Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heinlein’s Prayer

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:59 PM

"I hope with all my heart that his gallant little soul may find its Door into Summer…."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Darkness at Noon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A Meditation on the NY Lottery of May 29

Yesterday's NY Lottery— Midday 981, Evening 275.

As noted in yesterday  morning's linked-to post,
The Shining of May 29

"By groping toward the light we are made to realize
how deep the darkness is around us."
— Arthur Koestler, The Call Girls: A Tragi-Comedy ,
Random House, 1973, page 118

One interpretation of the mystic numbers revealed by the Lottery yesterday—

981 as the final page* of David Foster Wallace's famed novel Infinite Jest


275 as a page in Wallace's non-fiction book about infinity Everything and More

  Gregory Chaitin points out that this is nonsense …

IMAGE- Gregory Chaitin on David Foster Wallace

As noted elsewhere in this journal, I have a different concept of "math's absolute
Prince of Darkness"— and, indeed, of a "quest for Omega." (See posts of May 2010.)

Yesterday's numbers indicate a different struggle between darkness and light—

Light —

IMAGE- Rebecca Goldstein's book on Godel- 'Incompleteness'

Darkness —

IMAGE- David Foster Wallace's novel 'Infinite Jest'

* From infinitesummer.org/archives/168 — "A note about editions:
As it turns out, all (physical) editions of Infinite  Jest  have 981 pages:
the one from 1996, the one from 2004, the paperback, the hardcover, etc.
A big thank you to the men and women in the publishing industry who
were kind and/or lazy enough to keep things consistent."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"You think you've seen the sun but you ain't seen it shine."

— "The Best Is Yet to Come," lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, music by Cy Coleman

Related material— The Shining of May 29.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM

Background— Midnight's post.

IMAGE- 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and 'I Put a Spell on You'

IMAGE- 'Waiting for Guffman' audition

IMAGE- 'I've Got Your Number' rendition

IMAGE- May 3, 2008- 'Take a number' at Dairy Queen

This journal on the above "Take a Number" Dairy Queen date—

Saturday May 3, 2008

m759 @ 11:07 PM
“Teach us to
 number our days.”

Psalm 90, verse 12

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

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

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

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

Today’s numbers from the
Pennsylvania Lottery:

PA Lottery Saturday, May 3, 2008: Mid-day 510, Evening 724

which, being interpreted,
is 5/10 and 7/24.


A Mathematical Operation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Against the Day


    New York Lottery, May 28, 2011—


Page 548

General Boulanger
That the General was 'reactionary' and that the C of C bureaucracy had a 'defiant residue' of Boulangism, continues the characterization of the organization for which the Chums 'work'.

See p. 543 above, regarding a 2007 book in which Boulanger is called the 'father of fascism'.

timbres fictifs
French: fictive postage stamps. Cf "Lot 49".
Yes, stamps mean something in Pynchon's works; here, it seems important that these stamps are characterized as frauds.

Page 935

A mathematical operation that "maps" a relation from one domain to another.

Here, "Belgian Congo" maps to "Balkan Penninsula". By 1912, everyone at Yz-le-Bans would be familiar with Conrad's Heart of Darkness , if not with other descriptions of the atrocities of exploitation of indigenous people in Congo. The conversation here and to follow describes the dawning realization of the imperialist exploitation of Eastern Europe by European powers. (Zora Neale Hurston famously commented that Hitler did in Europe what Europeans had been doing in Africa for a century. Cf. The Hereros sections in V .). It begins with railroads and "other straight line" constructions.

The themes of ATD might also "map" to current events in another warzone, where a contemporary Great Game is being played out.

common in dreams
Such as Frank's and Reef's. And/or, dreams require interpretation.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet Max Black (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Max Black "notes, for instance, that in a study on wolves,
the implications of the metaphor 'Man is a wolf' will be
different than they might be in everyday discourse."


Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins
in "The Edge" (1997)

From an obituary in today's New York Times

"His daughter Jessamyn West said he was driven 'to understand everything.'

'He knew a million things — it didn’t matter:
worms, plumbing, literature. He could give you
a discourse. It seemed like he could never rest
until he had a sense of control over the things around him.'"

From "Meet Joe Black" (1998)

“Should I be afraid?”

“Not a man like you.”

Savage Detectives

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

IMAGE- Rubeus Hagrid and Jorn Barger

IMAGE- Cover of 'The Savage and Beautiful Country'

   Alan McGlashan

From Savage Logic

Sunday, March 15, 2009  5:24 PM

The Origin of Change

A note on the figure
from this morning's sermon:

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison

"Two things of opposite natures seem to depend
On one another, as a man depends
On a woman, day on night, the imagined
On the real. This is the origin of change.
Winter and spring, cold copulars, embrace
And forth the particulars of rapture come."

Wallace Stevens,  
"Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,"
Canto IV of "It Must Change"

Friday, May 27, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

See a search for maltesecross.jpg in this journal.

Rock Concert

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit,

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

— "The Rock," a poem by Wallace Stevens from
a section with the same title in the Collected Poems .

"A little bit of Las Vegas in the 1960s has
splashed down Off Broadway…. Actually,
the show as a whole could benefit from a softer sell."

Charles Isherwood's review of
    "The Best Is Yet to Come"
    on page C1, NY edition, today's NY Times

"Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum…"

Persistent Answer*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

IMAGE- Excerpt on Prince Ombra from novel of same title

Related material — The Big Bang and Definitive.

Background The Hero with a Thousand Faces and the Space link in Asterisk.

* See yesterday's "Life's Persistent Questions."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life’s Persistent Questions

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 PM

This afternoon's online New York Times  reviews "The Tree of Life," a film that opens tomorrow.

With disarming sincerity and daunting formal sophistication “The Tree of Life” ponders some of the hardest and most persistent questions, the kind that leave adults speechless when children ask them. In this case a boy, in whispered voice-over, speaks directly to God, whose responses are characteristically oblique, conveyed by the rustling of wind in trees or the play of shadows on a bedroom wall. Where are you? the boy wants to know, and lurking within this question is another: What am I doing here?

