Click image to enlarge.
The above 35 projective lines, within a 4×4 array —
The above 15 projective planes, within a 4×4 array (in white) —
* See Galois Tesseract in this journal.
Click image to enlarge.
The above 35 projective lines, within a 4×4 array —
The above 15 projective planes, within a 4×4 array (in white) —
* See Galois Tesseract in this journal.
Yesterday's post suggests a review of the following —
Andries Brouwer, preprint, 1982:
"The Witt designs, Golay codes and Mathieu groups" Pages 89: Substructures of S(5, 8, 24) An octad is a block of S(5, 8, 24). Theorem 5.1
Let B_{0} be a fixed octad. The 30 octads disjoint from B_{0}
the design of the points and affine hyperplanes in AG(4, 2), Proof…. … (iv) We have AG(4, 2).
(Proof: invoke your favorite characterization of AG(4, 2) An explicit construction of the vector space is also easy….) 
Related material: Posts tagged Priority.
The three parts of the figure in today's earlier post "Defining Form"—
— share the same vectorspace structure:
0  c  d  c + d 
a  a + c  a + d  a + c + d 
b  b + c  b + d  b + c + d 
a + b  a + b + c  a + b + d  a + b + c + d 
(This vectorspace a b c d diagram is from Chapter 11 of
Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups , by John Horton
Conway and N. J. A. Sloane, first published by Springer
in 1988.)
The fact that any 4×4 array embodies such a structure was implicit in
the diamond theorem (February 1979). Any 4×4 array, regarded as
a model of the finite geometry AG(4, 2), may be called a Galois tesseract.
(So called because of the Galois geometry involved, and because the
16 cells of a 4×4 array with opposite edges identified have the same
adjacency pattern as the 16 vertices of a tesseract (see, for instance,
Coxeter's 1950 "SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs," figures
5 and 6).)
A 1982 discussion of a more abstract form of AG(4, 2):
Source:
The above 1982 remarks by Brouwer may or may not have influenced
the drawing of the above 1988 ConwaySloane diagram.
A post of September 1, The Galois Tesseract, noted that the interplay
of algebraic and geometric properties within the 4×4 array that forms
twothirds of the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) may first have
been described by Cullinane (AMS abstract 79TA37, Notices , Feb. 1979).
Here is some supporting material—
The passage from Carmichael above emphasizes the importance of
the 4×4 square within the MOG.
The passage from Conway and Sloane, in a book whose first edition
was published in 1988, makes explicit the structure of the MOG's
4×4 square as the affine 4space over the 2element Galois field.
The passage from Curtis (1974, published in 1976) describes 35 sets
of four "special tetrads" within the 4×4 square of the MOG. These
correspond to the 35 sets of four parallel 4point affine planes within
the square. Curtis, however, in 1976 makes no mention of the affine
structure, characterizing his 140 "special tetrads" rather by the parity
of their intersections with the square's rows and columns.
The affine structure appears in the 1979 abstract mentioned above—
The "35 structures" of the abstract were listed, with an application to
Latinsquare orthogonality, in a note from December 1978—
See also a 1987 article by R. T. Curtis—
Further elementary techniques using the miracle octad generator, by R. T. Curtis. Abstract:
“In this paper we describe various techniques, some of which are already used by devotees of the art, which relate certain maximal subgroups of the Mathieu group M_{24}, as seen in the MOG, to matrix groups over finite fields. We hope to bring out the wealth of algebraic structure* underlying the device and to enable the reader to move freely between these matrices and permutations. Perhaps the MOG was misnamed as simply an ‘octad generator’; in this paper we intend to show that it is in reality a natural diagram of the binary Golay code.”
(Received July 20 1987)
– Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Series 2) (1989), 32: 345353
* For instance:
Update of Sept. 4— This post is now a page at finitegeometry.org.
The title was suggested by the name "ARTI" of an artificial
intelligence in the new film 2036: Origin Unknown.
