Log24

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Cocktail* of the Damned**

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

For the cocktail, see the following illustration, taken from
The New Yorker  issue dated Sept. 12, 2016.

(The article accompanying the illustration is not  recommended.)

* For more on the concept of "cocktail," search this journal for
   Casablanca + Cocktail

** For more on the concept of "damned," see Wikipedia on
    the French group of writers and mathematicians that calls
    itself Oulipo, and a recent novel by a member of that group.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Death on May Day

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

So set 'em up, Joe  . . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Everybody Comes to Rick’s

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

(Continued)

Bogart and Lorre in 'Casablanca' with chessboard and cocktail

The key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings.”

– Brian Harley, Mate in Two Moves

See also yesterday's Endgame , as well as Play and Interplay
from April 28…  and, as a key, the following passage from
an earlier April 28 post

Euclidean geometry has long been applied
to physics; Galois geometry has not.
The cited webpage describes the interplay
of both  sorts of geometry— Euclidean
and Galois, continuous and discrete—
within physical space— if not within
the space of physics .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday January 15, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM
Gate
 or, Everybody
Comes to Rick’s
(abstract version)

For Mary Gaitskill,
continued from
June 21, 2008:
 
Designer's grid-- 6x4 array of squares, each with 4 symmetry axes

This minimal art
is the basis of the
chess set image
from Tuesday:

 Chess set design by F. Lanier Graham, 1967

Related images:

Doors of Rick's Cafe Americain in 'Casablanca'

Bogart and Lorre in 'Casablanca' with chessboard and cocktail

The key is the
cocktail that begins
the proceedings.”

— Brian Harley,
Mate in Two Moves

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday June 28, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:07 AM
The Cocktail

Bogart and Lorre in 'Casablanca' with chessboard and cocktail

G. H. Hardy on chess problems–
 
"… the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer."

(A Mathematician's Apology, Cambridge at the University Press, first edition, 1940)

Brian Harley on chess problems–

"It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver's banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be."

(Mate in Two Moves, London, Bell & Sons, first edition, 1931)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:30 PM
Hall of Mirrors

Epigraph to
Deploying the Glass Bead Game, Part II,”
by Robert de Marrais:

“For a complete logical argument,”
Arthur began
with admirable solemnity,
“we need two prim Misses –”
“Of course!” she interrupted.
“I remember that word now.
And they produce — ?”
“A Delusion,” said Arthur.

— Lewis Carroll,
Sylvie and Bruno

Prim Miss 1:

Erin O’Connor’s weblog
“Critical Mass” on May 24:

Roger Rosenblatt’s Beet [Ecco hardcover, Jan. 29, 2008] is the latest addition to the noble sub-genre of campus fiction….

Curricular questions and the behavior of committees are at once dry as dust subjects and areas ripe for sarcastic send-up– not least because, as dull as they are, they are really both quite vital to the credibility and viability of higher education.

Here’s an excerpt from the first meeting, in which committee members propose their personal plans for a new, improved curriculum:

“… Once the students really got into playing with toy soldiers, they would understand history with hands-on excitement.”

To demonstrate his idea, he’d brought along a shoe box full of toy doughboys and grenadiers, and was about to reenact the Battle of Verdun on the committee table when Heilbrun stayed his hand. “We get it,” he said.

“That’s quite interesting, Molton,” said Booth [a chemist]. “But is it rigorous enough?”

At the mention of the word, everyone, save Peace, sat up straight.

“Rigor is so important,” said Kettlegorf.

“We must have rigor,” said Booth.

“You may be sure,” said the offended Kramer. “I never would propose anything lacking rigor.”

Smythe inhaled and looked at the ceiling. “I think I may have something of interest,” he said, as if he were at a poker game and was about to disclose a royal flush. “My proposal is called ‘Icons of Taste.’ It would consist of a galaxy of courses affixed to several departments consisting of lectures on examples of music, art, architecture, literature, and other cultural areas a student needed to indicate that he or she was sophisticated.”

“Why would a student want to do that?” asked Booth.

“Perhaps sophistication is not a problem for chemists,” said Smythe. Lipman tittered.

“What’s the subject matter?” asked Heilbrun. “Would it have rigor?”

“Of course it would have rigor. Yet it would also attract those additional students Bollovate is talking about.” Smythe inhaled again. “The material would be carefully selected,” he said. “One would need to pick out cultural icons the students were likely to bring up in conversation for the rest of their lives, so that when they spoke, others would recognize their taste as being exquisite yet eclectic and unpredictable.”

“You mean Rembrandt?” said Kramer.

Smythe smiled with weary contempt. “No, I do not mean Rembrandt. I don’t mean Beethoven or Shakespeare, either, unless something iconic has emerged about them to justify their more general appeal.”