Persistent answers… Perhaps conveyed by wind, perhaps by shadows, perhaps by the New York Lottery.

For the nihilist alternative— the universe arose by chance out of nothing and all is meaningless— see Stephen Hawking and Jennifer Ouellette.

Update of 10:30 PM EDT May 26—

Today's NY Lottery results: Midday 407, Evening 756. The first is perhaps about the date April 7, the second about the phrase "three bricks shy"— in the context of the number 759 and the Miracle Octad Generator. (See also Robert Langdon and The Poetics of Space.)

For the Class of ’11

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:12 PM

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

But leave the wise to wrangle, and with me
the quarrel of the universe let be;
and, in some corner of the hubbub couched,
make game of that which makes as much of thee.

John McKay at sci.math

Related material: Harvard Treasure, Favicon, and Crimson Tide.

Prime Cubes

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 AM

The title refers not to numbers  of the form p 3, p  prime, but to geometric  cubes with p 3 subcubes.

Such cubes are natural models for the finite vector spaces acted upon by general linear groups viewed as permutation  groups of degree  (not order ) p 3.

IMAGE- From preface to Larry C. Grove, 'Classical Groups and Geometric Algebra

For the case p =2, see The Eightfold Cube.

For the case p =3, see the "External links" section of the Nov. 30, 2009, version of Wikipedia article "General Linear Group." (That is the version just prior to the Dec. 14, 2009, revision by anonymous user "Greenfernglade.")

For symmetries of group actions for larger primes, see the related 1985 remark* on two -dimensional linear groups—

"Actions of GL(2,p )  on a p ×p  coordinate-array
have the same sorts of symmetries,
where p  is any odd prime."

* Group Actions, 1984-2009

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Noncontinuous (or Non-Continuous) Groups

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

The web page has been updated.

An example, the action of the Mathieu group M24
on the Miracle Octad Generator of R.T. Curtis,
was added, with an illustration from a book cover—


Monday, May 23, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:36 AM

This morning's previous post quoted a reader on the NY Times  "Stoner" series. A different Stoner story—

"Most mysteries begin in confusion and end in certainty; Pynchon likes to change this trajectory, so that what begins a mystery ends as pure chaos. (Well aware how frustrating some readers find this, Pynchon sets up a running gag in Inherent Vice  about a class action suit brought against MGM by audiences who don't like the way its stories end.)"

Sarah Churchwell in the Guardian , Sunday, July 26, 2009

For a pure-chaos ending that can't be blamed on MGM, see this morning's online New York Times .

A perhaps happier ending— That of the author of the Irish Wine  trilogy, Dick Wimmer, who died on Wednesday.  We may imagine Wimmer enjoying the afterlife with Bing and Grace. See Log24 on the date of the above Guardian  review.

The Stoner Series

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

A reader comments on yesterday afternoon's New York Times
"The Stone" column by Justin E.H. Smith—

"I did indeed appreciate Mr. Smith’s essay.
And I’m curious as to what future contributions of his,
to the Stoner series, that we can look forward to."

From August 24, 2010

Der Einsatz

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

The Ninefold Square (a 3x3 grid)

Nichts ist wie es scheint.

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

Happy day 23 of Mental Health Month.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Return of the Stone

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:06 PM

The New York Times  philosophy column "The Stone" has returned

"There will certainly always be a place for epistemology,
or the theory of knowledge. But in order for a theory of
knowledge to tell us much, it needs to draw on examples
of knowledge of something or other." — Justin E.H. Smith


Examples: Quine on geometry and Quine on universals.


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 AM

A year ago today—

2:02 AM EDT

   Art Space

Box symbol

Pictorial version
of Hexagram 20,
Contemplation (View)


Space: what you damn well have to see.
– James Joyce, Ulysses

10:31 AM EDT

Image-- The Case of the Lyche Gate Asterisk

* See Vonnegut.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

For Judgment Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:30 PM

Moments Divine, Rapture Serene

Unity and Multiplicity (continued*)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:48 AM

Heisenberg on Heraclitus

From Physics and Philosophy , by Werner Heisenberg, 1958, reprinted by Penguin Classics, 2003—

Page 28—

… In the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus the concept of Becoming occupies the foremost
place. He regarded that which moves, the fire, as the basic element. The difficulty, to reconcile
the idea of one fundamental principle with the infinite variety of phenomena, is solved for him by
recognizing that the strife of the opposites is really a kind of harmony. For Heraclitus the world is
at once one and many, it is just 'the opposite tension' of the opposites that constitutes the unity
of the One. He says: 'We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all
things come into being and pass away through strife.'

Looking back to the development of Greek philosophy up to this point one realizes that it has
been borne from the beginning to this

Page 29—

stage by the tension between the One and the Many. For our senses the world consists of an
infinite variety of things and events, colors and sounds. But in order to understand it we have to
introduce some kind of order, and order means to recognize what is equal, it means some sort
of unity. From this springs the belief that there is one fundamental principle, and at the same
time the difficulty to derive from it the infinite variety of things. That there should be a material
cause for all things was a natural starting point since the world consists of matter. But when one
carried the idea of fundamental unity to the extreme one came to that infinite and eternal
undifferentiated Being which, whether material or not, cannot in itself explain the infinite variety
of things. This leads to the antithesis of Being and Becoming and finally to the solution of
Heraclitus, that the change itself is the fundamental principle; the 'imperishable change, that
renovates the world,' as the poets have called it. But the change in itself is not a material cause
and therefore is represented in the philosophy of Heraclitus by the fire as the basic element,
which is both matter and a moving force.

