Log24

Friday, November 16, 2018

On All Souls’ Day 2018

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:40 AM

See as well Under the Volcano  and All Souls in this  journal.

Related material —

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Goethe on All Souls’ Day

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 PM

David E. Wellbery on Goethe

From an interview published on 2 November 2017 at

http://literaturwissenschaft-berlin.de/interview-with-david-wellbery/

as later republished in 

https://thepointmag.com/2017/dialogue/
irreducible-significance-david-wellbery-literature-goethe-cavell
 —

 

The logo at left above is that of The Point .
The menu icon at right above is perhaps better
suited to illustrate Verwandlungslehre .

Weyl on symmetry, the eightfold cube, the Fano plane, and trigrams of the I Ching

Thursday, November 2, 2017

History of Mathematics for All Souls’ Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Schoolgirl Problem  

"Buy this image" . . . Or not.

Related material from the date of the above photo —

For related drama, see "Child's Play" in this journal.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

All Souls’ Confusion

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:12 PM

Recent reports of the death of a writer on philosophy associated
with All Souls College, Oxford, reflect some confusion.

The New York Times  says the death was on Monday, January 2, 2017.
Other sources, including the college itself, say it was the day before —
Sunday, January 1 (New Year's Day), 2017.

At any rate, perhaps the following post from 9 PM ET Sunday night is relevant:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

9 PM New Year’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM

See "Four Gods" in this journal.

Phaedrus  265b:  "And we made four divisions
of the divine madness, ascribing them to four gods . . . ."

See as well a search for All Souls in this journal.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

For a Fellow of All Souls*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:20 PM

See posts tagged All Souls 2015.

* Oxford webpage.

Friday, November 2, 2012

For All Souls’ Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

From this journal yesterday (All Saints' Day)—

"But, I asked, is there a difference
between fiction and nonfiction?
'Not much,' she said, shrugging."

New Yorker  profile of tesseract
author Madeleine L'Engle

For a discussion of this issue in greater depth—

"Truth and fact are not the same thing."

— see a 1998 award acceptance speech by L'Engle.

See also a Log24 post of March 1st, 2008, on the soul.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For All Souls Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"It's still the same old story…"

See Glory in this journal.

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I  use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean— neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can  make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master— that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest— adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs— however, can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I  say!'

'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

See also Interpenetration in this journal… and in Northrop Frye.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For All Souls’ Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

The Interpreter’s House

From Sunday morning’s
October Endgame:

A Korean Christian site–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091101-Seal.jpg

See Mizian Translation Service for
some background on the seal’s designer.

John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Second Part, “The Interpreter’s House“–

“When the Interpreter had shown them this, He has them into the very best room in the house; a very brave room it was. So He bid them look round about, and see if they could find anything profitable there. Then they looked round and round; for there was nothing there to be seen but a very great spider on the wall: and that they overlooked.

MERCY. Then said Mercy, Sir, I see nothing; but Christiana held her peace.

INTER. But, said the Interpreter, look again, and she therefore looked again, and said, Here is not anything but an ugly spider, who hangs by her hands upon the wall. Then said He, Is there but one spider in all this spacious room? Then the water stood in Christiana’s eyes, for she was a woman quick of apprehension; and she said, Yea, Lord, there is here more than one. Yea, and spiders whose venom is far more destructive than that which is in her. The Interpreter then looked pleasantly upon her, and said, Thou hast said the truth. This made Mercy blush, and the boys to cover their faces, for they all began now to understand the riddle.‌74

Then said the Interpreter again, “The spider taketh hold with their hands (as you see), and is in kings’ palaces’ (Prov. 30:28). And wherefore is this recorded, but to show you, that how full of the venom of sin soever you be, yet you may, by the hand of faith, lay hold of, and dwell in the best room that belongs to the King’s house above!‌75

CHRIST. I thought, said Christiana, of something of this; but I could not imagine it all. I thought that we were like spiders, and that we looked like ugly creatures, in what fine room soever we were; but that by this spider, this venomous and ill-favoured creature, we were to learn how to act faith, that came not into my mind. And yet she has taken hold with her hands, as I see, and dwells in the best room in the house. God has made nothing in vain.”

Related material:

The spider metaphor in
Under the Volcano

(April 10, 2004) and
an AP obituary
from yesterday.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Oslo Variations

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:21 AM

An illustration (slightly revised) from All Souls' Day 2010

Click to enlarge.

