Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 PM

From the release date of the film of Alan Glynn’s
novel The Dark Fields  (now retitled “Limitless“)—


“The time is now.”

Related material—

“Why does the dog wag its tail?
Because the dog is smarter than the tail.
If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.”

IMAGE- The perception of doors in 'Sunshine Cleaning'

Above: Amy Adams in “Sunshine Cleaning

“Now, I’ll open up a line of credit for you.
You’ll be wantin’ a few toys.”


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

For those who think "right-brain" means something—

Fatuity for St. Andrew’s Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 PM


Thanks for the warning, kingsplace.co.uk.

See also yesterday's Flight from Ennui.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Flight from Ennui

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

Post 2310 in yesterday evening’s Short Story links to two posts
from 2006 inspired by Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy—

Thursday, May 25, 2006


May there be an ennui
of the first idea?
What else, prodigious scholar,
should there be?

— Wallace Stevens,
“Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction”

Related material: The Line.

7:13 PM

Order and Ennui

Meanwhile, back at the Institute
for Advanced Study:

May 25, 4:40 PM —
Research Seminar
(Simonyi Hall Seminar Room) —
Pirita Paajanen,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem:
Zeta functions of
finitely generated infinite groups

Some background cited by Paajanen:

M.P.F. du Sautoy,
“Zeta functions of groups:
The quest for order
versus the flight from ennui,”
Groups St Andrews 2001 in Oxford ,
Volume 1, CUP 2003.

Those who prefer the showbiz
approach to mathematics
(the flight from ennui?) may
enjoy a website giving
further background from du Sautoy.

4:40 PM

The first paragraph of
Zeta Functions of Groups: The Quest for Order
Versus the Flight from Ennui
,” by Marcus du Sautoy,
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford—

“Mathematics is about the search for patterns,
to see order where others see chaos. We are very lucky
to find ourselves studying a subject which is neither so rigid
that the patterns are easy, yet not too complicated
lest our brains fail to master its complexities.
John Cawelti sums up this interplay perfectly in a book*
not about mathematics but about mystery and romance:
‘if we seek order and security, the result is likely to be
boredom and sameness. But rejecting order for the sake
of change and novelty brings danger and uncertainty…
the history of culture can be interpreted as a dynamic
tension between these two basic impulses…
between the quest for order and the flight from ennui.”’

* John G. Cawelti, Adventure, Mystery, and Romance:
Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture 
University of Chicago Press, 1976.

[Cawelti cites as his souce on interpreting “the history
of culture” Harry Berger, Jr., “Naive Consciousness and
Culture Change: An Essay in Historical Structuralism
Bulletin of the Midwest Modern Language Association ,
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 1973): page 35.]

Here du Sautoy paints mathematicians as seekers of order,
apparently not realizing that the author he approvingly quotes
states that seekers of order face the danger of boredom.

Another danger to seekers
of order is, of course, seeing
order where there is none.


Are you the butterfly?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Short Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:08 PM

New York Lottery on Cyber Monday,
November 28, 2011—

midday: 457 evening: 510
midday: 3990 evening: 2310

Related material: Hannibal Pictures


Savage Logic

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

A search in memory of Ken Russell, who died Sunday.

Russell directed, among many other films, "Savage Messiah"—


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Word

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 PM

The new executive editor of The New York Times , Jill Abramson, flatly declared:

“‘In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion.'” —The Daily Beast


Detail —


“Words are events.” — Walter J. Ong, S.J.


Today’s Sermon–

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM


"What he ultimately lacks is a convincing narrative.
This also ties Habermas once again to the Occupy movement.
But without a narrative there is no concept of change."


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Innermost Kernel (continued*)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A search on the word "innermost" in a PDF copy of a book
by Suzanne Gieser on Jung and Pauli yields no definite meaning
for the book's title, The Innermost Kernel  (Springer, 2005).

The author does, however, devote a section (pp. 36-41) to the
influence of Schopenhauer on Jung and Pauli, and that section at least
suggests that the historical  origin of her title is in Schopenhauer's
reformulation of Kant's "Ding an sich."

The Innermost Kernel , p. 37—

"… an expression of an underlying invisible world,
the one that forms the innermost essence of reality,
the thing-in-itself. This is the will, a blind existence
that forms an omnipresent entity beyond time, space
and individuality." *

* Arthur Schopenhauer, "Über die Vierfache Wurzel
  des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde" (1813),
  Kleinere Schriften, SämtlicheWerke III 
  (Stuttgart, 1962), 805–806.