We may remark at this point that modern physics is in some way extremely near to the
doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word 'fire' by the word 'energy' we can almost repeat
his statements word for word from our modern point of view. Energy is in fact the substance
from which all elementary particles, all atoms and therefore all things are made, and energy is
that which moves. Energy is a substance, since its total amount does not change, and the
elementary particles can actually be made from this substance as is seen in many experiments on
the creation of elementary particles. Energy can be changed into motion, into heat, into light
and into tension. Energy may be called the fundamental cause for all change in the world. But this
comparison of Greek philosophy with the ideas of modern science will be discussed later.

* See earlier uses of the phrase in this journal. Further background— Hopkins and Heraclitus.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lottery Hermeneutics (continued)

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

Recent New York Lottery numbers—


The interpretation of "056" in yesterday's
The Aleph, the Lottery, and the Eightfold Way
was not without interest, but the interpretation there
of "236" was somewhat lacking in poetic resonance.

For aspiring students of lottery hermeneutics,
here are some notes that may help. The "236" may
be reinterpreted as a page number in Stevens's
Collected Poems . It then resonates rather nicely
("answers when I ask," "visible and responsive")
with yesterday evening's "434"—


For today's midday "022," see Hexagram 22: Grace in the context of the following—


As for yesterday afternoon's 609, see a particular Stevens-related page with that number…

IMAGE- Review of 'The Dome and the Rock'

For "a body of thought or poetry larger than the subject's," see The Dome of  the Rock.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:32 AM

Today's previous post suggests the following—


Bester on bedrock and "the bottom line of all existence" suggests
a review of Wallace Stevens's "The Rock." Some background:
See Succor, May 11, and But Seriously, May 12.
See also Waiting for Benjamin, May 15.

Larry McMurtry famously wrote of reading Walter Benjamin
at the Dairy Queen. I never read Benjamin there, but I did
read at least some of the Bester book quoted above.

The bottom lines of this peculiar meditation—

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit,

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

— "The Rock," a poem by Wallace Stevens from
a section with the same title in the Collected Poems .

The Aleph, the Lottery, and the Eightfold Way

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Three links with a Borges flavor—

Related material

The 236 in yesterday evening's NY lottery may be
 viewed as the 236 in March 18's Defining Configurations.
For some background, see Configurations and Squares.

A new illustration for that topic—


This shows a reconcilation of the triples described by Sloane
 in Defining Configurations with the square geometric
arrangement described by Coxeter in the Aleph link above.

Note that  the 56 from yesterday's midday NY lottery
describes the triples that appear both in the Eightfold Way
link above and also in a possible source for
the eight triples of  Sloane's 83 configuration—


The geometric square arrangement discussed in the Aleph link
above appears in a different, but still rather Borgesian, context
in yesterday morning's Minimalist Icon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Minimalist Icon

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:48 AM

The source of the mysterious generic
3×3 favicon with one green cell


— has been identified.

For minimalists, here is a purer 3×3 matrix favicon—


This may, if one likes, be viewed as the "nothing"
present at the Creation.  See Jim Holt on physics.

See also Visualizing GL(2,p), Coxeter and the Aleph, and Ayn Sof.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cannes Bangs

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

24 Frames

"But what feels like standard movie exposition quickly takes
a sharp turn when we're feted with about 20 minutes of the
elemental and cosmic footage that's been making all the
headlines. At first it looks like it could be a depiction of heaven
or hell, but it soon becomes clear that it's a story of creation—
or of Creation, as some iteration of the Big Bang unfolds
before our eyes."

— "Cannes 2011: What Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life'
Is Actually About," by Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times

Hannibal Pictures
THE BIG BANG (Click for Cannes details.)


See Peter Woit's review from Sunday.

The generic 3×3 HannibalPictures.com
favicon  has an apt connotation—

Plan 9 from Outer Space.


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

More British nihilism

Perfect Symmetry  (Oct. 2008) and Perfect Symmetry  single (Dec. 2008)—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-Keane-PerfectSymmetry225.jpg    http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-Keane-PerfectSymmetry-Gray225.jpg

Related science…

Heinz Pagels in Perfect Symmetry  (paperback, 1985), p. xvii—

The penultimate chapter of this third part of the book—
as far as speculation is concerned— describes some

recent mathematical models for the very origin of the
universe—how the fabric of space, time and matter can
created out of absolutely nothing. What could have more
perfect symmetry than absolute nothingness? For the first
time in history, scientists have constructed mathematical
models that account for the very creation of the universe
of nothing.

On Grand Unified Theories (GUT's) of physics (ibid., 284)

In spite of the fact that GUTs leave deep puzzles unsolved,
they have gone a long way toward unifying the various
quantum particles. For example, many people are disturbed
by the large numbers of gluons, quarks and leptons. Part of
the appeal of the GUT idea is that this proliferation of
quantum particles is really superficial and that all the gluons
as well at the quarks and leptons may be simply viewed as
components of a few fundamental unifying fields. Under the
GUT symmetry operation these field components transform
into one another. The reason quantum particles appear to
have different properties in nature is that the unifying
symmetry is broken. The various gluons, quarks and leptons
are analogous to the facets of a cut diamond, which appear
differently according to the way the diamond is held but in
fact are all manifestations of the same underlying object.

Related art— Puzzle and Particles…

The Diamond 16 Puzzle (compare with Keane art above)


—and The Standard Model of particle theory—


The fact that both the puzzle and the particles appear
within a 4×4 array is of course completely coincidental.

See also a more literary approach— "The Still Point and the Wheel"—

"Anomalies must be expected along the conceptual frontier between the temporal and the eternal."
The Death of Adam , by Marilynne Robinson, Houghton Mifflin, 1998, essay on Marguerite de Navarre

Monday, May 16, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

From the Guardian  yesterday—

Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares
his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence


Stephen Hawking dismisses belief in God in an exclusive interview with the Guardian.
Photograph: Solar & Heliospheric Observatory/Discovery Channel

What is the value in knowing "Why are we here?"

The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value.