An illustration from a post of January 11, 2019 —

Advertisement for another January 11, 2019, event —

For related cinematic remarks, see Dabbling in this journal.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Permutations at Oslo

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:45 PM

Webpage at Oslo of Josefine Lyche, 'Plato's Diamond'

See also yesterday's  Archimedes at Hiroshima  and the
above 24 graphic permutations on  All Souls' Day 2010.

For some backstory, see Narrative Line (November 10, 2014).

 
 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Day of the Dead

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From Wikipedia

Day of the Dead
Observed by Mexico, and regions with large Hispanic populations
Type Cultural 
Syncretic Christian
Significance Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died
Celebrations Creation of altars to remember the dead, traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead
Begins October 31
Ends November 2
Date October 31
Next time 31 October 2019
Frequency Annual
Related to All Saints' Day

"The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos ) is
a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico,
in particular the Central and South regions,
and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere.
The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings
of family and friends to pray for and remember
friends and family members who have died, and
help support their spiritual journey. . . .

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos 
in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its
original name, Día de Muertos .

Gradually, it was associated with October 31,
November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the
Western Christianity triduum of Allhallowtide: 
All Saints' EveAll Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day."

—————————————————————————-

The previous post concerned a poet who reportedly
died on October 23, 2018.  This journal on that date —

Elevation of the Hostess

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:27 AM

Or:  Netflix and Chill on All Souls' Day

Midrash from Huffington Post  (click to enlarge) —

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Spectrum at the Center

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:48 PM

The top article in the New York Times Wire  list below is about
a new play that opened at the Sheen Center on All Souls' Day.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Seven-Cycles in an Octad

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Figures from a search in this journal for Springer Knight
and from the All Souls' Day post The Trojan Pony

     Binary coordinates for a 4x2 array  Chess knight formed by a Singer 7-cycle

For those who prefer pure abstraction to the quasi-figurative
1985 seven-cycle above, a different 7-cycle for M24 , from 1998 —


Compare and contrast with my own "knight" labeling
of a 4-row 2-column array (an M24 octad, in the system
of R. T. Curtis)  by the 8 points of the projective line
over GF(7),  from 2008 —

'Knight' octad labeling by the 8 points of the projective line over GF(7)

Friday, April 22, 2016

In Memoriam

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

Guy Hamilton, director of "Diamonds are Forever" 
and "Goldfinger," reportedly died at 93 on Wednesday, 
April 20, 2016. In his memory, here is a link to the
posts of All Souls' Day, 2015.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On Logic and Art

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Black monolith with text from The New Yorker of Nov. 30-- DeLillo on devil worship in 'Midnight in Dostoevsky'

See as well All Souls' Day and November 16.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Monster

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

In memory of Princeton mathematician John Nash

"For the past six years all over the world 
experts in the branch of abstract algebra
called group theory have been struggling
to capture a group known as the monster."

—Martin Gardner, Scientific American ,  June 1980

"When the Hawkline Monster moved to get a better view
of what was happening, the shadow, after having checked
all the possibilities of light, had discovered a way that it
could shift itself in front of the monster, so that the monster
at this crucial time would be blinded by darkness for a few
seconds, did so, causing confusion to befall the monster.

This was all that the shadow could do and it hoped that this
would give Greer and Cameron the edge they would need
to destroy the Hawkline Monster using whatever plan they
had come up with, for it seemed that they must have a plan
if they were to have any chance at all with the monster and
they did not seem like fools.

When Cameron yelled at Greer, the shadow interpreted this
as the time to move and did so. It obscured the vision of the
Hawkline Monster for a few seconds, knowing full well that if
the monster were destroyed it would be destroyed, too, but
death was better than going on living like this, being a part of
this evil."

— Richard Brautigan, The Hawkline Monster , 1974

From the post For Scientific Witch Hunters of October 30,
an illustration from The Boston Globe —

From the post Colorful Story (All Souls' Day),  
an Illustration from Google Book Search —

Earlier in Brautigan's tale

" Everybody started to leave the parlor to go downstairs
and pour out the Hawkline Monster but just as
they reached the door and one of the Hawkline women
had her hand on the knob, Cameron said, 'Hold it for a
second. I want to get myself a little whiskey.' "

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Branding at Harvard

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

From the Harvard Graduate School of Design's introduction
to a lecture on All Souls' Day 2015 —

"Calvin Klein is an award-winning fashion icon.
He is recognized globally as a master of minimalism
and has spent his career distilling things to
their very essence. His name ranks among the
best-known brands in the world, with Calvin Klein, Inc.
reaching over seven billion dollars in global retail sales."

