Monday, October 31, 2011

Beauty, Truth, Halloween

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

On Halloween…

"Remember that for Ockham there is nothing in the universe that is
in any way universal except a concept or word: there are no real
natures shared by many things. However, things do resemble one
another, some things more closely  than others. So the various
degrees of resemblance give a foundation in reality for our conceptual
structures, such as Porphyry's tree.
Now resemblance (or similitude or likeness) is a relation.
If such relations are realities, then we can say that there are realities
out there that correspond to our conceptual structures."

R.J. Kilcullen at Macquarie University, course labeled Phil360


"The kernel of a homomorphism is always a congruence.
 Indeed, every congruence arises as a kernel."

Congruence Relation, section on Universal Algebra, in Wikipedia

"Beauty then is a relation."

Gerard Manley Hopkins

"An Attempt to Understand the Problem of Universals"
is the title of a talk by Fabian Geier, University of Bamberg—

"The talk was held at Gdańsk University on May 26th 2008."

Related material— Stevie Nicks turns 60.

Logos at Harvard

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:50 AM

From Sean D. Kelly, chairman of Harvard's philosophy department, on Oct. 13, 2011—

"What I’m looking for at the moment is a good reference from Plato to make it clear how he understands the term. I remember that in the Thaeatetus there is discussion of knowledge as true belief with logos, and a natural account here might count logos as something like rational justification or explanation. And perhaps Glaukon’s request in the Republic for an explanation or account (logos) of the claim that Justice is a good in itself is a clue. But there must be other places where the term appears in Plato. Does anyone have them?"

See instances of logos  under "Pl." (Plato) and "Id." (Idem ) in Liddell and Scott's A Greek-English Lexicon

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=lo/gos .

(See also Liddell and Scott's "General List of Abbreviations"—

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Asection%3D5 .)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Idea Idea

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

For the late philosopher Peter Goldie, who died on October 22nd—


Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word — "And there, at last, it was!"—


See also Whiteness and Horseness.


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

Part I: Timothy Gowers on equivalence relations

Part II: Martin Gardner on normal subgroups

Part III: Evariste Galois on normal subgroups

"In all the history of science there is no completer example
 of the triumph of crass stupidity over untamable genius…."

— Eric Temple Bell, Men of Mathematics

See also an interesting definition and Weyl on Galois.

Update of 6:29 PM EDT Oct. 30, 2011—

For further details, see Herstein's phrase
"a tribute to the genius of Galois."

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM


  See also "James Hillman" in this journal.

  (After clicking, scroll down.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Annals of Art

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:48 PM

From The Telegraph  today—

Professor Peter Goldie,
born November 5 1946, died October 22 2011.

With co-author Elisabeth Schellekens, Goldie wrote
Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?

In memoriam—

Two posts from the day, Nov. 14, 2009,
that that book was published in paperback—
For St. Lawrence O'Toole's Day and
Mathematics and Narrative, continued
and a post from the day of Goldie's death… Araby.

See also an excerpt from Who's Afraid? .

The Soul’s Code

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:20 AM

James Hillman, NYT obituary on Feast of St. Jude, 2011

James Hillman reportedly died on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

For some commentary, see Wednesday's link to 779



Diamond Theory

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Erlanger and Galois

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

Peter J. Cameron yesterday on Galois—

"He was killed in a duel at the age of 20…. His work languished for another 14 years until Liouville published it in his Journal; soon it was recognised as the foundation stone of modern algebra, a position it has never lost."

Here Cameron is discussing Galois theory, a part of algebra. Galois is known also as the founder* of group theory, a more general subject.

Group theory is an essential part of modern geometry as well as of modern algebra—

"In der Galois'schen Theorie, wie hier, concentrirt sich das Interesse auf Gruppen von Änderungen. Die Objecte, auf welche sich die Änderungen beziehen, sind allerdings verschieden; man hat es dort mit einer endlichen Zahl discreter Elemente, hier mit der unendlichen Zahl von Elementen einer stetigen Mannigfaltigkeit zu thun."

— Felix Christian Klein, Erlanger Programm , 1872

("In the Galois theory, as in ours, the interest centres on groups of transformations. The objects to which the transformations are applied are indeed different; there we have to do with a finite number of discrete elements, here with the infinite number of elements in a continuous manifoldness." (Translated by M.W. Haskell, published in Bull. New York Math. Soc. 2, (1892-1893), 215-249))

Related material from Hermann Weyl, Symmetry , Princeton University Press, 1952 (paperback reprint of 1982, pp. 143-144)—

"A field is perhaps the simplest algebraic structure we can invent. Its elements are numbers…. Space is another example of an entity endowed with a structure. Here the elements are points…. What we learn from our whole discussion and what has indeed become a guiding principle in modern mathematics is this lesson: Whenever you have to do with a structure-endowed entity  Σ try to determine is group of automorphisms , the group of those element-wise transformations which leave all structural relations undisturbed. You can expect to gain a deep insight into the constitution of Σ in this way."