You've said there is no reason to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper. Is our existence all down to luck?

Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.

So here we are….

New York Lottery today, May 16… Midday 374, Evening 430.

See also the Turner Classic Movies film now playing.

    At the Still Point…

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

    (Continued from St. Michael's Day 2010 and Groundhog Day 2011)

    From an obituary  of playwright Doric Wilson in this afternoon's online New York Times

    In the early 1960s Mr. Wilson was one of the first resident playwrights at Caffe Cino— a coffeehouse considered by many to be the original Off Off Broadway performance space— on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village. Four productions by Mr. Wilson were staged there in 1961. Among them were “And He Made a Her,” in which Eve, of Adam and Eve, discovers that men objectify women, and “Now She Dances,” a caustic reshaping of Oscar Wilde’s trials for “gross indecency” in the 1890s as the story of Salome and John the Baptist….

    Related material— Salome in this journal.

    See also "Braids" from the date of Wilson's death.

    For Quentin Tarantino*

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

    IMDb quote

    Corky St. Clair: Here's the Remains of the Day lunchbox.
    Kids don't like eating at school, but if they have a
    Remains of the Day lunchbox they're a lot happier.

    * CNN Larry King Live  Transcript

    TARANTINO: This is a "Kung Fu" lunch box from back in the day here.
    KING: Kids bought this, took it to school.
    TARANTINO: He was a rock star at the time when "Kung Fu" came out.
    Every kid in school had the "Kung Fu" lunch box.
    Even has a nice little thermos in here.
    KING: What are you doing with it?
    TARANTINO: I have a lunch box collection.
    KING: You are a little strange.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Waiting for Benjamin

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM

    Walter Benjamin, that is…  At the Dairy Queen.
        (With apologies to Parker Posey.)

    "One of Benjamin's many unrealised projects was a book
    that would consist only of culls from already existing material;
    he would do no more than arrange and edit."
    — Screenwriter Frederic Raphael, May 2011 Literary Review

    Raphael is clever, but I prefer Wallace Stevens on culls—

    It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
    We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
    Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

    Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
    And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
    If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit,

    And if we ate the incipient colorings
    Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

    Dairy Queen — Click to enlarge


    See also Stevens and "The Rock" in this journal and today's "Shoe."


    Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:28 AM

    "A certain vertiginous occlusion of the imagined and the real" —The White Album


    adjective 1. whirling; spinning; rotary: vertiginous currents of air .


    noun 2. the front formed by a cold front overtaking a warm front and lifting the warm air above the earth's surface


       Excerpt from Joan Didion's The White Album  (click to enlarge)—


    "A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest…." —Joan Didion

    "Then came From Here to Eternity ." —Art Wars

    "Someday I'll wish upon a star…." —The Definitive Collection

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Friday the 13th Lottery

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:40 AM

    Yesterday's New York Lottery— Midday 346, Evening 104.


    346 as a page number. See The Storyteller in Chance  (March 22, 2009), with its "spinning wheel" link to a passage by Joan Didion.

    104 as a date. See 1/04/11— Didion on "a certain vertiginous occlusion of the imagined and the real" in the post The White Itself.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Apollo’s 13

    Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:36 AM

    Continued … See related previous posts.

    IMAGE- The 13 symmetry axes of the cube

    Those who prefer narrative to mathematics
    may consult Wikipedia on The Cosmic Cube.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    But Seriously…

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

    Yesterday's "Succor" cited the New York Lottery of Tuesday— Midday 489, Evening 886.

    One interpretation of these numbers—

    • 489 as the number of a page in the Collected Poems  of Wallace Stevens
      with verses that suggested to one author the following questions:
      "How can one express one's sense of the ground of things?
      What is the structure of Being itself…?" — Thomas Jensen Hines
    • 886 as a number applied recently to a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins
      with the notable phrase "the unchanging register of change"

    Some background from Tuesday—

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011


    Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

    This morning's online New York Times  on Paul Simon's latest show

    "Here was salvation and succor…."

    The review mentions a song from Simon's new album that he did not  play at last night's show—

    The Afterlife.


    After you climb up the ladder of time
    The Lord God is near
    Face-to-face in the vastness of space
    Your words disappear


    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line

    Simon is an accomplished poet, but I prefer Wallace Stevens.

                             … A figure like Ecclesiast,
    Rugged and luminous, chants in the dark
    A text that is an answer, although obscure.

    — Wallace Stevens, “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven”

    For clues about such a text, see yesterday's New York Lottery numbers.


    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Groups Acting

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

    The LA Times  on last weekend's film "Thor"—

    "… the film… attempts to bridge director Kenneth Branagh's high-minded Shakespearean intentions with Marvel Entertainment's bottom-line-oriented need to crank out entertainment product."

    Those averse to Nordic religion may contemplate a different approach to entertainment (such as Taymor's recent approach to Spider-Man).

    A high-minded— if not Shakespearean— non-Nordic approach to groups acting—

    "What was wrong? I had taken almost four semesters of algebra in college. I had read every page of Herstein, tried every exercise. Somehow, a message had been lost on me. Groups act . The elements of a group do not have to just sit there, abstract and implacable; they can do  things, they can 'produce changes.' In particular, groups arise naturally as the symmetries of a set with structure. And if a group is given abstractly, such as the fundamental group of a simplical complex or a presentation in terms of generators and relators, then it might be a good idea to find something for the group to act on, such as the universal covering space or a graph."

    — Thomas W. Tucker, review of Lyndon's Groups and Geometry  in The American Mathematical Monthly , Vol. 94, No. 4 (April 1987), pp. 392-394

    "Groups act "… For some examples, see

    Related entertainment—

    High-minded— Many Dimensions

    Not so high-minded— The Cosmic Cube


    One way of blending high and low—

    The high-minded Charles Williams tells a story
    in his novel Many Dimensions about a cosmically
    significant cube inscribed with the Tetragrammaton—
    the name, in Hebrew, of God.

