Found on Google today:
Today's homily– from The New York Times–
"Russian television showed grainy footage of rescue workers working under flood lights near debris on the side of the train tracks.
'There are 25 dead and 87 injured,' Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu told a heated video conference during which he barked out orders to local rescuers in the early hours of Saturday morning.
He said the fate of 41 other people was still unclear.
A spokesman for Russia's main domestic intelligence service, the FSB, declined to comment on whether an attack was suspected…."
"The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Russian: ФСБ, Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации; Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii) is the main domestic security service of the Russian Federation and the main successor agency of the Soviet-era Cheka, NKVD and KGB." —Wikipedia
"So thou beholdest the contingent things
Ere in themselves they are, fixing thine eyes
Upon the point in which all times are present."
This journal, November 20, 2009:
The Story Theory of Truth
“We have a need to tell ourselves stories
that explain it all. We use these stories to
supply the metaphysics, without which
life seems pointless and empty.”
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's website has quotes on her soon-to-be-published novel 36 Arguments for the Existence of God—
Description of the novel–
"At the center: Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology…."
Not to be confused with Professor Seltzer in Wanted or characters in the films of Matt Damon–
American Music Awards
|"Oooh, I bet you thought that
I was soft and sweet
Your fallen angel swept ya off ya feet
But I’m about to…."
Bridge caption from Flickr —
"William Hogarth theorized a perfect curve– his 'curve of beauty'– in the 18th century. I'm not sure the designer of this bridge took that into account, but Hogarth's curve is definitely there…."
Dance caption from Brooklyn Academy of Music —
"Elegant and uncompromising"
A part of the installation by
Christo and Jeanne-Claude,
“The Gates.” Photo by
Nicole Bengiveno in
The New York Times.
“Orthodox Jews are disappearing from Jerusalem. One moment they are praying at the Western Wall, and in the blink of an eye, they seem to evaporate…. In order to build the Third Temple while being respectful of the Islamic structures on the Temple Mount, the Jews have discovered a way to access a fourth spatial dimension. They will build the Third Temple invisibly ‘above’ the Temple Mount and ‘above’ the Mosque in the direction of the fourth dimension.”
— Clifford Pickover, description of his novel Jews in Hyperspace
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
— Henry David Thoreau, conclusion of Walden
Part I: The Search
Part II: The Rock
Continued from “The Dead Shepherd,” Jan. 24, 2007…
“James R. Lilley, 81, a longtime CIA operative in Asia who served as ambassador to China during the Tiananmen Square crackdown… died Nov. 12.”
James R. Lilley
From a page linked to here on the date of Lilley’s death:
“… the extraordinary set of nested Chinese boxes that we introduced earlier in this series….”
A seemingly unrelated item in today’s New York Times obituaries index:
This in turn leads to…
Shing’s CV at the Naval Postgraduate School affirms the usefulness of temporal logic.
Those who prefer metaphysics may consult the novel Many Dimensions referred to in yesterday’s entries and in “Relativity Blues” (Feb. 20, 2005)–
From Many Dimensions:
“Lord Arglay had a suspicion that the Stone would be purely logical. Yes, he thought, but what, in that sense, were the rules of its pure logic?”
Whitehead on Fano’s finite projective three-space:
“This is proved by the consideration of a three dimensional geometry in which there are only fifteen points.”
—The Axioms of Projective Geometry , Cambridge University Press, 1906
See Solomon’s Cube and the link at the end of today’s previous entry, then compare and contrast the above portraits of Whitehead and Russell with Charles Williams’s portraits of Sir Giles Tumulty and Lord Arglay in the novel Many Dimensions .
“We have a need to tell ourselves stories
that explain it all. We use these stories to
supply the metaphysics,* without which
life seems pointless and empty.”
“The story-teller of hell”
— Publisher’s promotional quotation
for The Nick Tosches Reader
* “the metaphysics“– This link leads to a web page at the Archdiocese of Dublin whose relevance to metaphysics is not obvious. Of course, from the point of view popular with viXra authors (see Thursday), everything is related to metaphysics. The link is to a homily that mentions Sr. Joan Chittester, O.S.B. A search on her works at Amazon.com leads to Welcome to the Wisdom of the World And Its Meaning for You: Universal Spiritual Insights Distilled from Five Religious Traditions. The title indicates that despite Chittester’s personal virtues, her book is, unlike the Tosches book above, less than first-rate. Still, a “meaning for you” is, in my case, not lacking. Continuing the search for a Joycean epiphany related to metaphysics, I found that the Chittester book‘s date of publication (by Eerdmans, the Grand Rapids Calvinist publisher) was July 24, 2007. For a metaphysical phrase on that date– “the Platonic ‘source of all images,'” see The Church of St. Frank. For metaphysics and the Church of some other saints, see the essay on the “metaphysics of goodness” linked to on the publication date of Chittester’s book.
