Saturday, June 30, 2012

Santa vs. the Obelisk

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

The New York Times  this evening—

Horacio Coppola, Evocative 
Argentine Photographer,
Dies at 105


Published: June 30, 2012

Horacio Coppola, whose black-and-white photographs of the cafes, side streets and neon-lit boulevards of Buenos Aires in the 1930s, and of ordinary objects like a typewriter and a doll, introduced avant-garde photography to Argentina, died on June 18 in Buenos Aires. He was 105.  more >>

Related story—

Coppola photographed the new Obelisk of Buenos Aires in 1936.

"Where the Obelisco stands, a church dedicated to St. Nicholas
of Bari
 [or of Myra] was previously demolished."

Related images—

IMAGE- St. Nicholas of Bari (or Myra)
Wikipedia image

IMAGE- Obelisk of Buenos Aires, 1936

 "And if you should survive to a hundred and five,
   look at all you'll derive …" —Sinatra


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:20 PM

"… to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic"

— The aim of the artist, according to Thomas Wolfe 

Related entertainment—

High-minded— Many Dimensions .

Not so high-minded— The Cosmic Cube .

Friday, June 29, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

A non-Lyche* gate

Part of the Andrew Amesbury series Archway to Highgate.

* See Lyche gate  in this journal.

Happy feast of Saints Peter and Paul.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM

IMAGE- NY Times obit for Pop Art dealer Ivan Karp

Click image for some context. See also tonight's previous
post and Cliffs of Moher in this journal.

The Uploading (continued)*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

It Must Be Abstract
It Must Change
It Must Give Pleasure

Parts of a poem by Wallace Stevens

“At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being–the reward he seeks–the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing. It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity.”

– Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River

      Of Time and the River and the Frogs —

Video uploaded on Jan. 26, 2008, of talk, 'The Lively Kernel,' on object-oriented software

* This post's title refers to the above uploading date—  Jan. 26, 2008.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:28 AM

IMAGE- Link to word 'nikAya' in Sanskrit dictionary

  Click word for details.

  See also a related poetic meditation
  from one for whom…

  The world is not enough

* Continued.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Architectural Memorial

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM

In memory of two figures from tonight's NY Times  obituaries index
(not  Nora Ephron and Anthony J. Wiener)—

IMAGE- Obits for art historian Paula Hays Harper and architect Gerhard Kallmann

Tower Envy

Erin Burnett and Jenga blocks yesterday

Related material—

The Bible Puzzle Book

IMAGE- Tower of alphabet blocks

and the monumental treatise
by Leonard Shlain

The Alphabet Versus
the Goddess: The Conflict
Between Word and Image

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Deeply

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:48 PM

Last night's post on The Trinity of Max Black  and the use of
the term "eightfold" by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at Berkeley suggest a review of an image from Sept. 22, 2011

IMAGE- Eightfold cube with detail of triskelion structure

The triskele  detail above echoes a Buddhist symbol found,
for instance, on the Internet in an ad for meditation supplies—

Related remarks


Mary Dusenbury (Radcliffe '64)—

"… I think a textile, like any work of art, holds a tremendous amount of information— technical, material, historical, social, philosophical— but beyond that, many works of art are very beautiful and they speak to us on many layers— our intellect, our heart, our emotions. I've been going to museums since I was a very small child, thinking about what I saw, and going back to discover new things, to see pieces that spoke very deeply to me, to look at them again, and to find more and more meaning relevant to me in different ways and at different times of my life. …

… I think I would suggest to people that first of all they just look. Linger by pieces they find intriguing and beautiful, and look deeply. Then, if something interests them, we have tried to put a little information around the galleries to give a bit of history, a bit of context, for each piece. But the most important is just to look very deeply."


According to Robert Thurman, the term "Nikāya Buddhism" was coined by Professor Masatoshi Nagatomi of Harvard University, as a way to avoid the usage of the term Hinayana.[12] "Nikaya Buddhism" is thus an attempt to find a more neutral way of referring to Buddhists who follow one of the early Buddhist schools, and their practice.