A Klein icon I prefer —

The Klein Four-Group, illustration by Steven H. Cullinane

Click the above image for some backstory.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Devil’s Offer

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 AM

This is a sequel to the previous post and to the Oct. 24 post
Two Views of Finite Space.  From the latter —

" 'All you need to do is give me your soul:  
give up geometry and you will have this 
marvellous machine.' (Nowadays you
can think of it as a computer!) "

George Boole in image posted on All Souls' Day 2015

Colorful Story

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:00 AM

"The office of color in the color line
is a very plain and subordinate one.
It simply advertises the objects of
oppression, insult, and persecution.
It is not the maddening liquor, but
the black letters on the sign
telling the world where it may be had."

— Frederick Douglass, "The Color Line,"
The North American Review , Vol. 132,
No. 295, June 1881, page 575

Or gold letters.

From a search for Seagram in this  journal —

Seagram VO ad, image posted on All Souls's Day 2015

"The colorful story of this undertaking begins with a bang."

— Martin Gardner on the death of Évariste Galois

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Two Views of Finite Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:00 AM

The following slides are from lectures on "Advanced Boolean Algebra" —

The small Boolean  spaces above correspond exactly to some small
Galois  spaces. These two names indicate approaches to the spaces
via Boolean algebra  and via Galois geometry .

A reading from Atiyah that seems relevant to this sort of algebra
and this sort of geometry —

" 'All you need to do is give me your soul:  give up geometry 
and you will have this marvellous machine.' (Nowadays you
can think of it as a computer!) "

Related material — The article "Diamond Theory" in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2 No. 1, February 1977.  That
article, despite the word "computer" in the journal's title, was
much less about Boolean algebra  than about Galois geometry 

For later remarks on diamond theory, see finitegeometry.org/sc.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Singular Place

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:09 PM

"Macy’s Herald Square occupies a singular place
in American retailing." — NY Times  today, in print
on page BU1 of the New York edition with the headline:

Makeover on 34th Street .

A Singular Time:

See Remember Me to Herald Square, at noon on
August 21, 2014, and related earlier Log24 posts.

Also on Aug. 21, 2014: from a blog post, 'Tiles,' by
Theo Wright, a British textile designer —

The 24 tile patterns displayed by Wright may be viewed
in their proper mathematical context at …

http://www.diamondspace.net/about.html:

IMAGE - The Diamond Theorem

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:28 AM

See All Souls in this journal.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Church with Josefine*

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

(Continued from last Sunday)

IMAGE- 'Permutahedron of Opposites'-- 24 graphic patterns arranged in space as 12 pairs of opposites

For some background, see Permutahedron in this journal.

See also…

* Jews may prefer to retitle this post "Sunday Shul with Josefine"
and stage it as a SNL sketch, "Norwegian Disco," with
The Sunshine Girls. (For the Norwegian part, see Kristen Wiig,
of Norwegian ancestry. For the disco part, see Amy Adams,
who stars in a new disco-era movie.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black Hole Revisited

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Backstory: The two previous Log24 posts
Raiders of the Lost Aleph (May 14) and
The Crying of Bucharest (May 15).

The following sequence of images was suggested by
Peter Woit's May 16 post "One Ring to Rule Them All."

Also from Devil's Night 2008:

From the May 16 Nobel Symposium talk discussed in
Woit's "One Ring to Rule Them All":

Related material:

All Souls' Day at the Still Point (Nov. 2, 2003) and

Frodo and the Oxford Murders (Oct. 13, 2011).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kernel

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM

(Continued)

Rachel Dodes in The Wall Street Journal
on All Souls' Day, 2012

"In one of the first lines uttered by Daniel Day-Lewis, playing Abraham Lincoln in the new Steven Spielberg film opening Nov. 9, he says, 'I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space— were it not that I have bad dreams.'

The line was ripped straight from 'Hamlet,' by Lincoln's favorite writer, William Shakespeare. Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright ('Angels in America') who wrote the script for the film, says that Shakespeare, much like Lincoln, 'had extraordinary mastery over the darkest parts of the human spirit.'"

The above quotation omits Shakespeare's words prefacing the nutshell part— "O God."

