Log24

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday July 13, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Today’s birthday:
Harrison Ford is 65.

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“Three times the concentred
     self takes hold, three times
The thrice concentred self,
     having possessed
The object, grips it
     in savage scrutiny,
Once to make captive,
     once to subjugate
Or yield to subjugation,
     once to proclaim
The meaning of the capture,
     this hard prize,
Fully made, fully apparent,
     fully found.”

— “Credences of Summer,” VII,
    by Wallace Stevens, from
    Transport to Summer (1947)

“It was Plato who best expressed– who veritably embodied– the tension between the narrative arts and mathematics….


Plato clearly loved them both, both mathematics and poetry.  But he approved of mathematics, and heartily, if conflictedly, disapproved of poetry.  Engraved above the entrance to his Academy, the first European university, was the admonition: Oudeis ageometretos eiseto.  Let none ignorant of geometry enter.  This is an expression of high approval indeed, and the symbolism could not have been more perfect, since mathematics was, for Plato, the very gateway for all future knowledge.  Mathematics ushers one into the realm of abstraction and universality, grasped only through pure reason.  Mathematics is the threshold we cross to pass into the ideal, the truly real.”

   — Rebecca Goldstein, Mathematics and the Character of Tragedy

Related material:

Previous entry,
entries of July 1, 2007,
and A Little Story
(9/30/06)

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