Party,
Janet’s Tea Party,
Hollywood Memory,
Hope of Heaven.

“… it’s going to be
accomplished in steps,
this establishment of
the Talented
in the scheme of things.”

Anne McCaffrey

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:34 PM

In memory of
Van Johnson:

The Voiceless Sinatra.”

In memory of
Cardinal Avery Dulles:

The God Factor.”

Friday December 12, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
On the Symmetric Group S8

Wikipedia on Rubik's 2×2×2 "Pocket Cube"–


"Any permutation of the 8 corner cubies is possible (8! positions)."

Some pages related to this claim–

Simple Groups at Play

Analyzing Rubik's Cube with GAP

Online JavaScript Pocket Cube.

The claim is of course trivially true for the unconnected subcubes of Froebel's Third Gift:

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring


Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)

See also:

MoMA Goes to Kindergarten,

Tea Privileges


"Ad Reinhardt and Tony Smith:
A Dialogue,"
an exhibition opening today
at Pace Wildenstein.

For a different sort
of dialogue, click on the
artists' names above.

For a different
approach to S8,
see Symmetries.

"With humor, my dear Zilkov.
Always with a little humor."

-- The Manchurian Candidate

Friday December 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:24 PM
Back to the Garden
of Forking Paths

“Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas– only I don’t exactly know what they are!…. Let’s have a look at the garden first!”

— A passage from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. The “garden” part– but not the “ideas” part– was quoted by Jacques Derrida in Dissemination in the epigraph to Chapter 7, “The Time before First.”

“‘For you… he… we aren’t meaning…’ She was almost stammering, as if she were trying to say several things at once…. Suddenly she gave a little tortured scream. ‘O!’ she cried, ‘O! I can’t keep up! it keeps dividing! There’s too many things to think of!'”

— A passage from Charles Williams’s The Place of the Lion, Chapter 12.

“He was thinking faster than he had ever done, and questions rose out of nothing and followed each other– what was to will? Will was determination to choose– what was choice? How could there be choice, unless there was preference, and if there was preference there was no choice, for it was not possible to choose against that preferring nature which was his being; yet being consisted in choice, for only by taking and doing this and not that could being know itself, could it indeed be; to be then consisted in making an inevitable choice, and all that was left was to know the choice, yet even then was the chosen thing the same as the nature that chose, and if not… So swiftly the questions followed each other that he seemed to be standing in flashing coils of subtlety, an infinite ring of vivid intellect and more than intellect, for these questions were not of the mind alone but absorbed into themselves physical passion and twined through all his nature on an unceasing and serpentine journey.”

— A passage from The Place of the Lion, Chapter 10.

Do you like apples?

Good Will Hunting

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

ho anax, hou to manteion esti
to en Delphois, oute legei oute
alla sêmainei

Heraclitus, DK 22 B 93,

The lord whose oracle is
at Delphi neither reveals nor
 conceals, but gives a sign.

A sign, perhaps of the sort
given by Apollo’s oracle:

Road sign with double arrow pointing both left and right

Click on the sign for further details.

Related material:

This week’s New Yorker

Cartoon sign-- enlightenment one way, sandals the other

… as well as   
  today’s previous entry —
Symbol,” discussing Apollo
and a web page
by Nick Wedd —
and Wedd’s home page,
which states that
“I have now found a
  source of Polish sandals.”

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:26 PM

“If it’s a seamless whole you want,
 pray to Apollo, who sets the limits
  within which such a work can exist.”

Margaret Atwood,
quoted here on
November 17, 2008

The 3x3 square

A symbol of Apollo

Related material:

A web page by
Nick Wedd at Oxford

with a neater version
of pictures I drew on
March 26, 1985

(Recall that Apollo is the god
   of, among other things, reason.)

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM
Heraclitus: '...so deep is its logos'

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday December 9, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The Simplest Terms

“Broken down in the simplest terms, the story centres around two warring factions, the ‘Fathers’ and the ‘Friends.'”

Summary of “Wild Palms”

Today’s birthdays:
Kirk Douglas,
Buck Henry,
John Malkovich.

In a nutshell:
The Soul’s Code and
today’s previous entry.