12. The Emptiness That is Compassion:
An Essay on Buddhist Ethics, Robert A. F. Thurman, 1980
[Religious Traditions , Vol. 4 No. 2, Oct.-Nov. 1981, pp. 11-34]


Nikāya [Sk. nikāya, ni+kāya]
collection ("body") assemblage, class, group


Sanskrit etymology for नि (ni)

From Proto-Indo-European *ni …


नि (ni)

  • down
  • back
  • in, into


Kaya (Skt. kāya སྐུ་, Tib. ku Wyl. sku ) —
the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’
but can also signify dimension, field or basis.

སྐུ། (Wyl. sku ) n. Pron.: ku

structure, existentiality, founding stratum ▷HVG KBEU

gestalt ▷HVG LD

Note that The Trinity of Max Black  is a picture of  a set
i.e., of an "assemblage, class, group."

Note also the reference above to the word "gestalt."

"Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
erfassen und gestalten?"

Walter Gropius

The Uploading (continued)

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

A companion to tonight’s earlier post, “Bright Black“—

IMAGE- 'Bernstein conducts Mahler 9th ending'

Above: Leonard Bernstein conducts the Mahler Ninth  ending.


The work was premiered on June 26, 1912,
at the Vienna Festival by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra ….

Related material—

The above video was uploaded on January 19th, 2008.

Bright Black

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

“‘In the dictionary next to [the] word “bright,” you should see Paula’s picture,’ he said. ‘She was super smart, with a sparkling wit. … She had a beautiful sense of style and color.'”

— Elinor J. Brecher in The Miami Herald  on June 8, quoting Palm Beach Post writer John Lantigua on the late art historian Paula Hays Harper

This  journal on the date of her death—

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

For some simpleminded commentary, see László Lovász on the cube space.

Some less simpleminded commentary—

Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
erfassen und gestalten?”

Walter Gropius,

The Theory and
Organization of the

Monday, June 25, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

Remarks on Wallace Stevens's poem "Notes toward a Supreme Fiction"
from Michael Bryson

        The question of the eighth canto, "What am I to believe?", leads the way back from the heightened mysticism of the previous cantos toward a renewed consideration of the particular, the immanent, the local. Men and birds are considered in their activities, in their "Mere repetitions," and these repetitions (as well the repeating figures, the men and birds themselves) are each considered as "A thing final in itself and, therefore, good: / One of the vast repetitions final in / Themselves and, therefore, good". The poem comes to a Nietzschean affirmation of recurrence with its "merely going round is a final good," and its suggestion that the "man-hero" is "he that of repetition is most master".

Or the woman-hero…

IMAGE- Google search on 'repeating a repetition...'

From a Log24 post on June 1, 2004

“A tongue-in-cheek comment by programmers is worth thinking about: ‘Sometimes you have a programming problem and it seems like the best solution is to use regular expressions; now you have two problems.’  Regular expressions are amazingly powerful and deeply expressive. That is the very reason writing them is just as error-prone as writing any other complex programming code.”

– David Mertz, Learning to Use Regular Expressions

Happy birthday to the late Willard Van Orman Quine.

Design (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:28 AM

The New York Times  this morning reports the death
last Tuesday (June 19, 2012) in Boston
of Gerhard Kallman, a Brutalist architect
born in Berlin in 1915.

Some Log24 images from the date of his death

IMAGE- Log24 on June 19, 2012-Gropius and the North Face of Harvard Design

The above view shows the south side of Kirkland Street (at Quincy).

IMAGE- Map from http://www.map.harvard.edu/

A more appealing architectural image, from the other side
of Kirkland Street—

IMAGE- Adolphus Busch Hall, 29 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Reading

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

"What summer reading needs to be is purposeful."