* See also Mann on Schopenhauer and an "innermost kernel."

Eden Express (continued*)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:09 AM

IMAGE- 'Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion'- NYT front page

* See previous uses of that book title in this journal.

The Story Theory of Truth

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:16 AM

This year's Black Friday Prize for Literature went to…


Friday, November 25, 2011

Knight’s Move* for Wicker

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

Hamlet Fire

The "knight's move" of the title is the supplying of the above link.
For details, click on the link (a search on the link's two words).

* For the meaning of "knight's move," see To Make a Short Story Long.

For the meaning of the phrase  (as opposed to the search ),
    see the birthplace of Tom Wicker, who died today.

Windows Programming

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

This afternoon's post Window Actions suggests the following.

Synchronistic Reviewing

From a review at bibliphage.blogspot.com on March 24, 2009—


The weblog containing the review is named "Outside of a Dog." Its motto—

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." —Groucho Marx

See also the dog in the update of today's noon entry.

For a synchronistic review, see this  weblog on March 24, 2009.


Window Actions

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:25 PM

A post by Gowers today on group actions suggests a review.

See WindowWindow Continued,  and The Galois Window.

The Innermost Kernel and Physics

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"Letzen Endes wird also der Materiebegriff in beiden Fällen auf Mathematik zurückgefürt. Der innerste Kern alles Stofflichen ist für uns wie für Plato eine Form, nicht irgendein materieller Inhalt."

"In the final analysis, in both cases [Plato and modern physics] the notion of matter is essentially a mathematical concept. The most fundamental kernel of all that is material is for us, as well as for Plato, a [mathematical] form, and not some material content."

— W. Heisenberg, "Platons Vorstellungen von den kleinsten Bausteinen der Materie und die Elementarteilchen der modernen Physik," Im Umkreis der Kunst. Eine Festschrift für Emil Preetorius , Wiesbaden 1953, pp. 137-140, as cited by Luc Brisson and F. Walter Meyerstein in Inventing the Universe , SUNY Press, 1995.

See also remarks by Pauli in For All Hallows Day.

Update of 1 PM

Related material —

IMAGE- Schopenhauer, 'innermost kernel,' and atman

"Zweiteilung und Symmetrieverminderung, das ist des Pudels Kern. Zweiteilung ist ein sehr altes Attribut des Teufels."

—Pauli to Heisenberg

Here "the poodle's kernel" is a reference to Faust , where the devil appears as a poodle.

On Schopenhauer's later years—

"In Frankfurt he spent the remaining years of his life, living quietly in two rooms with his pipe and his flute but with no friends or companions except a small poodle, the only creature to which Schopenhauer ever seems to have felt any real attachment. He named the dog Atman, a term taken from the pessimistic religion of India, in which Schopenhauer had become more and more interested in his later years."

— Robert F. Davidson, "Pessimism: Arthur Schopenhauer" in Philosophies Men Live By , New York, The Dryden Press, 1952

Innermost Kernel

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 AM

Thomas Mann on an innermost kernel


"Denn um zu wiederholen, was ich anfangs sagte:
in dem Geheimnis der Einheit von Ich und Welt,
Sein und Geschehen, in der Durchschauung des
scheinbar Objectiven und Akzidentellen als
Veranstaltung der Seele glaube ich den innersten Kern
der analytischen Lehre zu erkennen." (GW IX 488)

See also previous quotations here of the phrase "innermost kernel."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Transparent Things

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:29 PM

… And the New York Lottery, with a wry smile,
signs its Thanksgiving story  J. D. Salinger .


(See 863 and 4034.)

Shine On

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:20 PM

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


Camp Necon 2001

See also Uncertainty and More Uncertainty.

For 34th Street

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

"They should have sent a poet." — "Contact"


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Music and Motion

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

See Chapter 11, "Meter and Rhythm," of…

IMAGE- 'Sound and Symbol' by Victor Zuckerkandl

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For St. Cecilia’s Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

Grace and Abstraction

NYT > Obituaries Paul Motian, Drummer, Composer and Bandleader, Dies at 80

Tue Nov 22, 2011 20:54 from NYT > Obituaries by By BEN RATLIFF

Mr. Motian, a drummer, bandleader, and composer of grace and abstraction,
was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years.



Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:18 PM

Today's New York Lottery numbers:

231, 4403, 550, 0764.