The Eye of ARTI —
See also a post of May 19, "UhOh" —
— and a post of June 6, "Geometry for Goyim" —
Mystery box merchandise from the 2011 J. J. Abrams film Super 8
An arty fact I prefer, suggested by the triangular computereye forms above —
This is from the July 29, 2012, post The Galois Tesseract.
See as well . . .
"By an archetype I mean a systematic repertoire
of ideas by means of which a given thinker describes,
by analogical extension , some domain to which
those ideas do not immediately and literally apply."
— Max Black in Models and Metaphors
(Cornell, 1962, p. 241)
"Others … spoke of 'ultimate frames of reference' …."
— Ibid.
A "frame of reference" for the concept four quartets —
A less reputable analogical extension of the same
frame of reference —
Madeleine L'Engle in A Swiftly Tilting Planet :
"… deep in concentration, bent over the model
they were building of a tesseract:
the square squared, and squared again…."
See also the phrase Galois tesseract .
"With respect to the story's content, the frame thus acts
both as an inclusion of the exterior and as an exclusion
of the interior: it is a perturbation of the outside at the
very core of the story's inside, and as such, it is a blurring
of the very difference between inside and outside."
— Shoshana Felman on a Henry James story, p. 123 in
"Turning the Screw of Interpretation,"
Yale French Studies No. 55/56 (1977), pp. 94207.
Published by Yale University Press.
See also the previous post and The Galois Tesseract.
The "Black" of the title refers to the previous post.
For the "Well," see Hexagram 48.
Related material —
The Galois Tesseract and, more generally, Binary Coordinate Systems.
Or: The Square
"What we do may be small, but it has
a certain character of permanence."
— G. H. Hardy
* See Expanding the Spielraum in this journal.
From a review of the 2016 film "Arrival" —
"A seemingly offhand reference to Abbott and Costello
is our gateway. In a movie as generally humorless as Arrival,
the jokes mean something. Ironically, it is Donnelly, not Banks,
who initiates the joke, naming the verbally inexpressive
Heptapod aliens after the loquacious Classical Hollywood
comedians. The squidlike aliens communicate via those beautiful,
cryptic images. Those signs, when thoroughly comprehended,
open the perceiver to a nonlinear conception of time; this is
SapirWhorf taken to the ludicrous extreme."
— Jordan Brower in the Los Angeles Review of Books
Further on in the review —
"Banks doesn’t fully understand the alien language, but she
knows it well enough to get by. This realization emerges
most evidently when Banks enters the alien ship and, floating
alongside Costello, converses with it in their picturelanguage.
She asks where Abbott is, and it responds — as presented
in subtitling — that Abbott 'is death process.'
'Death process' — dying — is not idiomatic English, and what
we see, written for us, is not a perfect translation but a
rendering of Banks’s understanding. This, it seems to me, is a
crucial moment marking the hard limit of a human mind,
working within the confines of human language to understand
an ultimately intractable xenolinguistic system."
For what may seem like an intractable xenolinguistic system to
those whose experience of mathematics is limited to portrayals
by Hollywood, see the previous post —
van Lint and Wilson Meet the Galois Tesseract.
The death process of van Lint occurred on Sept. 28, 2004.
Pinterest boards uploaded to the new m759.net/piwigo —
Update of May 2 —
Update of May 3 —
Update of May 8 —
Art Space board created at Pinterest
From a Google image search yesterday —
Sources (left to right, top to bottom) —
Math Guy (July 16, 2014)
The Galois Tesseract (Sept. 1, 2011)
The Full Force of Roman Law (April 21, 2014)
A Great Moonshine (Sept. 25, 2015)
A Point of Identity (August 8, 2016)
Pascal via Curtis (April 6, 2013)
Correspondences (August 6, 2011)
Symmetric Generation (Sept. 21, 2011)
For geeks* —
" Domain, Domain on the Range , "
where Domain = the Galois tesseract and
Range = the fourelement Galois field.
