See also Time Cube elsewhere in this journal.
Found today in an Internet image search, from the website of
an anonymous amateur mathematics enthusiast —
Forming Gray codes in the eightfold cube with the eight
I Ching trigrams (bagua ) —
This journal on Nov. 7, 2016 —
A different sort of cube, from the makers of the recent
Netflix miniseries "Maniac" —
See also Rubik in this journal.
The Java applets at the webpage "Diamonds and Whirls"
that illustrate Cullinane cubes may be difficult to display.
Here instead is an animated GIF that shows the basic unit
for the "design cube" pages at finitegeometry.org.
From this journal on August 18, 2015, "A Wrinkle in Terms" —
For two misuses by John Baez of the phrase “permutation group”
at the nCategory Café, see “A Wrinkle in the Mathematical Universe”
and “Re: A Wrinkle…” —
“There is such a thing as a permutation group.”
— Adapted from A Wrinkle in Time , by Madeleine L’Engle
* See RIP, Time Cube at gizmodo.com (September 1, 2015).
The Blacklist “Pilot” Review
"There is an element of camp to this series though. Spader is
quite gleefully channeling Anthony Hopkins, complete with being
a well educated, elegant man locked away in a supercell.
Speaking of that supercell, it’s kind of ridiculous. They’ve got him
locked up in an abandoned post office warehouse on a little
platform with a chair inside a giant metal cube that looks like
it could have been built by Tony Stark. And as Liz approaches
to talk to him, the entire front of the cube opens and the whole
thing slides back to leave just the platform and chair. Really?
FUCKING REALLY ? "
— Kate Reilly at Geekenstein.com (Sept. 27, 2013)
From Don DeLillo's novel Point Omega — I knew what he was, or what he was supposed to be, a defense intellectual, without the usual credentials, and when I used the term it made him tense his jaw with a proud longing for the early weeks and months, before he began to understand that he was occupying an empty seat. "There were times when no map existed to match the reality we were trying to create." "What reality?" "This is something we do with every eyeblink. Human perception is a saga of created reality. But we were devising entities beyond the agreedupon limits of recognition or interpretation. Lying is necessary. The state has to lie. There is no lie in war or in preparation for war that can't be defended. We went beyond this. We tried to create new realities overnight, careful sets of words that resemble advertising slogans in memorability and repeatability. These were words that would yield pictures eventually and then become threedimensional. The reality stands, it walks, it squats. Except when it doesn't." He didn't smoke but his voice had a sandlike texture, maybe just raspy with age, sometimes slipping inward, becoming nearly inaudible. We sat for some time. He was slouched in the middle of the sofa, looking off toward some point in a high corner of the room. He had scotch and water in a coffee mug secured to his midsection. Finally he said, "Haiku." I nodded thoughtfully, idiotically, a slow series of gestures meant to indicate that I understood completely. "Haiku means nothing beyond what it is. A pond in summer, a leaf in the wind. It's human consciousness located in nature. It's the answer to everything in a set number of lines, a prescribed syllable count. I wanted a haiku war," he said. "I wanted a war in three lines. This was not a matter of force levels or logistics. What I wanted was a set of ideas linked to transient things. This is the soul of haiku. Bare everything to plain sight. See what's there. Things in war are transient. See what's there and then be prepared to watch it disappear." 
What's there—
This view of a die's faces 3, 6, and 5, in counter
clockwise order (see previous post) suggests a way
of labeling the eight corners of a die (or cube):
123, 135, 142, 154, 246, 263, 365, 456.
Here opposite faces of the die sum to 7, and the
three faces meeting at each corner are listed
in counterclockwise order. (This corresponds
to a labeling of one of MacMahon's* 30 colored cubes.)
A similar vertexlabeling may be used in describing
the automorphisms of the order8 quaternion group.
For a more literary approach to quaternions, see
Pynchon's novel Against the Day .
* From Peter J. Cameron's weblog:
"The big name associated with this is Major MacMahon,
an associate of Hardy, Littlewood and Ramanujan,
of whom Robert Kanigel said,
His expertise lay in combinatorics, a sort of
glorified dicethrowing, and in it he had made
contributions original enough to be named
a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Glorified dicethrowing, indeed…"
Denote the ddimensional hypercube by γ_{d} .
"… after coloring the sixtyfour vertices of γ_{6}
alternately red and blue, we can say that
the sixteen pairs of opposite red vertices represent
the sixteen nodes of Kummer's surface, while
the sixteen pairs of opposite blue vertices
represent the sixteen tropes."
— From "Kummer's 16_{6 }," section 12 of Coxeter's 1950
"Selfdual Configurations and Regular Graphs"
Just as the 4×4 square represents the 4dimensional
hypercube γ_{4 }over the twoelement Galois field GF(2),
so the 4x4x4 cube represents the 6dimensional
hypercube γ_{6} over GF(2).
For religious interpretations, see
Nanavira Thera (Indian) and
I Ching geometry (Chinese).
See also two professors in The New York Times
discussing images of the sacred in an oped piece
dated Sept. 26 (Yom Kippur).
The second Logos figure in the previous post
summarized affine group actions on partitions
that generate a group of about 1.3 trillion
permutations of a 4x4x4 cube (shown below)—
Click for further details.
“Examples galore of this feeling must have arisen in the minds of the people who extended the Magic Cube concept to other polyhedra, other dimensions, other ways of slicing. And once you have made or acquired a new ‘cube’… you will want to know how to export a known algorithm , broken up into its fundamental operators , from a familiar cube. What is the essence of each operator? One senses a deep invariant lying somehow ‘down underneath’ it all, something that one can’t quite verbalize but that one recognizes so clearly and unmistakably in each new example, even though that example might violate some feature one had thought necessary up to that very moment. In fact, sometimes that violation is what makes you sure you’re seeing the same thing , because it reveals slippabilities you hadn’t sensed up till that time….
… example: There is clearly only one sensible 4 × 4 × 4 Magic Cube. It is the answer; it simply has the right spirit .”
— Douglas R. Hofstadter, 1985, Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (Kindle edition, locations 1155711572)
See also Many Dimensions in this journal and Solomon’s Cube.
The following picture provides a new visual approach to
the order8 quaternion group's automorphisms.
Click the above image for some context.
Here the cube is called "eightfold" because the eight vertices,
like the eight subcubes of a 2×2×2 cube,* are thought of as
independently movable. See The Eightfold Cube.
See also…
Related material: Robin Chapman and Karen E. Smith
on the quaternion group's automorphisms.
* See Margaret Wertheim's Christmas Eve remarks on mathematics
and the following eightfold cube from an institute she cofounded—
Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(cofounded by Margaret Wertheim)
Prequel — (Click to enlarge)
Background —
See also Rubik in this journal.
* For the title, see Groups Acting.
Click the above image for some background.
Related material:
Skateboard legend Andy Kessler,
this morning's The Gleaming,
and But Sometimes I Hit London.