“You mean, if they appeared on posters,” said Lipman.

“That’s it, precisely.”

Lipman blushed with pride.

“The subject matter would be fairly easy to amass,” Smythe said. “We could all make up a list off the top of our heads. Einstein–who does have a poster.” He nodded to the ecstatic Lipman. “Auden, for the same reason. Students would need to be able to quote ‘September 1939[ or at least the last lines. And it would be good to teach ‘Musee des Beaux Arts’ as well, which is off the beaten path, but not garishly. Mahler certainly. But Cole Porter too. And Sondheim, I think. Goya. Warhol, it goes without saying, Stephen Hawking, Kurosawa, Bergman, Bette Davis. They’d have to come up with some lines from Dark Victory, or better still, Jezebel. La Dolce Vita. Casablanca. King of Hearts. And Orson, naturally. Citizen Kane, I suppose, though personally I prefer F for Fake.”

“Judy!” cried Heilbrun.

“Yes, Judy too. But not ‘Over the Rainbow.’ It would be more impressive for them to do ‘The Trolley Song,’ don’t you think?” Kettlegorf hummed the intro.

Guernica,” said Kramer. “Robert Capa.” Eight-limbed asterisk

“Edward R. Murrow,” said Lipman.

“No! Don’t be ridiculous!” said Smythe, ending Lipman’s brief foray into the world of respectable thought.

“Marilyn Monroe!” said Kettlegorf.

“Absolutely!” said Smythe, clapping to indicate his approval.

“And the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Booth, catching on. “And the Chrysler Building.”

“Maybe,” said Smythe. “But I wonder if the Chrysler Building isn’t becoming something of a cliche.”

Peace had had enough. “And you want students to nail this stuff so they’ll do well at cocktail parties?”

Smythe sniffed criticism, always a tetchy moment for him. “You make it sound so superficial,” he said.

Prim Miss 2:

Siri Hustvedt speaks at Adelaide Writers’ Week– a story dated March 24, 2008

“I have come to think of my books as echo chambers or halls of mirrors in which themes, ideas, associations continually reflect and reverberate inside a text. There is always point and counterpoint, to use a musical illustration. There is always repetition with difference.”

A Delusion:

Exercise — Identify in the following article the sentence that one might (by unfairly taking it out of context) argue is a delusion.

(Hint: See Reflection Groups in Finite Geometry.)

A. V. Borovik, 'Maroids and Coxeter Groups'

Why Borovik’s Figure 4
is included above:

Euclid, Peirce, L’Engle:
No Royal Roads.

For more on Prim Miss 2
and deploying
the Glass Bead Game,
see the previous entry.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. And now, perhaps, his brother Cornell Capa, who died Friday.

 Related material: Log24 on March 24– Death and the Apple Tree— with an excerpt from
George MacDonald, and an essay by David L. Neuhouser mentioning the influence of MacDonald on Lewis Carroll– Lewis Carroll: Author, Mathematician, and Christian (pdf).

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday October 10, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:35 PM

Introduction to Aesthetics

“Chess problems are the
hymn-tunes of mathematics.”
— G. H. Hardy,
A Mathematician’s Apology

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041010-Hardy2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041010-Mate2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


G. H. Hardy in
A Mathematician’s Apology:

“We do not want many ‘variations’ in the proof of a mathematical theorem: ‘enumeration of cases,’ indeed, is one of the duller forms of mathematical argument.  A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.

A chess problem also has unexpectedness, and a certain economy; it is essential that the moves should be surprising, and that every piece on the board should play its part.  But the aesthetic effect is cumulative.  It is essential also (unless the problem is too simple to be really amusing) that the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer.  ‘If P-B5 then Kt-R6; if …. then …. ; if …. then ….’ — the effect would be spoilt if there were not a good many different replies.  All this is quite genuine mathematics, and has its merits; but it just that ‘proof by enumeration of cases’ (and of cases which do not, at bottom, differ at all profoundly*) which a real mathematician tends to despise.

* I believe that is now regarded as a merit in a problem that there should be many variations of the same type.”

(Cambridge at the University Press.  First edition, 1940.)

Brian Harley in
Mate in Two Moves:

“It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver’s banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be.”

(London, Bell & Sons.  First edition, 1931.)

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Saturday May 22, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:14 AM

Star Wars

In memory of Melvin J. Lasky, editor, 1958-1990, of the CIA-funded journal Encounter:

“Once called as lively, and as bitchy, as a literary cocktail party, Encounter published articles of unrivalled authority on politics, history and literature.”

— Obituary in the Telegraph 

Lasky died on Wednesday, May 19, 2004.  From a journal entry of my own on that date:

This newly-digitized diagram is from a
paper journal note of October 21, 1999.