    The following figure can be interpreted as
    the Hebrew letter Aleph inscribed in a 3×3 square—


    The above illustration is from undated software by Ed Pegg Jr.

    For mathematical background, see a 1985 note, "Visualizing GL(2,p)."

    For entertainment purposes, that note can be generalized from square to cube
    (as Pegg does with his "GL(3,3)" software button).

    For the Nordic-averse, some background on the Hebrew connection—

    Rhyme Scheme (continued)

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:23 AM

    In memory of CCD co-creator Willard S. Boyle, who died Saturday

    Rhyme Scheme (St. Lucia's Day, 2002), with updated link to Hopkins.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Philosophy Lesson

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:19 PM

    From Lhasa de Sela.

    Related material:

    "Si le grain ne meurt …" (Jean  12:24) and

    "In my end is my beginning" (Four Quartets ).

    Brightness at Noon (continued)

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

    Bright Star pictures (1 megabyte)


    Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

    This morning's post has the following from Borges—

    "Yo sé de un laberinto griego que es una línea única, recta."
     —Borges, "La Muerte y la Brújula"

    This suggests a search for "bruja brújula" (witch compass).

    The search yields a Facebook page that leads, in turn, to Lhasa de Sela


    A search for material in this journal from the date of her death, 1/1/10, yields

    The Celestine Dream, with its text on Doctor Parnassus  and its image from Shutter Island

         Click to enlarge this item from Christmas 2009.

    All this is by way of commentary on the April-30-to-May-1 Walpurgisnacht-to-May-Day scenes in Disney's Fantasia … which I watched last night.

    I had not known anything about Lhasa de Sela until this morning, but in the combined context of Fantasia  and of Russia's Victory Day observances today, her song "Los Peces" seems worth noting.

    * For the title, see Celestine Bohlen on the Bolshoi Ballet.

    Queen’s Gambit*

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

    From March 9 four years ago—

    Chessboard (Detail)

    * See this journal and the novel.

    Update of 10 AM May 9—

    Midrash for Gnostics —

    A post linked to under "this journal" (above) has a brief discussion of theology and Wallace Stevens—

    "Professor Eucalyptus in 'Ordinary Evening' XIV, for example, 'seeks/ God in the object itself '…."

    I have more confidence that God is to be found in the Ping Pong balls of the New York Lottery.

    This suggests a check of yesterday's NY numbers. They were… Midday 780, Evening 302.

    A search for 780 in this journal yields a post quoting The Scotsman 's reporter Rhiannon Edward.

    Related material:

    Rhiannon's Scotsman  story of May 6—

    Rapist gets 20 years after justice system finally believes his victims

    Published Date: 06 May 2011
    By Rhiannon Edward
    A SCOTTISH care home worker who groomed and raped teenage girls for more than a decade has been jailed for 20 years.
    James Boyes abused a string of underage girls at Frant Court care home in Frant, East Sussex, during the 1980s and 1990s, leaving one so traumatised she is still being treated in a secure mental hospital….

    See also this  journal on May 7 —

    Stranger Than Fiction


    For yesterday's NY evening 302, see the "780" post involving Rhiannon—

    Glenn Ford as a playboy from Argentina —

    The 4 Horsemen, Ingrid Thulin, Glenn Ford

    — and "302" interpreted as "3/02," which yields…

    "Yo sé de un laberinto griego que es una línea única, recta."
     —Borges, "La Muerte y la Brújula"

    "I know of one Greek labyrinth which is a single straight line."
    —Borges, "Death and the Compass"

    For some background music, click here.

    May Tricks

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

    "I was bewitched by stained glass, bewitched by cathedrals"

    Artist Rowan LeCompte

    There are worse things to be bewitched by.

    A story on stained-glass windows dated April 28, 2008, in The Washington Post  mentions—

    "the grand gestures of LeCompte's artistry and the small touches, such as the spinning-top-size crystal that LeCompte sneaked into the magnificent West Rose"

    From this journal on May 7—

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Turn, Turn, Turn

    m759 @ 10:00 AM 

    Feed them on your dreams

    IMAGE- Leonardo DiCaprio with totem top in 'Inception'

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    March 9 Death

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM

    "He built and installed more than 60 of the cathedral’s 231 stained-glass windows, including its largest and most dramatic: the rose window above the western entrance. The window, which was designed by Rowan LeCompte, is an abstract representation of the moment of creation, with an explosion of vivid hues radiating from a central point of pure, white light."

    Matt Schudel on Dieter Goldkuhle (top of this afternoon's Washington Post  online obituaries index)


    See also some remarks compiled on the date of Goldkuhle's death, March 9, 11 years ago—

    Is Nothing Sacred?

    and Devil's Bible in this journal.


    Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 AM

    For Mother's Day



    From Thomas Mann, "Schopenhauer," 1938, in Essays of Three Decades , translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, pp. 372-410—

    Page 372: THE PLEASURE we take in a metaphysical system, the gratification purveyed by the intellectual organization of the world into a closely reasoned, complete, and balanced structure of thought, is always of a pre-eminently aesthetic kind. It flows from the same source as the joy, the high and ever happy satisfaction we get from art, with its power to shape and order its material, to sort out life's manifold confusions so as to give us a clear and general view.

    Truth and beauty must always be referred the one to the other. Each by itself, without the support given by the other, remains a very fluctuating value. Beauty that has not truth on its side and cannot have reference to it, does not live in it and through it, would be an empty chimera— and "What is truth?"

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Annals of Mathematics

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:35 PM

    University Diaries praised today the late Robert Nozick's pedagogical showmanship.

    His scholarship was less praiseworthy. His 2001 book Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World  failed, quite incredibly, to mention Hermann Weyl's classic summary of  the connection between invariance and objectivity.  See a discussion of Nozick in The New York Review of Books  of December 19, 2002

    "… one should mention, first and foremost, the mathematician Hermann Weyl who was almost obsessed by this connection. In his beautiful little book Symmetry  he tersely says, 'Objectivity means invariance with respect to the group of automorphisms….'"