New York Times  opinion column today

One of a set of posts titled "Summer Reading"
in this journal in 2007—

(Click for the original post)

IMAGE- Log24 post from August 21, 2007 - 'In the Details'

It was only in retrospect
that the silliness
became profound.

— Review of   
Faust in Copenhagen

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Les Incommensurables

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:11 PM

"Ayant été conduit par des recherches particulières
à considérer les solutions incommensurables, je suis
parvenu à quelques résultats que je crois nouveaux."

— Évariste Galois, "Sur la Théorie des Nombres"

Soon to be a major motion picture!

Varieties of Disinformation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:01 AM

"The Double-Cross System, or XX System, was a World War II
anti-espionage and deception operation of the British military
intelligence arm, MI5. Nazi agents in Britain… were captured,
turned themselves in or simply announced themselves and were
then used by the British to broadcast mainly disinformation to
their Nazi controllers." —Wikipedia

The XX —

IMAGE- 'Double Cross' flag and armband of Chaplin's 'Great Dictator'

The Double Cross of Fritz Leiber

Source: Rudolf Koch, The Book of Signs

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wand Work

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

The New York Times  today—
 "Reality and our perception of it are incommensurate…."

IMAGE- NY Times Wire item- 'Your Mind on Magic,' by Alex Stone

The above New York Times Wire  item from 3:35 PM ET today
mentions two topics touched on in today's earlier Log24 post
Bowling in Diagon Alley— magic (implied by the title) and
incommensurability. The connection in that post
between the two topics is the diagonal  of a square.

The  wire item shows one detail from a Times  illustration
of the linked article— a blindfolded woman.

Another detail from the same illustration—

IMAGE- Magician's hands on his wand, viewed as a diagonal of a square (or as Hexagram 14 in the box-style I Ching

Hands-on Wand Work

See also remarks on Magic in this journal and on Harry Potter.

I dislike both topics.

Bowling in Diagon Alley

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:28 AM

IMAGE- Josefine Lyche bowling, from her Facebook page

Josefine Lyche bowling (Facebook, June 12, 2012)

"Where Does Math Come From?"

A professor of philosophy in 1984 on Socrates's geometric proof in Plato's Meno  dialogue—

"These recondite issues matter because theories about mathematics have had a big place in Western philosophy. All kinds of outlandish doctrines have tried to explain the nature of mathematical knowledge. Socrates set the ball rolling…."

— Ian Hacking in The New York Review of Books , Feb. 16, 1984

The same professor introducing a new edition of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions

"Paradigms Regained" (Los Angeles Review of Books , April 18, 2012)—

"That is the structure of scientific revolutions: normal science with a paradigm and a dedication to solving puzzles; followed by serious anomalies, which lead to a crisis; and finally resolution of the crisis by a new paradigm. Another famous word does not occur in the section titles: incommensurability. This is the idea that, in the course of a revolution and paradigm shift, the new ideas and assertions cannot be strictly compared to the old ones."

The Meno  proof involves inscribing diagonals  in squares. It is therefore related, albeit indirectly, to the classic Greek discovery that the diagonals of a square are incommensurable  with its sides. Hence the following discussion of incommensurability seems relevant.

IMAGE- Von Fritz in 1945 on incommensurability and the tetractys (10 as a triangular number)

See also von Fritz and incommensurability in The New York Times  (March 8, 2011).

For mathematical remarks related to the 10-dot triangular array of von Fritz, diagonals, and bowling, see this  journal on Nov. 8, 2011— "Stoned."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Kind of Cross*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

In memory of art historian John Golding,
whose obituary appeared (finally) in
today’s online Telegraph

“His most recent book, Paths to the Absolute  (based on
his 1997 series of AW Mellon lectures in the Fine Arts
delivered at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC),
addressed seven abstract artists — Mondrian, Kazimir
Malevich, Kandinsky, Pollock, Barnett Newman, Rothko
and Clyfford Still — and argued that abstract art was
not simply decorative but ‘heavily imbued with meaning
[and] with content’. The book won the Mitchell Prize for
the History of Art in 2002.”