For a simple example of a group acting on a field (of 8 elements) that is also a space (of 8 points), see Generating the Octad Generator and Knight Moves.

* Joseph J. Rotman, An Introduction to the Theory of Groups , 4th ed., Springer, 1994, page 2

Annals of Translation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

The New York Times  this evening

Europe Agrees on Plan to Inject New Capital Into Banks

By and

Published: October 26, 2011

…“The world is looking at Germany, whether we are strong enough
to accept responsibility for the biggest crisis since World War II,”
Mrs. Merkel said in an address to the Parliament in Berlin….

The same quotation in the original German

«Die Welt schaut auf Deutschland und Europa. Sie schaut darauf,
ob wir bereit und fähig sind, in der Stunde der schwersten Krise Europas
seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs, Verantwortung zu übernehmen.»

("The world is looking at Germany and Europe— looking at
whether we are ready and able, in the hour of the
deepest crisis of Europe since the end of World War II,
to accept responsibility." (I.e. , for resolving  the crisis))

For Galois

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

Tue Oct 25, 2011 08:26 AM [London time]
from the weblog of Peter Cameron

Today is Évariste Galois’ 200th birthday.

The event will be celebrated with the publication of a new transcription
and translation of Galois’ works (edited by Peter M. Neumann)
by the European Mathematical Society. The announcement is here.

Cameron's further remarks are also of interest.

Possibly Related

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:22 AM
New York Lottery, October 25, 2011, as reported by The New York Times

Peter Woit, phrase from a weblog post on October 25th, 2011—

"In possibly related news…."

For 779, see post 779 in this  weblog.

For 8974, see Hollywood Endings.

For 082, see page  82 of Culture and Value , ed. G.H. von Wright, tr. Peter Winch (Oxford 1980) (as quoted by M. Jamie Ferreira in "The Point Outside the World: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Nonsense, Paradox and Religion," Religious Studies , Vol. 30, March 1994, pp. 29-44, reprinted in Wittgenstein Studies  (1997))—

Wittgenstein: “God’s essence is supposed to guarantee his existence— but what this really means is that what is here at issue is not the existence of something.”

For 0372, see page  372 in Essays of Three Decades , by Thomas Mann, translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947 ("Schopenhauer," 1938, pp. 372-410)—

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?"

Monday, October 24, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:45 PM

John McCarthy— Father of AI and Lisp— Dies at 84

Going, Going…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

“Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
till it’s gone”

— Joni Mitchell, quoted here
     in post 2967.

Today's midday New York Lottery—
2967 and 002.

The Lottery of Babalu

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Last evening's New York Lottery numbers were 123 and 5597.

The 123 suggests page  123 of DeLillo's Underworld .

(For some context, see searches in this journal for Los Muertos  and for Pearly Gates of Cyberspace .)

The 5597 suggests the birth date of literary theorist Kenneth Burke— May 5, 1897.

These two topics—

  • the afterlife (in the Latin-American rhythms context of yesterday's Shine On, Edmundo)
  • and Kenneth Burke

are combined in Heaven's Gate, a post from April 11, 2003—

Babylon = Bab-ilu, “gate of God,” Hebrew: Babel or Bavel.”

Modern rendition
of “Bab-ilu


The above observations on lottery hermeneutics, on a ridiculously bad translation, and on Latin rhythms did not seem worth recording until…

The New York Times Book Review  for Sunday, October 30, arrived this morning.

From page 22, an extract from the opening paragraph of a review titled…

Making Sense of It

David Bellos offers a new approach to translation.


The theory of translation is very rarely— how to put this?— comical. Its mode is elegy, and severe admonishment…. You can never, so runs the elegiac argument, precisely reproduce a line of poetry in another language…. And this elegiac argument has its elegiac myth: the Tower of Babel, where the world's multiplicity of languages is seen as mankind's punishment—  condemned to the howlers, the faux amis , the foreign menu apps. Whereas the ideal linguistic state would be the lost universal language of Eden.

See also Saturday's Edenville.

The Hunt for Profitable October

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:23 AM

Wikipedia today—

Paranormal Activity 3  is a 2011 American supernatural horror film. It is the third film of the Paranormal Activity  series and serves as a prequel, set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films. It was released in theaters on October 21, 2011. The film broke financial records upon release, setting a new record for a midnight opening for a horror film ($8M), the best opening day for a horror film in the United States ($26.2M), the highest opening for any film in October, highest opening for a film in the fall (Sep-Oct), and setting a record opening for the franchise ($54M).

So much for Celebration of Mind.

(Background: Last year's Paranormal  post of October 23.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shine On, Edmundo

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

"… if you will, a cha-cha on the floor of the Grand Hotel Abyss."

Harvard student's essay on Jack Nicholson in the ballroom of "The Shining"

"At the still point, there the dance is."