Note that the diagram’s overall form is that of an eight-point star.  Here is an excerpt from a Fritz Leiber story dealing with such a star, the symbol of a fictional organization:

Time traveling, which is not quite the good clean boyish fun it’s cracked up to be, started for me when this woman with the sigil on her forehead looked in on me from the open doorway of the hotel bedroom where I’d hidden myself and the bottles and asked me, “Look, Buster, do you want to live?”
….

Her right arm was raised and bent, the elbow touching the door frame, the hand brushing back the very dark bangs from her forehead to show me the sigil, as if that had a bearing on her question.

The sigil was an eight-limbed asterisk made of fine dark lines and about as big as a silver dollar.  An X superimposed on a plus sign.  It looked permanent.
….

… “Here is how it stacks up:  You’ve bought your way with something other than money into an organization of which I am an agent….”
….

“It’s a very big organization,” she went on, as if warning me.  “Call it an empire or a power if you like.  So far as you are concerned, it has always existed and always will exist.  It has agents everywhere, literally.  Space and time are no barriers to it.  Its purpose, so far as you will ever be able to know it, is to change, for its own aggrandizement, not only the present and the future, but also the past.  It is a ruthlessly competitive organization and is merciless to its employees.”

“I. G. Farben?” I asked grabbing nervously and clumsily at humor.

She didn’t rebuke my flippancy, but said, “And it isn’t the Communist Party or the Ku Klux Klan, or the Avenging Angels or the Black Hand, either, though its enemies give it a nastier name.”

“Which is?” I asked.

“The Spiders,” she said.

That word gave me the shudders, coming so suddenly.  I expected the sigil to step off her forehead and scuttle down her face and leap at me—something like that.

She watched me.  “You might call it the Double Cross,” she suggested, “if that seems better.”

— Fritz Leiber,
   “Damnation Morning,” 1959

From last year’s entry,
Indiana Jones and the Hidden Coffer,
of 6/14:

From Borges’s “The Aleph“:

“The Faithful who gather at the mosque of Amr, in Cairo, are acquainted with the fact that the entire universe lies inside one of the stone pillars that ring its central court…. The mosque dates from the seventh century; the pillars come from other temples of pre-Islamic religions…. Does this Aleph exist in the heart of a stone?”

(“Los fieles que concurren a la mezquita de Amr, en el Cairo, saben muy bien que el universo está en el interior de una de las columnas de piedra que rodean el patio central…. la mezquita data del siglo VII; las columnas proceden de otros templos de religiones anteislámicas…. ¿Existe ese Aleph en lo íntimo de una piedra?”)

From The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Un cofre de gran riqueza
Hallaron dentro un pilar,
Dentro del, nuevas banderas
Con figuras de espantar.

A coffer of great richness
In a pillar’s heart they found,
Within it lay new banners,
With figures to astound.

See also the figures obtained by coloring and permuting parts of the above religious symbol.

Lena Olin and Harrison Ford
in “Hollywood Homicide

Finally, from an excellent site
on the Knights Templar,
a quotation from Umberto Eco:

When all the archetypes burst out shamelessly, we plumb the depths of Homeric profundity. Two cliches make us laugh but a hundred cliches move us because we sense dimly that the cliches are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion . . . Just as the extreme of pain meets sensual pleasure, and the extreme of perversion borders on mystical energy, so too the extreme of banality allows us to catch a glimpse of the Sublime.

— “Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage” (1984) from Travels in Hyperreality

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Saturday July 12, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM

Before and After

From Understanding the (Net) Wake:

24

A.

“Its importance in establishing the identities in the writer complexus….will be best appreciated by never forgetting that both before and after the Battle of the Boyne it was a habit not to sign letters always.”(114)

Joyce shows an understanding of the problems that an intertextual book like the Wake poses for the notion of authorship.

G. H. Hardy in A Mathematician’s Apology:

“We do not want many ‘variations’ in the proof of a mathematical theorem: ‘enumeration of cases,’ indeed, is one of the duller forms of mathematical argument.  A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.

A chess problem also has unexpectedness, and a certain economy; it is essential that the moves should be surprising, and that every piece on the board should play its part.  But the aesthetic effect is cumulative.  It is essential also (unless the problem is too simple to be really amusing) that the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer.  ‘If P-B5 then Kt-R6; if …. then …. ; if …. then ….’ — the effect would be spoilt if there were not a good many different replies.  All this is quite genuine mathematics, and has its merits; but it just that ‘proof by enumeration of cases’ (and of cases which do not, at bottom, differ at all profoundly*) which a real mathematician tends to despise.

* I believe that is now regarded as a merit in a problem that there should be many variations of the same type.”

(Cambridge at the University Press.  First edition, 1940.)

Brian Harley in Mate in Two Moves:

“It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver’s banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be.”

(London, Bell & Sons.  First edition, 1931.)

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