Continuing the Serious Hardy Apology sequence,
here is a reference to volume number 231 in the
Springer Graduate Texts in Mathematics series—

IMAGE- 'Serious work on groups generated by reflections,' Springer GTM 231

For some less  serious work, see posts on 4403 (4/4/03)
as well as posts numbered 550 and 764.

The Purple Square of Oxford

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Pebbles found on the cyberspace beach this morning

From Oxford University Press

IMAGE- 'Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized'

From a less scholarly work at Scribd.com

IMAGE- Dedication of 'Ultraculture Journal One' to Robert Anton Wilson

"The clocks were striking thirteen."

Monday, November 21, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

A search for images related to Joseph T. Clark, Society of Jesus,
(author* of a quote in today's noon entry) yields—

The Jewel in Venn's Lotus

(Click to enlarge.)


"Heaven, I'm in heaven" — First words of "Purple Rose of Cairo"

* Very likely the same Joseph T. Clark, S. J. (1911-1989) who taught at Canisius College.

Random Reference

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

IMAGE- NY Evening Lottery Nov. 20, 2011: 245 and 0182

Joseph T. Clark, S. J., Conventional Logic and Modern Logic:
A Prelude to Transition
  (Philosophical Studies of the American
Catholic Philosophical Association, III) Woodstock, Maryland:
Woodstock College Press, 1952—

Alonzo Church, "Logic: formal, symbolic, traditional," Dictionary of Philosophy  (New York: Philosophical Library, 1942), pp. 170-182. The contents of this ambitious Dictionary are most uneven. Random reference to its pages is dangerous. But this contribution is among its best. It is condensed. But not dense. A patient and attentive study will pay big dividends in comprehension. Church knows the field and knows how to depict it. A most valuable reference.

Another book to which random reference is dangerous


For greater depth, see "Cassirer and Eddington on Structures,
Symmetry and Subjectivity" in Steven French's draft of
"Symmetry, Structure and the Constitution of Objects"

For Manic Monday

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:25 AM

Continued from yesterday's Occupy Space and The Master,
and last night's Midnight in Manhattan

Princeton Caveman Valentine

Midnight in Manhattan

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM



Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Master

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

PBS 9 PM Eastern—


See also this  journal on November Seventh.

Occupy Space

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:35 AM

A chess set previously mentioned in this journal—


These chessmen appeared in the weblog Minimalissimo 
on Sept. 20, 2010. In Log24 on that date, the issue was
not so much the chessmen as the underlying board.
See "The Unfolding." See also the following from
the Occupy Space  gallery in Limerick today—

C A V E S – Anthony Murphy Solo Exhibition
Opening 7 pm Thursday 1st Dec
Exhibition 2nd – 22nd Dec 2011

Plato's allegory of the cave describes prisoners, inhabiting the cave since childhood, immobile, facing an interior wall. A large fire burns behind the prisoners, and as people pass this fire their shadows are cast upon the cave's wall, and these shadows of the activity being played out behind the prisoner become the only version of reality that the prisoner knows.

C A V E S  is an exhibition of three large scale works, each designed to immerse the viewer, and then to confront the audience with a question regarding how far they, as privileged viewers of the shadows and reflections being played out upon the walls, are willing to allow themselves to believe what they know to be a false reality.

The works are based on explorations of simple 2D shapes; regular polygons are exploded to create fractured pattern, or layered upon one another until intricate forms emerge, upon which the projections can begin to draw out a third dimension.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Star Wars (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 PM

From Thursday's post All Things Fashion


From today's online New York Times


The nuclear symbol beneath the op-ed headline
is the most interesting part of this afternoon's front page—


Jung on projections

It is possible to project certain characteristics onto another person who does not possess them at all, but the one being projected upon may unconsciously encourage it.

"It frequently happens that the object offers a hook to the projection, and even lures it out. This is generally the case when the object himself (or herself) is not conscious of the quality in question: in that way it works directly upon the unconscious of the projicient. For all projections provoke counter-projections  when the object is unconscious of the quality projected upon it by the subject." ["General Aspects of Dream Psychology," CW 8, par. 519.]