From the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, Jan. 26, 2005:
What is known about unit cubes
by Chuanming Zong, Peking University
Abstract: Unit cubes, from any point of view, are among the simplest and the most important objects in ndimensional Euclidean space. In fact, as one will see from this survey, they are not simple at all….
From Log24, now:
What is known about the 4×4×4 cube
by Steven H. Cullinane, unaffiliated
Abstract: The 4×4×4 cube, from one point of view, is among the simplest and the most important objects in ndimensional binary space. In fact, as one will see from the links below, it is not simple at all.
The Klein Correspondence, Penrose SpaceTime, and a Finite Model
Related material:
Monday’s entry Just Say NO and a poem by Stevens,
The resemblance to the eightfold cube is, of course,
completely coincidental.
Some background from the literature —
From a paper cited in the above story:
“Fig. 4 A lattice geometry for a surface code.” —
The above figure suggests a search for “surface code” cube :
Related poetic remarks — “Illumination of a surface.”
Also on January 27, 2017 . . .
For other appearances of John Hurt here,
see 1984 Cubes.
Update of 12:45 AM Feb. 22 —
A check of later obituaries reveals that Hurt may well
have died on January 25, 2017, not January 27 as above.
Thus the following remarks may be more appropriate:
Not to mention what, why, who, and how.
Two of the thumbnail previews
from yesterday's 1 AM post …
Further down in the "6 Prescott St." post, the link 5 Divinity Avenue
leads to …
A Letter from Timothy Leary, Ph.D., July 17, 1961
Harvard University July 17, 1961
Dr. Thomas S. Szasz Dear Dr. Szasz: Your book arrived several days ago. I've spent eight hours on it and realize the task (and joy) of reading it has just begun. The Myth of Mental Illness is the most important book in the history of psychiatry. I know it is rash and premature to make this earlier judgment. I reserve the right later to revise and perhaps suggest it is the most important book published in the twentieth century. It is great in so many ways–scholarship, clinical insight, political savvy, common sense, historical sweep, human concern– and most of all for its compassionate, shattering honesty. . . . . 
The small Morton Prince House in the above letter might, according to
the abovequoted remarks by Corinna S. Rohse, be called a "jewel box."
Harvard moved it in 1978 from Divinity Avenue to its current location at
6 Prescott Street.
Related "jewel box" material for those who
prefer narrative to mathematics —
"In The Electric KoolAid Acid Test , Tom Wolfe writes about encountering
'a young psychologist,' 'Clifton Fadiman’s nephew, it turned out,' in the
waiting room of the San Mateo County jail. Fadiman and his wife were
'happily stuffing three IChing coins into some interminable dense volume*
of Oriental mysticism' that they planned to give Ken Kesey, the Prankster
inChief whom the FBI had just nabbed after eight months on the lam.
Wolfe had been granted an interview with Kesey, and they wanted him to
tell their friend about the hidden coins. During this difficult time, they
explained, Kesey needed oracular advice."
— Tim Doody in The Morning News web 'zine on July 26, 2012**
Oracular advice related to yesterday evening's
"jewel box" post …
A 4dimensional hypercube H (a tesseract ) has 24 square
2dimensional faces. In its incarnation as a Galois tesseract
(a 4×4 square array of points for which the appropriate transformations
are those of the affine 4space over the finite (i.e., Galois) twoelement
field GF(2)), the 24 faces transform into 140 4point "facets." The Galois
version of H has a group of 322,560 automorphisms. Therefore, by the
orbitstabilizer theorem, each of the 140 facets of the Galois version has
a stabilizer group of 2,304 affine transformations.
Similar remarks apply to the I Ching In its incarnation as
a Galois hexaract , for which the symmetry group — the group of
affine transformations of the 6dimensional affine space over GF(2) —
has not 322,560 elements, but rather 1,290,157,424,640.
* The volume Wolfe mentions was, according to Fadiman, the I Ching.
** See also this journal on that date — July 26, 2012.
The previous post dealt with “magic” cubes, so called because of the
analogous “magic” squares. Douglas Hofstadter has written about a
different, physical , object, promoted as “the Magic Cube,” that Hofstadter
felt embodied “a deep invariant”:
… and Schoolgirl Space
"This poem contrasts the prosaic and sensual world of the here and now
with the transcendent and timeless world of beauty in art, and the first line,
'That is no country for old men,' refers to an artless world of impermanence
and sensual pleasure."
— "Yeats' 'Sailing to Byzantium' and McCarthy's No Country for Old Men :
Art and Artifice in the New Novel,"
Steven Frye in The Cormac McCarthy Journal ,
Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 2005), pp. 1420.
See also Schoolgirl Space in this journal.
* See, for instance, Lewis Hyde on the word "artifice" and . . .
Cube Bricks 1984 —
From "Tomorrowland" (2015) —
From John Baez (2018) —
See also this morning's post Perception of Space
and yesterday's Exploring Schoolgirl Space.
The three previous posts have now been tagged . . .
Tetrahedron vs. Square and Triangle vs. Cube.
Related material —
Tetrahedron vs. Square:
Labeling the Tetrahedral Model (Click to enlarge) —
Triangle vs. Cube:
… and, from the date of the above John Baez remark —
“I am always the figure in someone else’s dream. I would really rather
sometimes make my own figures and make my own dreams.”
— John Malkovich at squarespace.com, January 10, 2017
Also on that date . . .
See also "Quantum Tesseract Theorem" and "The Crosswicks Curse."
Anonymous remarks on the schoolgirl problem at Wikipedia —
"This solution has a geometric interpretation in connection with
Galois geometry and PG(3,2). Take a tetrahedron and label its
vertices as 0001, 0010, 0100 and 1000. Label its six edge centers
as the XOR of the vertices of that edge. Label the four face centers
as the XOR of the three vertices of that face, and the body center
gets the label 1111. Then the 35 triads of the XOR solution correspond
exactly to the 35 lines of PG(3,2). Each day corresponds to a spread
and each week to a packing."
See also Polster + Tetrahedron in this journal.
There is a different "geometric interpretation in connection with
Galois geometry and PG(3,2)" that uses a square model rather
than a tetrahedral model. The square model of PG(3,2) last
appeared in the schoolgirlproblem article on Feb. 11, 2017, just
before a revision that removed it.
See as well posts mentioning "An Object of Beauty."
Update of 12 AM June 11 — A screenshot of this post
is now available at http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/hqk7nx97 .
" 'My public image is unshakably that of
America’s wholesome virgin, the girl next door,
carefree and brimming with happiness,'
she said in Doris Day: Her Own Story ,
a 1976 book . . . ."
From "Angels & Demons Meet Hudson Hawk" (March 19, 2013) —
From the March 1 post "Solomon and the Image," a related figure —
The title refers to CalabiYau spaces.
Four Quartets
. . . Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
A less "cosmic" but still noteworthy code — The Golay code.