Commentary on Golding’s obituary suggested by
this evening’s 4-digit New York Lottery number,

Post  1051 in this journal, together with a post from
April 1, 2012 found in a search for the digits  1051
in Log24. That search may serve as a review.

* A phrase from Gravity’s Rainbow


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

From Tony Rothman's review of a 2006 book by
Siobhan Roberts

"The most engaging aspect of the book is its
chronicle of the war between geometry and algebra,
which pits Coxeter, geometry's David, against
Nicolas Bourbaki, algebra's Goliath."

The conclusion of Rothman's review—

"There is a lesson here."

Related material: a search for Galois geometry .

Lynch’s Wake

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

IMAGE- Richard Lynch as Morgan Velosi in a 1979 TV series episode, 'Vegas in Space'

In memory of actor Richard Lynch, 76, who was found
dead at his California home on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lynch's last role was apparently as the Reverend John Hawthorne 
in the upcoming film The Lords of Salem .

(For a post on some related theological territory, see this journal
on the date Lynch's body was found.)

Wikipedia on the Salem film

Lords of Salem  is the third film from Haunted Films,*
the first two being Paranormal Activity  and Insidious .

For other tales of paranormal activity, see the Bible.

For a post in this journal from the Insidious  release date,
see Mathematics Awareness Month (April 1, 2011).

See, too, related discussions of Finnegans Wake  by 
James S. Atherton in The Books at the Wake

Pages 146-147 and 199-200.

* At IMDb, Haunted Movies. See also Blumhouse Productions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flash Job

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

IMAGE- NY Times obituaries with Andrew Sarris (film critic), Flash Crash, and Donna Summer

For those who prefer a cinematic approach…

"I was alone, I took a ride…"

— Sound track of the 2010 film Steve Jobs on Flash

Discouraging Words

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 PM

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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Words

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

In memory of Victor Spinetti, who died today

"Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow."

— Courtesy of Steve Jobs and Aldous Huxley—

IMAGE- Aldous Huxley, 'The Doors of Perception,' first edition, UK


Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The New York Times online front page last night

"Microsoft introduced its own tablet computer,
called Surface, illustrating the pressure
Apple's success has put on it to marry
software and hardware more tightly."


IMAGE- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell-- Swedenborg Chapel and the Harvard Graduate School of Design

Google Maps image

Related material

"Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
 erfassen und gestalten?"

Walter Gropius,

The Theory and
Organization of the

Update of Feb. 3, 2013:
See also The Perception of Doors in this journal.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 11:00 PM

"Poetry is an illumination of a surface…."

— Wallace Stevens

IMAGE- NY Times online front page, June 18, 2012- New Microsoft 'Surface' computer

Some poetic remarks related to a different surface, Klein's Quartic

This link between the Klein map κ and the Mathieu group M24
is a source of great delight to the author. Both objects were
found in the 1870s, but no connection between them was
known. Indeed, the class of maximal subgroups of M24
isomorphic to the simple group of order 168 (often known,
especially to geometers, as the Klein group; see Baker [8])
remained undiscovered until the 1960s. That generators for
the group can be read off so easily from the map is
immensely pleasing.

— R. T. Curtis, Symmetric Generation of Groups ,
     Cambridge University Press, 2007, page 39

Other poetic remarks related to the simple group of order 168—

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Congruent Group Actions

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

A Google search today yielded no results
for the phrase "congruent group actions."

Places where this phrase might prove useful include—

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chiral Problem

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 1:06 AM

In memory of William S. Knowles, chiral chemist, who died last Wednesday (June 13, 2012)—

Detail from the Harvard Divinity School 1910 bookplate in yesterday morning's post


Detail from Knowles's obituary in this  morning's New York Times

William Standish Knowles was born in Taunton, Mass., on June 1, 1917. He graduated a year early from the Berkshire School, a boarding school in western Massachusetts, and was admitted to Harvard. But after being strongly advised that he was not socially mature enough for college, he did a second senior year of high school at another boarding school, Phillips Academy in Andover, N.H.

