Log24

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Gold Bug Variations (Continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:32 PM


See as well a search for "Gold Bug"  in this  journal.

From that search —

Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations , first published in 1991—

Botkin, whatever her gifts as a conversationist, is almost as old
as the rediscovery of Mendel. The other extreme in age, 
Joe Lovering, beat a time-honored path out of pure math 
into muddy population statistics. Ressler has seen the guy 
potting about in the lab, although exactly what the excitable kid 
does is anybody's guess. He looks decidedly gumfooted holding
any equipment more corporeal than a chi-square. Stuart takes
him to the Y for lunch, part of a court-your-resources campaign.
He has the sub, Lovering the congealed mac and cheese. 
Hardly are they seated when Joe whips out a napkin and begins
sketching proofs. He argues that the genetic code, as an 
algorithmic formal system, is subject to Gödel's Incompleteness
Theorem. "That would mean the symbolic language of the code 
can't be both consistent and complete. Wouldn't that be a kick 
in the head?"

Kid talk, competitive showing off, intellectual fantasy. 
But Ressler knows what Joe is driving at. He's toyed with similar 
ideas, cast in less abstruse terms. We are the by-product of the 
mechanism in there. So it must be more ingenious than us. 
Anything complex enough to create consciousness may be too 
complex for consciousness to understand. Yet the ultimate paradox
is Lovering, crouched over his table napkin, using proofs to 
demonstrate proof's limits. Lovering laughs off recursion and takes
up another tack: the key is to find some formal symmetry folded
in this four-base chaos
. Stuart distrusts this approach even more.
He picks up the tab for their two untouched lunches, thanking 
Lovering politely for the insight.

"The key is to find some formal symmetry…."

IMAGE- Valéry on ornament in 'Method of Leonardo,' with Valéry's serpent-and-key emblem

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Kick

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

George Steiner, Real Presences , first published in 1989—

The inception of critical thought, of a philosophic anthropology,
is contained in the archaic Greek definition of man as a
'language-animal'….

Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations , first published in 1991—

Botkin, whatever her gifts as a conversationist, is almost as old
as the rediscovery of Mendel. The other extreme in age,
Joe Lovering, beat a time-honored path out of pure math
into muddy population statistics. Ressler has seen the guy
potting about in the lab, although exactly what the excitable kid
does is anybody's guess. He looks decidedly gumfooted holding
any equipment more corporeal than a chi-square. Stuart takes
him to the Y for lunch, part of a court-your-resources campaign.
He has the sub, Levering the congealed mac and cheese.
Hardly are they seated when Joe whips out a napkin and begins
sketching proofs. He argues that the genetic code, as an
algorithmic formal system, is subject to Gödel's Incompleteness
Theorem. "That would mean the symbolic language of the code
can't be both consistent and complete. Wouldn't that be a kick
in the head?"

Kid talk, competitive showing off, intellectual fantasy.
But Ressler knows what Joe is driving at. He's toyed with similar
ideas, cast in less abstruse terms. We are the by-product of the
mechanism in there. So it must be more ingenious than us.
Anything complex enough to create consciousness may be too
complex for consciousness to understand. Yet the ultimate paradox
is Lovering, crouched over his table napkin, using proofs to
demonstrate proof's limits. Lovering laughs off recursion and takes
up another tack: the key is to find some formal symmetry folded
in this four-base chaos
. Stuart distrusts this approach even more.
He picks up the tab for their two untouched lunches, thanking
Lovering politely for the insight.

Edith Piaf—

Non, rien de rien

See last midnight's post and Theme and Variations.

"The key is to find some formal symmetry…."

IMAGE- Valéry on ornament in 'Method of Leonardo,' with Valéry's serpent-and-key emblem

Friday, May 6, 2011

Theme and Variations

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:23 AM

"The theme swells…"

Richard Powers, "The Perpetual Calendar," from The Gold Bug Variations , 1991

See also, from last All Hallows' Eve, "Diamond Theorem in Norway."

Friday, January 5, 2007

Friday January 5, 2007

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

Photo op for Gerald Ford

Final page of The New York Times Book Review, issue dated January 7, 2007:

On using speech-recognition software to dictate a book:

"Writing is the act of accepting the huge shortfall between the story in the mind and what hits the page. 'From your lips to God's ears,' goes the old Yiddish wish. The writer, by contrast, tries to read God's lips and pass along the words…. And for that, an interface will never be clean or invisible enough for us to get the passage right….

Everthing we write– through any medium– is lost in translation. But something new is always found again, in their eager years. In Derrida's fears.  Make that: in the reader's ears."

Richard Powers (author of The Gold Bug Variations)
 

Found in translation:

Klein four-group

Click on picture
for details.
 

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday June 18, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Gold Bug
Variations

The personae of summer
    play the characters
Of an inhuman author,
    who meditates
With the gold bugs,
    in blue meadows,
    late at night.

— Wallace Stevens,
“Credences of Summer,”
Canto X, Collected Poetry
and Prose
, 322-326

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Wednesday August 4, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:04 PM

Summering Forth

Everything that ever summered forth starts
in identical springs, or four-note variations
on that repeated theme: four seasons,
four winds, four corners, four-chambered heart…

— Richard Powers, “The Perpetual Calendar,”
    from The Gold Bug Variations, 1991

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Wednesday May 5, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Quartets

  1. Charles Small’s new transcription of The Goldberg Variations for string quartet
  2. Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations

  3. Theme and Variations
  4. Poetry’s Bones

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