This resides in a 12dimensional space over GF(2).
Related material from Plato and R. T. Curtis —
A related CalabiYau "Chinese jar" first described in detail in 1905 —
A figure that may or may not be related to the 4x4x4 cube that
holds the classical Chinese "cosmic code" — the I Ching —
ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/hanson/forSha/AK3/old/K3pix.pdf
The 4×4 square may also be called the Galois Tesseract .
By analogy, the 4x4x4 cube may be called the Galois Hexeract .
"Maybe an image is too strong
Or maybe is not strong enough."
— "Solomon and the Witch,"
by William Butler Yeats
Suggested by a review of Curl on Modernism —
Related material —
Waugh + Orwell in this journal and …
The title was suggested by Ellmann's roulettewheel analogy
in the previous post, "The Perception of Coincidence."
Ellmann on Joyce and 'the perception of coincidence' —
"Samuel Beckett has remarked that to Joyce reality was a paradigm,
an illustration of a possibly unstatable rule. Yet perhaps the rule
can be surmised. It is not a perception of order or of love; more humble
than either of these, it is the perception of coincidence. According to
this rule, reality, no matter how much we try to manipulate it, can only
assume certain forms; the roulette wheel brings up the same numbers
again and again; everyone and everything shift about in continual
movement, yet movement limited in its possibilities."
— Richard Ellmann, James Joyce , rev. ed.. Oxford, 1982, p. 551
John Calder, an independent British publisher who built a prestigious list
of authors like Samuel Beckett and Heinrich Böll and spiritedly defended
writers like Henry Miller against censorship, died on Aug. 13 in Edinburgh.
He was 91.
— Richard Sandomir in the online New York Times this evening
On Beckett —
Also on August 13th —
The phrase "Blue Dream" in the previous post
suggests a Web search for Traumnovelle .
That search yields an interesting weblog post
from 2014 commemorating the 1999 dies natalis
(birth into heaven) of St. Stanley Kubrick.
Related material from March 7, 2014,
in this journal —
That 2014 post was titled "Kummer Varieties." It is now tagged
"Kummerhenge." For some backstory, see other posts so tagged.
From the Diamond Theorem Facebook page —
A question three hours ago at that page —
“Is this Time Cube?”
Notes toward an answer —
And from SixSet Geometry in this journal . . .
Related material on automorphism groups —
The "Eightfold Cube" structure shown above with Weyl
competes rather directly with the "Eightfold Way" sculpture
shown above with Bryant. The structure and the sculpture
each illustrate Klein's order168 simple group.
Perhaps in part because of this competition, fans of the Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute (MSRI, pronounced "Misery') are less likely
to enjoy, and discuss, the eightcube mathematical structure above
than they are an eightcube mechanical puzzle like the one below.
Note also the earlier (2006) "Design Cube 2x2x2" webpage
illustrating graphic designs on the eightfold cube. This is visually,
if not mathematically, related to the (2010) "Expert's Cube."
The search for Langlands in the previous post
yields the following Toronto Star illustration —
From a review of the recent film "Justice League" —
"Now all they need is to resurrect Superman (Henry Cavill),
stop Steppenwolf from reuniting his three Mother Cubes
(sure, whatever) and wrap things up in under two cinematic
hours (God bless)."
For other cubic adventures, see yesterday's post on A Piece of Justice
and the block patterns in posts tagged Design Cube.
Copy editing — From Wikipedia
"Copy editing (also copyediting or copyediting, sometimes abbreviated ce)
is the process of reviewing and correcting written material to improve accuracy,
readability, and fitness for its purpose, and to ensure that it is free of error,
omission, inconsistency, and repetition. . . ."
An example of the need for copy editing:
Related material: Langlands and Reciprocity in this journal.
On the Oslo artist Josefine Lyche —
"Josefine has taken me through beautiful stories,
ranging from the personal to the platonic
explaining the extensive use of geometry in her art.
I now know that she bursts into laughter when reading
Dostoyevsky, and that she has a weird connection
with a retired mathematician."
— Ann Cathrin Andersen,
http://bryggmagasin.no/2017/behindtheglitter/
Personal —
The Rushkoff Logo
— From a 2016 graphic novel by Douglas Rushkoff.
See also Rushkoff and Talisman in this journal.
Platonic —
Compare and contrast the shifting hexagon logo in the Rushkoff novel above
with the hexagoninsideacube in my "Diamonds and Whirls" note (1984).
Related material —
The seven points of the Fano plane within
"Before time began . . . ."
— Optimus Prime
A death on the date of the above symmetry chat,
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 —
An Hispanic Hollywood moment:
Ojo de Dios —
Click for related material.
For further Hispanic entertainment,
see Ben Affleck sing
"Aquellos Ojos Verdes "
in "Hollywoodland."
David E. Wellbery on Goethe
From an interview published on 2 November 2017 at
http://literaturwissenschaftberlin.de/interviewwithdavidwellbery/
as later republished in
The logo at left above is that of The Point .
The menu icon at right above is perhaps better
suited to illustrate Verwandlungslehre .
The title is from this morning's online New York Times review
of a new Jackie Chan film.
Click the image below for some related posts.
The previous two posts dealt, rather indirectly, with
the notion of "cube bricks" (Cullinane, 1984) —
Group actions on partitions —
Cube Bricks 1984 —
Another mathematical remark from 1984 —
For further details, see Triangles Are Square.
The New York Times online this evening —
"Mr. Jobs, who died in 2011, loomed over Tuesday’s
nostalgic presentation. The Apple C.E.O., Tim Cook,
paid tribute, his voice cracking with emotion, Mr. Jobs’s
steeplefingered image looming as big onstage as
Big Brother’s face in the classic Macintosh '1984' commercial."
Review —
Thursday, September 1, 2011
How It Works

See also 1984 Bricks in this journal.
The above title was suggested by a film trailer quoted here Saturday —
" Jeremy Irons' dry Alfred Pennyworth:
'One misses the days when one's biggest concerns
were exploding windup penguins.' "
"Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition" describes, among other books,
an edition of the I Ching published on December 1, 2015.
Excerpt from this journal on that date —
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Verhexung

Related material —
Continuing the previous post's theme …
Group actions on partitions —
Cube Bricks 1984 —
Related material — Posts now tagged Device Narratives.
The contraction of the title is from group actions on
the ninefold square (with the center subsquare fixed)
to group actions on the eightfold cube.
From a post of June 4, 2014 …
At math.stackexchange.com on March 112, 2013:
“Is there a geometric realization of the Quaternion group?” —
The above illustration, though neatly drawn, appeared under the
cloak of anonymity. No source was given for the illustrated group actions.
Possibly they stem from my Log24 posts or notes such as the Jan. 4, 2012,
note on quaternion actions at finitegeometry.org/sc (hence ultimately
from my note “GL(2,3) actions on a cube” of April 5, 1985).