Dr. Knowles graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1939….

"This is the relativity problem: to fix objectively a class of equivalent coordinatizations and to ascertain the group of transformations S mediating between them."

— Hermann Weyl, The Classical Groups, Princeton University Press, 1946, p. 16

From Pilate Goes to Kindergarten

The six congruent quaternion actions illustrated above are based on the following coordinatization of the eightfold cube

Problem: Is there a different coordinatization
 that yields greater symmetry in the pictures of
quaternion group actions?

A paper written in a somewhat similar spirit—

"Chiral Tetrahedrons as Unitary Quaternions"—

ABSTRACT: Chiral tetrahedral molecules can be dealt [with] under the standard of quaternionic algebra. Specifically, non-commutativity of quaternions is a feature directly related to the chirality of molecules….

Friday, June 15, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

In memory of Paul Sussman, author of archaeological 
mystery novels about Egypt—

IMAGE- Harvard Divinity School bookplate dated 1910

"… the sacred symbols of the cosmic elements
were hid away hard by the secrets of Osiris."  

Thrice-Great Hermes: Excerpts and Fragments ,
      by George Robert Stowe Mead,
     Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906   

Sussman's last novel, not yet published, was

The Labyrinth of Osiris .

Sussman, 45, reportedly died suddenly on May 31, 2012.

A perhaps relevant thought—

"A world of made
is not a world of born— pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical 

– e. e. cummings, 1944

Thursday, June 14, 2012

For Alicia*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The Fog of Law continues…

Egypt's highest court
declares parliament invalid

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Thu June 14, 2012

* See State of a Nation (Alicia Keys's birthday, 2012)

Archived Notes

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

Notes on Groups and Geometry, 1978-1986,
is now available at the Internet Archive.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

State of the Art

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:48 PM

The new June/July issue of the AMS Notices
on a recent Paris exhibit of art and mathematics—

Mathématiques, un dépaysement soudain
Exhibit at the Fondation Cartier, Paris
October 21, 2011–March 18, 2012

                                            … maybe walking
into the room was supposed to evoke the kind of
dépaysement  for which the exhibition is named
(the word dépaysement  refers to the sometimes
disturbing feeling one gets when stepping outside
of one’s usual reference points). I was with
my six-year-old daughter, who quickly gravitated
toward the colorful magnetic tiles on the wall that
visitors could try to fit together. She spent a good
half hour there, eventually joining forces with a
couple of young university students. I would come
and check on her every once in a while and heard
some interesting discussions about whether or not
it was worth looking for patterns to help guide the
placing of the tiles. The fifteen-year age difference
didn’t seem to bother anyone.
     The tiles display was one of the two installations
here that offered the visitor a genuine chance to
engage in mathematical activity, to think about
pattern and structure while satisfying an aesthetic
urge to make things fit and grow….

Nathalie Sinclair

The Notices  included no pictures with this review.
A search to find out what sort of tiles were meant
led, quite indirectly, to the following—

IMAGE- French weblog post on Truchet tiles dated May 1st, 2011

The search indicated it is unlikely that these Truchet  tiles
were the ones on exhibit.

Nevertheless, the date  of the above French weblog post,
1 May 2011, is not without interest in the context of 
today's previous post. (That post was written well before
I had seen the new AMS Notices  issue online.)

Turn, Turn, Turn

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:20 PM

A book first published in hardcover in 1974—

IMAGE- 'Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors,' by Victor Turner, 1975 paperback

For more-recent discussions of religious social phenomena,
see Laurie Goodstein and David V. Mason.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Meet Max Black (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Background— August 30, 2006—

The Seventh Symbol:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060830-Algebra.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In the 2006 post, the above seventh symbol  110000 was
interpreted as the I Ching hexagram with topmost and
next-to-top lines solid, not broken— Hexagram 20, View .