This post was suggested by the previous post,
by a Log24 search for Knight + Move, and by
the phrase "discouraging words" found in that search.
* A term from the 1947 film "Nightmare Alley."
The incidences of points and planes in the
Möbius 8_{4 } configuration (8 points and 8 planes,
with 4 points on each plane and 4 planes on each point),
were described by Coxeter in a 1950 paper.*
A table from Monday's post summarizes Coxeter's
remarks, which described the incidences in
spatial terms, with the points and planes as the vertices
and faceplanes of two mutually inscribed tetrahedra —
Monday's post, "Gallucci's Möbius Configuration,"
may not be completely intelligible unless one notices
that Coxeter has drawn some of the intersections in his
Fig. 24, a schematic representation of the pointplane
incidences, as dotless, and some as hollow dots. The figure,
"Gallucci's version of Möbius's 8_{4}," is shown below.
The hollow dots, representing the 8 points (as opposed
to the 8 planes ) of the configuration, are highlighted in blue.
Here a plane (represented by a dotless intersection) contains
the four points that are represented in the square array as lying
in the same row or same column as the plane.
The above Möbius incidences appear also much earlier in
Coxeter's paper, in figures 6 and 5, where they are shown
as describing the structure of a hypercube.
In figures 6 and 5, the dotless intersections representing
planes have been replaced by solid dots. The hollow dots
have again been highlighted in blue.
Figures 6 and 5 demonstrate the fact that adjacency in the set of
16 vertices of a hypercube is isomorphic to adjacency in the set
of 16 subsquares of a square 4×4 array, provided that opposite
sides of the array are identified, as in Fig. 6. The digits in
Coxeter's labels above may be viewed as naming the positions
of the 1's in (0,1) vectors (x_{4}, x_{3}, x_{2}, x_{1}) over the twoelement
Galois field.^{†} In that context, the 4×4 array may be called, instead
of a Möbius hypercube , a Galois tesseract .
* "SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs,"
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society,
Vol. 56 (1950), pp. 413455
^{†} The subscripts' usual 1234 order is reversed as a reminder
that such a vector may be viewed as labeling a binary number
from 0 through 15, or alternately as labeling a polynomial in
the 16element Galois field GF(2^{4}). See the Log24 post
Vector Addition in a Finite Field (Jan. 5, 2013).
(Continued from July 16, 2014.)
Some background from Wikipedia:
"Friedrich Ernst Peter Hirzebruch ForMemRS^{[2]}
(17 October 1927 – 27 May 2012)
was a German mathematician, working in the fields of topology,
complex manifolds and algebraic geometry, and a leading figure
in his generation. He has been described as 'the most important
mathematician in Germany of the postwar period.'
^{[3]}^{[4]}^{[5]}^{[6]}^{[7]}^{[8]}^{[9]}^{[10]}^{[11]"}
A search for citations of the A. E. Brouwer paper in
the previous post yields a quotation from the preface
to the third ("2013") edition of Wolfgang Ebeling's
Lattices and Codes: A Course Partially Based
on Lectures by Friedrich Hirzebruch , a book
reportedly published on September 19, 2012 —
"Sadly, on May 27 this year, Friedrich Hirzebruch, Hannover, July 2012 Wolfgang Ebeling "
(Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ebeling, Institute of Algebraic Geometry, 
Also sadly …
From H. S. M. Coxeter's 1950 paper
"SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs,"
a 4×4 array and a more perspicuous rearrangement—
(Click image to enlarge.)
The above rearrangement brings Coxeter's remarks into accord
with the webpage The Galois Tesseract.
Update of Thursday, March 26, 2015 —
For an explanation of Coxeter's Fig. 24, see Thursday's later
post titled "The Möbius Hypercube."