"And as the characters in the meme twitch into the abyss
that is the sky, this meme will disappear into whatever
internet abyss swallowed MySpace."
—Staff writer Kamila Czachorowski, Harvard Crimson today
From Log24 posts tagged Art Space —
From a recent paper on Kummer varieties,
arXiv:1208.1229v3 [math.AG] 12 Jun 2013,
“The Universal Kummer Threefold,” by
Qingchun Ren, Steven V Sam, Gus Schrader, and
Bernd Sturmfels —
Two such considerations —
The Log24 version (Nov. 9, 2005, and later posts) —
VERBUM

See also related material in the previous post, Transformers.
The title refers to the Chinese book the I Ching ,
the Classic of Changes .
The 64 hexagrams of the I Ching may be arranged
naturally in a 4x4x4 cube. The natural form of transformations
("changes") of this cube is given by the diamond theorem.
A related post —
The author of the review in the previous post, Dara Horn, supplies
below a midrash on "desmic," a term derived from the Greek desme
( δεσμή , bundle, sheaf, or, in the mathematical sense, pencil —
French faisceau ), which is apparently related to the term desmos , bond …
(The term "desmic," as noted earlier, is relevant to the structure of
Heidegger's Sternwürfel .)
The Horn midrash —
(The "medieval philosopher" here is not the remembered preChristian
Ben Sirah (Ecclesiasticus ) but the philosopher being read — Maimonides:
Guide for the Perplexed , 3:51.)
Here of course "that bond" may be interpreted as corresponding to the
Greek desmos above, thus also to the desmic structure of the
stellated octahedron, a sort of threedimensional Star of David.
See "desmic" in this journal.
Cassirer vs. Heidegger at Harvard —
A remembrance for Michaelmas —
A version of Heidegger's "Sternwürfel " —
From Log24 on the upload date for the above figure —
See also in this journal “desmic,” a term related
to the structure of Heidegger’s Sternwürfel .
From a review of a play by the late Anne Meara* —
"Meara, known primarily as an actress/comedian
(half of the team of Stiller & Meara, and mother of
Ben Stiller), is also an accomplished writer for the
stage; her After Play was much acclaimed….
This new, more ambitious piece starts off with a sly
sendup of awards dinners as the late benefactor of
a wealthy foundation–the comically pixilated scientist
Herschel Strange (Jerry Stiller)–is seen on videotape.
This tape sets a light tone that is hilariously
heightened when John Shea, as Arthur Garden,
accepts the award given in Strange's name."
Compare and contrast —
I of course prefer the Galois I Ching .
* See the May 25, 2015, post The Secret Life of the Public Mind.
A search for "Max Black" in this journal yields some images
from a post of August 30, 2006 . . .
"Jackson has identified the seventh symbol." 
The "Jackson" above is played by the young James Spader,
who in an older version currently stars in "The Blacklist."
"… the memorable models of science are 'speculative instruments,' — Max Black in Models and Metaphors , Cornell U. Press, 1962 
From an article* in Proceedings of Bridges 2014 —
As artists, we are particularly interested in the symmetries of real world physical objects. Three natural questions arise: 1. Which groups can be represented as the group of symmetries of some realworld physical object? 2. Which groups have actually been represented as the group of symmetries of some realworld physical object? 3. Are there any glaring gaps – small, beautiful groups that should have a physical representation in a symmetric object but up until now have not? 
The article was cited by Evelyn Lamb in her Scientific American
weblog on May 19, 2014.
The above three questions from the article are relevant to a more
recent (Oct. 24, 2015) remark by Lamb:
"… finite projective planes [in particular, the 7point Fano plane,
about which Lamb is writing] seem like a triumph of purely
axiomatic thinking over any hint of reality…."
For related hints of reality, see Eightfold Cube in this journal.
* "The Quaternion Group as a Symmetry Group," by Vi Hart and Henry Segerman
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
on the date Friday, April 5, 2013 —
"First published Tue Sep 24, 1996;
substantive revision Fri Apr 5, 2013"
This journal on the date Friday, April 5, 2013 —
The object most closely resembling a "philosophers' stone"
that I know of is the eightfold cube .
For some related philosophical remarks that may appeal
to a general Internet audience, see (for instance) a website
by I Ching enthusiast Andreas Schöter that displays a labeled
eightfold cube in the form of a lattice diagram —
Related material by Schöter —
A 20page PDF, "Boolean Algebra and the Yi Jing."
(First published in The Oracle: The Journal of Yijing Studies ,
Vol 2, No 7, Summer 1998, pp. 19–34.)
I differ with Schöter's emphasis on Boolean algebra.
The appropriate mathematics for I Ching studies is,
I maintain, not Boolean algebra but rather Galois geometry.
See last Saturday's post Two Views of Finite Space.
Unfortunately, that post is, unlike Schöter's work, not
suitable for a general Internet audience.
Spielerei —
"On the most recent visit, Arthur had given him
a brightly colored cube, with sides you could twist
in all directions, a new toy that had just come onto
the market."
— Daniel Kehlmann, F: A Novel (2014),
translated from the German by
Carol Brown Janeway
Nicht Spielerei —
A figure from this journal at 2 AM ET
on Monday, August 3, 2015
Also on August 3 —
FRANKFURT — "Johanna Quandt, the matriarch of the family
that controls the automaker BMW and one of the wealthiest
people in Germany, died on Monday in Bad Homburg, Germany.
She was 89."
MANHATTAN — "Carol Brown Janeway, a Scottishborn
publishing executive, editor and awardwinning translator who
introduced American readers to dozens of international authors,
died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 71."
Related material — Heisenberg on beauty, Munich, 1970
Illustrations from a post of Feb. 17, 2011:
Plato’s paradigm in the Meno —
Changed paradigm in the diamond theorem (2×2 case) —
If The New York Times interviewed Ultron for its
Sunday Book Review "By the Book" column —
What books are currently on your night stand?
Steve Fuller's Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times
Gerald Holton's Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought
John Gray's The Soul of the Marionette
Nonsense…
See Gary Zukav, Harvard '64, in this journal.
and damned nonsense —
"Every institution has a soul."
— Gerald Holton in Harvard Gazette today
Commentary —
"The Ferris wheel came into view again…."
— Malcom Lowry, Under the Volcano
See also Holton in a Jan. 1977 interview:
"If people have souls, and I think a few have, it shows…."
Continued from yesterday, the date of death for German
billionaire philanthropist Klaus Tschira —
For Tschira in this journal, see Stiftung .
For some Würfel illustrations, see this morning's post
Manifest O. A related webpage —
The title was suggested by
http://benmarcus.com/smallwork/manifesto/.
The "O" of the title stands for the octahedral group.
See the following, from http://finitegeometry.org/sc/map.html —

An invariance of symmetry The diamond theorem on a 4x4x4 cube, and a sketch of the proof. 