Click on images for further details.
“I started a joke….”
See also yesterday’s entry.
“In part viXra.org is a parody of arXiv.org….”
Update of 9 PM for James Joyce:
* Perhaps a typo, but still a memorable phrase.
“Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts.”
— David Brooks in today’s New York Times
What else is new?
Dunn’s Conundrum is reportedly
the basis of a screenplay titled,
after the novel’s main character,
Peter Cameron’s home page:
“This passage… equates the big Other
with the impenetrability of another subject
beyond the ‘wall of language’….”
A Sequel to Koestler’s
The Call Girls
Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations 1972-1990,
Columbia University Press paperback, 1997, p. 137–
“Academics’ lives are seldom interesting.”
But then there is Matt Lee of the University of Greenwich.
See his weblog subtitled “notes and thoughts on philosophy”… particularly his post “Diamond time, daimon time,” of August 20, 2009.
More about Lee:
More about magick:
(Log24 on October 25, 2009)
The Hunt for Exemplary October
Nien Cheng, dead on All Souls' Day 2009:
For a girl I saw once in USA Today in 1995:
Top of the online front page, NY Times this morning–
Adapted song lyrics from “Colorado Trail“–
Kendra was a pretty girl God Almighty knows
Very like another girl 30 years earlier…
Colorado Springs Gazette
movie reviewer Brandon Fibbs yesterday:
“Much of this is genuinely amusing.
So why then am I not laughing?”
University of California anthropologist Alan Dundes:
“One could well argue that binary opposition is a universal. Presumably all human societies, past and present, made some kind of distinction between ‘Male and Female,’ ‘Life and Death,’ ‘Day and Night’ (or Light and Dark), etc.” –“Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect,” Western Folklore, Winter 1997
To Levi-Strauss, I prefer Clifford Geertz —
“…what Levi-Strauss has made for himself is an infernal culture machine.” –“The Cerebral Savage”
— and Heinrich Zimmer —
“…all opposition, as well as identity, stems from Maya. Great Maya is wisdom and increase, stability and readiness to assist, compassion and serenity. Queen of the World, she is alive in every nuance of feeling and perception; feelings and perceptions are her gestures. And her nature can be sensed only by one who has comprehended that she is the unity of opposites.” —The King and the Corpse
And then there are more up-to-date culture machines.
Levi-Strauss, obtuse and boring, is an opposite, of sorts, to the smart and funny Dundes. The latter, in the binary opposition posed in yesterday’s Log24 title “Sinner or Saint?,” is definitely on the side of the saints. (See selected Log24 entries for the date of his death– Warren Beatty’s birthday.)
Today’s happy birthdays — Elke Sommer —
and Sesame Street —
Google logo today, Nov. 5, 2009
Click images for historical background.
As noted here yesterday, Claude Levi-Strauss may have died on Devil's Night, on Halloween, or on All Saints' Day. He was apparently a myth-transformer to the end.
The Independent says today he died on Sunday, All Saints' Day. Its eulogy, by Adam Kuper, is well-written, noting that linguist Roman Jakobson was a source of Levi-Strauss's theory of oppositions in myth, and observing that
"… binary oppositions tend to accumulate to form structures…."
Yes, they do. Examples:
I. The structures in the Diamond Puzzle…
Click on image for Jungian background.
II: The structure on a recent cover of Semiotica…
The Semiotica article by mathematical linguist Solomon Marcus is a defense of the Levi-Strauss canonic formula mentioned here yesterday.
It is available online for $40.
A less expensive, and possibly more informative, look at oppositions in linguistics is available for free online in a 1984 master's thesis (pdf, 8+ mb)–
"Language, Linguistics, and Philosophy: A Comparison of the Work of Roman Jakobson and the Later Wittgenstein, with Some Attention to the Philosophy of Charles Saunders Peirce," by Miles Spencer Kimball.
