Log24

Monday, April 19, 2004

Monday April 19, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Cartesian Theatre

From aldaily.com today:

"If my mind is a tiny theatre I watch in my brain, then there is a tinier mind and theatre inside that mind to see it, and so on forever… more»"

This leads to the dream (or nightmare) of the Cartesian theatre, as pictured by Daniel Dennett.

From websurfing yesterday and today…

The tiny theatre of Ivor Grattan-Guinness:

"… mathematicians often treat history with contempt (unsullied by any practice or even knowledge of it, of course)."

The Rainbow of Mathematics

The contempt for history of the Harvard mathematics department (see previous entry) suggests a phrase….

A search on "Harvard sneer" yields, as the first page found, a memorial to an expert practitioner of the Harvard sneer… Robert Harris Chapman, Professor of English Literature, playwright, theatrical consultant, and founding Director of the Loeb Drama Center from 1960 to 1980.

Continuing the Grattan-Guinness rainbow theme in a tinier theatre, we may picture Chapman's reaction to the current Irish Repertory Theatre production of Finian's Rainbow.  Let us hope it is not a Harvard sneer.

In a yet tinier theatre, we may envision a mathematical version of Finian's Rainbow, with Og the leprechaun played by Andrew P. Ogg.  Ogg would, of course, perform a musical version of his remarks on the Jugendtraum:

"Follow the fellow who follows a dream."

Melissa Errico
in Finian's Rainbow

"Give her a song like…. 'Look to the Rainbow,' and her gleaming soprano effortlessly flies it into the stratosphere where such numbers belong. This is the voice of enchantment…."

Ben Brantley, today's NY Times

For related philosophical remarks on rainbows, infinite regress, and redheads, see

Loretta's Rainbow and

The Leonardo Code.

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