Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Page Mark

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:01 PM

Multispeech is… like a kind of multidimensional speech…."

langmaker.com on The Gameplayers of Zan

The Hunt for Blue August concludes…

As quoted today in The New York Times

“We only have so much time to leave a mark.”
Carl Paladino

"Now, it’s time to turn the page."
President Obama

A search in this journal for the President's phrase yields…

For Jenny



Click on the mark for some context.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 PM

A New York Times  story from the Feast of St. Augustine
("A version of this article appeared in print on August 28, 2010,
on page A17 of the New York edition.") —

22-Story Fall in Manhattan
Kills Daughter of U.S. Envoy


With summer winding down, Eric G. John, the United States ambassador to Thailand, made a trip familiar to many parents: he accompanied his 17-year-old daughter to New York as she got ready for her first year of college.

But his daughter, Nicole, barely experienced being a freshman at Parsons The New School For Design, near Union Square.

She died early Friday [August 27, 2010] after falling 22 floors from a high-rise apartment building in Herald Square after a night out that led her and friends to a party at the high-rise….

The Thailand and Design links above are the Times's.
The August 27 link is not.

Clicking on the Times's Design link leads to…


Re-Imagining Orozco

June 25 – September 12, 2010

Opening reception: June 24, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

This journal, June 24, 12:31 p.m.

… Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

– Rubén Darío

The Great Divorce

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:10 PM

"The elite schools, predicated on molding students into mirror images of their professors, seem divorced from any rational consideration of human happiness."

— Camille Paglia in yesterday's Chronicle of Higher Education


Wedding of Eleanor Powell
and Glenn Ford, 1943

Ford died on this date four years ago.

“I seemed to be standing in a bus queue by the side of a long, mean street.”

— C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, opening sentence

"We are not saints." — Bill Wilson

Eleanor Powell, on the other hand….

Beer Summit

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


Dos Equis is a lager that was originally brewed by the German-born Mexican brewer Wilhelm Hasse in 1897. The brand was named “Siglo XX” (“20th century”) to commemorate the arrival of the new century, and the bottles were marked with the Roman numerals “XX”, or “Dos Equis” (two Xs).

A rival for the Dos Equis “most interesting” title—



See also Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate… “It happened in Monterrey, a long time ago….”


Actually, according to some sources, the Dos Equis brand began in or near Veracruz.

“On April 22, 1519, Hernan Cortez disembarked on Chalchihuecan beach, where he decided to found a village and form the first colonial settlement in Mexico. That day was Good Friday, the day of Holy Week known as the day of La Vera Cruz (True Cross)— hence he chose the name of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.” — Ad copy

Strike Up the Band

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

(A sequel to Rally Round the Flag and Gotta Know the Territory)


Click here for a bigger picture.

See also, in this journal, "a corpse will be transported by express."

Band pioneer William P. Foster died on Saturday, the Feast of St. Augustine.

Related material—

"Mexico, the place you thought you knew"— an ad in this morning's NY Times  obituaries—

and the following literary passage—


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gotta Know the Territory*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM

Willy Loman, Meet Forrest Gump



Related material—

Camp Germania

(Click for Source)


* From the song Rock Island.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rally Round the Flag

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Chaplin's Great Dictator


Related material—

That X (August 25) as interpreted on August 18 by Benjamin Kaplan and Martin Dannenberg.

Happy Feast of St. Augustine.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mathematics and Narrative continued…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Narrative Sequence

In today's New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviews a summer thriller by Kevin Guilfoile.  The Thousand  is in the manner of Dan Brown's 2003 The Da Vinci Code  or of Katherine Neville's 1988 The Eight .

From the review—

What connects these disparate events, it turns out, is a sinister organization called the Thousand, made up of followers of the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (yes, the same Pythagoras associated with the triangle theorem that we learned in school).

As Mr. Guilfoile describes it, this organization is part Skull and Bones, part Masonic lodge, part something much more twisted and nefarious….

The plot involves, in part,

… an eccentric artist’s mysterious masterwork, made up of thousands of individually painted tiles that may cohere into an important message….

Not unlike the tiles in the Diamond Theory cover (see yesterday's post) or, more aptly, the entries in this journal.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home from Home continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Or— Childhood's Rear End

This post was suggested by…

  1. Today's New York Times
    "For many artists Electric Lady has become a home away from home…. For Jimmy Page the personal imprimaturs of Hendrix and Mr. Kramer made all the difference when Led Zeppelin mixed parts of 'Houses of the Holy' there in 1972."
  2. The album cover pictures for "Houses of the Holy"
  3. Boleskine House, home to Aleister Crowley and (occasionally) to Jimmy Page.

Related material:

The Zeppelin album cover, featuring rear views of nude children, was shot at the Giant's Causeway.

