Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tyson’s Cosmos

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Related material

See also Cosmos + Sagan in this journal.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Accio Watson

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:08 PM

Interview by Alice Lloyd George [AMLG] at techcrunch.com 
on April 17, 2017 —
. . . .

In an interview for Flux, I sat down with Natalya Bailey [NB], the co-founder and CEO of Accion Systems. 
. . . .

AMLG: When you talk about aliens I think of one of my favorite books by Carl Sagan  —  Contact. I don’t know if you ever watched the movie or read the book, but I picture you like Ellie in that film. She’s this brilliant scientist and stumbles across something big.

NB: I’ve definitely seen it. I’m currently making my way through Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos again.

AMLG: I love the original Cosmos. I’m a huge Carl Sagan fan, I love his voice, he’s so inspiring to listen to. Talking about books, I know you’re an avid reader. Did any books in particular influence you or your path to building Accion?

NB: Well I’m a gigantic Harry Potter fan and a lot of things around Accion are named after various aspects of Harry Potter, including the name Accion itself.

AMLG: Is that the Accio spell? The beckoning spell?

NB: Yes exactly. My co-founder and I were g-chatting late one night on a weekend and looking through a glossary of Harry Potter spells trying to name the company. Accio, the summoning spell, if you add an “N” to the end of it, it becomes a concatenation between “accelerate” and “ion,” which is what we do. That’s the official story of how we named the company, but really it was from the glossary of spells.

Related material — The Orbit Stabilizer Theorem.
See also the above date — April 17, 2017 —
in posts tagged Art Space.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Dodecahedron Model of PG(2,5)

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:28 PM

Recent posts tagged Sagan Dodecahedron 
mention an association between that Platonic
solid and the 5×5 grid. That grid, when extended
by the six points on a "line at infinity," yields
the 31 points of the finite projective plane of
order five.  

For details of how the dodecahedron serves as
a model of this projective plane (PG(2,5)), see
Polster's A Geometrical Picture Book , p. 120:

For associations of the grid with magic rather than
with Plato, see a search for 5×5 in this journal.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Click image for some related posts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More-Nuanced Realities

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:32 PM

This evening's NY Times  wire:

Mabee reportedly died on December 18, 2014.

The cover of Harvard Design Magazine , Spring/Summer 2014:

See also Sigla (Dec. 22, 2014):
"Everyword for oneself but Code for us all."
— James Joyce in Scribbledehobble

What hath Joyce wrought?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM

See also Derrida + Serpent in this journal.

* See Stoicheia (Elements) in this journal.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gullible’s Travels

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:01 PM

The President of the United States
on the Sony hacking 
in his Dec. 19 press conference:

"But let’s talk of the specifics of what we now know.
The FBI announced today and we can confirm that
North Korea engaged in this attack. I think it says
something interesting about North Korea that they
decided to have the state mount an all-out assault
on a movie studio because of a satirical movie…."

This post was suggested in part by the contemptibly
misleading remarks of Carl Sagan in his "Cosmos"
TV series (see yesterday's Colorful Tale) and by the 
following remarks in a Presentation Zen  piece dated
March 11, 2014, "More Storytelling Lessons from 'Cosmos'," 
praising Sagan's vulgarizations —

"Good storytelling causes the audience to ask questions
as your narrative progresses. As the storyteller you can
ask questions directly, but often a more interesting approach
is to present the material in a way that triggers the audience
to come up with the questions themselves. And yet we must
not be afraid to leave some (many?) questions unanswered.
When we think of a story we may think of clear conclusions
and neat, clear endings, but reality can be quite a bit more
complicated than that."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Colorful Tale

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

Wikipedia on a tale about one Hippasus of Metapontum,
who supposedly was drowned by Pythagoreans for his
discovery of irrational numbers and/or of the dodecahedron —

"In the hands of modern writers this combination of vague
ancient reports and modern guesswork has sometimes
evolved into a much more emphatic and colourful tale."

See, for instance, a tale told by the late Carl Sagan,
who was bitterly anti-Pythagorean (and anti-Platonic):

IMAGE- Sagan in 'Cosmos' on the Pythagoreans

For a related colorful tale, see "Patrick Blackburn" in this journal.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Platonic Analogy

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:23 PM

(Five by Five continued)

As the 3×3 grid underlies the order-3 finite projective plane,
whose 13 points may be modeled by
the 13 symmetry axes of the cube,
so the 5×5 grid underlies the order-5 finite projective plane,
whose 31 points may be modeled by
the 31 symmetry axes of the dodecahedron.

See posts tagged Galois-Plane Models.

Five by Five

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

You are here > Home > Mystery > Contact (1997) > Five by Five

"This is Control. Do you copy?"
"Reading you five by five…"

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tuesday April 26, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM
The Ring of Falsehood

In memory of Philip Morrison, bombmaker,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050426-Morrison.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Scientific American columnist,
  pioneer of the
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
and author of
The Ring of Truth

Morrison died
in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on Friday, April 22, 2005.

From The Measure of a Life:

Does religion play a role in attitudes toward ETIs? Philip Morrison gave his considered opinion… “Well, it might, but I think that it’s just one of the permissive routes; it isn’t an essential factor. My parents were Jewish. Their beliefs were conventional but not very deep. They belonged to the Jewish community; they went to services infrequently, on special occasions—funerals and high holidays”….

Although Sagan did not believe in God, he nevertheless said this about SETI’s importance… “It touches deeply into myth, folklore, religion, mythology; and every human culture in some way or another has wondered about that type of question. It’s one of the most basic questions there is.” In fact, in Sagan’s novel/film Contact, described by Keay Davidson as “one of the most religious science-fiction tales ever written”… Ellie discovers that pi—the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter—is numerically encoded in the cosmos and this is proof that a super-intelligence designed the universe…

The universe was made on purpose, the circle said. In whatever galaxy you happen to find yourself, you take the circumference of a circle, divide it by its diameter, measure closely enough, and uncover a miracle—another circle, drawn kilometers downstream of the decimal point. In the fabric of space and in the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist’s signature. Standing over humans, gods, and demons, subsuming Caretakers and Tunnel builders, there is an intelligence that antedates the universe.


See also yesterday’s entry Mathematical Style.

Extra credit:
Discuss the difference betweeen physical constants and mathematical constants. Use the results of your discussion to show that the above discussion of pi is nonsense.

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