Four Quartets

Related material on the transition from "Do" to "Be" on Friday, October 21st—

Accentuate the Positive–

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:59 PM

A Date with Erin


Related material suggested by today's
midday New York Lottery— 032 and 7537—

Richard Wilhelm
on I Ching  Hexagram 32:

Hexagram 32, Duration, of the I Ching


“Duration is… not a state of rest, for mere standstill
is regression. Duration is rather the self-contained
and therefore self-renewing movement of
an organized, firmly integrated whole
[click on link for an example], taking place
in accordance with immutable laws
and beginning anew at every ending.”

and the date 7/5/37—


Starting Out in the Evening (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:48 AM

(This post's title was appropriated from a novel by Brian Morton.)

Yesterday's evening New York Lottery— 229 and 9294.

Alex Ross in the online New Yorker  quotes a bad essay he wrote in college titled…

“The Grand Hotel Abyss: History and Violence in ‘The Shining,’”

which purports to analyze the famous scene in which Jack Nicholson
types the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”:

Nicholson has become a chomping-machine of language,
recycling stock phrases, appropriating whatever
drifts into his path. His words are nothing but echoes….

The lottery's 229 may be interpreted as "2/29." See a post from that date in 2008
involving echoes and the abyss.

The lottery's 9294 may be interpreted as "9/2/94." A search for that date yields
an article from Pacific Stars and Stripes


That article is echoed  by a later Doonesbury caricature
of a professor discussing echoes  in black rhetoric. That
caricature is from the 2/29 post


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

"Put me on to Edenville." — James Joyce, quoted in today's noon post.

The New Yorker 's Book Bench quotes a college essay on "The Shining"—

"In the Gold Room, the fatally disconnected under-zone of play,
he finds a fin-de-siècle soirée in progress; after a drink of
Jack Daniels, he dances about for a bit—if you will,
a cha-cha on the floor of the Grand Hotel Abyss."

If you will! You probably won’t.

Then again…



Lunch at the Y

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

Or: Starting Out in the Evening, continued from noon yesterday

Yesterday evening's New York Lottery numbers were 510 and 5256.

For the former, see post  510, Music for Patricias.

For the latter, see Richard Feynman at the Caltech YMCA Lunch Forum on 5/2/56—

"The Relation of Science and Religion."

Some background….

The Aleph

"As is well known, the Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Its use for the strange sphere in my story may not be accidental.
For the Kabbala, the letter stands for the En Soph ,
the pure and boundless godhead; it is also said that it takes
the shape of a man pointing to both heaven and earth…."

— Borges, "The Aleph," quoted in Ayn Sof (January 7th, 2011)

The Y

See "Pythagorean Letter" in this journal.


"Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one." 

"A very short space of time through very short times of space…. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand?"

James Joyce, Ulysses , Proteus chapter

The Meter is Running

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Suggested by this morning's previous post (Araby) as well as
by Thursday's posts Jack and Jill and The Thing Itself
an item from Google News—


Note the beauty of the headline's meter.

A midrash for Bloomberg—

"Let us return to the insertions." —André Topia, "The Matrix and the Echo."


Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

An excerpt from "Araby," a short story by James Joyce—

At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

'The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,' he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

'Can't you give him the money and let him go? You've kept him late enough as it is.'

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab's Farewell to his Steed . When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

For a rather viciously anti-Catholic commentary, see Wallace Gray's Notes.

Update of 9:26 AM Oct. 22—

This is the same Wallace Gray who was an authority on Joyce at Columbia University and died on December 21, 2001. I prefer a different Columbia University Joyce scholar— William York Tindall (scroll down after clicking), who died on Sept. 8, 1981.

See also, from midnight a year after the date of Gray's death, Nightmare Alley.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Starting Out in the Evening*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Book title. For some commentary, see the title in this journal.

As for the phrase it has often been paired with in this journal— "Finishing Up at Noon"—

American Mathematical Society today—

John G. Hocking (1920-2011)
Friday October 21st 2011

Hocking, a member of the faculty at Michigan State University from 1951 to 1987, died March 23 at the age of 90. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1953 under the direction of Gail S. Young. Hocking and Young wrote a text, Topology , that was widely used. Hocking was an AMS member since 1951. Read more about Hocking in a blog posted by John Golden, a former student.

For a gloss on the meaning of "Up" above, see a Log24 post from the date of Hocking's death—


* See also yesterday  evening.

Happy Birthday to …

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:14 AM

Ursula K. Le Guin

Click the image below for some background.

A Walsh function and a corresponding finite-geometry hyperplane

The above image illustrates an equivalence* between sequential and simultaneous points of view.

The sequential point of view says "Do," the simultaneous point of view says "Be."

And then there is the Sinatra point of view—

"The fundamental unity of the Sequency and Simultaneity points of view became plain; the concept of interval served to connect the static and the dynamic aspect of the universe. How could he have stared at reality for ten years and not seen it? There would be no trouble at all in going on. Indeed he had already gone on. He was there."

— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia  (1974)

"It turned out so right… for strangers in the night."

* Based on a boustrophedonic  folding.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bach and the Evening Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

This evening's New York Lottery numbers are 770 and 9703.

This suggests a look at post 770 (Hesse and Bach) and at 9/7/03 (Hesse and knights).

See also Hessian.

Jack and Jill

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The New Yorker 's online Book Bench has an entertaining
approach to Jack's "All work and no play…" in "The Shining."
For some background, see this morning's previous Log24
post, The Thing Itself.

That post gives some background for the
Midnight in the Garden post of September 6th.

Also on September 6th… See Jill.

The Thing Itself

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:29 AM

Suggested by an Oct. 18 piece in the Book Bench section
of the online New Yorker  magazine—



Related material suggested by the "Shouts and Murmurs" piece
in The New Yorker , issue dated Oct. 24, 2011—

"a series of e-mails from a preschool teacher planning to celebrate
the Day of the Dead instead of Halloween…"

A search for Coxeter + Graveyard in this journal yields…

Coxeter exhuming Geometry

Here the tombstone says "GEOMETRY… 600 BC — 1900 AD… R.I.P."

A related search for Plato + Tombstone yields an image from July 6, 2007…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061019-Tombstones.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Here Plato's poems to Aster suggested
the "Star and Diamond" tombstone.

The eight-rayed star is an ancient symbol of Venus
and the diamond is from Plato's Meno .

The star and diamond are combined in a figure from
12 AM on September 6th, 2011—

The Diamond Star


See Configurations and Squares.

That webpage explains how Coxeter
united the diamond and the star.

Those who prefer narrative to mathematics may consult
a definition of the Spanish word lucero  from March 28, 2003.

Deep Craft

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Stephanie Hlywak on author Mary Gaitskill (March 22, 2010)—

"In her most recent collection of short stories, Don’t Cry ,
now out in paperback, memory converges with present,
fantasy collides with reality, and sparse prose reveals deep craft."


Mary Gaitskill

See also Gaitskill in the Log24 post Plain Hunt Maximus,
Gaitskill on The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , and yesterday's
New York Times  on the bells of Notre-Dame.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:13 AM

'Hardball with Chris Matthews'
for Monday, October 17th, 2011

FINEMAN: Right. The way to do that, Chris,
is the way that the people who ran against
Mitt Romney on behalf of Senator Ted Kennedy
did it years ago, when Romney was challenging
Ted Kennedy for that Senate seat.
They went out to Indiana — the Teddy people
went out to Indiana, found a plant that
had been shuttered by Bain Capital


FINEMAN: … as part of a takeover and makeover…

MATTHEWS: A chop shop.

FINEMAN: … and they launched a caravan —
a caravan of unemployed people that went
all the way from Indiana to Boston.
Lights out for Mitt Romney. You have to do it that way.
You can`t do it like resenting the guy who
looks like the guy on the Monopoly card.



New York Lottery, evening of Oct. 19, 2011— 985 and 8739.

For 985, see Log24 post 985, "Resurrection" (Aug. 4, 2003).

For 8739, see the 8/7/39 TIME cover—


   Before racing comes raising. (Sport)"
TIME magazine cover, August 7, 1939

  See also… The rest  of the story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:10 PM

Midday NY lottery on Oct. 19, 2011— 043 and 7531.

The latter is the birth date (7/5/31) of Jerry Slocum,
Hughes Aircraft designer and puzzle enthusiast.

For the former, see Hexagram 43 in Geometry of the I Ching.

For Sunrise…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM

Little Flags:


See also Sicilian Reflections.

School Days

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM



Peter learned to read and spell,
And then he loved her very well.



Shine On

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:48 AM

"There is work to be done
  in the dark before dawn."

Song lyric

Log24 posts suggested by the New York Lottery
yesterday (the Feast of Saint Luke) —


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Quieter Celebration

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:01 AM

In contrast to Harvard's 375th Anniversary pandemonium


Tommy Lee Jones, Harvard '69

Friday Night Lights…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM



The Craftsman

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM

A follow-up to yesterday's Sunday School

(Click on images for some background.)

IMAGE- Dennis Ritchie, Amy Adams (Talladega Nights), and the Inferno operating system



Backstory—  "Plan 9 is an operating system kernel …."

Meditation— "How can you tell the craftsman from the craft?"
                          (Apologies to William Butler Yeats.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:47 AM

See Iconography and Amy Adams.

Perhaps the "word from our sponsa  " in the former is "clay."


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:48 AM

(Continued from 24 hours ago)

Saturday evening NY lottery: 302 and 0181.

For 302, see OCODE. For 0181, see the bridge
between page 180 and page 181 in
Disjunctive Poetics  by Peter Quartermain
(Cambridge University Press, 1992).