From a page at led-zeppelin.org—


See also Richard Rorty on Heidegger

Safranski, the author of ''Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy,'' never steps back and pronounces judgment on Heidegger, but something can be inferred from the German title of his book: ''Ein Meister aus Deutschland'' (''A Master From Germany''). Heidegger was, undeniably, a master, and was very German indeed. But Safranski's spine-chilling allusion is to Paul Celan's best-known poem, ''Death Fugue.'' In Michael Hamburger's translation, its last lines are:

death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on us he grants us a grave in the air
he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith.

No one familiar with Heidegger's work can read Celan's poem without recalling Heidegger's famous dictum: ''Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells.'' Nobody who makes this association can reread the poem without having the images of Hitler and Heidegger — two men who played with serpents and daydreamed — blend into each other. Heidegger's books will be read for centuries to come, but the smell of smoke from the crematories — the ''grave in the air'' — will linger on their pages.

Heidegger is the antithesis of the sort of philosopher (John Stuart Mill, William James, Isaiah Berlin) who assumes that nothing ultimately matters except human happiness. For him, human suffering is irrelevant: philosophy is far above such banalities. He saw the history of the West not in terms of increasing freedom or of decreasing misery, but as a poem. ''Being's poem,'' he once wrote, ''just begun, is man.''

For Heidegger, history is a sequence of ''words of Being'' — the words of the great philosophers who gave successive historical epochs their self-image, and thereby built successive ''houses of Being.'' The history of the West, which Heidegger also called the history of Being, is a narrative of the changes in human beings' image of themselves, their sense of what ultimately matters. The philosopher's task, he said, is to ''preserve the force of the most elementary words'' — to prevent the words of the great, houses-of-Being-building thinkers of the past from being banalized.

Related musical meditations—

Shine On (Saturday, April 21, 2007), Shine On, Part II, and Built (Sunday, April 22, 2007).

Related pictorial meditations—


The Giant's Causeway at Peter J. Cameron's weblog

and the cover illustration for Diamond Theory (1976)—


The connection between these two images is the following from Cameron's weblog today

… as we saw, there are two different Latin squares of order 4;
one, but not the other, can be extended to a complete set
of 3 MOLS [mutually orthogonal Latin squares].

The underlying structures of the square pictures in the Diamond Theory cover are those of the two different Latin squares of order 4 mentioned by Cameron.

Connection with childhood—

The children's book A Wind in the Door, by Madeleine L'Engle. See math16.com. L'Engle's fantasies about children differ from those of Arthur C. Clarke and Led Zeppelin.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That X

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time,  translated by
John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson, Harper hardcover, 1962, p. 262—

"…the ultimate business of philosophy is to preserve
the force of the most elemental words…."

Heidegger was quoted, in a different translation, by Richard Rorty in 1998
in a review of Ein Meister aus Deutschland.

Related material: an August 18 death and this journal on that date

"… it is impossible that there should be time if there is no soul,
  except that there could be that X which time is…."
  — Aristotle, Physics, IV.14, translated by Edward Hussey

See also Berlinerblau in this journal on August 10.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Higher Education continued…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Berliner Blau


Related material:
Higher Education (August 10, 2010)

Magnificent Load

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

From Doonesbury today—

"What a magnificent load"

From this journal (September 20, 2009)—

German verb:

  1. to shine; to gleam     
  2. to seem; to appear….

Quine, Pursuit of Truth,
Harvard U. Press, 1990, epigraphs:


Google search:


Der Einsatz

Motto of Plato's Academy: 'Let no one ignorant of geometry enter'

The 3x3 grid

Nichts ist wie es scheint.

See also the film
"23— Nichts ist so wie es scheint."

Monday, August 23, 2010

For the Road

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:47 PM

…And for the late Kenny Edwards
                            (Feb. 10, 1946 – Aug. 18, 2010)

(Click to enlarge.)


See also Quarter to Three (Aug. 20, 2010)
                           and Home from Home (Oct. 29, 2007)—

Anthony Hopkins at Dolly's Little Diner in Slipstream


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Continued from Halloween 2005

An image suggested by three articles found online today—

Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars
   (Chronicle of Higher Education )

Searching for Planet X
   (New York Times )

Deep in Rural Appalachia
   (New York Times )


For another disaster for scholars, see Naturalized Epistemology.

Diamond Puzzle Downloads

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:00 AM

The Diamond 16 Puzzle and the Kaleidoscope Puzzle can now be downloaded in the normal way from a browser, with the save-as web-page-complete option, and have their JavaScript still work— if  the files are saved with the name indicated in the instructions on the puzzles' web pages. (There was a problem with file names in the JavaScript that has been fixed.)

