Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
From the Wikipedia article (with links altered) on Mormon baptism of the dead—
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that baptism is a prerequisite for entry into the kingdom of God as stated by Jesus in John 3:5: "Except that a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (KJV).
From The Painted Word (with link added), by Tom Wolfe—
PEOPLE DON’T READ THE MORNING NEWSPAPER, Marshall McLuhan once said, they slip into it like a warm bath. Too true, Marshall! Imagine being in New York City on the morning of Sunday, April 28, 1974, like I was, slipping into that great public bath, that vat, that spa, that regional physiotherapy tank, that White Sulphur Springs, that Marienbad, that Ganges, that River Jordan for a million souls which is the Sunday New York Times . Soon I was submerged, weightless, suspended in the tepid depths of the thing, in Arts & Leisure, Section 2, page 19, in a state of perfect sensory deprivation, when all at once an extraordinary thing happened:
I noticed something!
The New York Times on its print edition yesterday:
A version of this article appeared in print
on September 28, 2012, on page B17
of the New York edition with the headline:
John Silber Dies at 86; Led Boston University.
The Times 's Robert D. McFadden wrote that
Silber was "a philosopher by training but
a fighter by instinct."
There was no Transfiguration Day post
in this journal. Here are parts of the posts
for the preceding and following days—
See also "The Count" from September 17.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Below: A New York Times "Fashion Week: Immerse Yourself" ad
with obituary of former Boston University president John Silber—
"a philosopher by training but a fighter by instinct"—
"I can't do that to myself ." — Clint Eastwood
* See a Sept. 1st CNN piece by Boston University
religion scholar Stephen Prothero—
"Give Me Bali's Empty Chair over Eastwood's"—
See also Prothero in this journal.
MEDEIS AGEOMETRETOS EISITO
— Inscription at entrance to
Plato's Academy, according to
an elementary introduction to
philosophy by James L. Christian
For Irving Adler, who reportedly
died on September 22, 2012—
Background: See Sangaku in this journal.
(Detail of Flickr photo)
* See Liddell and Scott.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Denote the d-dimensional hypercube by γd .
"… after coloring the sixty-four vertices of γ6
alternately red and blue, we can say that
the sixteen pairs of opposite red vertices represent
the sixteen nodes of Kummer's surface, while
the sixteen pairs of opposite blue vertices
represent the sixteen tropes."
— From "Kummer's 166 ," section 12 of Coxeter's 1950
"Self-dual Configurations and Regular Graphs"
Just as the 4×4 square represents the 4-dimensional
hypercube γ4 over the two-element Galois field GF(2),
so the 4x4x4 cube represents the 6-dimensional
hypercube γ6 over GF(2).
In diamond-narrative news today…
— David Belcher in today's online New York Times
"A kenning… is a circumlocution
used instead of an ordinary noun
in Old Norse, Old English and
later Icelandic poetry." — Wikipedia
Note the title of Tuesday's post High White in the Dark Fields.
The "1961" Oscars ceremony shown above was for the films of 1961.
The ceremony itself was held on April 9, 1962.
For a different Tiffany, see Tuesday's Another Day.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
|From French cinema—|
The most damaging and obstructive
Distrust these words.
They stand for cherished myths,
— Verlyn Klinkenborg,
"All she had to do was kick off and flow."
"I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay."
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
"High white noon"
— Phrase of Don DeLillo and Josefine Lyche
"Spellbinding visuals dwarf weak characters."
— Fox News review of Snow White and the Huntsman
See also St. Andrew's Day 2011 in this journal.
Verlyn Klinkenborg in yesterday's online New York Times—
"Even metaphors — the best ones anyway —
are literal-minded. But that’s a story for another day."
Another day: May 18, 2010—
Part I: At Pomona College
"Writer-in-Residence Verlyn Klinkenborg '74
Writes Essay on Graduation for New York Times"
— Pomona College news item, May 18, 2010, by
Part II: In this journal
Note that the geometric diamond in the screenshot above
is not blue but black.
See also Pomona College under the topic Defining Form
in this journal.
"And so the sentence ceases to be a sentence—
a verbal construct of a certain length, velocity and
rhythm with, at bottom, an unambiguous literal
meaning. It becomes a sign instead that telepathic
communication is about to commence."