    See also this journal on Dec. 3, 2002, and Feb. 20, 2007.

    For some context, see a search on the word stem "objectiv-" in this journal.

    Stranger Than Fiction

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:26 PM


    Background— See the films.  Details— Read the news.


    Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 PM

    Margalit Fox in this evening's online New York Times

    Joanna Russ, Who Drew Women to Sci-Fi, Dies at 74

    "Ms. Russ was best known for her novel 'The Female Man,' published in 1975 and considered a landmark. With that book, which told the intertwined stories of four women at different moments in history, she helped inaugurate the now flourishing tradition of feminist science fiction."


    See also Gameplayers of Zan in this journal.

    For Natasha

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

    Today is Sonia Kovalevskaya Day in the department of mathematics at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

    Some synchronistic background from the end of Women's History Month two years ago—

    Two posts from March 31, 2009— Natasha's Dance in this journal and, from a different, but well-written, journal…

    Female mad scientists and creative nihilism
    (thoughts on Sofia Kovalevskaya)

    Background music— A pleasantly elementary version of Maurice Jarre's "Lara's Theme" from Doctor Zhivago .

    Turn, Turn, Turn

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

    Feed them on your dreams

    IMAGE- Leonardo DiCaprio with totem top in 'Inception'

    Cocktail Party Physics yesterday— "Desperately Seeking Sonya"


    Related material: Kovalevskaya's Top and Roger Cooke's

    The Mathematics of Sonya Kovalevskaya.

    See also "Math class is  tough, Barbie."


    Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

    24 Frames column in the LA Times

    Critical Mass: 'Thor' swings his hammer and the critics scream

    May 6, 2011 |  2:55 pm

    Bridges are the key theme of this weekend's "Thor," a film that bridges us from the doldrums of spring releases to the flashier, if not better, world of summer blockbusters. It also serves as another step in the bridge from the first "Iron Man" in 2008 to next summer's superhero all-star jam, "The Avengers." And within the film itself, a superhero actioner about the Norse god of thunder and his adventures in his home of Asgard and on Earth, a rainbow bridge connects the well-regarded Asgard sections of the film with the less successful Earth sections, set in Puente Antiguo, N.M. (which means "Old Bridge").

    According to Times critic Kenneth Turan, the film also attempts to bridge director Kenneth Branagh's high-minded Shakespearean intentions with Marvel Entertainment's bottom-line-oriented need to crank out entertainment product.

    — Patrick Kevin Day

    Related material: Kate and Thor in The Turning  and A Bridge Too Far.

    Schema 256

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 AM

    "What is 256 about?" … One possible answer—  Schema.

    Midnight Purple

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:24 AM

    From an obituary in tonight's online New York Times

    Margalit Fox on Lanny Friedlander, founder of Reason  magazine, who died at 63 on March 19*—

    "As Mr. Friedlander conceived it, Reason  was neither strictly right-wing libertarian nor strictly left— in modern parlance, neither red nor blue but a purple amalgam of the two. It was genuinely purple at first, as it was run off on a ditto machine."

    Related material: Tonight's previous post and, from November 5, 2008

    * The date of Knecht Moves and Supermoon.

    Friday, May 6, 2011


    Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 PM

    "Appropriating the Button-molder's
    words to Peer Gynt, he would say,
    'We'll meet at the next crossroads…
    and then  we'll see–
    I won't say more.'"

    (Quoted here Dec. 8, 2006.)

    Click images for
    further details.






    Theme and Variations

    Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:23 AM

    "The theme swells…"

    Richard Powers, "The Perpetual Calendar," from The Gold Bug Variations , 1991

    See also, from last All Hallows' Eve, "Diamond Theorem in Norway."

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    On Art and Magic

    Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 PM

    Two Blocks Short of a Design:

    A sequel to this morning’s post on Douglas Hofstadter


    Photo of Hofstadter by Mike McGrath taken May 13, 2006

    Related material — See Lyche’s  “Theme and Variations” in this journal
    and Hofstadter’s “Variations on a Theme as the Essence of Imagination
    Scientific American  October 1982

    A quotation from a 1985 book by Hofstadter—

    “… we need to entice people with the beauties of clarity, simplicity, precision,
    elegance, balance, symmetry, and so on.

    Those artistic qualities… are the things that I have tried to explore and even
    to celebrate in Metamagical Themas .  (It is not for nothing that the word
    ‘magic’ appears inside the title!)”

    The artistic qualities Hofstadter lists are best sought in mathematics, not in magic.

    An example from Wikipedia —




    The Fano plane block design



    The Deathly Hallows  symbol—
    Two blocks short of  a design.

    Beyond Forgetfulness

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

    From this journal on July 23, 2007

    It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
    We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
    Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

    Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
    And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
    If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit

    And if we ate the incipient colorings
    Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

    – Wallace Stevens, “The Rock”

    This quotation from Stevens (Harvard class of 1901) was posted here on when Daniel Radcliffe (i.e., Harry Potter) turned 18 in July 2007.

    Other material from that post suggests it is time for a review of magic at Harvard.

    On September 9, 2007, President Faust of Harvard

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

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

    That class is now about to graduate.

    It is not clear what “hidden objects” it will take from four years in the Harvard treasure room.

    Perhaps the following from a book published in 1985 will help…


    The March 8, 2011, Harvard Crimson  illustrates a central topic of Metamagical Themas , the Rubik’s Cube—


    Hofstadter in 1985 offered a similar picture—


    Hofstadter asks in his Metamagical  introduction, “How can both Rubik’s Cube and nuclear Armageddon be discussed at equal length in one book by one author?”

    For a different approach to such a discussion, see Paradigms Lost, a post made here a few hours before the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster—


    Whether Paradigms Lost is beyond forgetfulness is open to question.