The JavaScript pages Design Cube 2x2x2 and Design Cube 4x4x4 have not been changed. To download these, it is necessary to…

  1. Do a web-page-complete save to get an image-files folder, then
  2. do an HTML-only save to the image-files folder  to put an unaltered copy of the the web page there, then
  3. rename the image-files folder to unlink it from the altered HTML page downloaded in step 1, then
  4. delete the altered HTML page downloaded in step 1.

The result is a folder containing both image files and the HTML page, just as it is on the Web.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Moore Correspondence

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

There is a remarkable correspondence between the 35 partitions of an eight-element set H into two four-element sets and the 35 partitions of the affine 4-space L over GF(2) into four parallel four-point planes. Under this correspondence, two of the H-partitions have a common refinement into 2-sets if and only if the same is true of the corresponding L-partitions (Peter J. Cameron, Parallelisms of Complete Designs, Cambridge U. Press, 1976, p. 60). The correspondence underlies the isomorphism* of the group A8 with the projective general linear group PGL(4,2) and plays an important role in the structure of the large Mathieu group M24.

A 1954 paper by W.L. Edge suggests the correspondence should be named after E.H. Moore. Hence the title of this note.

Edge says that

It is natural to ask what, if any, are the 8 objects which undergo
permutation. This question was discussed at length by Moore…**.
But, while there is no thought either of controverting Moore's claim to
have answered it or of disputing his priority, the question is primarily
a geometrical one….

Excerpts from the Edge paper—


Excerpts from the Moore paper—

Pages 432, 433, 434, and 435, as well as the section mentioned above by Edge— pp. 438 and 439

* J.W.P. Hirschfeld, Finite Projective Spaces of Three Dimensions, Oxford U. Press, 1985, p. 72

** Edge cited "E.H. Moore, Math. Annalen, 51 (1899), 417-44." A more complete citation from "The Scientific Work of Eliakim Hastings Moore," by G.A. Bliss,  Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. Volume 40, Number 7 (1934), 501-514— E.H. Moore, "Concerning the General Equations of the Seventh and Eighth Degrees," Annalen, vol. 51 (1899), pp. 417-444.

Quarter to Three continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

"They consulted and twisted the pegs again to make the dead man’s tuning…."

Cold Mountain

One for his baby

And one more for the road.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Consolation Prize

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:04 AM

For Kathrin Bringmann, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for a Fields Medal.

The four Fields medal winners were announced today at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad, India. Bringmann was not among them.

Bringmann was, however, the winner of the 2009 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

See The Hindu  of September 30, 2009 and this journal on that date

Motto of Plato's Academy: 'Let no one ignorant of geometry enter'

The 3x3 grid

A Symbol of Apollo

For more about Bringmann's work, see an article on what has been called Ramanujan's "final problem."

For another problem with a claim to this title, see "Mathematician Untangles Legendary Problem" and search in this journal for Dyson + crank.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Sense of an Ending

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:23 PM

Sir Frank Kermode died yesterday (British time) at 90.

“Time cannot exist without a soul (to count it).” — Aristotle

— Passage quoted on the title page of Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending  (Oxford University Press, 1967)

The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, Lloyd P. Gerson, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 208—

“Although Aristotle seems in general to regard time as something independent of the soul and objective, he occasionally gives a leading role to soul. He says, for example, that time cannot exist without a soul to number it (Phys. 223a21-9)….”


Soul Riff for Sir Frank— See

  1. An obituary for D-Day piper Bill Millin that says he also died on August 17 (British time)
  2. A Log24 post for the day that Peter O’Toole turned 70
  3. O’Toole in the 1967 Casino Royale.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Riff Design

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:09 AM

From yesterday

Call and Response

“One would call out, in the standardized abbreviations of their science, motifs or initial bars of classical compositions, whereupon the other had to respond with the continuation of the piece, or better still with a higher or lower voice, a contrasting theme, and so forth. It was an exercise in memory and improvisation….”

The Glass Bead Game

Today’s New York Times  has an obituary for Bernard Knox, classics professor. Knox died on July 22. On that date this journal happened to have a post, “Soul Riff,” featuring a professor— shown below. Click on the professor for a very relevant classical quotation.

The Soul Riff  post also contained the above secondary title—

Call and Response

Doonesbury 2/29/08-- Assignment: Identify Sources

For a response from the next day,
March 1, click on the professor

Monday, August 16, 2010

Utopia 14

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:16 AM

The following, from Wikipedia, is an image of Utopia 14, the 1954 paperback reissue of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1952 novel Player Piano.


Commentary from Wikipedia

“A player piano is a modified piano that ‘plays itself.’ The piano keys move according to a pattern of holes punched in an unwinding scroll…. Like its counterpart, a player piano can be played by hand as well. When a scroll is run through the ghost-operated instrument, the movement of its keys produce the illusion that an invisible performer is playing the instrument.”