These same words in a different tongue—  "Hey Ram"— have often been quoted as the last words of Gandhi. (See yesterday's noon post.)

"… for the Highest Essence (brahman ),
which is the core of the world, is identical
with the Highest Self (ātman ), the kernel
of man's existence."

— Heinrich Zimmer, Myths and Symbols
in Indian Art and Civilization
, Pantheon
Books, 1946, page 142 

Related material: A post linked to here on Friday night
that itself links to a different Shakespeare speech.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Passage to India

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

(Continued)

On a mathematician who died on All Souls' Day 2012—

"… he enthusiastically shared with us the many stories
of Indian epics like Mahabharata." — Online tribute

This suggests a pictorial review incorporating some
images from past Log24 posts.

Best Exotic Ananga Ranga

Log24 on All Souls' Day 2012

Click images for some background.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shakespeare’s Rhyme

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

From Saturday Night Live  last night—

IMAGE- Louis C. K. as Shakespeare on SNL

Related material from the Log24 post "Now Lens"
(March 11, 2011)—

Errol Morris in The New York Times  on March 9, 2011

"If everything is incommensurable, then everything
is seen through the lens of the present, the lens of now ."

"Borges concluded by quoting Chesterton, 'there is nothing
more frightening than a labyrinth that has no center.' [72]"

See also Borges on Shakespeare, everything, and nothing 
in a note from September 7, 2006.

Everything and nothing in Peter J. Cameron's weblog yesterday—

The existence of everything entails the existence of nothing;
indeed, the existence of anything (any set A) entails
the existence of the empty set (the set {x∈A:x≠x}).
But not the other way round.

Right, I had better put on my anorak and go out now …

Illustration added by m759—

How many miles to Babylon?*
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candle-light?**
Yes, and back again.

* Suggested by the Pindar link in this journal yesterday.

** Quoted in the "Seven is Heaven" post on All Souls' Day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rigor

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:01 AM

A New Yorker  weblog post from yesterday, All Souls' Day

"As the mathematician Terence Tao has written,
math study has three stages:
the 'pre-rigorous,' in which basic rules are learned,
the theoretical 'rigorous' stage, and, last and most intriguing,
'the post-rigorous,' in which intuition suddenly starts to play a part."

Related material— 

Rigor  in a Log24 post of Sunday evening, May 25, 2008: "Hall of Mirrors."

Note in that post the tesseract  viewed as the lattice of
the 16 subsets of a 4-element set.

Some further material related to tesseracts and time, in three stages
(roughly corresponding to Tao's, but not in chronological order): 

  1. Bakhtin
  2. Spaces as Hypercubes, and 
  3. Pindar.

See also a recent Log24 post on remarks from Four Quartets .

(The vertices of a tesseract form, in various natural ways, four quartets.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Elegant Fowl

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

For the late Helen Nicoll

The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"

— Edward Lear

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Poetry of Universals

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:26 AM

Continued from All Souls Day, 2011

Professor Sir Michael Dummett,
born June 27 1925, died December 27 2011

See also this journal on the day of Dummett's death.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Poetry of Universals

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM

A search today, All Souls Day, for relevant learning
at All Souls College, Oxford, yields the person of
Sir Michael Dummett and the following scholarly page—

(Click to enlarge.)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111102-CrispinWright222-360w.jpg

My own background is in mathematics rather than philosophy.
From a mathematical point of view, the cells discussed above
seem related to some "universals" in an example of Quine.

In Quine's example,* universals are certain equivalence classes
(those with the "same shape") of a family of figures
(33 convex regions) selected from the 28 = 256 subsets
of an eight-element set of plane regions.

A smaller structure, closer to Wright's concerns above,
is a universe of 24 = 16 subsets of a 4-element set.

The number of elements in this universe of Concepts  coincides,
as it happens, with the number obtained by multiplying out
the title of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets .

For a discussion of functions that map "cells" of the sort Wright
discusses— in the quartets example, four equivalence classes,
each with four elements, that partition the 16-element universe—
onto a four-element set, see Poetry's Bones.

For some philosophical background to the Wright passage
above, see "The Concept Horse," by Harold W. Noonan—
Chapter 9, pages 155-176, in Universals, Concepts, and Qualities ,
edited by P. F. Strawson and Arindam Chakrabarti,
Ashgate Publishing, 2006.

For a different approach to that concept, see Devil's Night, 2011.