"In his classic essay of 1955 'The Structural Study of Myth' Levi-Strauss came up with a universal formula of mythopeic dynamics
[fx(a) : fy(b) :: fx(b) : fa-1(y)]
that he called canonical 'for it can represent any mythic transformation'. This formulation received its consummation in the four massive Mythologiques volumes, the last of which crystallises the fundamental dialectics of mythopoeic thought: that there is 'one myth only' and the primal ground of this 'one' is 'nothing'. The elucidation of the generative matrix of the myth-work is thus completed as is the self-totalisation of both the thinker and his object."
At least one mathematician has claimed that the Levi-Strauss formula makes sense. (Jack Morava, arXiv pdf, 2003.)
I prefer the earlier (1943) remarks of Hermann Hesse on transformations of myth:
"…in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a truly meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created."
… on Friday, October 30, 2009 ………
(known to some as “Devil’s Night”)………
according to The New York Times…
An instance of the latter (from Feb. 15, 2008):
“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
and they die there.”
Associated Press –
Feb. 15, 2008
Today in History –
Thought for Today:
Postscript of Nov. 3, 2009:
For more confusion, see
the works of Claude Levi-Strauss.
The Interpreter’s House
|From Sunday morning’s
A Korean Christian site–
See Mizian Translation Service for
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Second Part, “The Interpreter’s House“–
“When the Interpreter had shown them this, He has them into the very best room in the house; a very brave room it was. So He bid them look round about, and see if they could find anything profitable there. Then they looked round and round; for there was nothing there to be seen but a very great spider on the wall: and that they overlooked.
MERCY. Then said Mercy, Sir, I see nothing; but Christiana held her peace.
INTER. But, said the Interpreter, look again, and she therefore looked again, and said, Here is not anything but an ugly spider, who hangs by her hands upon the wall. Then said He, Is there but one spider in all this spacious room? Then the water stood in Christiana’s eyes, for she was a woman quick of apprehension; and she said, Yea, Lord, there is here more than one. Yea, and spiders whose venom is far more destructive than that which is in her. The Interpreter then looked pleasantly upon her, and said, Thou hast said the truth. This made Mercy blush, and the boys to cover their faces, for they all began now to understand the riddle.74
Then said the Interpreter again, “The spider taketh hold with their hands (as you see), and is in kings’ palaces’ (Prov. 30:28). And wherefore is this recorded, but to show you, that how full of the venom of sin soever you be, yet you may, by the hand of faith, lay hold of, and dwell in the best room that belongs to the King’s house above!75
CHRIST. I thought, said Christiana, of something of this; but I could not imagine it all. I thought that we were like spiders, and that we looked like ugly creatures, in what fine room soever we were; but that by this spider, this venomous and ill-favoured creature, we were to learn how to act faith, that came not into my mind. And yet she has taken hold with her hands, as I see, and dwells in the best room in the house. God has made nothing in vain.”
St. Robertson Davies of Toronto on All Hallows' Eve, 1990— "Nevertheless, our forbears are deserving of tribute for one indisputable reason, if for no other: without them we should not be here. Let us recognize that we are not the ultimate triumph but rather we are beads on a string. Let us behave with decency to the beads that were strung before us, and hope modestly that the beads that come after us will not hold us of no account merely because we are dead. Today and tomorrow are the proper days for such reflection. It need not detain us for more than a few minutes, but it should be sincere. A few gentle thoughts or even — I hardly know how to put it without moving you to indignation or laughter — a brief prayer would not come amiss, and might turn your thoughts in a fruitful direction." Having had a few thoughts for the forbears, let us turn in the direction of Goldilocks.
Suggested by the New York State lottery numbers on All Hallows' Eve–
430 (mid-day) and 168 (evening)…
From 430 as a date, 4/30— Beyond Grief and Nothing: A Reading of Don DeLillo, by Joseph Dewey, University of South Carolina Press, 2006, page 123:
"It is as if DeLillo himself had moved to an endgame…."
For such an endgame, see yesterday's link to a Mira Sorvino drama. The number 168 suggested by the Halloween lottery deals with the properties of space itself and requires a more detailed exegesis… For the full picture, consider the Log24 entries of Feb. 16-28 this year, esp. the entries of Feb. 27 and the phrase they suggest–
Flores, Flores para los muertos.
Consider also Xinhua today, with its discussion of rocket science and seal-cutting:
Click image for context.
For space technology, see the above link to Feb. 16-28 this year as well as the following (click on image for details)–
As for seal-cutting, see the following seal from a Korean Christian site:
See Mizian Translation Service for some background on the seal's designer.
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