See also last night’s “The Game“—

“One would call out, in the standardized abbreviations of their science, motifs or initial bars of classical compositions, whereupon the other had to respond with the continuation of the piece, or better still with a higher or lower voice, a contrasting theme, and so forth. It was an exercise in memory and improvisation….”

— as well as Vonnegut in this journal yesterday and the following from the August 14 post Iconic Notation

A question from Ivan Illich
(founder of CIDOC, the Center for Intercultural Documentation,
in Cuernavaca, Mexico)—

Who can be served by bridges to nowhere?

For more about nowhere, see Utopia.

For more about Cuernavaca and ghosts, see a recurring motif in this journal.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Game

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:07 PM
'Magister Ludi,' or 'The Glass Bead Game,' by Hermann Hesse

We shall now give a brief summary of the beginnings of the Glass Bead Game. It appears to have arisen simultaneously in Germany and in England. In both countries, moreover, it was originally a kind of exercise employed by those small groups of musicologists and musicians who worked and studied in the new seminaries of musical theory. If we compare the original state of the Game with its subsequent developments and its present form, it is much like comparing a musical score of the period before 1500, with its primitive notes and absence of bar lines, with an eighteenth-century score, let alone with one from the nineteenth with its confusing excess of symbols for dynamics, tempi, phrasing, and so on, which often made the printing of such scores a complex technical problem.

The Game was at first nothing more than a witty method for developing memory and ingenuity among students and musicians. And as we have said, it was played both in England and Germany before it was ‘invented’ here in the Musical Academy of Cologne, and was given the name it bears to this day, after so many generations, although it has long ceased to have anything to do with glass beads.

The inventor, Bastian Perrot of Calw, a rather eccentric but clever, sociable, and humane musicologist, used glass beads instead of letters, numerals, notes, or other graphic symbols. Perrot, who incidentally has also bequeathed to us a treatise on the Apogee and Decline of Counterpoint, found that the pupils at the Cologne Seminary had a rather elaborate game they used to play. One would call out, in the standardized abbreviations of their science, motifs or initial bars of classical compositions, whereupon the other had to respond with the continuation of the piece, or better still with a higher or lower voice, a contrasting theme, and so forth. It was an exercise in memory and improvisation quite similar to the sort of thing probably in vogue among ardent pupils of counterpoint in the days of Schütz, Pachelbel, and Bach — although it would then not have been done in theoretical formulas, but in practice on the cembalo, lute, or flute, or with the voice.

Bastian Perrot in all probability was a member of the Journeyers to the East. He was partial to handicrafts and had himself built several pianos and clavichords in the ancient style. Legend has it that he was adept at playing the violin in the old way, forgotten since 1800, with a high-arched bow and hand-regulated tension of the bow hairs. Given these interests, it was perhaps only natural that he should have constructed a frame, modeled on a child’s abacus, a frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass beads of various sizes, shapes, and colors. The wires corresponded to the lines of the musical staff, the beads to the time-values of the notes, and so on. In this way he could represent with beads musical quotations or invented themes, could alter, transpose, and develop them, change them and set them in counterpoint to one another. In technical terms this was a mere plaything, but the pupils liked it; it was imitated and became fashionable in England too. For a time the game of musical exercises was played in this charmingly primitive manner. And as is so often the case, an enduring and significant institution received its name from a passing and incidental circumstance. For what later evolved out of that students’ sport and Perrot’s bead-strung wires bears to this day the name by which it became popularly known, the Glass Bead Game.

Hermann Hesse

“For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.”

— “Albertus Secundus,” epigraph to The Glass Bead Game

From DownloadThat.com

(Click to enlarge.)


Java Jive continued…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Judith Shulevitz at The New York Times
on Sunday, July 18, 2010 —

"What would an organic Christian Sabbath look like today?
For James Carroll, an ex-priest and dissenting Catholic
in Boston (he is the author of Practicing Catholic ,
published in 2009), it would look like the Sunday dinners
of his childhood. These were big formal meals,
held at 2 p.m. every Sunday….

'If Jesus were to visit us, it would have been
the Sunday dinner he would have insisted on
being a part of, not the worship service at the church.'"

The Usual Suspects —


For some background, see Java Jive and Today's Theology.

See also the java jive in this  journal on Sunday, July 18

A Tale of Two Cities, Du Sucre , Sermon, and Darkness at Noon.

Today’s Theology

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM




Jazz street photo from Manhattan Transfer webpage

This Way to the Egress.

