Log24

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday March 17, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:00 PM
Dogma in the
State of Grace

“Words and numbers are of equal value,
for, in the cloak of knowledge,
one is warp and the other woof.”

— The princesses Rhyme and Reason
in The Phantom Tollbooth,
by Norton Juster, 1961

(From a Sermon for
St. Patrick’s Day, 2001
)

The Pennsylvania midday lottery
on St. Patrick’s Day, 2006:

618.

Comparing, as in Philadelphia Stories,  the Catholic style of Grace Kelly with the Protestant style of Katharine Hepburn, we conclude that Princess Rhyme might best be played by the former, Princess Reason by the latter.

Reason informs us that the lottery result “618” may be regarded as naming ” – 0.618,” the approximate value of the negative solution to the equation

x2 – x – 1 = 0

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Following the advice of Clint Eastwood (on the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” soundtrack CD) to “accentuate the positive,” Reason notes that the other, positive, solution to this equation, approximately 1.618, a number symbolized by the Greek letter “phi,” occurs in the following geometric diagram illustrating a construction of the pentagon:

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For further enlightenment, we turn to Rhyme, who informs us that “618” may also be regarded as naming the date “6/18.” Consulting our notes, we find on 6/18, 2003, a reference to “claves,” Latin for “keys,” as in “claves regni caelorum.”

We may tarry at this date, pleased to find that the keys to the kingdom involve rational numbers, rather than the irrational ratios suggested, paradoxically, by Reason.

Or we may, with Miles Davis, prefer a more sensuous incarnation of the keys:

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Alicia Keys

“… it’s going to be
accomplished in steps,
this establishment
of the Talented in
  the scheme of things.”

— Anne McCaffrey, 
Radcliffe ’47,
To Ride Pegasus

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