831001  Portrait of O A table of the octahedral group O using the 24 patterns from the 2×2 case of the diamond theorem. 
831016  Study of O A different way of looking at the octahedral group, using cubes that illustrate the 2x2x2 case of the diamond theorem. 
840915  Diamonds and whirls Block designs of a different sort — graphic figures on cubes. See also the University of Exeter page on the octahedral group O. 
Flashback to St. Andrew's Day, 2013 —
Saturday, November 30, 2013

If the object is a cube, change arises from the fact
that the object has six faces…
and is the unit cell for the six dimensional
hyperspace H over the twoelement field —
A different representation of the unit cell of
the hyperspace H (and of the I Ching ) —
Tom Hanks as Indiana Langdon in Raiders of the Lost Articulation :
An unarticulated (but colored) cube:
A 2x2x2 articulated cube:
A 4x4x4 articulated cube built from subcubes like
the one viewed by Tom Hanks above:
A possible answer to the 1923 question of Walter Gropius, “Was ist Raum?“—
See also yesterday’s Source of the Finite and the image search
on the Gropius question in last night’s post.
Yesterday's 11 AM post was a requiem for a brutalist architect.
Today's LA Times has a related obituary:
"Architectural historian Alan Hess, who has written several books on
MidCentury Modern design, said Meyer didn't have a signature style,
'which is one reason he is not as wellknown as some other architects
of the period. But whatever style he was working in, he brought a real
sense of quality to his buildings.'
A notable example is another bank building, at South Beverly Drive
and Pico Boulevard, with massive concrete columns, a hallmark of
the New Brutalism style. 'This is a really good example of it,' Hess said."
— David Colker, 5:43 PM LA time, Aug. 28, 2014
A related search, suggested by this morning's post Source of the Finite:
(Click to enlarge.)
"Die Unendlichkeit ist die uranfängliche Tatsache: es wäre nur
zu erklären, woher das Endliche stamme…."
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Das Philosophenbuch/Le livre du philosophe
(Paris: AubierFlammarion, 1969), fragment 120, p. 118
Cited as above, and translated as "Infinity is the original fact;
what has to be explained is the source of the finite…." in
The Production of Space , by Henri Lefebvre. (Oxford: Blackwell,
1991 (1974)), p. 181.
This quotation was suggested by the Bauhausrelated phrase
"the laws of cubical space" (see yesterday's Schau der Gestalt )
and by the laws of cubical space discussed in the webpage
Cube Space, 19842003.
For a less rigorous approach to space at the Harvard Graduate
School of Design, see earlier references to Lefebvre in this journal.
"To every man upon this earth,
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
and the temples of his gods…?"
— Macaulay, quoted in the April 2013 film "Oblivion"
"Leave a space." — Tom Stoppard, "Jumpers"
Related material: The August 16, 2014, sudden death in Scotland
of an architect of the above Cardross seminary, and a Log24 post,
Plato's Logos, from the date of the above photo: June 26, 2010.
See also…
Here “eidolon” should instead be “eidos .”
An example of eidos — Plato's diamond (from the Meno ) —
(Continued from Aug. 19, 2014)
“Christian contemplation is the opposite
of distanced consideration of an image:
as Paul says, it is the metamorphosis of
the beholder into the image he beholds
(2 Cor 3.18), the ‘realisation’ of what the
image expresses (Newman). This is
possible only by giving up one’s own
standards and being assimilated to the
dimensions of the image.”
— Hans Urs von Balthasar,
The Glory of the Lord:
A Theological Aesthetics,
Vol. I: Seeing the Form
[ Schau der Gestalt ],
Ignatius Press, 1982, p. 485
A Bauhaus approach to Schau der Gestalt :
I prefer the I Ching ‘s approach to the laws of cubical space.
A sequel to the 1974 film
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot :
Contingent and Fluky
Some variations on a thunderbolt theme:
These variations also exemplify the larger
Verbum theme:
A search today for Verbum in this journal yielded
a Georgetown University Chomskyite, Professor
David W. Lightfoot.
"Dr. Lightfoot writes mainly on syntactic theory,
language acquisition and historical change, which
he views as intimately related. He argues that
internal language change is contingent and fluky,
takes place in a sequence of bursts, and is best
viewed as the cumulative effect of changes in
individual grammars, where a grammar is a
'language organ' represented in a person's
mind/brain and embodying his/her language
faculty."
Some syntactic work by another contingent and fluky author
is related to the visual patterns illustrated above.
See Tecumseh Fitch in this journal.
For other material related to the large Verbum cube,
see posts for the 18th birthday of Harry Potter.
That birthday was also the upload date for the following:
See esp. the comments section.
The title refers to a Scientific American weblog item
discussed here on May 31, 2014:
Some closely related material appeared here on
Dec. 30, 2011:
A version of the above quaternion actions appeared
at math.stackexchange.com on March 12, 2013:
"Is there a geometric realization of Quaternion group?" —
The above illustration, though neatly drawn, appeared under the
cloak of anonymity. No source was given for the illustrated group actions.
Possibly they stem from my Log24 posts or notes such as the Jan. 4, 2012,
note on quaternion actions at finitegeometry.org/sc (hence ultimately
from my note "GL(2,3) actions on a cube" of April 5, 1985).
The ninefold square, the eightfold cube, and monkeys.
For posts on the models above, see quaternion
in this journal. For the monkeys, see
"Nothing Is More Fun than a Hypercube of Monkeys,"
Evelyn Lamb's Scientific American weblog, May 19, 2014:
The Scientific American item is about the preprint
"The Quaternion Group as a Symmetry Group,"
by Vi Hart and Henry Segerman (April 26, 2014):
See also Finite Geometry and Physical Space.
“The Cube was born in 1974 as a teaching tool
to help me and my students better understand
space and 3D. The Cube challenged us to find
order in chaos.”
— Professor Ernő Rubik at Chrome Cube Lab
For a Chinese approach to order and chaos,
see I Ching Cube in this journal.
“The About page contains detailed descriptions of the project….”
— The Illustris project on constructing a model of the universe
For the mathematics of a simpler traditional Chinese model
of everything, see
Definition: A diamond space — informal phrase denoting
a subspace of AG(6, 2), the sixdimensional affine space
over the twoelement Galois field.
The reason for the name:
Click to enlarge.
The Dream of the Expanded Field continues…
From Klein's 1893 Lectures on Mathematics —
"The varieties introduced by Wirtinger may be called Kummer varieties…."
— E. Spanier, 1956
From this journal on March 10, 2013 —
From a recent paper on Kummer varieties,
arXiv:1208.1229v3 [math.AG] 12 Jun 2013,
"The Universal Kummer Threefold," by
Qingchun Ren, Steven V Sam, Gus Schrader, and Bernd Sturmfels —
Two such considerations —
Update of 10 PM ET March 7, 2014 —
The following slides by one of the "Kummer Threefold" authors give
some background related to the above 64point vector space and
to the Weyl group of type E_{7}, W (E_{7}):
The Cayley reference is to "Algorithm for the characteristics of the
triple ϑfunctions," Journal für die Reine und Angewandte
Mathematik 87 (1879): 165169. <http://eudml.org/doc/148412>.