For an object that "offers a hook to the projection," see yesterday's Hypercube Rotations


Central projection
of the hypercube

See also Stallion Gate  in this journal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plot Summary

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 PM


IMDb Plot Summary for
Brainstorm (1983)

Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people. Once the capability of tapping into "higher brain functions" is added in, and you can literally jump into someone else's head and play back recordings of what he or she was thinking, feeling, seeing, etc., at the time of the recording, the applications for the project quickly spiral out of control. While Michael Brace uses the system to become close again to Karen Brace, his estranged wife who also works on the project, others start abusing it for intense sexual experiences and other logical but morally questionable purposes. The government tries to kick Michael and Lillian off the project once the vast military potential of the technology is discovered. It soon becomes obvious that the government is interested in more than just missile guidance systems. The lab starts producing mind torture recordings and other psychosis inducing material. When one of the researchers dies and tapes the experience of death, Michael is convinced that he must playback this tape to honor the memory of the researcher and to become enlightened. When another researcher dies during playback the tape is locked away and Michael has to fight against his former colleagues and the government lackeys that now run his lab in order to play back and confront the "scariest thing any of us will ever face"— death itself. Written by Eric van Bezooijen.

See also researcher John Gregory Dunne and "Lucero Puro" in this journal.

Hypercube Rotations

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

The hypercube has 192 rotational symmetries.
Its full symmetry group, including reflections,
is of order 384.

See (for instance) Coxeter


Related material—

The rotational symmetry groups of the Platonic solids
(from April 25, 2011)—

Platonic solids' symmetry groups

— and the figure in yesterday evening's post on the hypercube


(Animation source: MIQEL.com)

Clearly hypercube rotations of this sort carry any
of the eight 3D subcubes to the central subcube
of a central projection of the hypercube—


The 24 rotational symmeties of that subcube induce
24 rigid rotations of the entire hypercube. Hence,
as in the logic of the Platonic symmetry groups
illustrated above, the hypercube has 8 × 24 = 192
rotational symmetries.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Rolling Donut

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

See notes related to the discussion of the torus within the hypercube
in Thomas F. Banchoff 's 1996 text Beyond the Third Dimension  .
The hypercube torus is more intelligible in the light of an
animation at the weblog post "Gleaming the Hypercube"—


(Animation source: MIQEL.com)

All Things Fashion

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:16 PM


All the cops in the donut shop say…


Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM



Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

From "Elegy to the Void," by Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books , issue dated Nov. 24, 2011—

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Didion famously wrote in The White Album . Blue Nights  is about what happens when there are no more stories we can tell ourselves, no narrative to guide us and make sense out of the chaos, no order, no meaning, no conclusion to the tale. The book has, instead, an incantatory quality: it is a beautiful, soaring, polyphonic eulogy, a beseeching prayer that is sung even as one knows the answer to one’s plea, and that answer is: No.

Blue Nights  is a sequel of sorts to The Year of Magical Thinking , Didion's story of the year following the death on December 30th, 2003, of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne.

Related material:




For some context, see

  1. Cosmic Banditos in this journal,
  2. the Fall 1997 newsletter of the Institute for Advanced Study,
  3. and Oppenheimer's Aria.

For a different link to that aria, see a journal entry dated December 28, 2003.
(Click link, scroll down.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To the Limit

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:04 PM

"Put me on a highway, show me a sign…" — Eagles

David Foster Wallace, 'Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity'

"It is tempting to blame any confusion here
on Wallace's famously complex style of presentation."

— Darren Abrecht: "When You Get to the End, Keep Going,"
a review of David Foster Wallace's nonfiction book
Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

See also today's previous post Apple Meets Pumpkin.

Happy Birthday, Lisa Bonet.

Apple Meets Pumpkin

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM

From The Guardian 

On All Hallows' Eve


The reported last words of
Apple founder Steve Jobs were
"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

In the spirit of these words, a
Google search from today—


See also…

  1. Lemniscate in this journal as well as
  2. Stone Junction  and
  3. Infinite Jest .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eerie Twist

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:59 AM

"The case took an eerie twist, Ben Bradlee later wrote…."

— A story by obituaries editor Adam Bernstein
in this morning's Washington Post  .

Related material—

The Night Clerk


Jason Robards as Erie Smith in "Hughie"
and as Washington Post  executive editor
Ben Bradlee in "All the President's Men"

More Uncertainty*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 AM

From this morning's online New York Times

Les Daniels, Historian of Comic Books, Dies at 68


Published: November 14, 2011

Les Daniels, one of the earliest historians of comic books— from the launching (off the doomed planet Krypton) of Superman in 1938 through the countercultural comix movement of the ’60s— and an author of horror novels, died on Nov. 5 at his home in Providence, R.I. He was 68.

