Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Diamond Cube

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:32 AM

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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

“Puzzle Cube of a Novel”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 AM

"To know the mind of the creator"

Or that of Orson Welles

Related material — Cube Coloring.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cube of Ultron

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

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 super-cell.
Speaking of that super-cell, 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? 

Kate Reilly at Geekenstein.com (Sept. 27, 2013)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cube Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:24 PM

For the late Cardinal Glemp of Poland,
who died yesterday, some links:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cube Koan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 4:56 AM

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 agreed-upon 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 three-dimensional. 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 counter-clockwise order. (This corresponds
to a labeling of one of MacMahon's* 30 colored cubes.)
A similar vertex-labeling may be used in describing 
the automorphisms of the order-8 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 dice-throwing, and in it he had made
contributions original enough to be named
a Fellow of the Royal Society.

   Glorified dice-throwing, indeed…"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cube Partitions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 AM

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)—

IMAGE by Cullinane- 'Solomon's Cube' with 64 identical, but variously oriented, subcubes, and six partitions of these 64 subcubes

Click for further details.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:15 PM

(Continued from January 11, 2012)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"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 11557-11572)

See also Many Dimensions in this journal and Solomon's Cube.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quaternions on a Cube

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:48 AM

The following picture provides a new visual approach to
the order-8 quaternion  group's automorphisms.

IMAGE- Quaternion group acting on an eightfold cube

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 co-founded—

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring

Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cosmic Cube*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:25 PM

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

Prequel (Click to enlarge)

IMAGE- Galois vs. Rubik: Posters for Abel Prize, Oslo, 2008

Background —

IMAGE- 'Group Theory' Wikipedia article with Rubik's cube as main illustration and argument  by a cuber for the image's use

See also Rubik in this journal.

* For the title, see Groups Acting.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dark Tower Theology

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM

In memory of a TV gunslinger who reportedly died Thursday, August 3, 2017 . . .

From this journal on that day (posts now tagged Dark Tower Theology) —

"The concept under review is that of the Holy Trinity.
  See also, in this  journal, Cube Trinity.
  For a simpler Trinity model, see the three-point line  "

"Would that it were so simple."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poetic Theology at the New York Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:19 PM

Or:  Trinity Test Site

From the New York Times Book Review  of
next Sunday, August 6, 2017 —

"In a more conventional narrative sequence,
even a sequence of poems,
this interpenetration would acquire
sequence and evolution." [Link added.]

The concept under review is that of the Holy Trinity.

See also, in this  journal, Cube Trinity.

For a simpler Trinity model, see the three-point line  

Friday, March 11, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"You know that in space you can move in three ways…."

See also Cube Trinity and Many Dimensions.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

ABC Verlag, Zurich

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

IMAGE- Dust jacket, 'Conceptions of International Exhibitions,' by Hans Neuburg, ABC Verlag, Zurich, 1969

"The motive for metaphor, shrinking from
The weight of primary noon,
The A B C of being…." — Wallace Stevens

See also Cube Trinity in this journal.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Rock

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:26 PM

(Continued. See previous post and Red and Gray in this journal.)

"Give faith a fighting chance." —Country song

From a post of June 3, 2007—

Related illustration relevant to theology—


For some background, see Cube Trinity in this journal.

For greater depth, see Levering's Scripture and Metaphysics:
Aquinas and the Renewal of Trinitarian Theology 
Blackwell, 2004, page 150.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Cosmic Part

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Yesterday's midday post, borrowing a phrase from the theology of Marvel Comics,
offered Rubik's mechanical contrivance as a rather absurd "Cosmic Cube."

A simpler candidate for the "Cube" part of that phrase:


The Eightfold Cube

As noted elsewhere, a simple reflection group* of order 168 acts naturally on this structure.

"Because of their truly fundamental role in mathematics,
even the simplest diagrams concerning finite reflection groups
(or finite mirror systems, or root systems—
the languages are equivalent) have interpretations
of cosmological proportions."

Alexandre V. Borovik in "Coxeter Theory: The Cognitive Aspects"

Borovik has a such a diagram—


The planes in Borovik's figure are those separating the parts of the eightfold cube above.

In Coxeter theory, these are Euclidean hyperplanes. In the eightfold cube, they represent three of seven projective points that are permuted by the above group of order 168.

In light of Borovik's remarks, the eightfold cube might serve to illustrate the "Cosmic" part of the Marvel Comics phrase.

For some related theological remarks, see Cube Trinity in this journal.

Happy St. Augustine's Day.