To read this in the context of Cayley's other work, see pp. 441445
of Volume 10 of his Collected Mathematical Papers .
An I Ching study quoted in Waiting for Ogdoad (St. Andrew’s Day, 2013)—
(Click for clearer image.)
The author of the above I Ching study calls his lattice “Arising Heaven.”
The following lattice might, therefore, be called “Heaven Descending.”
Click for the source, mentioned in Anatomy of a Cube (Sept. 18, 2011).
Continued from October 30 (Devil's Night), 2013.
“In a sense, we would see that change
arises from the structure of the object.”
— Theoretical physicist quoted in a
Simons Foundation article of Sept. 17, 2013
This suggests a review of mathematics and the
"Classic of Change ," the I Ching .
The physicist quoted above was discussing a rather
complicated object. His words apply to a much simpler
object, an embodiment of the eight trigrams underlying
the I Ching as the corners of a cube.
See also…
(Click for clearer image.)
The Cullinane image above illustrates the seven points of
the Fano plane as seven of the eight I Ching trigrams and as
seven natural ways of slicing the cube.
For a different approach to the mathematics of cube slices,
related to Gauss's composition law for binary quadratic forms,
see the Bhargava cube in a post of April 9, 2012.
"Eight is a Gate." — Mnemonic rhyme
Today's previous post, Window, showed a version
of the Chinese character for "field"—
This suggests a related image—
The related image in turn suggests…
Unlike linear perspective, axonometry has no vanishing point,
and hence it does not assume a fixed position by the viewer.
This makes axonometry 'scrollable'. Art historians often speak of
the 'moving' or 'shifting' perspective in Chinese paintings.
Axonometry was introduced to Europe in the 17th century by
Jesuits returning from China.
As was the I Ching. A related structure:
Promotional description of a new book:
“Like Gödel, Escher, Bach before it, Surfaces and Essences will profoundly enrich our understanding of our own minds. By plunging the reader into an extraordinary variety of colorful situations involving language, thought, and memory, by revealing bit by bit the constantly churning cognitive mechanisms normally completely hidden from view, and by discovering in them one central, invariant core— the incessant, unconscious quest for strong analogical links to past experiences— this book puts forth a radical and deeply surprising new vision of the act of thinking.”
“Like Gödel, Escher, Bach before it….”
Or like Metamagical Themas .
Rubik core:
Non Rubik cores:
Of the odd nxnxn cube:  Of the even nxnxn cube: 
Related material: The Eightfold Cube and…
“A core component in the construction
is a 3dimensional vector space V over F_{2 }.”
— Page 29 of “A twist in the M_{24} moonshine story,”
by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland.
(Submitted to the arXiv on 13 Mar 2013.)
Angels & Demons meet Hudson Hawk
Dan Brown's fourelements diamond in Angels & Demons :
The Leonardo Crystal from Hudson Hawk :
Mathematics may be used to relate (very loosely)
Dan Brown's fanciful diamond figure to the fanciful
Leonardo Crystal from Hudson Hawk …
"Giving himself a head rub, Hawk bears down on
the three oddly malleable objects. He TANGLES
and BENDS and with a loud SNAP, puts them together,
forming the Crystal from the opening scene."
— A screenplay of Hudson Hawk
Happy birthday to Bruce Willis.
Yesterday's post on the current Museum of Modern Art exhibition
"Inventing Abstraction: 19101925" suggests a renewed look at
abstraction and a fundamental building block: the cube.
From a recent Harvard University Press philosophical treatise on symmetry—
The treatise corrects Nozick's error of not crediting Weyl's 1952 remarks
on objectivity and symmetry, but repeats Weyl's error of not crediting
Cassirer's extensive 1910 (and later) remarks on this subject.
For greater depth see Cassirer's 1910 passage on Vorstellung :
This of course echoes Schopenhauer, as do discussions of "Will and Idea" in this journal.
For the relationship of all this to MoMA and abstraction, see Cube Space and Inside the White Cube.
"The sacramental nature of the space becomes clear…." — Brian O'Doherty
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C. G. Jung
Recorded and edited By Aniela Jaffé, translated from the German
by Richard and Clara Winston, Vintage Books edition of April 1989
From pages 195196:
"Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation.'*
And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all
goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate selfdeceptions."
* Faust , Part Two, trans. by Philip Wayne (Harmondsworth,
England, Penguin Books Ltd., 1959), p. 79. The original:
… Gestaltung, Umgestaltung,
Des ewigen Sinnes ewige Unterhaltung….
Jung's "Formation, Transformation" quote is from the realm of
the Mothers (Faust , Part Two, Act 1, Scene 5: A Dark Gallery).
The speaker is Mephistopheles.
See also Prof. Bruce J. MacLennan on this realm
in a Web page from his Spring 2005 seminar on Faust:
"In alchemical terms, F is descending into the dark, formless
primary matter from which all things are born. Psychologically
he is descending into the deepest regions of the
collective unconscious, to the source of life and all creation.
Mater (mother), matrix (womb, generative substance), and matter
all come from the same root. This is Faust's next encounter with
the feminine, but it's obviously of a very different kind than his
relationship with Gretchen."
The phrase "Gestaltung, Umgestaltung " suggests a more mathematical
approach to the Unterhaltung . Hence…
Part I: Mothers
"The ultimate, deep symbol of motherhood raised to
the universal and the cosmic, of the birth, sending forth,
death, and return of all things in an eternal cycle,
is expressed in the Mothers, the matrices of all forms,
at the timeless, placeless originating womb or hearth
where chaos is transmuted into cosmos and whence
the forms of creation issue forth into the world of
place and time."
— Harold Stein Jantz, The Mothers in Faust:
The Myth of Time and Creativity ,
Johns Hopkins Press, 1969, page 37
Part II: Matrices
Part III: Spaces and Hypercubes
Click image for some background.
Part IV: Forms
Forms from the I Ching :
Click image for some background.
Forms from Diamond Theory :
Click image for some background.
The December 2012 Notices of the American
Mathematical Society has an ad on page 1564
(in a review of two books on vulgarized mathematics)
for three workshops next year on “Lowdimensional
Topology, Geometry, and Dynamics”—
(Only the top part of the ad is shown; for further details
see an ICERM page.)
(ICERM stands for Institute for Computational
and Experimental Research in Mathematics.)