The cause was a heart attack, said Diane Manning, his sister and only immediate survivor. …

The version at The Comics Reporter  may or may not be more accurate—

Leslie Noel Daniels III, 1943-2011

Posted 7:00 AM PST Nov. 14, 2011

(Unsigned, apparently by Tom Spurgeon.)

The writer Les Daniels died at an unknown moment before November 4 in his Providence apartment, local media sources have reported. Daniels' body was identified by his friend, the illustrator Steve Gervais, on that day, who told the Providence Journal  that it looked like Daniels had been dead a couple of days by the time he saw the body. The police had been called after other acquaintances worried that the they had not been in contact with the writer for an extended period of time. Daniels was a diabetic waiting to receive surgery for a heart-valve replacement. No autopsy was requested. Daniels was 68 years old. …

* The title refers to yesterday's post Uncertainty.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:21 AM

The Catholic Encyclopedia on Mind

"If we are told that the explanation of a page of a newspaper is to be found in the contact of the paper with a plate of set types, we are still compelled to ask how the particular arrangement of the types came about, and we are certain that the sufficient explanation ultimately rests in the action of mind or intelligent being."

Or not so certain

"These capacities for conscious deliberation, rational thinking and self-control are not magical abilities.  They need not belong to immaterial souls outside the realm of scientific understanding (indeed, since we don’t know how souls are supposed to work, souls would not help to explain these capacities).  Rather, these are the sorts of cognitive capacities that psychologists and neuroscientists are well positioned to study."

"The Stone" column in yesterday's online New York Times

See also the Catholic Encyclopedia on Soul.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Where Entertainment is God (continued)

On the re-editing of a news story by The New York Times

"…in the original versions of a Times report by Jeremy W. Peters, [the new executive editor, Jill Abramson] flatly declared: 'In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion.'" —The Daily Beast

The Times this afternoon—


See also a follow-up from last June
to this morning's "lost in space" quote

NYT quote removal sparks web buzz

"It's obvious that an editorial decision was made to 'rectify' a quote that made the Times look foolish."

Not so, Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told POLITICO. “Space was clearly a consideration.”


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

The Space Case

"A generation lost in space"

— Don McLean, "American Pie"

Last night's post discussed Jim Dodge's fictional vision of a "spherical diamond" related to physics.

For some background, see Poetry and Physics (April 25, 2011).

That post quotes a July 2008 New Yorker  article

By Benjamin Wallace-Wells, contributing editor at Rolling Stone
and sometime writer on space

“There’s a dream that underlying the physical universe is some beautiful mathematical structure, and that the job of physics is to discover that,” Smolin told me later. “The dream is in bad shape,” he added. “And it’s a dream that most of us are like recovering alcoholics from.” Lisi’s talk, he said, “was like being offered a drink.”

Or a toke.

"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be"

— Billy Joel, "Piano Man"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Professor Dodge

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:30 PM

From today's previous post, a fragmentary thought—

"Professor Dodge and the underground artists
whose work he helped save are the subjects of a book…"

Jim Dodge, Stone Junction

(a novel first published in 1989)

From pages 206-208, Kindle Edition

`Have you seen it?'

Volta hesitated. `Well, I've dreamed  it.'

Daniel shook his head. `I'm getting lost. You want me to vanish into your dreams?'

`Good Lord, no,' Volta blanched. `That's exactly what I don't  want you to do.'

`So, what is it exactly you do  want me to do?'

`Steal the diamond.'

`So, it's a diamond?'

`Yes, though it's a bit like saying the ocean is water. The diamond is perfectly spherical,* perfectly clear— though it seems to glow— and it's about two-thirds the size of a bowling ball. I think of it as the Diamond. Capital D.'

`Who owns it?'

`No one. The United States government has it at the moment. We want it. And to be honest with you, Daniel, I particularly want it, want it dearly. I want to look at it, into it, hold it in my hands. I had a vision involving a spherical diamond, a vision that changed my life, and I want to confirm that it was a vision of something real, the spirit embodied, the circuit complete.'

Daniel was smiling. `You're going to love this. That dream I wanted to talk to you about, my first since the explosion? It just happened to feature a raven with a spherical diamond in its beak. Obviously, it wasn't as big as a bowling ball, and there was a thin spiral flame running edge to edge through its center, which made it seem more coldly brilliant than warmly glowing, but it sounds like the same basic diamond to me.'