In a different interpretation, 110000 is the binary for the decimal
number 48— representing the I Ching's Hexagram 48, The Well .

“… Max Black, the Cornell philosopher, and 
others have pointed out how ‘perhaps every science
must start with metaphor and end with algebra, and
perhaps without the metaphor there would never
have been any algebra’ ….”

– Max Black, Models and Metaphors,
Cornell U. Press, 1962, page 242, as quoted
in Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors,
by Victor Witter Turner, Cornell U. Press,
paperback, 1975, page 25

The algebra is certainly clearer than either I Ching
metaphor, but is in some respects less interesting.

For a post that combines both the above I Ching
metaphors, View  and Well  , see Dec. 14, 2007.

In memory of scholar Elinor Ostrom,
who died today—

"Time for you to see the field."
Bagger Vance

Dance Theology

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Background: Geometry of the Dance (May 9)
and Midnight in Oslo (May 10).

Peter Pesic has described the action of the
symmetric group S4 on a tetrahedron as a dance

IMAGE- 'The geometry of the dance' is that of a tetrahedron, according to Peter Pesic

Compare and contrast:

The following figure may be seen as a tetrahedron,
viewed from above

IMAGE- The 'Shield of the Trinity' may be viewed as a tetrahedron, as in Peter Pesic's 'Geometry of the Dance.'

See also Masterman and Child’s Play.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Fog of Law

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

"What we need is… a third way
between the longstanding models
of war and peace. Movement in
this direction is already under way."

— Yale Law professor John Fabian Witt,
"The Legal Fog Between War and Peace"

Tolstoy he ain't.

Witt's remarks appeared yesterday
evening (between 8 and 9 PM EDT)
in the online New York Times .

For related "third way" material, see
yesterday's 7 PM EDT post in this  journal.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Outside the Box*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Lee Marvin in the 1983 film Gorky Park

For related material, see yesterday's post on Nietzsche's
Birth of Tragedy  and a May 27, 2010, post— Masks .

Masks of comedy and tragedy

The link to the Masks  post was suggested by four things:

  1. Tonight's Tony Awards
  2. A speech dated May 27, 2010 (the Masks  date)—
    "Russia— Getting It Right the First Time"
  3. The name of the organization on whose website
    the speech appears— Tertium Datur
  4. Tertium Datur  in this journal

    Froebel's Third Gift

* The title is in memory of business writer Mike Hammer.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Misquoting Nietzsche

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:01 AM

Jim Holt in tomorrow’s New York Times

“Allow me to quote Nietzsche
(although I know that will be considered
by some to be in bad taste):

‘As the circle of science grows larger,
it touches paradox at more places.'”

A possible source for this misquotation—
Harvard University Press

IMAGE- Hilary Putnam misquoting Nietzsche on 'the circle of science'

A more accurate quotation—

Anyone who has ever experienced the pleasure of Socratic insight and felt how, spreading in ever-widening circles, it seeks to embrace the whole world of appearances, will never again find any stimulus toward existence more violent than the craving to complete this conquest and to weave the net impenetrably tight. To one who feels that way, the Platonic Socrates will appear as the teacher of an altogether new form of “Greek cheerfulness” and blissful affirmation of existence that seeks to discharge itself in actions— most often in maieutic and educational influences on noble youths, with a view to eventually producing a genius.