— Verlyn Klinkenborg, "The Trouble With Intentions,"
in The New York Times last night at 9:30 PM ET
Other signs of the Times (click to enlarge)—
Signs suggested by Klinkenborg's remarks—
Click the above image for further details.
Monday, September 24, 2012
"Middlebrow culture was killed in the late 50's and 60's,
and the mortal blows came from opposite directions.
The intellectuals launched assaults on what they took to be
middlebrow institutions, attacks that are so vicious
they take your breath away….
At the same time, pop culture changed."
— David Brooks in The New York Times , June 16, 2005
"James Joyce frequently presents climactic moments
of realization of life at the end of his stories; these
psychological revelations, called epiphanies, constitute
moments of heightened awareness which foment reflection
on the part of both the character and the readers, as well
as introduce an element of surprise."
"The novel wins by points and the short story by knockout."
"… and now thanks to Philo T. Farnsworth,
we have 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.'"
Aldous Huxley in last evening's Log24 post—
"Embraced, the lovers desperately try
to fuse their insulated ecstasies into
a single self-transcendence…."
"This little story… has that climactic moment of
heightened awareness…. This is a moment where
two individuals become one, empowering them
to transcend the limitations of their own individual
frailty and society. It's an epiphany, an almost
divine spark. It is an experience when one plus one
don't equal two, but something far greater."
"Suppose it were possible to transfer
from one mind to another
the experience of another person."
— Trailer for "Brainstorm" (1983),
the last film of Natalie Wood
Sunday, September 23, 2012
"We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies – all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes. Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or "feeling into." Thus, remembering our own bereavements and humiliations, we can condole with others in analogous circumstances, can put ourselves (always, of course, in a slightly Pickwickian sense) in their places. But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling. Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience."
"Greet guests with a touch of glass."
In Like Flynn
From the Wall Street Journal site Friday evening—
ESSAY September 21, 2012, 9:10 p.m. ET
Americans' IQ scores have risen steadily over the past century.
No, thank you. I prefer the ninth configuration as is—
Why? See Josefine Lyche's art installation "Grids, you say?"
Her reference there to "High White Noon" is perhaps
related to the use of that phrase in this journal.
The Wall Street Journal author above, James R. Flynn (born in 1934),
"is famous for his discovery of the Flynn effect, the continued
year-after-year increase of IQ scores in all parts of the world."
His son Eugene Victor Flynn is a mathematician, co-author
of the following chapter on the Kummer surface—
These letters, together with Lyche's use of the phrase "high white noon,"
suggest a further quotation—
You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn't get much higher
See also the Kummer surface at the web page Configurations and Squares.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
"The word 'space' has, as you suggest, a large number of different meanings."
From that same letter (links added to relevant Wikipedia articles)—
Space (ākāsa) is undoubtedly used in the Suttas
Your second letter seems to suggest that the space
A simpler metaphysical system along the same lines—
The theory, he had explained, was that the persona
— The Gameplayers of Zan ,
"I am glad you have discovered that the situation is comical:
ever since studying Kummer I have been, with some difficulty,
refraining from making that remark."
— Nanavira Thera, [Early Letters, 131] 17.vii.1958
Friday, September 21, 2012
"The theme of the evening was 'The Universe,' a catchword
that had the audience cheering any time it was mentioned
throughout the night. Throughout the ceremony, a mini opera
entitled 'The Intelligent Designer and the Universe'* premiered
in four acts.
The opera’s final line was “This is how the Universe decays
* An opera "about an insane wealthy man who bequeaths his
fortune to have someone design a beautiful dress for the
universe." —Mark Pratt, Associated Press
In related news…
"Most mysteries begin in confusion and end in certainty;
Pynchon likes to change this trajectory, so that what begins
a mystery ends as pure chaos. (Well aware how frustrating
some readers find this, Pynchon sets up a running gag in
Inherent Vice about a class action suit brought against MGM
by audiences who don't like the way its stories end.)"
Where Entertainment is God continues…
Excerpts from "Today in History,"
Thought for Today: "The crisis of yesterday
And the joke of yesterday?