* For some narrative related to the title,
   see The Deceivers  by Alfred Bester.

La Bruja

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

A song for Bridget and Nina (see midnight's post).

Spelling Brougham*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Midsummer Night in the Garden of Good and Evil, starring Nina Simone

Click for details.

Related material—

Midnight in the Garden on the Ides of March and New Day Nina.

* For the title, see an historical note on October the 16th.
   For a related novel, see Groundhog Day 2009.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:48 AM

"Examples are the stained-glass windows of knowledge." —Nabokov

Suggested by yesterday's evening NY lottery

Post 4248: The Hunt for Exemplary October, and
Post   942: Links for St. Benedict

Related material—

three-point landing n

1. (Engineering / Aeronautics) an aircraft landing
in which the two main wheels and the nose or tail wheel
all touch the ground simultaneously

— Collins English Dictionary

See also…

     Tiffany Case and…

 The Diamond
in the Mandorla

Football-mandorla with link to 'Heaven Can<br />

“He pointed at the football
  on his desk. ‘There it is.’”
     – Glory Road

Friday, October 14, 2011

Plan 9 (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

"All this he knew, but what he didn’t know was that he resonated to the Anima Mundi which produced his extraordinary synergic pattern sense… what I call a 'Phane Sense,' from the Greek phainein  meaning to show . It was this phane sense that enabled him to be shown things from apparently unrelated facts and events and synergize them into a whole."

— Alfred Bester, The Deceivers

Click to enlarge


The Tiffany Epiphany — from Elizabeth Osborne's
 Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots IV

Japan Prize

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM


The above photo was taken on May 19, 2011.

See a Log24 post from that date, "Bedrock."
Those to whom this suggests a Flintstones joke
may consult Denis Dutton in this journal.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Now, Here’s My Plan

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:04 PM

"Plan 9 is an operating system kernel but also a collection of accompanying software."

Webpage pointed out by the late Dennis Ritchie,
     father of the programming language C
     and co-developer of Unix, who reportedly died on October 8.

From Ritchie's own home page

"A brief biography, in first person instead of obituary style."

From that biography—

"Today, as a manager of a small group of researchers, I promote exploration of distributed operating systems, languages, and routing/switching hardware. The recent accomplishments of this group include the Plan 9 operating system…."

Another operating system is that of Alfred Bester.
My laptop now includes his classic The Stars My Destination ,
downloaded this morning…

(Click to enlarge.)


Not much compared to Widener Library (see this morning's Lost Cornerstone),
but sufficient for present purposes…

"Simple jaunt." — "The Comedian as the Letter C"

See also Plan 9 from Outer Space in this journal.

The Lost Cornerstone

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM

This post was suggested by this morning's New York Times  story on the missing cornerstone of St. Patrick's Cathedral and by the recent design for an official T-shirt celebrating Harvard's 375th anniversary—


In Harvard's case, the missing piece beneath the cathedral-like spire* is the VERITAS on the college shield.

Possible sources for a shield image representing VERITAS—

1. "Patrick Blackburn" in this journal, which might be combined with

2. Reflections on Kurt Gödel ** by Hao Wang, Chapter 9, "To Fit All the Parts Together"—

"The metaphor of fitting parts together readily suggests
  the concrete image of solving a picture puzzle…." (p. 243)

Or the image of a Wang tiles puzzle.

A graphic image, colorful but garish, that summarizes these two sources—


  Shield with matching Wang tiles

* The Lowell House bell tower
** MIT Press, first published in 1987

Mathematics and Narrative, continued

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 AM



"I've got a little story you oughta know…."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Whom the Bell (continued)

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

In memory of the man who
"looked after all the college and cathedral bells in Oxford."

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111012-TelegraphFavicon.png  Frank White

Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:55

Head of England's oldest continuously trading
bellhanging company who tended the bells of Oxford

High White Noon

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

Grid from a post linked to in yesterday's 24 Hour DeLillo

The 3x3 square

A Study in Art Education

For an example of this grid as slow art , consider the following—

"One can show that the binary tetrahedral group
is isomorphic to the special linear group SL(2,3)—
the group of all 2×2 matrices over the finite field F3
with unit determinant." —Wikipedia

As John Baez has noted, these two groups have the same structure as the geometric 24-cell.

For the connection of the grid to the groups and the 24-cell, see Visualizing GL(2,p).

Related material—

The 3×3 grid has been called a symbol of Apollo (Greek god of reason and of the sun).

"This is where we sat through his hushed hour,
a torchlit sky, the closeness of hills barely visible
at high white noon." — Don DeLillo, Point Omega

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

24 Hour DeLillo

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Review of DeLillo's novel Point Omega

"One difference between art and entertainment has to do with the speed of perception. Art deliberately slows and complicates reading, hearing, and/or viewing so that you’re challenged to re-think and re-feel form and experience. Entertainment deliberately accelerates and simplifies them so that you don’t have to think about or feel very much of anything at all except, perhaps, the adrenalin rush before dazzling spectacle. Although, of course, there can be myriad gradations between the former and latter, in their starkest articulation we’re talking about the distance between, say, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest  and Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol…."