But science, spurred by its powerful illusion, speeds irresistibly towards its limits where its optimism, concealed in the essence of logic, suffers shipwreck. For the periphery of the circle of science has an infinite number of points; and while there is no telling how this circle could ever be surveyed completely, noble and gifted men nevertheless reach, e’er half their time and inevitably, such boundary points on the periphery from which one gazes into what defies illumination. When they see to their horror how logic coils up at these boundaries and finally bites its own tail— suddenly the new form of insight breaks through, tragic insight  which, merely to be endured, needs art as a protection and remedy.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy , translated by Walter Kaufmann (Modern Library)

Literary Symbolism

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

From a transcript of the Charlize Theron film
"The Astronaut's Wife"—

Schoolchildren —

"Down came the rain,
and washed the spider out,
out came the sun,
and dried up all the rain,
and the itsy-bitsy spider
climbed up the spout again."

See also The Patterning Windows.

Friday, June 8, 2012

For Ravenna

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Click to enlarge:

IMAGE- NY Times June 8, 2012, on Bertrand Russell (Jim Holt discusses physicists' churlishness) and on Queen Ravenna (A.O. Scott, 'The Darker Side of the Story')

… And why is  a raven like a writing desk?

For Cullinane College*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:04 PM

A remark from the prepared text of Salman Khan,
who spoke at the MIT commencement today—

"I always tell people that MIT is the closest
thing to being Hogwarts— Harry Potter’s
wizarding school— in real life."

A detail from one computer's view of
the webcast of the commencement—

IMAGE- Video elapsed time indicator reads '11:27'

Time elapsed (from the start
of the browser's window, not  
from the start of the webcast) 

This suggests a look at the date  11/27—

IMAGE- A scene from St. Patrick's Cathedral

Click on St. Patrick's for further details.

* See June 6, 2007.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:45 AM

The Khan calmed himself by degrees.

Click image for background.

For the Coen Brothers

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM

In memory of Arthur P. Stern, a link to Feb. 23, 2010.

Related material— Not Quite Nothing.

Cartoon Graveyard

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 AM

Whitehead and Russell, 'Logicomix' page 181

For some background, see "Cartoon Graveyard" and "Many Dimensions."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trinity Riddle

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

IMAGE- Raven's Progressive Matrices problem, Bertrand Russell, the Mad Hatter, and the Hatter's riddle

Click image for some background.

The Field

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:56 AM

    "Time for you to see the field." —Bagger Vance

IMAGE- The Galois field GF(8) in binary and in algebraic notations

This post was suggested by a link from a post
 in this journal seven years ago yesterday—

Is the language of thought
 any more than a dream?

— Rimbaud


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Patterning Windows

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

Suggested by the previous posts "Venus Winks" and "Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012"—

And then, of course, the biggest crime of all was that she had come here only five years ago from Earth, and she remembered the sun and the way the sun was and the sky was when she was four in Ohio.  And they, they had been on Venus all their lives, and they had been only two years old when last the sun came out and had long since forgotten the color and heat of it and the way it really was.  But Margot remembered.

"It's like a penny," she said once, eyes closed.

"No it's not!" the children cried.

"It's like a fire," she said, "in the stove."

"You're lying, you don't remember!" cried the children.

But she remembered and stood quietly apart from all of them and watched the patterning windows.

— From the 1954 Ray Bradbury story "All Summer in a Day"

Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Venus Winks…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:31 PM

… and Money Talks—

IMAGE- NY Times file photo of Venus's transit of sun, with market quotes

This morning's post Chinese Epiphany discussed interpretations of Chinese
stock market numbers.  A followup is shown above.

Here 12:12, the time of the New York Times  market quotes pictured,
may be interpreted as 12/12, Sinatra's birthday. The percentage
numbers +0.07 and +0.11 are, of course, lucky for gamblers.

The percentage number -0.01 is perhaps less lucky, but for whom?

Chinese Epiphany

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:38 AM

References here yesterday to Epiphany 
and to Chinese logic suggest two observations—

First, a political interpretation of the number "64.89" 
from Monday's Shanghai stock market index
yielded the date  6/4 in 1989—

IMAGE- Google search on '64.89 Shanghai'

Second, an interpretation of 64.89 as the number  64 in 1989
(on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6)—

Note of January 6, 1989 showing 
the 64 hexagrams in the von Franz style

No connection of the number  64 with the date  6/4 is implied.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rigor and Respect

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

"… Western academic philosophy will likely come to appear
utterly parochial in the coming years if it does not find a way
to approach non-Western traditions that is much more rigorous
and respectful than the tokenism that reigns at present."