`And what do you think it is?'

`I think it's beautiful.'

Volta gave him a thin smile. `If I were more perverse than I already lamentably am, I would say it is the Eye of the Beholder. In fact, I don't know what it is.'

`It might be a dream,' Daniel said.

`Very possibly,' Volta agreed, `but I don't think so. I think— feel , to be exact— that the Diamond is an interior force given exterior density, the transfigured metaphor of the prima materia , the primordial mass, the Spiritus Mundi . I'm assuming you're familiar with the widely held supposition that the entire universe was created from a tiny ball of dense matter which exploded, sending pieces hurtling into space, expanding from the center. The spherical diamond is the memory, the echo, the ghost of that generative cataclysm; the emblematic point of origin. Or if, as some astrophysicists believe, the universe will reach some entropic point in its expansion and begin to collapse back into itself, in that case the Diamond may be a homing point, the seed crystal, to which it will all come hurtling back together— and perhaps through itself, into another dimension entirely. Or it might be the literal Philosopher's Stone we alchemists speak of so fondly. Or I might be completely wrong. That's why I want to see it. If I could actually stand in its presence, I'm convinced I'd know what it is. I would even venture to say, at the risk of rabid projection, that it wants  to be seen and known.'

`But you're not even sure it exists,' Daniel said. `Right? And hey, it's tough to steal something that doesn't  exist, even if you can be invisible. The more I think about this the less sense it makes.'

* Here Dodge's mystical vision seems akin to that of Anthony Judge in "Embodying the Sphere of Change" (St. Stephen's Day, 2001). Actually, the cube, not the sphere, is the best embodiment of Judge's vision.

See also Tuesday's "Stoned" and the 47 references
to the term "bowling" in the Kindle Stone Junction .

Furthermore… Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!

For the Old Guy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:38 PM

From this journal on Guy Fawkes Day, 2011—


m759 @ 7:59 AM

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

— T. S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

This year's Lamont Cranston award goes to…
Norton Dodge, who died at 84 on Guy Fawkes Day.


"Professor Dodge and the underground artists
whose work he helped save are the subjects of
a book, The Ransom of Russian Art  (1994),
by John McPhee."

— Margalit Fox in today's New York Times

The Boys from Uruguay

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

(Continued from September 7th, 2002)

Happy Birthday, Wallace Shawn!


Shawn in "The Speed of Thought,"
a 2011 film by Evan Oppenheimer.

Uruguay is featured in that film.

See also Lichtung!.

Text and Context

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Perhaps the best obituary for the late Morris Philipson


(see Nov. 10) is this text, by writer W.P. Norton
(not to be confused with the publishing firm W.W. Norton).
For the text in context, see a screenshot of the Norton
weblog (which was very slow to load this morning).

The Blogspot loading logo that did  appear at Norton's
weblog suggests the following image—


http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111112-Blogspot-Loading-Logo.gif http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111112-NYT-thestone75.gif

The logo on the right is that of
The New York Times 's
philosophy weblog "The Stone."

Philipson, incidentally, reportedly died on the morning of November 3.

See the remarks of Tom Wolfe quoted here on that date.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Silver Table

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

"And suddenly all was changed.  I saw a great assembly of gigantic forms all motionless, all in deepest silence, standing forever about a little silver table and looking upon it.  And on the table there were little figures like chessmen who went to and fro doing this and that.  And I knew that each chessman was the idolum  or puppet representative of some one of the great presences that stood by.  And the acts and motions of each chessman were a moving portrait, a mimicry or pantomine, which delineated the inmost nature of his giant master.  And these chessmen are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world.  And the silver table is Time.  And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of those same men and women.  Then vertigo and terror seized me and, clutching at my Teacher, I said, 'Is that  the truth?….' "

— C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce , final chapter

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Related Books

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

A puzzle of sorts—

To which book are these six books,
found in a Google book search today, related?

(Click image to enlarge.)


Update of 12:06 AM on November 11th—


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Polish Logic–

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:23 AM

The Big Lukasiewicz

“Lord Arglay had a suspicion that the Stone
would be purely logical.  Yes, he thought,
but what, in that sense, were the rules of its pure logic?”

Many Dimensions  (1931), by Charles Williams

See also Łukasiewicz in Wikipedia and Lukasiewicz in this journal.

The latter's Christian references seem preferable to yesterday's
link to a scene from the Coen brothers' film "The Big Lebowski."