Continued from June 17, 2013
(John Baez as a savior for atheists):
As an atheistssavior, I prefer Galois…
The geometry underlying a figure that John Baez
posted four days ago, "A Hypercube of Bits," is
Galois geometry —
See The Galois Tesseract and an earlier
figure from Log24 on May 21, 2007:
For the genesis of the figure,
see The Geometry of Logic.
From Zettel (repunctuated for clarity):
249. « Nichts leichter, als sich einen 4dimensionalen Würfel
vorstellen! Er schaut so aus… »
"Nothing easier than to imagine a 4dimensional cube!
It looks like this…
[Here the editor supplied a picture of a 4dimensional cube
that was omitted by Wittgenstein in the original.]
« Aber das meine ich nicht, ich meine etwas wie…
"But I don't mean that, I mean something like…
…nur mit 4 Ausdehnungen! »
but with four dimensions!
« Aber das ist nicht, was ich dir gezeigt habe,
eben etwas wie…
"But isn't what I showed you like…
…nur mit 4 Ausdehnungen? »
…only with four dimensions?"
« Nein; das meine ich nicht! »
"No, I don't mean that!"
« Was aber meine ich? Was ist mein Bild?
Nun der 4dimensionale Würfel, wie du ihn gezeichnet hast,
ist es nicht ! Ich habe jetzt als Bild nur die Worte und
die Ablehnung alles dessen, was du mir zeigen kanst. »
"But what do I mean? What is my picture?
Well, it is not the fourdimensional cube
as you drew it. I have now for a picture only
the words and my rejection of anything
you can show me."
"Here's your damn Bild , Ludwig —"
Context: The Galois Tesseract.
Introducing a group of 322,560 affine transformations of Dürer’s ‘Magic’ Square
The four vectorspace substructures of digits in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place,
together with the diamond theorem, indicate that Dürer’s square “minus one”
can be transformed by permutations of rows, columns, and quadrants to a
square with (decimal) digits in the usual numerical order, increasing from
top left to bottom right. Such permutations form a group of order 322,560.
(Continued from Vector Addition in a Finite Field, Twelfth Night, 2013.)
The page of Whitehead linked to this morning
suggests a review of Polster's tetrahedral model
of the finite projective 3space PG(3,2) over the
twoelement Galois field GF(2).
The above passage from Whitehead's 1906 book suggests
that the tetrahedral model may be older than Polster thinks.
Shown at right below is a correspondence between Whitehead's
version of the tetrahedral model and my own square model,
based on the 4×4 array I call the Galois tesseract (at left below).
(Click to enlarge.)
"… this notion of ‘depth’ is an elusive one
even for a mathematician who can recognize it…."
— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology
Part I: An Inch Deep
Part II: An Inch Wide
See a search for "square inch space" in this journal.
See also recent posts with the tag depth.
The sixteendot square array in yesterday’s noon post suggests
the following remarks.
“This is the relativity problem: to fix objectively a class of
equivalent coordinatizations and to ascertain the group of
transformations S mediating between them.”
— Hermann Weyl, The Classical Groups ,
Princeton University Press, 1946, p. 16
The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977—
The 1977 matrix Q is echoed in the following from 2002—
A different representation of Cullinane’s 1977 square model of the
16point affine geometry over the twoelement Galois field GF(2)
is supplied by Conway and Sloane in Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups
(first published in 1988) :
Here a, b, c, d are basis vectors in the vector 4space over GF(2).
(For a 1979 version of this vector space, see AMS Abstract 79TA37.)
See also a 2011 publication of the Mathematical Association of America —
(On His Dies Natalis )…
This is asserted in an excerpt from…
"The smallest nonrank 3 strongly regular graphs
which satisfy the 4vertex condition"
by Mikhail Klin, Mariusz Meszka, Sven Reichard, and Alex Rosa,
BAYREUTHER MATHEMATISCHE SCHRIFTEN 73 (2005), 152212—
(Click for clearer image)
Note that Theorem 46 of Klin et al. describes the role
of the Galois tesseract in the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis (original 1976 version). The tesseract
(a 4×4 array) supplies the geometric part of the above
exceptional geometriccombinatorial isomorphism.