* Admittedly artificial. See From a Logical Point of View , IV, 3

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Style

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 AM

The Hunt for Exemplary October

(Continued from last month)

October 25 was the date of Russia's October Revolution (Old Style). The New Style date is November 7.

Nien Cheng, dead on All Souls' Day 2009:

Nien Cheng with her daughter Meiping

For details of Mrs. Cheng's life, see a Washington Post obituary by Patricia Sullivan dated Nov. 5. Mrs. Cheng died on Nov. 2 (All Souls' Day, Dia de Los Muertos).

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday February 28, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 AM
Elements
of Geometry

The title of Euclid’s Elements is, in Greek, Stoicheia.

From Lectures on the Science of Language,
by Max Muller, fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890, pp. 88-90 –

Stoicheia

“The question is, why were the elements, or the component primary parts of things, called stoicheia by the Greeks? It is a word which has had a long history, and has passed from Greece to almost every part of the civilized world, and deserves, therefore, some attention at the hand of the etymological genealogist.

Stoichos, from which stoicheion, means a row or file, like stix and stiches in Homer. The suffix eios is the same as the Latin eius, and expresses what belongs to or has the quality of something. Therefore, as stoichos means a row, stoicheion would be what belongs to or constitutes a row….

Hence stoichos presupposes a root stich, and this root would account in Greek for the following derivations:–

  1. stix, gen. stichos, a row, a line of soldiers
  2. stichos, a row, a line; distich, a couplet
  3. steichoestichon, to march in order, step by step; to mount
  4. stoichos, a row, a file; stoichein, to march in a line

In German, the same root yields steigen, to step, to mount, and in Sanskrit we find stigh, to mount….

Stoicheia are the degrees or steps from one end to the other, the constituent parts of a whole, forming a complete series, whether as hours, or letters, or numbers, or parts of speech, or physical elements, provided always that such elements are held together by a systematic order.”

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Thursday February 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Our True Intent

In memory of
Christopher James Makins,
2nd Baron Sherfield,
Fellow of All Souls:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060202-RR1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

Good Will Writing,
A Contrapuntal Theme,
Ideas, Stories, Values,
as well as
Toot! Toot! Off we go!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Thursday November 3, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Bond

USA Today on last night’s White House dinner:

“In his toast, Bush said the royal visit was ‘a reminder of the unique and enduring bond’ between the two countries.”

From Log24, July 18, 2003:

The use of the word “idea” in my entries’ headlines yesterday was not accidental.  It is related to an occurrence of the word in Understanding: On Death and Truth, a set of journal entries from May 9-12.  The relevant passage on “ideas” is quoted there, within commentary by an Oberlin professor:

“That the truth we understand must be a truth we stand under is brought out nicely in C. S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength when Mark Studdock gradually learns what an ‘Idea’ is. While Frost attempts to give Mark a ‘training in objectivity’ that will destroy in him any natural moral sense, and while Mark tries desperately to find a way out of the moral void into which he is being drawn, he discovers what it means to under-stand.

‘He had never before known what an Idea meant: he had always thought till now that they were things inside one’s own head. But now, when his head was continually attacked and often completely filled with the clinging corruption of the training, this Idea towered up above him-something which obviously existed quite independently of himself and had hard rock surfaces which would not give, surfaces he could cling to.’

This too, I fear, is seldom communicated in the classroom, where opinion reigns supreme. But it has important implications for the way we understand argument.”

— “On Bringing One’s Life to a Point,” by Gilbert Meilaender, First Things, November 1994

The old philosophical conflict between realism and nominalism can, it seems, have life-and-death consequences.  I prefer Plato’s realism, with its “ideas,” such as the idea of seven-ness.  A reductio ad absurdum of nominalism may be found in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy under Realism:

“A certain kind of nominalist rejects the existence claim which the platonic realist makes: there are no abstract objects, so sentences such as ‘7 is prime’ are false….”

The claim that 7 is not prime is, regardless of its motives, dangerously stupid.

The New York Lottery evening number
for All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, 2005, was

007.

Related material:

Entries for Nov. 1, 2005 and
the song Planned Obsolescence
by the 10,000 Maniacs

(Hope Chest:
The Fredonia Recordings)

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Wednesday November 2, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

All Souls’ Day

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano:

“… Let me see, he was only praelector in my time….”
   “He was still praelector in mine.”
   (In my time?… But what, exactly, does that mean?….)
….
   “He was beginning to get the wines and the first editions slightly mixed up in my day.”….
   “Bring me a bottle of the very best John Donne, will you, Smithers?… You know, some of the genuine old 1611.”
   “God how funny… Or isn’t it?….”