Vonnegut's Obit

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Annals of Web Mathematics

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Lead news item tonight at the website of the American Mathematical Society—

AMS Research Journals Archive Is Digitized

"The American Mathematical Society has established a complete digital archive of its mathematical research journals. Over 34,000 articles are available from more than one hundred years of high-quality mathematical research in Journal of the AMS, Mathematics of Computation, Proceedings of the AMS, Transactions of the AMS, and Bulletin of the AMS. All back issues, starting with each journal's inaugural issue through 2005, are now freely available in electronic format. Researchers can browse the contents of each journal to find articles and authors in each volume and issue and search across the entire archive by journal or group of journals. View the abstract, references (with links to MathSciNet), bibliographic information, and Mathematics Subject Classifications for each article or view a PDF of the full article. The AMS makes the digitized archive of these important research journals freely available to all mathematicians through the generosity of an anonymous donor."

Java Jive

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM



(Click to enlarge.)

Intercultural Documentation

From this date four years ago

Cleavage Term

“… a point of common understanding
between the classic and romantic worlds.
Quality, the cleavage term
between hip and square, seemed to be it."

Robert M. Pirsig


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Hilarious in his high city
you see him cantering just as he please,
the lava up to here.

Anne Carson's new translation of
the "Ode to Man" from Sophocles' Antigone


Where Art Thou?

One possible answer—

"I need a photo-opportunity,
I want a shot at redemption.
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard."

Iconic Notation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 AM

Continued from Friday the 13th

(Click to enlarge.)


Related material—

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070814-timejoin15.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Cover art by Barclay Shaw reprinted from an earlier (1984) edition

IMAGE- Variations on Hexagram 14

A question from Ivan Illich
(founder of CIDOC, the Center for Intercultural Documentation,
in Cuernavaca, Mexico)—

"Who can be served by bridges to nowhere?"

For more about nowhere, see Utopia. See also http://outis.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 13, 2010

For David Lavery

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:22 PM

Now online— Lavery's "God, Death, and Pizza"


This suggests a look at Ivan Illich, at Mother Jerome, at a note from the date of death of the former, and at an image from the date of death of the latter.


Note from December 2, 2002— Pilate's Question

Image from June 27, 2006


Speaking of Webs…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM



For a Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:14 AM

The Hunt for Blue August

From Wikipedia's timeline for 1991—


"CQ, CQ!" — Jodie Foster's character in Contact


The Most Toys*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

"He who dies with the most toys, wins." –Folk saying

Happy dies natalis  to Jack Ryan.

See also "Space Cowboy."

* Cf. the Wikipedia article with this title—
  An evil art collector steals Data from the Enterprise.
  Alternate title for this post: "A Girlfriend for Data." Some background—


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Quiet Customer

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

"Many terribly quiet customers exist but none more
terribly quiet than Man…."

Anne Carson's new translation of
the "Ode to Man" from Sophocles' Antigone

Well, maybe one.


"And he turned to me and he said you know Mister
This is the only place in the world that I'm not ashamed to show my face"

Skid Row Joe

Happy birthday to the late Porter Wagoner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Problem

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:35 PM

From Telegraph.co.uk (published: 5:56 PM BST 10 Aug 2010), a note on British-born Canadian journalist Bruce Garvey, who died at 70 on August 1—

In 1970, while reporting on the Apollo 13 mission at Nasa Mission Control for the Toronto Star, he was one of only two journalists— alongside Richard Killian of the Daily Express— to hear the famous message: "Houston we've had a problem."

See also Log24 posts of 10 AM and noon today.

The latter post poses the problem "You're dead. Now what?"

Again, as in this morning's post, applying Jungian synchronicity—

A check of this journal on the date of Garvey's death yields a link to 4/28's "Eightfold Geometry."

That post deals with a piece of rather esoteric mathematical folklore. Those who prefer easier problems may follow the ongoing struggles of Julie Taymor with "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

The problems of death, geometry, and Taymor meet in "Spider Woman" (April 29) and "Memorial for Galois" (May 31).

Higher Education —

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

S'en Allait Tout Simplement

Suggested by this morning's previous entry and by the following from The Chronicle of Higher Education


The above Chronicle  illustration suggests a Log24 post from February 4, 2005— Fountainhead


 Dominique and Dominique

"…in 1964, Dominique de Menil… became the chairperson of the Art Department at the University of St. Thomas, curating several exhibitions over the next few years. After being met with increasing resistance by the more traditional Basilian clergy at the University of St. Thomas, in 1969 the de Menils moved the Art Department—including the art history faculty—and Media Center to Rice University, where they founded the Institute for the Arts…." —Wikipedia

See also the remarks on the University of St. Thomas and Rice University in this morning's Architecture Continued.

Architecture Continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Yesterday's architectural entertainment coincided, more or less, with the New York Times  article "The Hand of a Master Architect" (Online Sunday, Aug. 8, and in the print edition Monday, Aug. 9).