— Justin E. H. Smith in the New York Times  philosophy
    column "The Stone" yesterday

For example—

Selected Bibliography on Ancient Chinese Logic

Brightness at Noon (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Some background for this morning's post:
Margaret Masterman's Language, Cohesion and Form .
(See the morning post's footnote.)

Update of 12:25 PM EDT June 4, 2012—

See also "The Epiphany Philosophers" in the online
New York Times , a brief article dated September 19, 2008.

Jungians might enjoy a synchronistic note—

"Toward the Light," a brief post from this  journal
on that same date.

Cube to Tesseract

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Yesterday's post Child's Play displayed a cube formed
by a Hasse diagram of the 8 subsets of a 3-set.*

This suggests a review of a post from last January

IMAGE- Tesseract (i.e., hypercube) formed by a Hasse diagram of the 16 subsets of a 4-element set

* See a comment on yesterday's post relating it to earlier,
  very similar, remarks by Margaret Masterman.
  I was unaware yesterday that those remarks exist. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Child’s Play

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


“A set having three members is a single thing
wholly constituted by its members but distinct from them.
After this, the theological doctrine of the Trinity as
‘three in one’ should be child’s play.”

– Max Black, Caveats and Critiques: Philosophical Essays
in Language, Logic, and Art
, Cornell U. Press, 1975

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

Related material—

The Trinity Cube

IMAGE- The Trinity Cube (three interpenetrating planes that split the eightfold cube into its eight subcubes)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

High Society

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

In memory of Sir Andrew Huxley, OM, who died on May 30, 2012

C. P. Snow on G. H. Hardy at Trinity College, Cambridge

He played his games and indulged his eccentricities.
He was living in some of the best intellectual company
in the world— G. E. Moore, Whitehead, Bertrand Russell,
Trevelyan, the high Trinity society  which was shortly to
find its artistic complement in Bloomsbury. (Hardy himself
had links with Bloomsbury, both of personal friendship
and of sympathy.)

See also "Max Black" + Trinity  in this journal.

Snow White vs. Pitch Black

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"Like I said, it ain't me you gotta worry about."

Riddick in Pitch Black

(Click Huntsman image below to enlarge.)

IMAGE- June 1, 2012, Google search on 'huntsman,' with informative sidebar

Matrix Problem Revolutions

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:28 AM

(The sequel to yesterday's Matrix Problem Reloaded)

Wikipedia on the sci-fi weblog  io9.com

Newitz explained the significance of the name "io9":

"Well, io9s are input-output devices that let you see into the future.
They're brain implants that were outlawed because they drove
anyone who used one insane. We totally made that (device) up
to name the blog."

Jenna Wortham at wired.com, Jan. 2, 2008

From io9.com itself—

"Science fiction writer Ken MacLeod has another term for io9ers.
He calls them rapture fuckers.*"

— io9.com/explanations/

For the relevance of the term "revolutions" in this post's title, see
Wikipedia on Ken MacLeod.

I prefer to associate the number 9 with The Holy Field.



* MacLeod used this phrase in one of his novels, Newton's Wake.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Matrix Problem Reloaded

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

For Frigg's Day—

"The newest badass fantasy flick to hit theaters is Snow White and the Huntsman , out today, and I believe it proves my theory that Kristen Stewart is the Keanu Reeves of her generation…. With few lines but a lot of convincingly heroic facial expressions, Kristen Stewart does a great job channeling Keanu Reeves in The Matrix  (one of the dwarfs even calls her 'the one'!)."

— Annalee Newitz this morning, "The Awesome Terribleness of Snow White and the Huntsman "

See also yesterday's Matrix Problem.

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