In memory of Malcolm Lowry, a quotation from Donne, 1611:

And, Oh, it can no more be questioned,
That beauties best, proportion, is dead,
Since euen griefe it selfe, which now alone
Is left vs, is without proportion.
Shee by whose lines proportion should bee
Examin’d measure of all Symmetree,
Whom had the Ancient seene, who thought soules made
Of Harmony, he would at next haue said
That Harmony was shee, and thence infer.
That soules were but Resultances from her,

Here is a link to a later Cambridge praelector, Robert Alexander Rankin.  Rankin, a purveyor of pure mathematics, may help to counteract the pernicious influence on souls of Sir Michael Atiyah (see previous two entries and Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star).

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Wednesday June 8, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM
Quest

“Mike Nichols, who oversaw Monty Python’s Spamalot, picked up the prize for directing a musical.

A somewhat flustered Nichols told the audience he had forgotten what he intended to say, but then went on to thank his company and Eric Idle, ‘from whom all blessings flow.'”

The Age, Monday, June 6

One of my
favorite books:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050608-Quest.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Excerpt from the chapter
“All Blessings Flow (Very Large Array)”–

“I started to cry.  My search was over.
In a home for the deranged I had found
the last of the holy Thirty-Six….

‘Beam me up, Scotty.'”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050608-Contact.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

In memory of Anne Bancroft
and her work in
84 Charing Cross Road

entries of Dec. 11-13, 2002,
and entries of
All Souls’ Day, 2004,
and of June 8, 2003.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Tuesday November 2, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM
Readings for
All Souls’ Day

Yesterday was the Feast of All Saints. Today is the Feast of All Souls.

Those of us who are not saints may profit from the writings of both the saintly Thomas Wolfe and the more secular Tom Wolfe.

From Log24.net on the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, a quotation from St. Thomas Wolfe:



Nell

“Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?”

Thomas Wolfe

See also a Wolfe quotation from the Feast of St. Gerard Manley Hopkins in 2003

For the Feast of St. Thomas Wolfe himself, see the Log24 entries of Sept. 15 (the date of Wolfe’s death).

Readings more suited to today, All Souls’ Day, than to yesterday, All Saints’:

Bright Young Things,
Andrew at St. Andrews,
and, of course,
Under the Volcano.

Andrew at St. Andrews recommends the remarks, in The Guardian, of Tom Wolfe on today’s election.

The fact that the protagonist of Tom Wolfe’s new novel is a virgin from the hill country of North Carolina, combined with the above entry on Nell from the Feast of St. Ignatius, brings us back to the earlier Wolfe…  For the later, secular Wolfe on the earlier, saintly Wolfe, see

Look Homeward, Wolfe.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Tuesday June 22, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Dirty Trick

Some quotations in memory of philosopher Stuart Hampshire, who died on June 13, 2004.

From the Hampshire obituary in The Guardian:

I

He frequently told the story of how, towards the end of the war, he had to interrogate a French traitor (imprisoned by the Free French), who refused to cooperate unless he was allowed to live. Should Hampshire, knowing the man was condemned to die, promise him a reprieve, which he was in no position to give, or truthfully refuse it, thereby jeopardising the lives of Resistance fighters?

“If you’re in a war,” said Hampshire, “you can’t start thinking, ‘Well I can’t lie to a man who’s going to be shot tomorrow and tell him that he isn’t.’ ”

But what the whole anecdote, and its incessant retelling, revealed was that Hampshire had, in fact, thought precisely what he said was unthinkable, and that whichever of the two decisions he finally took lay heavy on his conscience ever afterwards. Indicatively, too, it was especially loathsome to him because, although he did not say this in so many words, the traitor was almost a mirror image of himself – a cultivated young intellectual, looking like a film star, much influenced by elegant literary stylists – except that, in the traitor’s case, his literary mentors were fascist.

II

It is hard to know how Hampshire’s academic career was vitiated by the scandal over his affair with Ayer’s wife Renee, whom he married in 1961 after a divorce in which he was named as co-respondent. Even if less a matter of the dons’ moral conviction than their concern over how All Souls would appear, the affair caused a massive furore….

