Log24

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year’s Greeting from Franz Kafka

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:01 AM

An image that led off the year-end review yesterday in
the weblog of British combinatorialist Peter J. Cameron:

See also this  weblog's post final post of 2014,
with a rectangular array illustrating the six faces
of a die, and Cameron's reference yesterday to
a die-related post

"The things on my blog that seem to be
of continuing value are the expository
series like the one on the symmetric group
(the third post in this series was reblogged
by Gil Kalai last month, which gave it a new
lease of life)…."

A tale from an author of Prague:

The Emperor—so they say—has sent a message, directly from his death bed, to you alone, his pathetic subject, a tiny shadow which has taken refuge at the furthest distance from the imperial sun. He ordered the herald to kneel down beside his bed and whispered the message into his ear. He thought it was so important that he had the herald repeat it back to him. He confirmed the accuracy of the verbal message by nodding his head. And in front of the entire crowd of those who’ve come to witness his death—all the obstructing walls have been broken down and all the great ones of his empire are standing in a circle on the broad and high soaring flights of stairs—in front of all of them he dispatched his herald. The messenger started off at once, a powerful, tireless man. Sticking one arm out and then another, he makes his way through the crowd. If he runs into resistance, he points to his breast where there is a sign of the sun. So he moves forward easily, unlike anyone else. But the crowd is so huge; its dwelling places are infinite. If there were an open field, how he would fly along, and soon you would hear the marvelous pounding of his fist on your door. But instead of that, how futile are all his efforts. He is still forcing his way through the private rooms of the innermost palace. He will never he win his way through. And if he did manage that, nothing would have been achieved. He would have to fight his way down the steps, and, if he managed to do that, nothing would have been achieved. He would have to stride through the courtyards, and after the courtyards the second palace encircling the first, and, then again, stairs and courtyards, and then, once again, a palace, and so on for thousands of years. And if he finally did burst through the outermost door—but that can never, never happen—the royal capital city, the centre of the world, is still there in front of him, piled high and full of sediment. No one pushes his way through here, certainly not with a message from a dead man. But you sit at your window and dream of that message when evening comes.

See also a passage quoted in this  weblog on the original
date of Cameron's Prague image, July 26, 2014 —

"The philosopher Graham Harman is invested in
re-thinking the autonomy of objects and is part 
of a movement called Object-Oriented-Philosophy
(OOP)." — From “The Action of Things,” a 2011
M.A. thesis at the Center for Curatorial Studies,
Bard College, by Manuela Moscoso 

— in the context of a search here for the phrase
     "structure of the object." An image from that search:

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