* I.e., one generated by reflections : group actions that fix a hyperplane pointwise. In the eightfold cube, viewed as a vector space of 3 dimensions over the 2-element Galois field, these hyperplanes are certain sets of four subcubes.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:30 PM

Sure, Whatever.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:13 AM

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.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Copy editing — From Wikipedia

"Copy editing (also copy-editing 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.

Piece Prize

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:15 PM

The Waymark Prize from 'A Piece of Justice' (1995) by Jill Paton Walsh

The Waymark Prize Mystery - 'A Piece of Justice' (1995) p. 138

From the Personal to the Platonic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:01 AM

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

Personal —

The Rushkoff Logo

— From a 2016 graphic novel by Douglas Rushkoff.

See also Rushkoff and Talisman in this journal.

Platonic —

The Diamond Cube.

Compare and contrast the shifting hexagon logo in the Rushkoff novel above 
with the hexagon-inside-a-cube in my "Diamonds and Whirls" note (1984).

Thursday, March 22, 2018

In Memoriam

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

Also on March 18, 2015 . . .

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Unite the Seven.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Related material —

The seven points of the Fano plane within 

The Eightfold Cube.

Weyl on symmetry, the eightfold cube, the Fano plane, and trigrams of the I Ching

"Before time began . . . ."

  — Optimus Prime

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Binary Revolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Michael Atiyah on the late Ron Shaw

Phrases by Atiyah related to the importance in mathematics
of the two-element Galois field GF(2) —

  • "The digital revolution based on the 2 symbols (0,1)"
  • "The algebra of George Boole"
  • "Binary codes"
  • "Dirac's spinors, with their up/down dichotomy"

These phrases are from the year-end review of Trinity College,
Cambridge, Trinity Annual Record 2017 .

I prefer other, purely geometric, reasons for the importance of GF(2) —

  • The 2×2 square
  • The 2x2x2 cube
  • The 4×4 square
  • The 4x4x4 cube

See Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

See also today's earlier post God's Dice and Atiyah on the theology of 
(Boolean) algebra vs. (Galois) geometry:

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hollywood Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Matt B. Roscoe and Joe Zephyrs, both of Missoula, Montana, authors of article on quilt block symmetries

A death on the date of the above symmetry chat,
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

'Love Story' director dies

An Hispanic Hollywood moment:

Ojo de Dios —

Click for related material.

For further Hispanic entertainment,
see Ben Affleck sing 
"Aquellos Ojos Verdes "
in "Hollywoodland."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Summer of 1984

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:11 AM

The previous two posts dealt, rather indirectly, with
the notion of "cube bricks" (Cullinane, 1984) —

Group actions on partitions —

Cube Bricks 1984 —

An Approach to Symmetric Generation of the Simple Group of Order 168

Another mathematical remark from 1984 —

For further details, see Triangles Are Square.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Think Different

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 PM

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
steeple-fingered image looming as big onstage as
Big Brother’s face in the classic Macintosh '1984' commercial."

James Poniewozik 

Review —

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How It Works

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags:  — m759 @ 11:00 AM 

"Design is how it works." — Steven Jobs (See Symmetry and Design.)

"By far the most important structure in design theory is the Steiner system S(5, 8, 24)."
 — "Block Designs," by Andries E. Brouwer

. . . .

See also 1984 Bricks in this journal.

Chin Music

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:45 PM

Related image suggested by "A Line for Frank" (Sept. 30, 2013) —

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Contracting the Spielraum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:00 AM

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 1-12, 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).

Monday, March 28, 2016

De Trinitate

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hint of Reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:45 PM

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 real-world physical object?

2. Which groups have actually  been represented as the group of symmetries of some real-world 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 7-point 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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:04 AM

"Die Philosophie ist ein Kampf gegen die Verhexung
unsres Verstandes durch die Mittel unserer Sprache."

— Philosophical Investigations  (1953),  Section 109

An example of Verhexung  from the René Guitart article in the previous post

See also Ein Kampf .

Friday, August 7, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:19 AM

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 Scottish-born
publishing executive, editor and award-winning 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                       

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Paradigm for Pedagogues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:14 PM

Illustrations from a post of Feb. 17, 2011:

Plato’s paradigm in the Meno —


Changed paradigm in the diamond theorem (2×2 case) —


Ultron: By the Book

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:45 PM

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


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"Who is Ultron? What is he?"

See too the previous post and Cube of Ultron.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:30 PM


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…."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 7:59 PM

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 —

Manifest O

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:44 AM

The title was suggested by

The "O" of the title stands for the octahedral  group.