A search for some background on that architect (Philip Johnson, not Howard Roark) showed that the Art Libraries Society of North America published a notable graphic logo in 2005—


See this journal on April 7, 2005, for a related graphic design.

The ARLIS/NA 2005 page cited above says about Houston, Texas, that 

"Just beyond the museum district lies Rice University, the city's most prestigious and oldest college….

Other campuses that contain significant architecture include St. Thomas University where Philip Johnson has made his mark for a period that extends more than forty years."


University of St. Thomas, Chapel of St. Basil

Applying Jungian synchronicity, we note that Johnson designed the Chapel of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas, that the traditional date of the Feast of St. Basil is June 14, and that this journal on that date contained the following, from the aforementioned Rice University—                          

… a properly formulated Principle of Sufficient Reason plays
a fundamental role in scientific thought and, furthermore, is
to be regarded as of the greatest suggestiveness from the
philosophic point of view.2

… metaphysical reasoning always relies on the Principle of
Sufficient Reason, and… the true meaning of this Principle
is to be found in the “Theory of Ambiguity” and in the associated
mathematical “Theory of Groups.”

If I were a Leibnizian mystic, believing in his “preestablished
harmony,” and the “best possible world” so satirized by Voltaire
in “Candide,” I would say that the metaphysical importance of
the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the cognate Theory of Groups
arises from the fact that God thinks multi-dimensionally3
whereas men can only think in linear syllogistic series, and the
Theory of Groups is the appropriate instrument of thought to
remedy our deficiency in this respect.

The founder of the Theory of Groups was the mathematician
Evariste Galois….

2 As far as I am aware, only Scholastic Philosophy has fully recognized
  and exploited this principle as one of basic importance for philosophic thought.

3 That is, uses multi-dimensional symbols beyond our grasp.

George David Birkhoff, 1940

For more about Scholastic Philosophy, see the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

For more about the graphic symbol shown (as above) by ARLIS and by Log24 in April 2005, see in this journal "rature sous rature ."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Angels in the Architecture (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 AM

Tonight's lead obituary in The New York Times

"Patricia Neal, the molasses-voiced actress who won an Academy Award and a Tony but whose life alternated surreally between triumph and tragedy, died at her home in Edgartown, Mass., on Sunday. She was 84 and lived in Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard."

Related philosophical remark—

…Heaven and Hell relays— Your team starts in Hell. When you get one right, one person can go to Heaven and work on Heaven questions, but first they have to pass through Purgatory. (This means entertain  the people running Purgatory.)

– Adapted from Imaginary Thoughts and Irrational Ideas weblog. (See Camp Inception.)

Related entertainment—


Sunday, August 8, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:15 PM

See Susan Howe on Wallace Stevens and Henry Church.

"    … Only the thought of those dark three
Is dark, thought of the forms of dark desire."

— "The Owl in the Sarcophagus"

For one approach to such forms, see


Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:04 PM

"I have seen the worst minds
Of my generation
Advanced upwards
To become the most powerful influence."
—  Duane Locke


Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 AM

From the preface to the inaugural issue of Tympanum: A Journal of Comparative Literary Studies

Regarding the choice of name for this journal, tympan or tympanum is a word that designates several objects at once. Tympan is perhaps first of all a typographical term: as a printer's term in early book production, a tympan designated "the iron frame covered with parchment on which the paper was placed." Taken as an anatomical term, the word tympanum is another term for the eardrum, the oblique stretching of tissue between the auditory canal and the middle ear that allows one to hear: to hear others, to hear music, or even to hear oneself speak. The tympanum is a partition of the ear that separates inside from outside, translating various tones and punctuations, a liminal membrane traversed by hearing others speak. In this instance, the tympanum is a tissue, a weave or web  that mediates hearing. It is by extension the term for the diaphragm of a tele-phone, that technological figure of the spatialization of the voice. As an architectural term tympanum names the pediment that sits atop the cornice or frieze of a building. And to this heterogeneous list one might add that in ancient Greece a tympanum, like the stoa or colonnades, was a gathering space for the discussion of philosophy. All these meanings could be enlisted to indicate the interests of this new journal.

By its very nature, a world wide web site would be a site of a mediation of or meditation on the problematic of space and place (in short: of "site" itself), and of their dislocation. In this way the web opens the possibility for a journal concerned with the problem of a mediated or textualized hearing.

Several of the articles contained in this first issue of Tympanum  share a thematic of location and of reading and hearing….