— Lance Olsen, March 1, 2010, in The Quarterly Conversation

Robert Hughes on fast and slow art—

"We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn't merely sensational, that doesn't get its message across in 10 seconds, that isn't falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media. For no spiritually authentic art can beat mass media at their own game."

– Speech of June 1, 2004

Log24 on art speeds—

A Study in Art Education (June 15, 2007)

Twenty-four (March 13, 2011)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finishing Up at Noon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


From Winning

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


Online Today

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 AM

From University Diaries  yesterday

"…unscripted moments when, prompted or provoked
by a brilliant lecture or an intense verbal exchange,
you perceive something you never perceived before…"

For University Diaries , a screenshot of part of today's online New York Times

What Fresh Hell Is This?



Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

See last year's Day of the Tetraktys.

Those who prefer Hebrew to Greek may consult Coxeter and the Aleph.

See also last midnight's The Aleph as well as Saturday morning's
An Ordinary Evening in Hartford and Saturday evening's
For Whom the Bell (with material from March 20, 2011).

For connoisseurs of synchronicity, there is …


Cached from http://mrpianotoday.com/tourdates.htm —
The last concert of Roger Williams — March 20, 2011 —

   March 20

"Roger Williams" In Concert,
The Legendary Piano Man!!
Roger Williams & his Band
(Sierra Ballroom)

Palm Desert, CA    

Background music… Theme from "Somewhere in Time"

The Aleph

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Minutes — Organization Meeting
11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 1, 1961—

15. Preparation of College Seal:

By unanimous consent preparation of a College
Seal to contain the following features was
authorized: A likeness of the Library building
set in a matrix of date palms, backed by
a mountain skyline and rising sun; before
the Library an open book, the Greek symbol
Alpha on one page and Omega on the other;
the Latin Lux et Veritas, College of the
Desert, and 1958 to be imprinted within or
around the periphery of the seal.

From the website http://geofhagopian.net/ of
Geoff Hagopian, Professor of Mathematics,
College of the Desert—


Note that this version of the seal contains
an Aleph  and Omega instead of Alpha and Omega.

From another Hagopian website, another seal.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beautiful Failure

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:57 AM

"Design is how it works." — Steven Jobs

A comment on the life of Jobs —

Paola Antonelli, curator of 'Design and the Elastic Mind' at MoMA

Paola Antonelli
Photo Credit: Andrea Ciotti

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design
at the Museum of Modern Art in New York—

NeXT was a risk and a beautiful failure."

Related material—

What’s NeXT?


and 2008 posts of

 May 8May 9, and May 10.

"Math class is  tough, Barbie."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

For Whom the Bell

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

In memory of "Mr. Piano" Roger Williams, who died today





Related material— A quote from The Oxford Murders ,
a novel by Guillermo Martinez

"Anyone can follow the path once it’s been marked out.
But there is of course an earlier moment of illumination,
what you called the knight’s move. Only a few people,
sometimes only one person in many centuries,
manage to see the correct first step in the darkness.”

“A good try,” said Seldom.

An Ordinary Evening in Hartford

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

From Rebecca Goldstein's Talks and Appearances page—

• "36 (Bad) Arguments for the Existence of God,"
   Annual Meeting of the Freedom from Religion Foundation,
   Marriot, Hartford, CT, Oct 7 [2011], 7 PM

From Wallace Stevens—

"Reality is the beginning not the end,
Naked Alpha, not the hierophant Omega,
of dense investiture, with luminous vassals."

— “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” VI

For those who prefer greater depth on Yom Kippur, yesterday's cinematic link suggests…

"Yo sé de un laberinto griego que es una línea única, recta."
 —Borges, "La Muerte y la Brújula " ("Death and the Compass")

See also Alpha and Omega (Sept. 18, 2011) and some context from 1931.

Found in Translation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:48 AM

For the morning of Yom Kippur

"Amanecer— ¿Tienes una Bandera para mí?"

— Emily Dickinson

The link above leads to an anonymous photo taken on July 18, 2006.

See also a large image search (1.9 MB) from yesterday
and a Log24 post from July 18, 2006, Sacred Order.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Enigma Variations

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

For Yom Kippur

1. New York Lottery


2. Image— Almeida and Inscape

3. Against the Day , page 453

Rebecca Goldstein and a Cullinane quaternion

4. Image— Argument for the Existence of Rebecca

Some literary and cinematic background—


"Are you the butterfly… ?"

And the Peace Prize Goes To…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:40 AM



Yes we can.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cult Favorite

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:23 PM

From the novel Starting Out in the Evening  quoted in today's noon post

"He… never took off his sunglasses, not even in the darkest bars."