"How about another hand for the band?
They work real hard for it.
The Cherokee Cowboys, ladies and gentlemen."
— Ray Price, video, "Danny Boy Mid 80's Live"
Other deathly hallows suggested by today's NY Times—
Click the above image for posts from December 14.
That image mentions a death on August 5, 2005, in
"entertainment Mecca" Branson, Missouri.
Another note from August 5, 2005, reposted here
on Monday—
Happy birthday, Keith Richards.
Happy Beethoven's Birthday.
Related material: Abel 2005 and, more generally, Abel.
See also Visible Mathematics.
Odin's Jewel
Jim Holt, the author of remarks in yesterday's
Saturday evening post—
"It turns out that the Kyoto school of Buddhism
makes Heidegger seem like Rush Limbaugh—
it’s so rarified, I’ve never been able to
understand it at all. I’ve been knocking my head
against it for years."
— Vanity Fair Daily , July 16, 2012
Backstory: Odin + Jewel in this journal.
See also Odin on the Kyoto school —
For another version of Odin's jewel, see Log24
on the date— July 16, 2012— that Holt's Vanity Fair
remarks were published. Scroll to the bottom of the
"Mapping Problem continued" post for an instance of
the Galois tesseract —
The Kummer 16_{6} configuration is the configuration of sixteen
6sets within a 4×4 square array of points in which each 6set
is determined by one of the 16 points of the array and
consists of the 3 other points in that point's row and the
3 other points in that point's column.
See Configurations and Squares.
The Wikipedia article Kummer surface uses a rather poetic
phrase* to describe the relationship of the 16_{6} to a number
of other mathematical concepts — "geometric incarnation."
Related material from finitegeometry.org —
* Apparently from David Lehavi on March 18, 2007, at Citizendium .
The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977—
The Galois tesseract is the basis for a representation of the smallest
projective 3space, PG(3,2), that differs from the representation at
Wolfram Demonstrations Project. For the latter, see yesterday's post.
The tesseract representation underlies the diamond theorem, illustrated
below in its earliest form, also from the above February 1977 article—
As noted in a more recent version, the group described by
the diamond theorem is also the group of the 35 square
patterns within the 1976 Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of
R. T. Curtis.
Short Story — (Click image for some details.)
Parts of a longer story —
The Daily Princetonian today:
A different cover act, discussed here Saturday:
See also, in this journal, the Galois tesseract and the Crosswicks Curse.
"There is such a thing as a tesseract." — Crosswicks saying
The hypercube model of the 4space over the 2element Galois field GF(2):
The phrase Galois tesseract may be used to denote a different model
of the above 4space: the 4×4 square.
MacWilliams and Sloane discussed the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R. T. Curtis further on in their book (see below), but did not
seem to realize in 1977 that the 4×4 structures within the MOG are
based on the Galoistesseract model of the 4space over GF(2).
The thirtyfive 4×4 structures within the MOG:
Curtis himself first described these 35 square MOG patterns
combinatorially, (as his title indicated) rather than
algebraically or geometrically:
A later book coauthored by Sloane, first published in 1988,
did recognize the 4×4 MOG patterns as based on the 4×4
Galoistesseract model.
Between the 1977 and 1988 Sloane books came the diamond theorem.
Update of May 29, 2013:
The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977
(the year the above MacWilliamsSloane book was first published):
Best vs. Bester
The previous post ended with a reference mentioning Rosenhain.
For a recent application of Rosenhain's work, see
Desargues via Rosenhain (April 1, 2013).
From the next day, April 2, 2013:
"The proof of Desargues' theorem of projective geometry
comes as close as a proof can to the Zen ideal.