    Perhaps a later post, in the lighthearted spirit of Faust, will help. See April 20th’s “Ready When You Are, C.B.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011


    Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 PM

    Two links for 11:11 PM—

    Times Square Church and The Last of the Last.

    Related sayings:

    "A big man knows the value of a small coin"* and

    "Shoemaker, stick to your last."

    * See previous post.

    To Coin a Phrase

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

    For a father figure, a post suggested by tonight's obituary of Jackie Cooper

    Image thanks to Conrad H. Roth's "The E at Delphi"—


    Link thanks to Clint Eastwood—

    E is for Everlast.

    Unity and Multiplicity

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

    Continued from Crimson Walpurgisnacht.

    EpigraphsTwo quotations from  
    Shakespeare's Birthday last year

    Rebecca Goldstein
       on first encountering Plato

    "I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"

    Screenwriter Joan Didion

    "We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

    We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

    From Thomas Mann, "Schopenhauer," 1938, in Essays of Three Decades , translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, pp. 372-410—

    Page 372: THE PLEASURE we take in a metaphysical system, the gratification purveyed by the intellectual organization of the world into a closely reasoned, complete, and balanced structure of thought, is always of a pre-eminently aesthetic kind. It flows from the same source as the joy, the high and ever happy satisfaction we get from art, with its power to shape and order its material, to sort out life's manifold confusions so as to give us a clear and general view.

    Truth and beauty must always be referred the one to the other. Each by itself, without the support given by the other, remains a very fluctuating value. Beauty that has not truth on its side and cannot have reference to it, does not live in it and through it, would be an empty chimera— and "What is truth?"


    Page 376: … the life of Plato was a very great event in the history of the human spirit; and first of all it was a scientific and a moral event. Everyone feels that something profoundly moral attaches to this elevation of the ideal as the only actual, above the ephemeralness and multiplicity of the phenomenal, this devaluation  of the senses to the advantage of the spirit, of the temporal to the advantage of the eternal— quite in the spirit of the Christianity that came after it. For in a way the transitory phenomenon, and the sensual attaching to it, are put thereby into a state of sin: he alone finds truth and salvation who turns his face to the eternal. From this point of view Plato's philosophy exhibits the connection between science and ascetic morality.

    But it exhibits another relationship: that with the world of art. According to such a philosophy time itself is merely the partial and piecemeal view which an individual holds of ideas— the latter, being outside time, are thus eternal. "Time"— so runs a beautiful phrase of Plato— "is the moving image of eternity." And so this pre-Christian, already Christian doctrine, with all its ascetic wisdom, possesses on the other hand extraordinary charm of a sensuous and creative kind; for a conception of the world as a colourful and moving phantasmagoria of pictures, which are transparencies for the ideal and the spiritual, eminently savours of the world of art, and through it the artist, as it were, first comes into his own.

    From last night's online NY Times  obituaries index—


    "How much story do you want?" — George Balanchine

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Phantasmagorical Touchstone

    Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 PM

    "Ira Cohen made phantasmagorical films that became cult classics….

    In certain artistic and literary circles, Mr. Cohen was a touchstone"

    — Douglas Martin in the online New York Times  on May 1, 2011


    The rest  of the picture—


    "Borrowed Time," a 1982 album by Diamond Head

    It is said that the touchstone died at 76 on April 25 (Easter Monday).

    See that date in this journal. See also Phantasmagoria.


    The above-mentioned Easter post


    Peace and War

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

    This post was suggested by—

    1. A quotation from Under the Volcano :
      "A corpse will be transported by express!"
    2. The wish in a novel by Ernesto Sábato, who died Saturday, April 30,
      for a tombstone that says "PEACE"
    3. A statement by another author in this morning's post:
      "I think of myself as writing about war," said Robson….
      "I try to get away from war, but I can't.
      War forces ordinary people to behave extraordinarily."

    The above Sábato novel was translated as The Angel of Darkness .
    Its Spanish title was "Abaddón el Exterminador " (Abaddon the Exterminator ).

    From a customer review of the novel at Amazon.com—

    "Early in the book a drunken outcast will see the vision of the Great Beast of Revelation. Near the end he will tell others of what he has seen. Meanwhile Sábato, who was originally trained as a scientist, seeks out the supernatural and the mystical in order to find an antidote to Stalinism, simple-minded 'Progress' and a superficial positivism."

    For a more sophisticated vision of the Beast, see The Ninth Gate.

    For Abaddon in a less sophisticated antidote to positivism, see The Chronicle of Abaddon the Destroyer: The War in Heaven .

    I prefer Charles Williams's approach to War in Heaven .

    If there is an afterlife, perhaps Sábato's experience there will be more lively than his novel's tombstone would imply.

    He may, despite his wish for heavenly peace, turn out to be (in a phrase from this morning's post) a badly needed "ghost warrior."

    24-Part Invention

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 AM

    IMAGE- The 24-drawer filing cabinet of Lucia St. Clair Robson

    “Next to the bookcase stands a wooden cabinet with 24 drawers that looks like something you might have seen in a library decades ago, or perhaps in an old apothecary. The drawers are marked with the names of her novels or characters in the novels and crammed with indexed notes.

    She pulls open a drawer marked ‘Lozen,’ the name of a main female character in another historical western novel, ‘The Ghost Warrior,’ and reads a few of the index tabs: ‘social relationships, puberty, death, quotes….'”

    — From an article on Lucia St. Clair Robson in The Baltimore Sun  by Arthur Hirsch, dated 1:31 p.m. EDT April 30, 2011*

    From this  journal later that same day

    IMAGE- Sabato on his own tombstone in 'Angel of Darkness'

    Robson’s most recent novel is Last Train from Cuernavaca .

    A corpse will be transported by express!

    — Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

    * Update of 5:48 AM EDT May 3—
    The same article was also published with a different  dateline— April 28.
    Enthusiasts of synchronicity may lament the confusion, or they may
    turn to April 28 in this journal for a different  24-part invention.
    See also Art Wars, April 7, 2003 and White Horse .

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Aguila de Oro

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

    IMAGE- Hotel Bella Vista as 'Portal del Aguila de Oro'

    See also Harvard's Memorial Church in "Ready when you are, C. B."—

    IMAGE- Sharon Stone in the Gold Eagle pulpit of Harvard's Memorial Church

    Sharon Stone lectures at
    Harvard's Memorial Church

    on March 14, 2005…

    "Ready when you are, C. B."


    Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:28 PM


    From Under the Volcano , Chapter II—

    Hotel Bella Vista
    Gran Baile Noviembre 1938
    a Beneficio de la Cruz Roja.
    Los Mejores Artistas del radio en accion.
    No falte Vd.

    From Shining Forth

    "What he sees is something real."
    — Charles Williams, The Figure of Beatrice

    The Vine*

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

    See "Nine is a Vine" and "Hereafter" in this journal.

    IMAGE- Matt Damon and the perception of doors in 'Hereafter'

    As quoted here last October 23

    Margaret Atwood on Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art

    "Trickster is among other things the gatekeeper who opens the door into the next world; those who mistake him for a psychopath never even know such a door exists." (159)

    What is "the next world"? It might be the Underworld….

    The pleasures of fabulation, the charming and playful lie– this line of thought leads Hyde to the last link in his subtitle, the connection of the trickster to art. Hyde reminds us that the wall between the artist and that American favourite son, the con-artist, can be a thin one indeed; that craft and crafty rub shoulders; and that the words artifice, artifact, articulation  and art  all come from the same ancient root, a word meaning "to join," "to fit," and "to make." (254)  If it’s a seamless whole you want, pray to Apollo, who sets the limits within which such a work can exist.  Tricksters, however, stand where the door swings open on its hinges and the horizon expands: they operate where things are joined together, and thus can also come apart.

    * April 7, 2005

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Quarantine Story

    Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:02 PM

    A link in the previous post to Delos in this journal mentions physicist John Cramer.

    His daughter Kathryn's weblog mentions the following story—

    Graffiti in the Library of Babel  • David Langford

    —from her forthcoming anthology Year's Best SF 16 .

    From the Langford story—

    "'I suppose we have a sort of duty…' Out of the corner of her eye Ceri saw her notes window change. She hadn't touched the keyboard or mouse. Just before the flatscreen went black and flickered into a reboot sequence, she saw the coloured tags where no tags had been before. In her own notes. Surrounding the copied words 'quarantine regulations.'"

    Related material from this journal last Jan. 9

    "Show me all  the blueprints."
     – Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Aviator" (2004)


    DiCaprio in "Inception"

    In the "blueprints" link above, DiCaprio's spelling of "Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E" is of particular interest.

    See also a search for Inception in this journal.

    A post on a spelling bee at the end of that search quotes an essay on Walter Benjamin—

    This blissful state between the world and its creator as expressed in Adamic language has its end, of course, in the Fall.  The “ignorance” introduced into the world that ultimately drives our melancholic state of acedia has its inception with the Fall away from the edenic union that joins God’s plan to the immediacy of the material world.  What ensues, says Benjamin, is an overabundance of conventional languages, a prattle of meanings now localized hence arbitrary.  A former connection to a defining origin has been lost; and an overdetermined, plethoric state of melancholia forms.  Over-determination stems from over-naming.  “Things have no proper names except in God.  . . . In the language of men, however, they are overnamed.”  Overnaming becomes “the linguistic being of melancholy.”7

    7 Walter Benjamin, “On Language as Such and On the Languages of Man,” Edmund Jephcott, tr., Walter Benjamin , Selected Writings , Volume I:  1913-1926 , Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings, eds., Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 73.

    Compare and contrast with a remark by a translator mentioned here previously

    I fancy, myself, that this self-consciousness about translation dates approximately from the same time as man's self-consciousness about language itself. Genesis tells us that Adam named all the animals (just as in Indian tradition the monkey-god Hanuman invented grammar by naming all the plants in the Garden of Illo Tempore). No doubts, no self-consciousness: "Whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." (Genesis II, 19). But after the expulsion from Paradise I see Adam doubting  the moment the possibility occurs that another name might  be possible. And isn't that what all translators are? Proposers, in another language, of another name ?

    — Helen Lane in Translation Review , Vol. 5, 1980


    Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:00 PM

    The late translator Helen Lane in Translation Review , Vol. 5, 1980—

    "Among the awards, I submit, should be one for the entire oeuvre  of a lifetime "senior" translator— and  one for the best first  translation…. Similar organization, cooperation, and fund-finding for a first-rate replacement for the sorely missed Delos ."

    This leads to one of the founders of Delos , the late Donald Carne-Ross, who died on January 9, 2010.

    For one meditation on the date January 9, see Bridal Birthday (last Thursday).

    Another meditation, from the date of Carne-Ross's death—

    Saturday, January 9, 2010


    1982 Again

    m759 @ 1:00 PM

    Rock's top 40 on Jan. 9, 1982

    Positional Meaning

    m759 @ 11:32 AM

    "The positional meaning of a symbol derives from its relationship to other symbols in a totality, a Gestalt, whose elements acquire their significance from the system as a whole."

    – Victor Turner, The Forest of Symbols , Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 1967, p. 51, quoted by Beth Barrie in "Victor Turner."

    To everything, turn, turn, turn …
    – Peter Seeger

    The Galois Quaternion:

    The Galois Quaternion

    Click for context.

    See also Delos in this journal.

    Shot at Redemption

    Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

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


    For Sabato's photo opportunity, click here.

    The link is to a weblog post in Spanish published
    on St. Thomas Becket's Day, 2010.

    See also Helen Lane in this journal. Lane translated
    Sabato's "On Heroes and Tombs."

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