You can't make this stuff up.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

From post 4017 in this journal (do not click links)—

"Thanks to University Diaries  for an entry on Clancy Martin,
a philosophy professor in the 'show me' state, and his experiences with AA."

Neither link in this quote works anymore.
See instead Martin in the London Review of Books .

Lottery hermeneutics, however, still seems usable.


Today's midday NY lottery "163" may be taken as a sequel
to both the page number "162" in today's noon post


Humboldt's Gift , page 163 (Penguin Classics, 1996)

— and a sequel to University Diaries ' meditation today on the Nobel literature prize,
which includes a quote from the winner:

"At last my life returns. My name appears like an angel.
Outside the walls a trumpet signal blows…. It is I! It is I!"

Tomas Tranströmer, "The Name"

As for the evening NY numbers 014 and 5785, see Hexagram 14,
Not Even Wrong , and 5/7/85.

Finishing Up at Noon

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


Click to enlarge

A Triptych for Schwartz  

What’s NeXT?

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:44 AM


(Click logo for details.)

NeXT in action:


This morning's post Opening Act suggests the following scholium

To Purgatory fire you'll come at last;
And Christ receive your soul.

If ever you gave meat or drink,
Every night and all,
The fire will never make you shrink;
And Christ receive your soul.

See also The Wall Street Journal 's Ice Water in Hell story.

Followup scholium — "Vague but exciting …" —


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 PM

University Diaries  today

"Educated people— with some exceptions, like Nader— like to explore the senses, and indeed many of your humanities courses (like the one UD ‘s teaching right now about beauty, in which we just read Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation,” with its famous concluding lines: In place of a hermeneutics, we need an erotics of art ) feature artworks and ideas that celebrate sensuality."

This suggests a review lecture on the unorthodox concept of lottery hermeneutics .

Today's New York Lottery—


A quote suggested by the UD  post

"Sainte-Beuve's Volupté  (1834) introduced the idea of idler as hero (and seeking pleasurable new sensations as the highest good), so Baudelaire indulged himself in sex and drugs."

Article on Baudelaire by Joshua Glenn in the journal Hermenaut

Some reflections suggested by Hermenaut  and by the NY evening numbers, 674 and 1834—

(Click images to enlarge.)




Cool Mystery:


Detective Cruz enters Planck's Constant Café in "The Big Bang."

As for the midday numbers—

For 412, see 4/12, and for 1030, see 10/30, Devil's Night (2005).

For further background, consult Monday's Realism in Plato's Cave.

Opening Act

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

A Log24 post yesterday morning referred to a Neil Young song.

That song could, it turns out, be regarded as an opening act for a musician who died in London early this  morning—

AP story— … Spokesman Mick Houghton said Wednesday that [Bert] Jansch died early Wednesday morning….

Jansch was a founding member of the British folk group Pentangle and had inspired a generation of rock and folk guitarists with his acoustic mastery….

Houghton says his final solo performances were opening for Canadian rocker Neil Young earlier this year.

In memoriam "Well, I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming…"

Background… The Pentangle in Sir Gawain  and The Lyke-Wake Dirge performed by Pentangle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AZ Lyrics

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM


(Click the above AZ address for lyrics.)

"All in a dream…"

See also Music for Zenna (March 28, 2011).

Zeitgeist Multispeech

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 AM

IMAGE- On Multispeech and the Dragonfly Lodge

— M. A. Foster, The Book of the Ler

"The Hulens themselves are closemouthed, secretive."

IMAGE- Esther Dyson, pictures from Google Zeitgeist conference at Paradise Valley, AZ

Above: Esther Dyson, pictures from Google's
2011 Zeitgeist conference at Paradise Valley, AZ.

See also "Everything's a story" (Feb. 19, 2004).

House of the Muse

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 AM

Everett Ellin, pioneer of art museum technology, died on September 16th.

"Few bastions of the humanities have withstood the march of technology more tenaciously than the art museum,” Mr. Ellin wrote in a journal article in 1969. "But now, at long last, the computer has entered the house of the Muse and— like the man who came to dinner— the guest is here to stay. It would behoove the host to know something about his visitor’s care and feeding."

Margalit Fox in tonight's online New York Times

From this journal on the date of Ellin's death—


Click image for some context.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Realism in Plato’s Cave

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:08 PM

In memory of the late combinatorialist-philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota

Excerpts from the introduction to Allan Casebier's

Film and Phenomenology: Towards a Realist Theory of Cinematic Representation
(Cambridge Studies in Film, Cambridge University Press, 1991) —

Pages 1-2,  pages 3-4,  pages 5-6.

Cover illustration: Durer's 'Knight, Death, and the Devil'

Cover illustration: Knight, Death, and the Devil, by Albrecht Dürer

Mathieu Symmetry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:08 AM

The following may help show why R.T. Curtis calls his approach
to sporadic groups symmetric  generation—

(Click to enlarge.)