It can be summarized in two words: 'I see!' "
– GianCarlo Rota in Indiscrete Thoughts (1997)
Also in that book, originally from a review in Advances in Mathematics ,
Vol. 84, Number 1, Nov. 1990, p. 136:
See, too, in the ConwaySloane book, the Galois tesseract …
and, in this journal, Geometry for Jews and The Deceivers , by Bester.
From an arXiv preprint submitted July 18, 2011,
and last revised on March 11, 2013 (version 4):
"By our construction, this vector space is the dual
of our hypercube F_{2}^{4} built on I \ O_{9}. The vector space
structure of the latter, to our knowledge, is first
mentioned by Curtis in [Cur89]. Hence altogether
our proposition 2.3.4 gives a novel geometric
meaning in terms of Kummer geometry to the known
vector space structure on I \ O_{9}."
[Cur89] reference:
R. T. Curtis, "Further elementary techniques using
the miracle octad generator," Proc. Edinburgh
Math. Soc. 32 (1989), 345353 (received on
July 20, 1987).
— Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
"The overarching finite symmetry group of Kummer
surfaces in the Mathieu group M _{24 },"
arXiv.org > hepth > arXiv:1107.3834
"First mentioned by Curtis…."
No. I claim that to the best of my knowledge, the
vector space structure was first mentioned by me,
Steven H. Cullinane, in an AMS abstract submitted
in October 1978, some nine years before the
Curtis article.
Update of the above paragraph on July 6, 2013—
No. The vector space structure was described by
The vector space structure as it occurs in a 4×4 array 
See Notes on Finite Geometry for some background.
See in particular The Galois Tesseract.
For the relationship of the 1978 abstract to Kummer
geometry, see Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2).
"The proof of Desargues' theorem of projective geometry
comes as close as a proof can to the Zen ideal.
It can be summarized in two words: 'I see!' "
— GianCarlo Rota in Indiscrete Thoughts (1997)
Also in that book, originally from a review in Advances in Mathematics,
Vol. 84, Number 1, Nov. 1990, p. 136:
Related material:
Pascal and the Galois nocciolo ,
Conway and the Galois tesseract,
Gardner and Galois.
See also Rota and Psychoshop.
Today's previous post recalled a post
from ten years before yesterday's date.
The subject of that post was the
Galois tesseract.
Here is a post from ten years before
today's date.
The subject of that post is the Halmos
tombstone:
"The symbol is used throughout the entire book
in place of such phrases as 'Q.E.D.' or 'This
completes the proof of the theorem' to signal
the end of a proof."
— Measure Theory (1950)
For exact proportions, click on the tombstone.
For some classic mathematics related
to the proportions, see September 2003.
Story, Structure, and the Galois Tesseract
Recent Log24 posts have referred to the
"Penrose diamond" and Minkowski space.
The Penrose diamond has nothing whatever
to do with my 1976 monograph "Diamond Theory,"
except for the diamond shape and the connection
of the Penrose diamond to the Klein quadric—
The Klein quadric occurs in the fivedimensional projective space
over a field. If the field is the twoelement Galois field GF(2), the
quadric helps explain certain remarkable symmetry properties
of the R. T. Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG), hence of
the large Mathieu group M_{24}. These properties are also
relevant to the 1976 "Diamond Theory" monograph.
For some background on the quadric, see (for instance)…
See also The Klein Correspondence,
Penrose SpaceTime, and a Finite Model.
Related material:
"… one might crudely distinguish between philosophical – J. M. E. Hyland. "Proof Theory in the Abstract." (pdf) 
Those who prefer story to structure may consult
The finite (i.e., Galois) field GF(16),
according to J. J. Seidel in 1974—
The same field according to Steven H. Cullinane in 1986,
in its guise as the affine 4space over GF(2)—
The same field, again disguised as an affine 4space,
according to John H. Conway and N.J.A. Sloane in
Sphere Packings, Lattices, and Groups , first published in 1988—
The above figure by Conway and Sloane summarizes, using
a 4×4 array, the additive vectorspace structure of the finite
field GF(16).