Deborah Levitt's essay on Heidegger and theatre, in its exploration of the problem of space and place, implicitly touches on the very medium of the web: the perpetual dislocation of place from space. Levitt couples several of Heidegger's writings together with Artaud's on her Freiburg-Paris Express. Levitt's meditation on theory and theatre is at once incisive and innovative, and locates its opening problematic in the substitution of a metaphysics of sight by site, a move which she says opens a spatiality. In a recent issue of Assemblage,  Sam Weber makes some remarks on the metaphysics of site that could indeed be used as a succinct introduction to the problems that Levitt's essay, Heidegger and the Theatre of Truth, engages:

If what we call "space" is, like the Platonic chora, on the one hand always already caught up in the process of making room  for that determinate other  of space that can be called place  or site,  and if, on the other hand, this process of making room  remains distinct from the particular places and sites it makes way for, then the emergence of the latter from the former will inevitably appear as a more or less violent event.  Violent, because the staking out of territory and the assignment of positions and posts can never simply legitimate itself in terms of preexisting borders. It cannot do this, since there is no original order to which such a process of partition might appeal without equivocation. In place  of such an origin, there is chora: the process of partition and repartition as such,  except that "as such" here is impossible to distinguish from: "as other." Such partition and repartition constitute the law,  the nomos,  of chora…3

3 Samuel Weber, "The Parallax View: Place and Space in Plato and Benjamin," Assemblage  20, MIT Press: 1993: 88.

The Tympanum  preface (1998) is by Peter Woodruff.

Wallace Stevens—

"The pediment
Lifts up its heavy scowl before them."

Scowl courtesy of Samuel Weber—


  • Author of "The Parallax View"
  • Assemblage, No. 20, Violence, Space
    (Apr., 1993), pp. 88-89
    (article consists of 2 pages)
  • Published by: The MIT Press

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rift Designs

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

From the current index to obituaries at Telegraph.co.uk—

Teufel is also featured in today's New York Times

"Mr. Teufel became a semicelebrity, helped in no small part by his last name, which means 'devil' in German."

From Group Analysis ,  June 1993, vol. 26 no. 2, 203-212—

The Problem of Good and Evil

by Ronald Sandison, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2EY, UK

In my contribution to the Group Analysis Special Section: "Aspects of Religion in Group Analysis" (Sandison, 1993) I hinted that any consideration of a spiritual dimension to the group involves us in a discussion on whether we are dealing with good or evil spirits. But if we say that God is in the group, why is not the Devil there also? Can good and evil coexist in the same group matrix? Is the recognition of evil "nothing but" the ability to distinguish between good and bad? If not, then what is evil? Is it no more than the absence of good?

These and other questions were worked on at a joint Institute of Group Analysis and Group-Analytic Society (London) Workshop entitled "The Problem of Good and Evil." We considered the likelihood that good and evil coexist in all of us, as well as in the whole of the natural world, not only on earth, but in the cosmos and in God himself What we actually do with good and evil is to split them apart, thereby shelving the problem but at the same time creating irreconcilable opposites. This article examines this splitting and how we can work with it psychoanalytically.

This suggests a biblical remark—

"Now there was a day… when the sons of God
came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan came also among them."

Job 1:6, quoted by Chesterton in The Man Who Was Thursday

Sandison died on June 18. See the Thursday, August 5, Log24 post "The Matrix."

Teufel died on July 6. See the Log24 posts for that day.

The title of this  post, "rift designs," refers to a recurring theme in the July 6 posts. It is taken from Heidegger.

From a recent New Yorker  review of Absence of Mind  by Marilynne Robinson—

"Robinson is eloquent in her defense of the mind’s prerogatives, but her call for a renewed metaphysics might be better served by rereading Heidegger than by dusting off the Psalms."

Following this advice, we find—

"Propriation gathers the rift-design of the saying and unfolds it  in such a way that it becomes the well-joined structure of a manifold showing."

p. 415 of Heidegger's Basic Writings , edited by David Farrell Krell, HarperCollins paperback, 1993

"Das Ereignis versammelt den Aufriß der Sage und entfaltet ihn zum Gefüge des vielfältigen Zeigens." 

— Heidegger, Weg zur Sprache

Camp Inception

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

With a nod to Larry Doyle's "Sleeper Camp"—

From the Mathcamp Reunion Schedule for Saturday, July 24, 2010—

2:30-3:30 PM — John Conway Colloquium

3:30-5:30 PM — Relays: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory!

In this  journal on Saturday, July 24—

Playing with Blocks (noon) and The Leonardo Code (1 PM).


A happy Mathcamper defines Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory—

…Heaven and Hell relays. your team starts in hell, when you get one right, one person can go to heaven and work on heaven questions, but first they have to pass through purgatory. aka this means entertain the people running purgatory. for me this meant dancing in the middle of the gym. i danced and sung the YMCA, which they deemed sufficient (thankfully).