Related material— Yesterday's Symmetric Generation Illustrated.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Emerson on Mathematics

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 PM

From "The Poet" (1844)—

If the imagination intoxicates the poet, it is not inactive in other men. The metamorphosis excites in the beholder an emotion of joy.

The use of symbols has a certain power of emancipation and exhilaration for all men. We seem to be touched by a wand, which makes us dance and run about happily, like children. We are like persons who come out of a cave or cellar into the open air. This is the effect on us of tropes, fables, oracles, and all poetic forms. Poets are thus liberating gods. Men have really got a new sense, and found within their world, another world or nest of worlds; for the metamorphosis once seen, we divine that it does not stop. I will not now consider how much this makes the charm of algebra and the mathematics, which also have their tropes, but it is felt in every definition….

… Here is the difference betwixt the poet and the mystic, that the last nails a symbol to one sense, which was a true sense for a moment, but soon becomes old and false…. Mysticism consists in the mistake of an accidental and individual symbol for an universal one….  And the mystic must be steadily told,— All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. Let us have a little algebra, instead of this trite rhetoric,— universal signs, instead of these village symbols,— and we shall both be gainers.

See also Weyl on the use of symbols (in coordinate systems) and today's previous posts Birth of a Poet and Symmetric Generation Illustrated.

Symmetric Generation Illustrated

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:20 PM

R.T. Curtis in a 1990 paper* discussed his method of "symmetric generation" of groups as applied to the Mathieu groups M 12 and M 24.

See Finite Relativity and the Log24 posts Relativity Problem Revisited (Sept. 20) and Symmetric Generation (Sept. 21).

Here is some exposition of how this works with M 12 .

* "Geometric Interpretations of the ‘Natural’ Generators of the Mathieu groups," Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society  (1990), Vol. 107, Issue 01, pp. 19-26.

Birth of a Poet

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM

"All that we call sacred history
attests that the birth of a poet
is the principal event in chronology."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Like an Orb

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

It turns out that Fabrizio Palombi, author and editor of books on the late combinatorialist-philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota, is also an expert on the French charlatan Lacan. (For recent remarks related to Rota, see yesterday's Primordiality and the link "6.7 (June 7)" in today's The Crowe Sphere.)

"We all have our little mythologies."

— "Lacan’s Mathematics," by Amadou Guissé, Alexandre Leupin, and Steven D. Wallace (a preprint from the website of Steven D. Wallace, assistant professor of mathematics at Macon State College, Macon, GA.) A more extensive quote from "Lacan's Mathematics"—

Epistemological Cuts* or Births?

An epistemological cut can be described as the production of homonyms. For example, the word orb in Ptolemaic cosmology and the same word in the Kepler’s system, albeit similar, designate two entities that have nothing in common: the first one, in the Ancients’ cosmology, is a crystal sphere to which stars are attached; orb, for Kepler, is an ellipsis whose sole material existence is the algorithm describing its path. A cut becomes major when all word of different eras change meaning. A case in point is the cut between polytheism and monotheism (Judaism): the word god or god takes an entirely different meaning, and this change affects all areas of a vision of the world. From the non created world of the Ancients, inhabited by eternal Gods, we pass on to a world created by a unique God, who is outside of his creation. This cut affects all areas of thinking. However, mythology, albeit separated from the new vision by the cut, survives as an enduring residue. Our sexual thinking, for example, is essential mythological, as proven by the endurance of the Oedipus complex or our cult of this ancient deity called Eros. Love is inherently tied to what Freud called the omnipotence of thought or magical thinking.

Of course, the quintessential major epistemological cut for us is the break effectuated by modern science in the 17th century. All the names are affected by it: however, who can claim he or she has been entirely purged of pre-scientific reasoning? Despite us living in a scientific universe, we all have our little mythologies, residues of an era before the major epistemological cut.

Any modeling of major epistemological cuts, or paradigm changes as Thomas Kuhn would have it, has therefore to account at the same time for a complete break with past names (that is, new visions of the world) as well as the survival of old names and mythologies.

* For some background on this Marxist jargon, see Epistemological Break (La Coupure Épistémologique ) at the website Concept and Form: The Cahiers pour  l’Analyse  and Contemporary French Thought.

The Crowe Sphere

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

From Wallace Stevens's "A Primitive Like an Orb"—

But the virtuoso never leaves his shape,
Still on the horizon elongates his cuts,
And still angelic and still plenteous,
Imposes power by the power of his form.

See also the film Virtuosity  and The Crowe Sphere
(a Log24 search that includes, by accident, a post
with the phrase "he crowed exultantly.").

Such a crowing: Cagney's classic "Top of the world!"

Those who seek significance in the name of Crowe's
character in Virtuosity , "SID 6.7," may consult yesterday's
Primordiality and a related post of 6.7 (June 7), 2010.
(For the "SID" part, see Caesar in this journal and Gladiator.)

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