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Part of a New York Times banner ad last night—
(Fashion week dates 2012 —
New York Sept. 6-13, London Sept. 14-18,
Milan Sept. 19-25, Paris Sept. 25-Oct. 3.)
Some related prose suggested by a link in
last night's Log24 post—
The theory, he had explained, was that the persona
was a four-dimensional figure, a tessaract in space,
the elementals Fire, Earth, Air, and Water permutating
and pervolving upon themselves, making a cruciform
(in three-space projection) figure of equal lines and
ninety degree angles.
— The Gameplayers of Zan , a novel by M. A. Foster
See also, if you can find a copy, Jeff Riggenbach's
"Science Fiction as Will and Idea," Riverside Quarterly
Vol. 5, No. 3 (whole number 19, August 1972, ed. by
Leland Sapiro et al.), 168-177.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
“The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job,
a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary,
it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game,
we call the Game Dhum Welur , the Mind of God."
— The Gameplayers of Zan
— The Book Thief , cover
In honor of George Balanchine, Odin might yield the
floor this evening to Apollo.
From a piece in today's online New York Times titled
"How a God Finds Art (the Abridged Version)"—
"… the newness at the heart of this story,
in which art is happening for the first time…."
Some related art—
and, more recently—
This more recent figure is from Ian Stewart's 1996 revision
of a 1941 classic, What Is Mathematics? , by Richard Courant
and Herbert Robbins.
Apollo might discuss with Socrates how the confused slave boy
of Plato's Meno would react to Stewart's remark that
"The number of copies required to double an
object's size depends on its dimension."
|"My dad has a great expression,"
Steve Sabol told USA TODAY Sports
last year. "He always says, 'Tell me
a fact, and I'll learn. Tell me the truth,
and I believe. But tell me a story,
and it will live in my heart forever.' "
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
But with good Will
To show our simple skill…
( Continued from Midsummer Eve, 1993 )
This phrase may be regarded as a version of
Schopenhauer's "Will and Representation."
"Schopenhauer's notion of the will comes from the Kantian thing-in-itself, which Kant believed to be the fundamental reality behind the representation that provided the matter of perception, but lacked form. Kant believed that space, time, causation, and many other similar phenomena belonged properly to the form imposed on the world by the human mind in order to create the representation, and these factors were absent from the thing-in-itself. Schopenhauer pointed out that anything outside of time and space could not be differentiated, so the thing-in-itself must be one and all things that exist, including human beings, must be part of this fundamental unity. Our inner-experience must be a manifestation of the noumenal realm and the will is the inner kernel* of every being. All knowledge gained of objects is seen as self-referential, as we recognize the same will in other things as is inside us." —Wikipedia
* "Die Schrecken des Todes beruhen großentheils auf dem falschen Schein, daß jetzt das Ich verschwinde, und die Welt bleibe, Vielmehr aber ist das Gegentheil wahr: die Welt verschwindet; hingegen der innerste Kern des Ich, der Träger und Hervorbringer jenes Subjekts, in dessen Vorstellung allein die Welt ihr Daseyn hatte, beharrt."
— Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung , Kapitel 41
Added Nov. 16, 2012, a translation by E. F. J. Payne—
"The terrors of death rest for the most part on the false illusion that then the I or ego vanishes, and the world remains. But rather is the opposite true, namely that the world vanishes; on the other hand, the innermost kernel of the ego endures, the bearer and producer of that subject in whose representation alone the world had its existence."
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne
In two volumes
© 1969 Dover Publications, Inc.
© 1958 by The Falcon's Wing Press
Volume Two: Supplements to the Fourth Book,
XLI. On Death and Its Relation to the Indestructibility of Our Inner Nature
Monday, September 17, 2012
… I saw a shadow
I rose to a knee,
Simpson reportedly died on Holy Cross Day.
