Log24

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gravedigger’s Handbook

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

In memory of Jimmy Breslin, who reportedly died today at 88 —

From "Dimensions," (Log24, Feb. 15, 2015) —

IMAGE- 'When Death tells a story, you really have to listen.'

Black monolith in death-and-rebirth sequence from '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"Hello  darkness,  my  old  friend.
I’ve  come  to  talk  with  you  again."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1984: A Space Odyssey

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:40 PM

See Eightfold 1984 in this journal.

Related material —

"… the object sets up a kind of
 frame or space or field
 within which there can be epiphany."

"… Instead of an epiphany of being,
we have something like
an epiphany of interspaces."

— Charles Taylor, "Epiphanies of Modernism,"
Chapter 24 of Sources of the Self ,
Cambridge University Press, 1989

"Perhaps every science must start with metaphor
and end with algebra; and perhaps without the metaphor
there would never have been any algebra."

— Max Black, Models and Metaphors ,
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1962

Epiphany 2017 —

Click to enlarge:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ogdoads: A Space Odyssey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:01 AM

"Like the Valentinian Ogdoad— a self-creating theogonic system
of eight Aeons in four begetting pairs— the projected eightfold work
had an esoteric, gnostic quality; much of Frye's formal interest lay in
the 'schematosis' and fearful symmetries of his own presentations." 

— From p. 61 of James C. Nohrnberg's "The Master of the Myth
of Literature: An Interpenetrative Ogdoad for Northrop Frye," 
Comparative Literature , Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 58-82, Duke University
Press (quarterly, January 2001)

See also Two by Four  in this  journal.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dimensions

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:30 PM

IMAGE- 'When Death tells a story, you really have to listen.'

Black monolith in death-and-rebirth sequence from '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"Hello  darkness,  my  old  friend.
I’ve  come  to  talk  with  you  again."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Code of Beauty

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:27 PM

Dialogue from “Django Unchained” —

“What’s a bounty?” “It’s like a reward.”

Today’s noon post links to posts on Tony Scott
that in turn lead to…

A post from June 27, 2005
the date of Domino Harvey‘s death.

A link at the end of that  post leads to…

“Dr. Chandra?” “Yes?” “Will I dream?”

See also…

Vikram Chandra, Geek Sublime:
The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Red Line vs. the Red Eye

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Arthur C. Clarke

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

"The HP/Autonomy  Debacle," by John C. Dvorak at pcmag.com on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012—

"The whole Autonomy  thing was weird since the company seemed to be performing magic. On co-founder Michael Richard Lynch's Wikipedia page, the company is described as 'a leader in the area of computer understanding of unstructured information, an area which is becoming known as meaning-based computing .'

I do not know how gullible HP's board of directors is, but when I see the sudden emergence of something called 'meaning-based computing,' the alarms sound and the bullcrap meter begins to tag the red line."

A story by Terence K. Huwe in Online  magazine, Sept.-Oct. 2011, defines meaning-based computing (MBC), discusses Autonomy , and llnks to…

John Markoff in The New York Times , March 4, 2011— 

"Engineers and linguists at Cataphora, an information-sifting company based in Silicon Valley, have their software mine documents for the activities and interactions of people— who did what when, and who talks to whom. The software seeks to visualize chains of events. It identifies discussions that might have taken place across e-mail, instant messages and telephone calls.

Then the computer pounces, so to speak, capturing 'digital anomalies' that white-collar criminals often create in trying to hide their activities.

For example, it finds 'call me' moments— those incidents when an employee decides to hide a particular action by having a private conversation. This usually involves switching media, perhaps from an e-mail conversation to instant messaging, telephone or even a face-to-face encounter."

For example

IMAGE- HAL reading lips in '2001: A Space Odyssey'

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Space Odyssey

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

(An episode of Art Wars )

"Visual forms, he thought, were solutions to
specific problems that come from specific needs."

— Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times
    obituary of E. H. Gombrich (November 7th, 2001)

"… deep cultural fears within the art world— 
fears that art is elitist,
or some kind of confidence game,
or not a serious endeavor (a fear that has
dogged art since at least the time of Plato)."

Philip Kennicott, quoted here on July 22, 2012

See also today's date in 2003.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bedeviled

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

From tonight's online New York Times

John McCracken, Sculptor of Geometric Forms, Dies at 76

McCracken died in Manhattan on Friday, April 8.

From Christopher Knight in tonight's online LA Times

… the works embody perceptual and philosophical conundrums. The colored planks stand on the floor like sculptures….

McCracken was bedeviled by Stanley Kubrick's famously obscure science-fiction epic, "2001: A Space Odyssey," with its iconic image of an ancient monolith floating in outer space. The 1968 blockbuster was released two years after the artist made his first plank.