The ICERM logo displays seven subcubes of
a 2x2x2 eightcube array with one cube missing—
The logo, apparently a stylized image of the architecture
of the Providence building housing ICERM, is not unlike
a picture of Froebel’s Third Gift—
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring
Photo by Norman Brosterman from the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring (cofounded by Margaret Wertheim)
The eighth cube, missing in the ICERM logo and detached in the
Froebel Cubes photo, may be regarded as representing the origin
(0,0,0) in a coordinatized version of the 2x2x2 array—
in other words the cube invariant under linear , as opposed to
more general affine , permutations of the cubes in the array.
These cubes are not without relevance to the workshops’ topics—
lowdimensional exotic geometric structures, group theory, and dynamics.
See The Eightfold Cube, A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168, and
The Quaternion Group Acting on an Eightfold Cube.
Those who insist on vulgarizing their mathematics may regard linear
and affine group actions on the eight cubes as the dance of
Snow White (representing (0,0,0)) and the Seven Dwarfs—
.
In several posts now tagged Chessboard,
an I Ching chessboard
image in which adjacent squares
have the Karnaugh property—
— has been replaced by a picture of
the original 1989 version in which
the Karnaugh property applies only to cells
that are adjacent in a cubic, not square,
arrangement—
A Google search today yielded no results
for the phrase "congruent group actions."
Places where this phrase might prove useful include—
In memory of William S. Knowles, chiral chemist, who died last Wednesday (June 13, 2012)—
Detail from the Harvard Divinity School 1910 bookplate in yesterday morning's post—
"ANDOVER–HARVARD THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY"
Detail from Knowles's obituary in this morning's New York Times—
William Standish Knowles was born in Taunton, Mass., on June 1, 1917. He graduated a year early from the Berkshire School, a boarding school in western Massachusetts, and was admitted to Harvard. But after being strongly advised that he was not socially mature enough for college, he did a second senior year of high school at another boarding school, Phillips Academy in Andover, N.H.
Dr. Knowles graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1939….
"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
From Pilate Goes to Kindergarten—
The six congruent quaternion actions illustrated above are based on the following coordinatization of the eightfold cube—
Problem: Is there a different coordinatization
that yields greater symmetry in the pictures of
quaternion group actions?
A paper written in a somewhat similar spirit—
"Chiral Tetrahedrons as Unitary Quaternions"—
ABSTRACT: Chiral tetrahedral molecules can be dealt [with] under the standard of quaternionic algebra. Specifically, noncommutativity of quaternions is a feature directly related to the chirality of molecules….
“A set having three members is a single thing
wholly constituted by its members but distinct from them.
After this, the theological doctrine of the Trinity as
‘three in one’ should be child’s play.”
– Max Black, Caveats and Critiques: Philosophical Essays
in Language, Logic, and Art , Cornell U. Press, 1975
Related material—
"The group of 8" is a phrase from politics, not mathematics.
Of the five groups of order 8 (see today's noon post),
the one pictured* in the center, Z_{2} × Z_{2} × Z_{2} , is of particular
interest. See The Eightfold Cube. For a connection of this
group of 8 to the last of the five pictured at noon, the
quaternion group, see Finite Geometry and Physical Space.
* The picture is of the group's cycle graph.
John Baez wrote in 1996 ("Week 91") that
"I've never quite seen anyone come right out
and admit that triality arises from the
permutations of the unit vectors i, j, and k
in 3d Euclidean space."
Baez seems to come close to doing this with a
somewhat different i , j , and k — Hurwitz
quaternions— in his 2005 book review
quoted here yesterday.
See also the Log24 post of Jan. 4 on quaternions,
and the following figures. The actions on cubes
in the lower figure may be viewed as illustrating
(rather indirectly) the relationship of the quaternion
group's 24 automorphisms to the 24 rotational
symmetries of the cube.
From life's box of chocolates…
Happy birthday to Piper Laurie.
* Those who prefer their
souvenirs without sentiment
may consult the quaternions.
Tension in the Common Room—
In memory of population geneticist James F. Crow,
who died at 95 on January 4th.
I revised the cubes image and added a new link to
an explanatory image in posts of Dec. 30 and Jan. 3
(and at finitegeometry.org). (The cubes now have
quaternion "i , j , k " labels and the cubes now
labeled "k " and "k " were switched.)
In memory of artist Ronald Searle—
Searle reportedly died at 91 on December 30th.
From Log24 on that date—
Click the above image for some context.
Update of 9:29 PM EST Jan. 3, 2012—
Theorum
Theorum (rhymes with decorum, apparently) is a neologism proposed by Richard Dawkins in The Greatest Show on Earth to distinguish the scientific meaning of theory from the colloquial meaning. In most of the opening introduction to the show, he substitutes "theorum" for "theory" when referring to the major scientific theories such as evolution. Problems with "theory" Dawkins notes two general meanings for theory; the scientific one and the general sense that means a wild conjecture made up by someone as an explanation. The point of Dawkins inventing a new word is to get around the fact that the lay audience may not thoroughly understand what scientists mean when they say "theory of evolution". As many people see the phrase "I have a theory" as practically synonymous with "I have a wild guess I pulled out of my backside", there is often confusion about how thoroughly understood certain scientific ideas are. Hence the well known creationist argument that evolution is "just a theory" – and the often cited response of "but gravity is also just a theory". To convey the special sense of thoroughness implied by the word theory in science, Dawkins borrowed the mathematical word "theorem". This is used to describe a well understood mathematical concept, for instance Pythagoras' Theorem regarding right angled triangles. However, Dawkins also wanted to avoid the absolute meaning of proof associated with that word, as used and understood by mathematicians. So he came up with something that looks like a spelling error. This would remove any person's emotional attachment or preconceptions of what the word "theory" means if it cropped up in the text of The Greatest Show on Earth , and so people would (in "theory ") have no other choice but to associate it with only the definition Dawkins gives. This phrase has completely failed to catch on, that is, if Dawkins intended it to catch on rather than just be a device for use in The Greatest Show on Earth . When googled, Google will automatically correct the spelling to theorem instead, depriving this very page its rightful spot at the top of the results.

Some backgound— In this journal, "Diamond Theory of Truth."
From this journal on July 23, 2007—
It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And if we ate the incipient colorings – Wallace Stevens, "The Rock" 
This quotation from Stevens (Harvard class of 1901) was posted here on when Daniel Radcliffe (i.e., Harry Potter) turned 18 in July 2007.
Other material from that post suggests it is time for a review of magic at Harvard.
On September 9, 2007, President Faust of Harvard
"encouraged the incoming class to explore Harvard’s many opportunities.
'Think of it as a treasure room of hidden objects Harry discovers at Hogwarts,' Faust said."
That class is now about to graduate.
It is not clear what "hidden objects" it will take from four years in the Harvard treasure room.
Perhaps the following from a book published in 1985 will help…
The March 8, 2011, Harvard Crimson illustrates a central topic of Metamagical Themas , the Rubik's Cube—
Hofstadter in 1985 offered a similar picture—
Hofstadter asks in his Metamagical introduction, "How can both Rubik's Cube and nuclear Armageddon be discussed at equal length in one book by one author?"