For those who prefer  a Christ-for-Jews there is
also Harvard's version. See The Crimson Passion.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


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

From "The Stone" in Sunday's online New York Times

Cosmic Imagination

By William Egginton

Do the humanities need to be defended from hard science?

Illustration of hard science —


Illustration of the humanities —


(The above illustrations from Sunday's "The Stone" are by Leif Parsons.)

Midrash by the Coen brothers— "The Dude Abides."

See also 10/10/10The Day of the Tetractys


* Update of 9:15 PM Nov. 8, 2011—

From a search for the word "Stoned" in this journal—

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Universal Form

m759 @ 6:40 PM

Simon Critchley today in the New York Times  series "The Stone"—

Philosophy, among other things, is that living activity of critical reflection in a specific context, by which human beings strive to analyze the world in which they find themselves, and to question what passes for common sense or public opinion— what Socrates called doxa— in the particular society in which they live. Philosophy cuts a diagonal through doxa. It does this by raising the most questions of a universal form: “What is X?”

Actually, that's two diagonals. See Kulturkampf at the Times  and Geometry of the I Ching .

[Here the "Stoned" found by the search
was the title of Critchley's piece, found in its URL—
"http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/stoned/ ."]

See also Monday's post "The X Box" with its illustration

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111107-XBoxSum.bmp .

Monday, November 7, 2011

The X Box

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

"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs, quoted in
 The New York Times Magazine  on St. Andrew's Day, 2003

The X-Box Sum .

For some background on this enigmatic equation,
see Geometry of the I Ching.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Design Sermon

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM

''Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like,''
says Steve Jobs, Apple's C.E.O. ''People think it's this veneer—
that the designers are handed this box and told, 'Make it look good!'
That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like.
Design is how it works.''

— "The Guts of a New Machine," by Rob Walker,
New York Times Magazine , Sunday, Nov. 30, 2003

IMAGE- June 29, 2011, review of Zenna Henderson's 'The Anything Box'

See also, from the day of the above Anything Box  review—
St. Peter's Day, 2011— two Log24 posts—
The Shattered Mind and Rome After Dark.

Related boxes… Cosmic Cube and Design Cube.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Media Wars

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM

IMAGE- http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111105-RooneyHeadline.jpg

Related material—

Crank Power!

IMAGE- http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051118-Laptop2.jpg

Click images for further details.


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

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

— T. S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

A passage quoted here on this date in 2005—

Douglas Hofstadter on his magnum opus:

“… I realized that to me,
Gödel and Escher and Bach
were only shadows
cast in different directions
by some central solid essence."

This refers to Hofstadter's cover image:

IMAGE- http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111105-GEBshadows.jpg

Also from this date in 2005:

IMAGE- www.log24.com/theory/images/GEB.jpg
BackgroundYesterday's link Change Logos,
and Solid Symmetry.

Midrash:         Hearts of Darkness.

Friday, November 4, 2011


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

Continued from All Hallows Eve

The Belgian Lottery logo


The Belgian Lottery was a sponsor of 
last month's 25th Solvay Conference —

"The Theory of the Quantum World,"
  Brussels, October 19-22, 2011.

See also this journal in October and Change Logos


(Physicists will recognize the kinship
with the coat of arms of Niels Bohr.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The China Conundrum

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:48 PM


The Holy Field


"Buckle up!" — Harlan Kane, in the spirit of strategic stupidity.

Noon (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

    This journal on April 8

See also a quote from William Peter Blatty in this journal yesterday.

The green cell in the array may be viewed as representing
Blatty's The Ninth Configuration … or perhaps Plan 9.

Ockham’s Bubbles–

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

Mathematics and Narrative, continued

"… a vision invisible, even ineffable, as ineffable as the Angels and the Universal Souls"

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word , 1975, quoted here on October 30th

"… our laughable abstractions, our wryly ironic po-mo angels dancing on the heads of so many mis-imagined quantum pins."

— Dan Conover on September 1st, 2011

"Recently I happened to be talking to a prominent California geologist, and she told me: 'When I first went into geology, we all thought that in science you create a solid layer of findings, through experiment and careful investigation, and then you add a second layer, like a second layer of bricks, all very carefully, and so on. Occasionally some adventurous scientist stacks the bricks up in towers, and these towers turn out to be insubstantial and they get torn down, and you proceed again with the careful layers. But we now realize that the very first layers aren't even resting on solid ground. They are balanced on bubbles, on concepts that are full of air, and those bubbles are being burst today, one after the other.'