"At the time, some people thought I had designed the monolith or that it had been derived from my work," he told art critic Frances Colpitt of the coincidence in a 1998 interview.

Two photos of McCracken's 1967 Black Plank  seem relevant—

November 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-McCrackenPlank1967400w.jpg

December 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-McCracken-NatGallery-NothingToSeeHere-400w.jpg

Material that an artist might view as related, if only synchronistically—

Two posts in this journal on the dates the photos were taken—
The Embedding on November 28 and Dry Bones on December 28.

The photos are of an exhibition titled "There is nothing to see here" at the
National Gallery of Art, October 30, 2010-April 24, 2011 —

Click to enlarge.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-NothingToSee-400w.jpg

For related nihilism from the National Gallery, see "Pictures of Nothing" in this journal.

Some less nihilistic illustrations—

The Meno  Embedding

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101128-TheEmbedding.gif

A photo by one of the artists whose work is displayed above beside McCracken's—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-Sugimoto-AndoChurch.jpg

"Accentuate the Positive."
 — Clint Eastwood

Friday, March 5, 2010

Space Case

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Large ad, front page top, for Tom Brokaw's 'Boomers' in NY Times of March 4th, 2010

"And there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space…"
— Don McLean, "American Pie

    Cybill Shepherd (born 1950) and Jeff Bridges (born 1949) in 'The Last Picture Show'

Today's NY Times says Robert T. McCall, space artist, died at 90 on Feb. 26.

"His most famous image may be the gargantuan mural, showing events from the creation of the universe to men walking on the Moon, on the south lobby wall of the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington. More than 10 million people a year pass it.

Or it might be his painting showing a space vehicle darting from the bay of a wheel-shaped space station, which was used in a poster for Stanley Kubrick’s landmark 1968 film, '2001: A Space Odyssey.'"

Space station image by Robert T. McCall for '2001'

Cover art by McCall, with autograph dated
8/19/05, from a personal web page

Hal in "2010"– "Will I dream?"

Log24 on the day that McCall died

"Which Dreamed It?"
– Title of final chapter,Through the Looking Glass

"Go ask Alice… I think she'll know."
– Grace Slick, 1967  

Related material: James Joyce in this journal–

"Space: what you damn well have to see."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday May 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM
Sydney Pollack dies-- NY Times online front page

From Bloomberg.com:

Great Directors

“After his return to acting in ‘Tootsie,’ Pollack took movie roles under directors Robert Altman in ‘The Player’ (1992), Woody Allen in ‘Husbands and Wives’ (1992) and Stanley Kubrick in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999). He said he chose roles in part to study other great directors.”
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday October 9, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:09 AM
William T. Golden, Financier and
Key Science Adviser, Is Dead at 97

“William T. Golden, an investment banker, a philanthropist and a main architect of American science policy in the 20th century who had the idea for a presidential science adviser, died on Sunday [Oct. 7, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 97….

His death, at Mount Sinai Hospital, was announced by the American Museum of Natural History, where he was chairman for five years and most recently chairman emeritus. Mr. Golden had helped found the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

For more than 50 years, Mr. Golden was at the nexus of science and society as a man who knew almost everybody in science and government.

His willingness to ‘buy the first tank of gas,’ as he put it, for worthy projects led him to serve as a trustee or officer or board member of nearly 100 organizations, universities and government agencies….

In 1989, when he bought from Harvard the Black Rock Forest in the Hudson Highlands, which was threatened by development, Mr. Golden explored its nearly 4,000 acres by horseback. He later turned over the forest to a consortium to preserve it.”

Dennis Overbye, The New York Times, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007

Art History, 1955: Scenes from Bad Day at Black Rock
 
Click for details.

See also the following art,
suggested by the Golden obituary’s
Mount Sinai, Black Rock, and
forest themes, as well as by
the “Deep Beauty” entry from
the date of Golden’s death:

Death scene with Black Rock, from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Click for details.

Monday, September 1, 2003

Monday September 1, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:33 PM

The Unity of Mathematics,

or “Shema, Israel”

A conference to honor the 90th birthday (Sept. 2) of Israel Gelfand is currently underway in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The following note from 2001 gives one view of the conference’s title topic, “The Unity of Mathematics.”

Reciprocity in 2001

by Steven H. Cullinane
(May 30, 2001)

From 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, New American Library, 1968:

The glimmering rectangular shape that had once seemed no more than a slab of crystal still floated before him….  It encapsulated yet unfathomed secrets of space and time, but some at least he now understood and was able to command.

How obvious — how necessary — was that mathematical ratio of its sides, the quadratic sequence 1: 4: 9!  And how naive to have imagined that the series ended at this point, in only three dimensions!