That day in this journal—
( Continued from yesterday's post FLT )
Context Part I —
"In 1957, George Miller initiated a research programme at Harvard University to investigate rule-learning, in situations where participants are exposed to stimuli generated by rules, but are not told about those rules. The research program was designed to understand how, given exposure to some finite subset of stimuli, a participant could 'induce' a set of rules that would allow them to recognize novel members of the broader set. The stimuli in question could be meaningless strings of letters, spoken syllables or other sounds, or structured images. Conceived broadly, the project was a seminal first attempt to understand how observers, exposed to a set of stimuli, could come up with a set of principles, patterns, rules or hypotheses that generalized over their observations. Such abstract principles, patterns, rules or hypotheses then allow the observer to recognize not just the previously seen stimuli, but a wide range of other stimuli consistent with them. Miller termed this approach 'pattern conception ' (as opposed to 'pattern perception'), because the abstract patterns in question were too abstract to be 'truly perceptual.'….
…. the 'grammatical rules' in such a system are drawn from the discipline of formal language theory (FLT)…."
— W. Tecumseh Fitch, Angela D. Friederici, and Peter Hagoort, "Pattern Perception and Computational Complexity: Introduction to the Special Issue," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2012) 367, 1925-1932
Context Part II —
Context Part III —
A four-color theorem describes the mathematics of
general structures, not just symbol-strings, formed from
four kinds of things— for instance, from the four elements
of the finite Galois field GF(4), or the four bases of DNA.
Context Part IV —
A quotation from William P. Thurston, a mathematician
who died on Aug. 21, 2012—
"It may sound almost circular to say that
what mathematicians are accomplishing
is to advance human understanding of mathematics.
I will not try to resolve this
by discussing what mathematics is,
because it would take us far afield.
Mathematicians generally feel that they know
what mathematics is, but find it difficult
to give a good direct definition.
It is interesting to try. For me,
'the theory of formal patterns'
has come the closest, but to discuss this
would be a whole essay in itself."
Related material from a literate source—
"So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern"
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The "FLT" of the above title is not Fermat's Last Theorem,
but Formal Language Theory (see image below).
The complete introduction is available online. It ends by saying—
"In conclusion, the research discussed in this issue
breathes new life into a set of issues that were raised,
but never resolved, by Miller 60 years ago…."
— Spoken by a very beautiful girl
in the summer of 1991
"Work on what has been spoiled [ Decay ]."
Click image for some background.
Wikipedia (links added)—
"The snow kept falling on the world,
big white flakes like white gloves."
— Frederick Seidel, "House Master,"
poem in The New Yorker of Sept. 3, 2012
Detail of Aug. 30 illustration, with added arrow—
"Pay no attention to the shadow behind the curtain."
Today's date suggests a review of
Incommensurables, a post of July 18, 2012.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Click for further details.
Friday, September 14, 2012
(Continued… A Meditation for Holy Cross Day )
Quotations for a Memorial
"There is a body on the cross in my church."
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Yesterday's online Los Angeles Times
on a film that inspired recent protests in Cairo—
The film… was shown on June 23
to an audience of less than 10
at a theater on Hollywood Boulevard,
a source familiar with the screening said….
The screening was at The Vine Theater,
which rents itself out for private screenings,
said one person involved in the theater.
An image from this journal on that same day, June 23—
Source: Rudolf Koch, The Book of Signs
For some background on the symbol, see Damnation Morning.
See also Don Henley's Hollywood hymn "Garden of Allah."
Update of 8 PM Sept. 13, 2012—
The following post from this journal on that date may or
may not have some religious relevance.
|Saturday, June 30, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:20 PM
"… to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic"
— The aim of the artist, according to Thomas Wolfe
High-minded— Many Dimensions .
Not so high-minded— The Cosmic Cube .
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A review of Max Bialystock's new smash hit,
"The Empty Chair"—
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A followup to Intelligence Test (April 2, 2012).
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
B (2012) 367, 2007–2022
(theme issue of July 19, 2012) —
Juan Carlos Gómez , and W. Tecumseh Fitch 
Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Medical University of Vienna and University of Vienna,
Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9JP, UK
the human mind."
Symmetries of Culture:
Theory and Practice of Plane Pattern Analysis.
Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Stanley Cavell on the film North by Northwest—
"The 'nothing,' or naught, in the ROT monogram equally appropriately stands for origin, so its simultaneous meaning is that the actor is the origin of the character and also the origin of what becomes of himself or herself on film. The further thought that the human self as such is both an origin and a nothing is a bit of Cartesianism that is conceivably not called for in the context of this film."