Tuesday December 9, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

In memory of Admiral
George Stephen Morrison,
who died November 17, 2008:

True to his own spirit

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday December 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:12 AM

An Indiana Jones Xmas


Chalice, Grail,


Last night on TNT:
The Librarian Part 3:
Curse of the Judas Chalice,
in which The Librarian
encounters the mysterious
Professor Lazlo

Related material:

An Arthur Waite quotation
from the Feast of St. Nicholas:

“It is like the lapis exilis of
the German Graal legend”

as well as
yesterday’s entry
relating Margaret Wertheim’s
Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:
A History of Space from
Dante to the Internet

 to a different sort of space–
that of the I Ching— and to
Professor Laszlo Lovasz’s
cube space

David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

“Click on the Yellow Book.”

Happy birthday, David Carradine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday December 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:07 PM

Premiere on TNT tonight:
The Librarian 3:
Curse of the Judas Chalice

Sunday December 7, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Space and
 the Soul

On a book by Margaret Wertheim:

“She traces the history of space beginning with the cosmology of Dante. Her journey continues through the historical foundations of celestial space, relativistic space, hyperspace, and, finally, cyberspace.” –Joe J. Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago, in Library Journal, 1999 (quoted at Amazon.com)

There are also other sorts of space.

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring

Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)

This photo may serve as an
introduction to a different
sort of space.

See The Eightfold Cube.

For the religious meaning
of this small space, see

Richard Wilhelm on
the eight I Ching trigrams

For a related larger space,
see the entry and links of
 St. Augustine’s Day, 2006.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday December 6, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

Marks the Spot

The Lost Stone of Solomon

Saturday December 6, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM
Another Opening,
Another Show

“While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick’s Day on a scale similar to the German custom.” —Wikipedia

A footprint from Germany:

/504856559/item.html 12/6/2008
1:21 PM

The link in the above footprint leads
to an entry of July 5, 2006.

The access method:

The urllib Module

“The Python urllib module implements a fairly high-level abstraction for making any web object with a URL act like a Python file: i.e., you open it, and get back an object….”

For more pictures and discussion
of the object fetched by Python,
see Anti-Christmas 2007.

For a larger and more sophisticated
relative of that object,
 see Solomon’s Cube and
the related three presents
from the German link’s target:

Spellbound: A trinity of Christmas presents

1. Many Dimensions
2. Boggle
3. My Space

Saturday December 6, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:30 AM
Surprise Package

Santa and a cube

To open:

  1. The previous entry,
  2. Christmas Eve 2005,
  3. Christmas Day 2005.

Saturday December 6, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:09 AM
Shining Forth

Abstraction and Faith

On Kirk Varnedoe’s National Gallery lectures in 2003 (Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, Sunday, May 18, 2003):

“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.”

et lux in tenebris lucet
et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt


Mihai Spariosu on Heidegger:

… the mirroring …
is to be conceived of as
a shining forth, a play of mirror flashes,
as it were…. The four “mirrors”
emerge into presence as light
  at the same time that they converge….

The above image:
Axes of Reflection
and Annunciation,
the latter being a detail
of a fresco by Giotto
on the cover of
The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace.

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday December 5, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 PM
Continued from Monday:

A Version of
Heaven’s Gate

in memory of
Alexy II, the Russian Orthodox
 patriarch who died today in Moscow:

Art logo: frame not X'd out

The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:

From Geoffrey Broadbent,
“Why a Black Square?” in Malevich
 (London, Art and Design/
Academy Group, 1989, p. 49):

Malevich’s Black Square seems to be
nothing more, nor less, than his
‘Non-Objective’ representation
of Bragdon’s (human-being-as) Cube
  passing through the ‘Plane of Reality.’!”

Friday December 5, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Mirror-Play of
the Fourfold

For an excellent commentary
 on this concept of Heidegger,

View selected pages
from the book

Dionysus Reborn:

Play and the Aesthetic Dimension
in Modern Philosophical and
Scientific Discourse

(Mihai I. Spariosu,
Cornell U. Press, 1989)

Related material:
the logo for a
web page

Logo for 'Elements of Finite Geometry'

— and Theme and Variations.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday December 4, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM

The Dormouse of Perception

This evening I noticed in the New York Times the obituary of Oliver Selfridge, an early writer on artificial intelligence and machine perception. Selfridge apparently died yesterday. The author of the obituary is John Markoff, who wrote a book on the early development of the personal computer in the San Francisco area– What the Dormouse Said.  The title quotes Grace Slick.