I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He's floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can't see it, but he's much impressed. He names it God."

— Tom Wolfe, "Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died," Forbes , 1996

"… Ockham's idea implies that we probably have the ability to do something now such that if we were to do it, then the past would have been different…"

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Today is February 28, 2008, and we are privileged to begin a conversation with Mr. Tom Wolfe."

— Interviewer for the National Association of Scholars

From that conversation—

Wolfe : "People in academia should start insisting on objective scholarship, insisting  on it, relentlessly, driving the point home, ramming it down the gullets of the politically correct, making noise! naming names! citing egregious examples! showing contempt to the brink of brutality!"

As for "mis-imagined quantum pins"…
journal on the date of the above interview— February 28, 2008


Illustration from a Perimeter Institute talk given on July 20, 2005

The date of Conover's "quantum pins" remark above (together with Ockham's remark above and the above image) suggests a story by  Conover, "The Last Epiphany," and four posts from September 1st, 2011—

BoundaryHow It WorksFor Thor's Day,  and The Galois Tesseract.

Those four posts may be viewed as either an exploration or a parody of the boundary between mathematics and narrative.

"There is  such a thing as a tesseract." —A Wrinkle in Time

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Poetry of Universals

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

A search today, All Souls Day, for relevant learning
at All Souls College, Oxford, yields the person of
Sir Michael Dummett and the following scholarly page—

(Click to enlarge.)


My own background is in mathematics rather than philosophy.
From a mathematical point of view, the cells discussed above
seem related to some "universals" in an example of Quine.

In Quine's example,* universals are certain equivalence classes
(those with the "same shape") of a family of figures
(33 convex regions) selected from the 28 = 256 subsets
of an eight-element set of plane regions.

A smaller structure, closer to Wright's concerns above,
is a universe of 24 = 16 subsets of a 4-element set.

The number of elements in this universe of Concepts  coincides,
as it happens, with the number obtained by multiplying out
the title of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets .

For a discussion of functions that map "cells" of the sort Wright
discusses— in the quartets example, four equivalence classes,
each with four elements, that partition the 16-element universe—
onto a four-element set, see Poetry's Bones.

For some philosophical background to the Wright passage
above, see "The Concept Horse," by Harold W. Noonan—
Chapter 9, pages 155-176, in Universals, Concepts, and Qualities ,
edited by P. F. Strawson and Arindam Chakrabarti,
Ashgate Publishing, 2006.

For a different approach to that concept, see Devil's Night, 2011.

* Admittedly artificial. See From a Logical Point of View , IV, 3

About Souls

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:31 PM

"I do keep wishing— oh, ever so wistfully and— let’s face it, hopelessly— that 'The Exorcist' be remembered at this time of the year for being not about shivers but rather about souls, for then it would indeed be in the real and true spirit of Halloween, which is short for the eve of All Hallows or All Saints Day."

— William Peter Blatty in an article dated October 28, 2011.

See also The Soul's Code, a Log24 post of October 28.

For All Souls Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"It's still the same old story…"

See Glory in this journal.

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I  use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean— neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can  make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master— that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest— adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs— however, can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I  say!'

'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

See also Interpenetration in this journal… and in Northrop Frye.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For All Hallows Day

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

The following was suggested by the Sermon
of October 30 (the day preceding Devil's Night)
and by yesterday's Beauty, Truth, Halloween.

"The German language has itself been influenced by Goethe's Faust , particularly by the first part. One example of this is the phrase 'des Pudels Kern ,' which means the real nature or deeper meaning of something (that was not evident before). The literal translation of 'des Pudels Kern ' is 'the core of the poodle,' and it originates from Faust's exclamation upon seeing the poodle (which followed him home) turn into Mephistopheles." —Wikipedia

See also the following readings (click to enlarge)—

Hans Primas on Pauli's 'des Pudels Kern'

Suzanne Gieser on Pauli's 'des Pudels Kern'

Note particularly…

"The main enigma of any description of a patternless
unus mundus  is to find appropriate partitions which
create relevant patterns." —Hans Primas, above

"In general, the partition of into right cosets
can differ from its partition into left cosets. Galois
was the first to recognize the importance of when
these partitions agree. This happens when the
subgroup is normal." — David A. Cox,
Galois Theory , Wiley, 2004, p. 510

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