For a different approach to such a discussion, see Paradigms Lost, a post made here a few hours before the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster—
Whether Paradigms Lost is beyond forgetfulness is open to question.
Perhaps a later post, in the lighthearted spirit of Faust, will help. See April 20th's "Ready When You Are, C.B."
From Das Glasperlenspiel (Hermann Hesse, 1943) —
“Bastian Perrot… constructed a frame, modeled on a child’s abacus, a frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass beads of various sizes, shapes, and colors. The wires corresponded to the lines of the musical staff, the beads to the time values of the notes, and so on. In this way he could represent with beads musical quotations or invented themes, could alter, transpose, and develop them, change them and set them in counterpoint to one another. In technical terms this was a mere plaything, but the pupils liked it.… …what later evolved out of that students’ sport and Perrot’s beadstrung wires bears to this day the name by which it became popularly known, the Glass Bead Game.”
From “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” (Lewis Padgett, 1943)—
…”Paradine looked up. He frowned, staring. What in—
…”Is that an abacus?” he asked. “Let’s see it, please.”
…Somewhat unwillingly Scott brought the gadget across to his father’s chair. Paradine blinked. The “abacus,” unfolded, was more than a foot square, composed of thin, rigid wires that interlocked here and there. On the wires the colored beads were strung. They could be slid back and forth, and from one support to another, even at the points of jointure. But— a pierced bead couldn’t cross interlocking wires—
…So, apparently, they weren’t pierced. Paradine looked closer. Each small sphere had a deep groove running around it, so that it could be revolved and slid along the wire at the same time. Paradine tried to pull one free. It clung as though magnetically. Iron? It looked more like plastic.
…The framework itself— Paradine wasn’t a mathematician. But the angles formed by the wires were vaguely shocking, in their ridiculous lack of Euclidean logic. They were a maze. Perhaps that’s what the gadget was— a puzzle.
…”Where’d you get this?”
…”Uncle Harry gave it to me,” Scott said on the spur of the moment. “Last Sunday, when he came over.” Uncle Harry was out of town, a circumstance Scott well knew. At the age of seven, a boy soon learns that the vagaries of adults follow a certain definite pattern, and that they are fussy about the donors of gifts. Moreover, Uncle Harry would not return for several weeks; the expiration of that period was unimaginable to Scott, or, at least, the fact that his lie would ultimately be discovered meant less to him than the advantages of being allowed to keep the toy.
…Paradine found himself growing slightly confused as he attempted to manipulate the beads. The angles were vaguely illogical. It was like a puzzle. This red bead, if slid along this wire to that junction, should reach there— but it didn’t. A maze, odd, but no doubt instructive. Paradine had a wellfounded feeling that he’d have no patience with the thing himself.
…Scott did, however, retiring to a corner and sliding beads around with much fumbling and grunting. The beads did sting, when Scott chose the wrong ones or tried to slide them in the wrong direction. At last he crowed exultantly.
…”I did it, dad!”
…””Eh? What? Let’s see.” The device looked exactly the same to Paradine, but Scott pointed and beamed.
…”I made it disappear.”
…”It’s still there.”
…”That blue bead. It’s gone now.”
…Paradine didn’t believe that, so he merely snorted. Scott puzzled over the framework again. He experimented. This time there were no shocks, even slight. The abacus had showed him the correct method. Now it was up to him to do it on his own. The bizarre angles of the wires seemed a little less confusing now, somehow.
…It was a most instructive toy—
…It worked, Scott thought, rather like the crystal cube.
* Title thanks to Saturday Night Live (Dec. 45, 2010).
The following is a new illustration for Cubist Geometries—
(For elementary cubism, see Pilate Goes to Kindergarten and The Eightfold Cube.
For advanced, see Solomon's Cube and Geometry of the I Ching .)
"An image comes to mind of a white, ideal space
that, more than any single picture, may be
the archetypal image of 20thcentury art."
"May be" —
Image from this journal
at noon (EST) Tuesday
"The geometry of unit cubes is a meeting point
of several different subjects in mathematics."
— Chuanming Zong
"A meeting point" —
The above death reportedly occurred "early Wednesday in Beijing."
Another meeting point —
(Click on logo and on meeting image for more details.)
See also "no ordinary venue."
In memory of Wu Guanzhong, Chinese artist who died in Beijing on Friday—
“Once Knecht confessed to his teacher that he wished to learn enough to be able to incorporate the system of the I Ching into the Glass Bead Game. Elder Brother laughed. ‘Go ahead and try,’ he exclaimed. ‘You’ll see how it turns out. Anyone can create a pretty little bamboo garden in the world. But I doubt that the gardener would succeed in incorporating the world in his bamboo grove.'”
— Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game, translated by Richard and Clara Winston
“The Chinese painter Wu Taotzu was famous because he could paint nature in a unique realistic way that was able to deceive all who viewed the picture. At the end of his life he painted his last work and invited all his friends and admirers to its presentation. They saw a wonderful landscape with a romantic path, starting in the foreground between flowers and moving through meadows to high mountains in the background, where it disappeared in an evening fog. He explained that this picture summed up all his life’s work and at the end of his short talk he jumped into the painting and onto the path, walked to the background and disappeared forever.”
— Jürgen Teichmann. Teichmann notes that “the German poet Hermann Hesse tells a variation of this anecdote, according to his own personal view, as found in his ‘Kurzgefasster Lebenslauf,’ 1925.”
David Levine's portrait of Arthur Koestler (see Dec. 30, 2009) —
See also this morning's post as well as
Monday's post quoting George David Birkhoff —
"If I were a Leibnizian mystic… I would say that…
God thinks multidimensionally — that is,
uses multidimensional symbols beyond our grasp."
(Continued from April 23, 2009, and February 13, 2010.)
Paul Valéry as quoted in yesterday’s post:
“The S[elf] is invariant, origin, locus or field, it’s a functional property of consciousness” (Cahiers, 15:170 [2: 315])
The geometric example discussed here yesterday as a Self symbol may seem too small to be really impressive. Here is a larger example from the Chinese, rather than European, tradition. It may be regarded as a way of representing the Galois field GF(64). (“Field” is a rather ambiguous term; here it does not, of course, mean what it did in the Valéry quotation.)
From Geometry of the I Ching—
The above 64 hexagrams may also be regarded as
the finite affine space AG(6,2)— a larger version
of the finite affine space AG(4,2) in yesterday’s post.
That smaller space has a group of 322,560 symmetries.
The larger hexagram space has a group of
1,290,157,424,640 affine symmetries.
From a paper on GL(6,2), the symmetry group
of the corresponding projective space PG(5,2),*
which has 1/64 as many symmetries—
For some narrative in the European tradition
related to this geometry, see Solomon’s Cube.
* Update of July 29, 2011: The “PG(5,2)” above is a correction from an earlier error.
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