From a log24 entry on the day before Hampshire’s death:

I

“Hemingway called it a dirty trick.  It might even be an ancient Ordeal laid down on us by an evil Inquisitor in Space…. the dirty Ordeal by Death….”

— Jack Kerouac in Desolation Angels

II

The New Yorker of June 14  & 21, 2004:

…in ‘The Devil’s Eye,’ Bergman’s little-known comedy of 1960. Pablo seduces the wife of a minister, and then, sorrowful and sated, falling to his knees, he addresses her thus:

‘First, I’ll finish off that half-dug vegetable patch I saw. Then I’ll sit and let the rain fall on me. I shall feel wonderfully cool. And I’ll breakfast on one of those sour apples down by the gate. After that, I shall go back to Hell.’ “

Whether Hampshire is now in Hell, the reader may surmise.  Some evidence in Hampshire’s  favor:

His review of On Beauty and Being Just, by Elaine Scarry, in The New York Review of Books of November 18, 1999.  Note particularly his remarks on Fred Astaire, and the links to Astaire and the Four Last Things in an earlier entry of June 12, which was, as noted above, the day before Hampshire’s death.

As for the day of death itself, consider the  following  remark with which Hampshire concludes his review of Scarry’s  book:

“But one must occasionally fly the flag, and the flag, incorrigibly, is beauty.”

In this connection, see the entry of the Sunday Hampshire died, Spider Web, as well as entries on the harrowing of hell — Holy Saturday, 2004 — and on beauty —  Art Wars for Trotsky’s Birthday and A Mass for Lucero (written, as it happens, on June 13, 2002).

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Sunday November 2, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 AM

All Souls' Day
at the Still Point

From remarks on Denis Donoghue's Speaking of Beauty in the New York Review of Books, issue dated Nov. 20, 2003, page 48:

"The Russian theorist Bakhtin lends his august authority to what Donoghue's lively conversation has been saying, or implying, all along.  'Beauty does not know itself; it cannot found and validate itself — it simply is.' "

From The Bakhtin Circle:

"Goethe's imagination was fundamentally chronotopic, he visualised time in space:

Time and space merge … into an inseparable unity … a definite and absolutely concrete locality serves at the starting point for the creative imagination… this is a piece of human history, historical time condensed into space….

Dostoevskii… sought to present the voices of his era in a 'pure simultaneity' unrivalled since Dante. In contradistinction to that of Goethe this chronotope was one of visualising relations in terms of space not time and this leads to a philosophical bent that is distinctly messianic:

Only such things as can conceivably be linked at a single point in time are essential and are incorporated into Dostoevskii's world; such things can be carried over into eternity, for in eternity, according to Dostoevskii, all is simultaneous, everything coexists…. "

Bakhtin's notion of a "chronotope" was rather poorly defined.  For a geometric structure that might well be called by this name, see Poetry's Bones and Time Fold.  For a similar, but somewhat simpler, structure, see Balanchine's Birthday.

From Four Quartets:

"At the still point, there the dance is."

From an essay by William H. Gass on Malcolm Lowry's classic novel Under the Volcano:

"There is no o'clock in a cantina."
 

Monday, August 4, 2003

Monday August 4, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:03 AM

Resurrection

The previous entry, on Christian theology, does not imply that all religion is bad.  Consider, for instance, the following from a memorial web page

“Al Grierson’s song Resurrection was sung by Ray Wylie Hubbard, on his outstanding Dangerous Spirits album. The song is awesome, and fits right into Ray Wylie’s spirit ‘and an angel lay on a mattress and spoke of history and death with perfume on her lingerie and whiskey on her breath . . . he’s loading up his saddlebags on the edge of wonder, one is filled with music and the other’s filled with thunder.’ Wow.”

Amen.
Grierson died on November 2, 2000
All Souls Day, Dia de los Muertos.

My own favorite resurrection story is “Damnation Morning,” by Fritz Leiber; see Why Me? 

For more on the Day of the Dead, see Under the Volcano.

These are, of course, just stories, but may reflect some as yet unknown truth.

By the way, thanks, Joni, for leading me to KHYI.com on the day of the Toronto Stones concert.

Saturday, November 2, 2002

Saturday November 2, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Día de los Muertos

Today is All Souls’ Day, the Day of the Dead in Mexico. This site’s music for today, in honor of Rufino Tamayo, is “Luna y Sol.”

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