For the dormouse himself, see the previous entry.

Thursday December 4, 2008

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

"The first credential
 we should demand of a critic
 is his ideograph of the good."

— Ezra Pound,
  How to Read

"OCR is a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and machine vision."

 — Wikipedia

"I named this script ocode and chmod 755'd it to make it executable…"

Software forum post on the OCR program Tesseract

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008:
Pennsylvania lottery
Mid-day 755, evening 016
New York lottery
Mid-day 207, evening 302

Garfield, Dec. 4, 2008:  Mouse's Xmas bulb-lighting
From the author of
The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:

"Like so many other heroes
 who have seen the light
 of a higher order…."

For further backstory,
click on the mouse.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday December 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Another Show

The letter O on a pedestal-- cover of 'The Wonderful O' by James Thurber

Conclusion of Thurber's 'The Wonderful O'

Wednesday December 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:18 AM
O is for Odetta

New Yorker cover, moon over Lincoln Memorial, issue dated Nov. 17,  2008

The New Yorker,
issue dated Nov. 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday December 2, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Putting the X
in Xmas

Log24 on
St. Andrew’s Day
five years ago:

St. Andrew's Cross on a flag

Andrew Carnegie, a founder of United States Steel

The Santa of Pittsburgh,
Andrew Carnegie


U.S. Steel Consolidates Production
for Greater Efficiency

Last update: 6:04 p.m. EST Dec. 2, 2008

PITTSBURGH, Dec 02, 2008
PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX–

United States Steel Corporation (X)
announced today that as a result
of the company’s continuing review
and analysis of market conditions
and their impact on customers’ orders,
it is taking further steps
to consolidate operations
to safely and more efficiently
meet customer demand including
temporarily idling certain facilities….

Tuesday December 2, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 AM

A Penny for My Thoughts?
by Maureen Dowd

“If an online newspaper in Pasadena, Calif., can outsource coverage to India, I wonder how long can it be before some guy in Bangalore is writing my column….”

New York Times teaser for a column of Sunday, November 30, 2008 (St. Andrew’s Day)

DH News Service, Bangalore, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008:

“Monday evening had a pleasant surprise in store for sky-watchers as the night sky sported a smiley, in the form of a crescent moon flanked by two bright planets Jupiter and Venus…”

Meanwhile, at National Geographic:

Jupiter, Venus, Moon Make “Frown”

A Midrash for Maureen:

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth,
    from earth to heaven;

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown,
    the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes
    and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but
    apprehend some joy,

It comprehends some
    bringer of that joy….”

Related material on Pasadena:
Happy birthday, R. P. Dilworth.

Related material on India:
The Shining of May 29 (2002) and
A Well-Known Theorem (2005).

“Sometimes a line of mathematical research extending through decades can be thought of as one long conversation in which many mathematicians take part. This is fortunately true at present….”

— Barry Mazur in 2000 as quoted today at the University of St. Andrews

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday December 1, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 PM
A Version of
Heaven’s Gate

in memory of
G. H. Hardy,
who died on
this date in 1947

C. P. Snow on Hardy:

“He was living in some of the best intellectual company in the world– G.E. Moore, Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, Trevelyan, the high Trinity society which was shortly to find its artistic complement in Bloomsbury.”

For a rather different artistic complement, see the previous entry.

Monday December 1, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Pictures at
an Exhibition

Day Without Art:

Day Without Art logo: X'd-out frame

and therefore…


Art logo: frame not X'd out

From Braque’s birthday, 2006:

“The senses deform, the mind forms. Work to perfect the mind. There is no certitude but in what the mind conceives.”

— Georges Braque,
   Reflections on Painting, 1917

Those who wish to follow Braque’s advice may try the following exercise from a book first published in 1937:

Carmichael on groups, exercise, p. 440

Hint: See the following
construction of a tesseract:

Point, line, square, cube, tesseract
From a page by Bryan Clair

For a different view
of the square and cube
see yesterday’s entry
Abstraction and Faith.

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