This structure embodies what in Euclidean space is called
the parallelogram rule for vector addition—
(Thanks to June Lester for the 3D (uvw) part of the above figure.)
For the transition from this colored Euclidean hypercube
(used above to illustrate the parallelogram rule) to the
4×4 Galois space (illustrated by Cullinane in 1979 and
Conway and Sloane in 1988— or later… I do not have
their book’s first edition), see Diamond Theory in 1937,
Vertex Adjacency in a Tesseract and in a 4×4 Array,
Spaces as Hypercubes, and The Galois Tesseract.
For some related narrative, see tesseract in this journal.
(This post has been added to finitegeometry.org.)
Update of August 9, 2013—
Coordinates for hypercube vertices derived from the
parallelogram rule in four dimensions were better
illustrated by Jürgen Köller in a web page archived in 2002.
Update of August 13, 2013—
The four basis vectors in the 2002 Köller hypercube figure
are also visible at the bottom of the hypercube figure on
page 7 of “Diamond Theory,” excerpts from a 1976 preprint
in Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977.
A predecessor: Coxeter’s 1950 hypercube figure from
“SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs.”
Euclidean square and triangle—
Galois square and triangle—
Background—
This journal on the date of Hilton Kramer's death,
The Galois Tesseract, and The Purloined Diamond.
Background— George Steiner in this journal
and elsewhere—
"An intensity of outward attention —
interest, curiosity, healthy obsession —
was Steiner’s version of God’s grace."
— Lee Siegel in The New York Times ,
March 12, 2009
(See also Aesthetics of Matter in this journal on that date.)
Steiner in 1969 defined man as "a language animal."
Here is Steiner in 1974 on another definition—
Related material—
Also related — Kantor in 1981 on "exquisite finite geometries," and The Galois Tesseract.
"Debates about canonicity have been raging in my field
(literary studies) for as long as the field has been
around. Who's in? Who's out? How do we decide?"
— Stephen Ramsay, "The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around"
An example of canonicity in geometry—
"There are eight heptads of 7 mutually azygetic screws, each consisting of the screws having a fixed subscript (from 0 to 7) in common. The transformations of LF(4,2) correspond in a onetoone manner with the even permutations on these heptads, and this establishes the isomorphism of LF(4,2) and A_{8}. The 35 lines in S_{3} correspond uniquely to the separations of the eight heptads into two complementary sets of 4…."
— J.S. Frame, 1955 review of a 1954 paper by W.L. Edge,
"The Geometry of the Linear Fractional Group LF(4,2)"
Thanks for the Ramsay link are due to Stanley Fish
(last evening's online New York Times ).
For further details, see The Galois Tesseract.
J. H. Conway in 1971 discussed the role of an elementary abelian group
of order 16 in the Mathieu group M_{24}. His approach at that time was
purely algebraic, not geometric—
For earlier (and later) discussions of the geometry (not the algebra )
of that order16 group (i.e., the group of translations of the affine space
of 4 dimensions over the 2element field), see The Galois Tesseract.
"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs
From a commercial testprep firm in New York City—
From the date of the above uploading—

From a New Year's Day, 2012, weblog post in New Zealand—
From Arthur C. Clarke, an early version of his 2001 monolith—
"So they left a sentinel, one of millions they have scattered
throughout the Universe, watching over all worlds with the
promise of life. It was a beacon that down the ages has been
patiently signaling the fact that no one had discovered it.
Perhaps you understand now why that crystal pyramid was set…."
The numerical (not crystal) pyramid above is related to a sort of
mathematical block design known as a Steiner system.