See the following, from http://finitegeometry.org/sc/map.html —

83-06-21 An invariance of symmetry The diamond theorem on a 4x4x4 cube, and a sketch of the proof.
83-10-01 Portrait of O  A table of the octahedral group O using the 24 patterns from the 2×2 case of the diamond theorem.
83-10-16 Study of O  A different way of looking at the octahedral group, using cubes that illustrate the 2x2x2 case of the diamond theorem.
84-09-15 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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raiders of the Lost Articulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:14 PM

Tom Hanks as Indiana Langdon in Raiders of the Lost Articulation :

An unarticulated (but colored) cube:

Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) and a corner of Solomon's Cube

A 2x2x2 articulated cube:

IMAGE- Eightfold cube with detail of triskelion structure

A 4x4x4 articulated cube built from subcubes like
the one viewed by Tom Hanks above:

Image-- Solomon's Cube

Solomon’s Cube

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mathematics, Not Theology

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:00 PM


“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

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

“There is  such a thing as a three-set.”
— Saying adapted from a novel by Madeleine L’Engle

Friday, August 29, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM

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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brutalism Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:59 PM

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
Mid-Century Modern design, said Meyer didn't have a signature style,
'which is one reason he is not as well-known 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.)

Source of the Finite

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:20 AM

"Die Unendlichkeit  ist die uranfängliche Tatsache: es wäre nur
zu erklären, woher das Endliche  stamme…."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Das Philosophenbuch/Le livre du philosophe
(Paris: Aubier-Flammarion, 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 Bauhaus-related 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, 1984-2003.

For a less rigorous approach to space at the Harvard Graduate
School of Design, see earlier references to Lefebvre in this journal.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not Quite

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Click image to enlarge.


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"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…

IMAGE- T. Lux Feininger on 'Gestaltung'

Here “eidolon” should instead be “eidos .”

An example of eidos — Plato's diamond (from the Meno ) —


Schau der Gestalt

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

(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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

A sequel to the 1974 film
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot :

Contingent and Fluky

Some variations on a thunderbolt  theme:

Design Cube 2x2x2 for demonstrating Galois geometry

These variations also exemplify the larger
Verbum  theme:

Image-- Escher's 'Verbum'

Escher’s Verbum

Image-- Solomon's Cube

Solomon’s Cube

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

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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Monkey Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 PM

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:

IMAGE- Quaternion group acting on an eightfold cube

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).

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quaternion Group Models:

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

The ninefold square, the eightfold cube, and monkeys.

IMAGE- Actions of the unit quaternions in finite geometry, on a ninefold square and on an eightfold cube

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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Diamond Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:28 PM


Definition:  A diamond space  — informal phrase denoting
a subspace of AG(6, 2), the six-dimensional affine space
over the two-element Galois field.

The reason for the name:

IMAGE - The Diamond Theorem, including the 4x4x4 'Solomon's Cube' case

Click to enlarge.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Heaven Descending

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

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.”

IMAGE- Construction of 'Heaven Descending' lattice

Click for the source, mentioned in Anatomy of a Cube (Sept. 18, 2011).

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

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:

Swarthmore Cube Project, 2008

Non- Rubik cores:

Of the odd  nxnxn cube:

Of the even  nxnxn cube:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/cube2x2x2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material: The Eightfold Cube and

"A core component in the construction
is a 3-dimensional vector space  over F."

—  Page 29 of "A twist in the M24 moonshine story," 
      by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland.
      (Submitted to the arXiv on 13 Mar 2013.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eternal Recreation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:17 AM

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 195-196:

“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 self-deceptions.”

* 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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Group Actions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 PM

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 "Low-dimensional
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 eight-cube 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—


Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube

© 2005 The Institute for Figuring

Photo by Norman Brosterman from the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring (co-founded 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—
low-dimensional 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—


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Deeply

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:48 PM

Last night's post on The Trinity of Max Black  and the use of
the term "eightfold" by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at Berkeley suggest a review of an image from Sept. 22, 2011

IMAGE- Eightfold cube with detail of triskelion structure

The triskele  detail above echoes a Buddhist symbol found,
for instance, on the Internet in an ad for meditation supplies—

Related remarks


Mary Dusenbury (Radcliffe '64)—

"… I think a textile, like any work of art, holds a tremendous amount of information— technical, material, historical, social, philosophical— but beyond that, many works of art are very beautiful and they speak to us on many layers— our intellect, our heart, our emotions. I've been going to museums since I was a very small child, thinking about what I saw, and going back to discover new things, to see pieces that spoke very deeply to me, to look at them again, and to find more and more meaning relevant to me in different ways and at different times of my life. …

… I think I would suggest to people that first of all they just look. Linger by pieces they find intriguing and beautiful, and look deeply. Then, if something interests them, we have tried to put a little information around the galleries to give a bit of history, a bit of context, for each piece. But the most important is just to look very deeply."