— Cavell on Film , SUNY Press, 2005, pp. 44-45
For another central O, see Four Gods in this journal.
The film's mistaken-identity plot involves a fictional character named Kaplan. For a real Kaplan, see a 2001 New Yorker piece.
For a related catchphrase, see Kaplan Boo.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Related material: The Empty Chair Award.
For a different sort of grid compass, see February 3, 2011.
(Continued from Walpurgisnacht 2012)
Wikipedia article on functional decomposition—
"Outside of purely mathematical considerations,
perhaps the greatest value of functional decomposition
is the insight it provides into the structure of the world."
Certainly this is true for the sort of decomposition
known as harmonic analysis .
It is not, however, true of my own decomposition theorem,
which deals only with structures made up of at most four
different sorts of elementary parts.
But my own approach has at least some poetic value.
See the four elements of the Greeks in (for instance)
Eliot's Four Quartets and in Auden's For the Time Being .
Saturday, September 8, 2012
"… the modern meritocracy dates only to the 1930s,
when Harvard President James Bryant Conant
directed his admissions staff to find a measure of
ability to supplement the old boys’ network. They
settled on the exam we know as the SAT."
— "Tyranny of Merit," by Samuel Goldman,
a book review dated August 21, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
"Some mathematicians are birds, others are frogs. Birds fly high in the air and survey broad vistas of mathematics out to the far horizon. They delight in concepts that unify our thinking and bring together diverse problems from different parts of the landscape. Frogs live in the mud below and see only the flowers that grow nearby. They delight in the details of particular objects, and they solve problems one at a time."
— Freeman Dyson (See July 22, 2011)
A Rhetorical Question:
"The past decade has been an exciting one in the world of mathematics and a fabulous one (in the literal sense) for mathematicians, who saw themselves transformed from the frogs of fairy tales— regarded with a who-would-want-to-kiss-that aversion, when they were noticed at all— into fascinating royalty, portrayed on stage and screen….
Who bestowed the magic kiss on the mathematical frog?"
Above: Amy Adams in "Sunshine Cleaning"
"In ancient Greece, 9 was the number of the Muses,
patron goddesses of the arts. They were the daughters
of Mnemosyne ('memory'), the source
of imagination, which in turn is the carrier of archetypal,
elementary ideas to artistic realization in the field
of space-time. The number 9, that is to say, relates
traditionally to the Great Goddess of Many Names
(Devi, Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Artemis, Venus, etc.),
as matrix of the cosmic process, whether in the
macrocosm or in a microcosmic field of manifestation."
From Robert A. Heinlein’s Glory Road (1963):
Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”
“Is that one of your names?”
“It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.’ “
” ‘Aster,’ ” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
(Continued from Up to Date, Aug. 28.)
Voyager 1 Story
By Amy Hubbard in the Los Angeles Times
September 4, 2012, 3:11 p.m. [PDT]
How long does it take to fly to the edge of
the solar system? At least 35 years.
Voyager 1 is there now….
Dinga dong ding.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
This post is continued from May 12, 2011.
Monday, September 3, 2012
IDEAS OF REFERENCE Department
New York Times online front page, 11 PM EDT today—
The above Times teaser on
"my obsessive-compulsive brain"
does not refer to the initials "O.C.D."
in this morning's Log24 post "Hashtag E."
The source of those initials was not
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder," but
rather the phrase "Our Class, Dear"
in a Sept. 3, 2012, New Yorker poem —
See also an August 30 post for Amy Adams.
The "big lie" strategy was originally described
by the National Socialists not as their own,
but as the strategy of their enemies .
Sunday, September 2, 2012
For Trotsky's Birthday (Old Style), 2009—
(Click for further details.)
See also St. Stephen's Day, 2011.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
"Richard Elster was seventy-three, I was less than half his age. He’d invited me to join him here, old house, under-furnished, somewhere south of nowhere in the Sonoran Desert or maybe it was the Mojave Desert or another desert altogether.* Not a long visit, he’d said."
— Don DeLillo, Point Omega
Maybe it was the desert near Twentynine Palms.
"Sometimes a wind comes before the rain
and sends birds sailing past the window,
spirit birds that ride the night,
stranger than dreams."
— Ending of Point Omega