— Chapter 46, “Transformation”

From a review of Himmelfarb, by Michael Krüger, New York, George Braziller, 1994:

As a diffident, unsure young man, an inexperienced ethnologist, Richard was unable to travel through the Amazonian jungles unaided. His professor at Leipzig, a Nazi Party member (a bigot and a fool), suggested he recruit an experienced guide and companion, but warned him against collaborating with any Communists or Jews, since the objectivity of research would inevitably be tainted by such contact. Unfortunately, the only potential associate Richard can find in Sao Paulo is a man called Leo Himmelfarb, both a Communist (who fought in the Spanish Civil War) and a self-exiled Jew from Galicia, but someone who knows the forests intimately and can speak several of the native dialects.

“… Leo followed the principle of taking and giving, of learning and teaching, of listening and storytelling, in a word: of reciprocity, which I could not even imitate.”

… E. M. Forster famously advised his readers, “Only connect.” “Reciprocity” would be Michael Kruger’s succinct philosophy, with all that the word implies.

— William Boyd, New York Times Book Review, October 30, 1994

Reciprocity and Euler

Applying the above philosophy of reciprocity to the Arthur C. Clarke sequence

1, 4, 9, ….

we obtain the rather more interesting sequence
1/1, 1/4, 1/9, …..

This leads to the following problem (adapted from the St. Andrews biography of Euler):

Perhaps the result that brought Euler the most fame in his young days was his solution of what had become known as the Basel problem. This was to find a closed form for the sum of the infinite series

1/1 + 1/4 + 1/9 + 1/16 + 1/25 + …

— a problem which had defeated many of the top mathematicians including Jacob Bernoulli, Johann Bernoulli and Daniel Bernoulli. The problem had also been studied unsuccessfully by Leibniz, Stirling, de Moivre and others. Euler showed in 1735 that the series sums to (pi squared)/6. He generalized this series, now called zeta(2), to zeta functions of even numbers larger than two.

Related Reading

For four different proofs of Euler’s result, see the inexpensive paperback classic by Konrad Knopp, Theory and Application of Infinite Series (Dover Publications).

Related Websites

Evaluating Zeta(2), by Robin Chapman (PDF article) Fourteen proofs!

Zeta Functions for Undergraduates

The Riemann Zeta Function

Reciprocity Laws
Reciprocity Laws II

The Langlands Program

Recent Progress on the Langlands Conjectures

For more on
the theme of unity,
see

Monolithic Form
and
ART WARS.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Saturday July 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 PM

The Transcendent
Signified

“God is both the transcendent signifier
and transcendent signified.”

— Caryn Broitman,
Deconstruction and the Bible

“Central to deconstructive theory is the notion that there is no ‘transcendent signified,’ or ‘logos,’ that ultimately grounds ‘meaning’ in language….”

— Henry P. Mills,
The Significance of Language,
Footnote 2

“It is said that the students of medieval Paris came to blows in the streets over the question of universals. The stakes are high, for at issue is our whole conception of our ability to describe the world truly or falsely, and the objectivity of any opinions we frame to ourselves. It is arguable that this is always the deepest, most profound problem of philosophy. It structures Plato’s (realist) reaction to the sophists (nominalists). What is often called ‘postmodernism’ is really just nominalism, colourfully presented as the doctrine that there is nothing except texts. It is the variety of nominalism represented in many modern humanities, paralysing appeals to reason and truth.”

Simon Blackburn, Think,
Oxford University Press, 1999, page 268

The question of universals is still being debated in Paris.  See my July 25 entry,

A Logocentric Meditation.

That entry discusses an essay on
mathematics and postmodern thought
by Michael Harris,
professor of mathematics
at l’Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot.

A different essay by Harris has a discussion that gets to the heart of this matter: whether pi exists as a platonic idea apart from any human definitions.  Harris notes that “one might recall that the theorem that pi is transcendental can be stated as follows: the homomorphism Q[X] –> R taking X to pi is injective.  In other words, pi can be identified algebraically with X, the variable par excellence.”

Harris illustrates this with
an X in a rectangle:

For the complete passage, click here.

If we rotate the Harris X by 90 degrees, we get a representation of the Christian Logos that seems closely related to the God-symbol of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  On the left below, we have a (1x)4×9 black monolith, representing God, and on the right below, we have the Harris slab, with X representing (as in “Xmas,” or the Chi-rho page of the Book of Kells) Christ… who is, in theological terms, also “the variable par excellence.”

Kubrick’s
monolith

Harris’s
slab

For a more serious discussion of deconstruction and Christian theology, see

Walker Percy’s Semiotic.

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