For its relationship to the graphic block design shown above,
see the webpages Block Designs and The Diamond Theorem
as well as The Galois Tesseract and R. T. Curtis's classic paper
"A New Combinatorial Approach to M_{24}," which contains the following
version of the above numerical pyramid—
For graphic block designs, I prefer the blocks (and the parents)
of Grand Rapids to those of New York City.
For the barbed tail of Clarke's "Angel" story, see the New Zealand post
of New Year's Day mentioned above.
Mathematics —
(Some background for the Galois tesseract )
Narrative —
An essay on science and philosophy in the January 2012
Notices of the American Mathematical Society .
Note particularly the narrative explanation of the doubleslit experiment—
"The assertion that elementary particles have
free will and follow Quality very closely leads to
some startling consequences. For instance, the
waveparticle duality paradox, in particular the baffling
results of the famous double slit experiment,
may now be reconsidered. In that experiment, first
conducted by Thomas Young at the beginning
of the nineteenth century, a point light source
illuminated a thin plate with two adjacent parallel
slits in it. The light passing through the slits
was projected on a screen behind the plate, and a
pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen was
observed. It was precisely the interference pattern
caused by the diffraction patterns of waves passing
through adjacent holes in an obstruction. However,
when the same experiment was carried out much
later, only this time with photons being shot at
the screen one at a time—the same interference
pattern resulted! But the Metaphysics of Quality
can offer an explanation: the photons each follow
Quality in their actions, and so either individually
or en masse (i.e., from a light source) will do the
same thing, that is, create the same interference
pattern on the screen."
This is from "a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at the University of Calgary."
His essay is titled "A Perspective on Wigner’s 'Unreasonable Effectiveness
of Mathematics.'" It might better be titled "Ineffective Metaphysics."
Mathematics and Narrative, continued
"… a vision invisible, even ineffable, as ineffable as the Angels and the Universal Souls"
— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word , 1975, quoted here on October 30th
"… our laughable abstractions, our wryly ironic pomo angels dancing on the heads of so many misimagined quantum pins."
— Dan Conover on September 1st, 2011
"Recently I happened to be talking to a prominent California geologist, and she told me: 'When I first went into geology, we all thought that in science you create a solid layer of findings, through experiment and careful investigation, and then you add a second layer, like a second layer of bricks, all very carefully, and so on. Occasionally some adventurous scientist stacks the bricks up in towers, and these towers turn out to be insubstantial and they get torn down, and you proceed again with the careful layers. But we now realize that the very first layers aren't even resting on solid ground. They are balanced on bubbles, on concepts that are full of air, and those bubbles are being burst today, one after the other.'
I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He's floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can't see it, but he's much impressed. He names it God."
— Tom Wolfe, "Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died," Forbes , 1996
"… Ockham's idea implies that we probably have the ability to do something now such that if we were to do it, then the past would have been different…"
— Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"Today is February 28, 2008, and we are privileged to begin a conversation with Mr. Tom Wolfe."
— Interviewer for the National Association of Scholars
From that conversation—
Wolfe : "People in academia should start insisting on objective scholarship, insisting on it, relentlessly, driving the point home, ramming it down the gullets of the politically correct, making noise! naming names! citing egregious examples! showing contempt to the brink of brutality!"
As for "misimagined quantum pins"…
This journal on the date of the above interview— February 28, 2008—
Illustration from a Perimeter Institute talk given on July 20, 2005
The date of Conover's "quantum pins" remark above (together with Ockham's remark above and the above image) suggests a story by Conover, "The Last Epiphany," and four posts from September 1st, 2011—
Boundary, How It Works, For Thor's Day, and The Galois Tesseract.
Those four posts may be viewed as either an exploration or a parody of the boundary between mathematics and narrative.
"There is such a thing as a tesseract." —A Wrinkle in Time
Today is day 256 of 2011, Programmers' Day.
Yesterday, Monday, R. W. Barraclough's website pictured the Octad of the Week—
" X never, ever, marks the spot."
See also The Galois Tesseract.
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