Imaginary Thoughts and Irrational Ideas weblog

Note in the Mathcamp schedule the Friday night Shabbat dinner and the religious activity on Sunday— a "mini-puzzle hunt."

The Matrix Reloaded

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

   For aficionados of mathematics and narrative

Illustration from
"The Galois Quaternion— A Story"

The Galois Quaternion

This resembles an attempt by Coxeter in 1950 to represent
a Galois geometry in the Euclidean plane—
Coxeter's 1950 representation in the Euclidean plane of the 9-point affine plane over GF(3)

The quaternion illustration above shows a more natural way to picture this geometry—
not with dots representing points in the Euclidean  plane, but rather with unit squares
representing points in a finite Galois  affine plane. The use of unit squares to
represent points in Galois space allows, in at least some cases, the actions
of finite groups to be represented more naturally than in Euclidean space.

See Galois Geometry, Geometry Simplified, and
Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Matrix

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:26 PM

The Presence of God in the Group: A Neglected Dimension
Ronald Sandison, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 2EY, UK

Group Analysis  March 1993, vol. 26 no. 1, 55-65


When people gather in small groups they are often aware of an indefinable supra-personal dimension. Anyone who has taken part in a camp-fire sing-song will have experienced this. The group setting at sundown was the time and place when folk-tales and fairy stories were woven. It was the time when the elders met to discuss the events of the day, when evensong or compline was sung or said in churches. There is something "special" about this conjunction of the group and the "going down of the sun." In this article I develop the idea that to take part in a small group can be, and often is, a spiritual experience. In giving a name to this experience I consider the proposition that God, or Spirit, is ever present in the group. I view the matrix as not only nurturing and holding but also as a dynamic container, and perhaps even generator, of spiritual force.

Related material

Dr. Sandison's obituary in this evening's Telegraph  and this journal on the date of his death.


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:02 PM

"Eight is a gate."
This journal, December 2002   

Tralfamadorian Structure
in Slaughterhouse-Five

includes the following passage:

“…the nonlinear characterization of Billy Pilgrim
 emphasizes that he is not simply an established
 identity who undergoes a series of changes but
 all the different things he is at different times.”

A 2x4 array of squares

This suggests that the above structure be viewed
as illustrating not eight  parts but rather
8! = 40,320 parts.

See also April 2, 2003.

Happy birthday to John Huston and
happy dies natalis  to Richard Burton.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Film Dream

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM

New York Lottery on Tuesday, August 3, 2010—

Midday 726, Evening 215. Interpretations— 7/26, 2/15, and yesterday's post.

The late Robert F. Boyle, film production designer, quoted in today's New York Times

A movie “starts with the locale, with the environment that people live in, how they move within that environment.” Sometimes that environment has to be built.

“I’m all for construction, because we’re dealing with the magic of movies,” he told Variety  in 2008. “And I always feel that if you build it, you build it for the dream rather than the actuality."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Graduate

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:13 PM

IMAGE-- Robert F. Boyle, production designer for Hitchcock, died Sunday at 100

"The space in which a film takes place"—

See Eightfold Geometry, linked to here on the date of Boyle's death.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Specific and Robust

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

The New York Times  version of the philosophers' stone:

IMAGE-- The Philosophers' Stone, according to The New York Times-- Intro to a column by Prof. Gary Gutting of Notre Dame

In the Times 's latest sermon from THE STONE, Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, discusses

"…the specific and robust claims of Judaism, Christianity and Islam about how God is concretely and continually involved in our existence."

A search shows that Gutting's phrase "specific and robust" has many echoes in biotechnology, and a few in software development. The latter is of more interest to me than the former. (The poetically inclined might say that Professor Gutting's line of work is  a sort of software development.)

"As a developer, you need a specific and robust set of development tools in the smallest and simplest package possible."

EasyEclipse web page

Here are two notes on related material:

Specific— The Pit:

See a search for "harrowing of Hell" in this journal.

("…right through hell there is a path…." –Malcolm Lowry)

Robust— The Pendulum:

See a search for "Foucault's Pendulum" in this journal.

(“Others say it is a stone that posseses mysterious powers…. often depicted as a dazzling light.  It’s a symbol representing power, a source of immense energy.  It nourishes, heals, wounds, blinds, strikes down…. Some have thought of it as the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists….”

Foucault’s Pendulum )

Those puzzled by why the NY Times  would seek the opinions of a professor at a Catholic university may consult Gutting's home page.

He is an expert on the gay Communist Michel Foucault, a student of Althusser.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stevens in a Nutshell

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

A Pediment of Appearance

IMAGE-- PA Keystone with lottery numbers for Sat., July 31, 2010-- Midday 503, Evening 428

Commentary on 503: See 5/03.
Commentary on 428: See 4/28.

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