According to Robert Thurman, the term "Nikāya Buddhism" was coined by Professor Masatoshi Nagatomi of Harvard University, as a way to avoid the usage of the term Hinayana.[12] "Nikaya Buddhism" is thus an attempt to find a more neutral way of referring to Buddhists who follow one of the early Buddhist schools, and their practice.

12. The Emptiness That is Compassion:
An Essay on Buddhist Ethics, Robert A. F. Thurman, 1980
[Religious Traditions , Vol. 4 No. 2, Oct.-Nov. 1981, pp. 11-34]


Nikāya [Sk. nikāya, ni+kāya]
collection ("body") assemblage, class, group


Sanskrit etymology for नि (ni)

From Proto-Indo-European *ni …


नि (ni)

  • down
  • back
  • in, into


Kaya (Skt. kāya སྐུ་, Tib. ku Wyl. sku ) —
the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’
but can also signify dimension, field or basis.

སྐུ། (Wyl. sku ) n. Pron.: ku

structure, existentiality, founding stratum ▷HVG KBEU

gestalt ▷HVG LD

Note that The Trinity of Max Black  is a picture of  a set
i.e., of an "assemblage, class, group."

Note also the reference above to the word "gestalt."

"Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
erfassen und gestalten?"

Walter Gropius

Bright Black

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:12 AM

“‘In the dictionary next to [the] word “bright,” you should see Paula’s picture,’ he said. ‘She was super smart, with a sparkling wit. … She had a beautiful sense of style and color.'”

— Elinor J. Brecher in The Miami Herald  on June 8, quoting Palm Beach Post writer John Lantigua on the late art historian Paula Hays Harper

This  journal on the date of her death—

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

For some simpleminded commentary, see László Lovász on the cube space.

Some less simpleminded commentary—

Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
erfassen und gestalten?”

Walter Gropius,

The Theory and
Organization of the

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Congruent Group Actions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:00 PM

A Google search today yielded no results
for the phrase "congruent group actions."

Places where this phrase might prove useful include—

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chiral Problem

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:06 AM

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


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, non-commutativity of quaternions is a feature directly related to the chirality of molecules….

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Child’s Play

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM


“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

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

Related material—

The Trinity Cube

IMAGE- The Trinity Cube (three interpenetrating planes that split the eightfold cube into its eight subcubes)

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

"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, Z2 × Z2 × Z2 , 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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

More on Triality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:20 PM

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 kHurwitz
— 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.

IMAGE- Actions of the unit quaternions in finite geometry, on a ninefold square and on an eightfold cube

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:09 PM

From life's box of chocolates

Happy birthday to Piper Laurie.

* Those who prefer their
souvenirs without sentiment
may consult the quaternions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Language Game

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:08 AM

Tension in the Common Room

IMAGE- 'Launched from Cuber' scene in 'X-Men: First Class'

In memory of population geneticist James F. Crow,
who died at 95 on January 4th.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Defining Form

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:00 AM

(Continued from Epiphany and from yesterday.)

Detail from the current American Mathematical Society homepage


Further detail, with a comparison to Dürer's magic square—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120110-Donmoyer-Still-Life-Detail.jpg http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120110-DurerSquare.jpg

The three interpenetrating planes in the foreground of Donmoyer's picture
provide a clue to the structure of the the magic square array behind them.

Group the 16 elements of Donmoyer's array into four 4-sets corresponding to the
four rows of Dürer's square, and apply the 4-color decomposition theorem.
Note the symmetry of the set of 3 line diagrams that result.

Now consider the 4-sets 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16, and note that these
occupy the same positions in the Donmoyer square that 4-sets of
like elements occupy in the diamond-puzzle figure below—


Thus the Donmoyer array also enjoys the structural  symmetry,
invariant under 322,560 transformations, of the diamond-puzzle figure.

Just as the decomposition theorem's interpenetrating lines  explain the structure
of a 4×4 square , the foreground's interpenetrating planes  explain the structure
of a 2x2x2 cube .

For an application to theology, recall that interpenetration  is a technical term
in that field, and see the following post from last year—

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Theology for Antichristmas

— m759 @ 12:00 PM

Hypostasis (philosophy)

"… the formula 'Three Hypostases  in one Ousia '
came to be everywhere accepted as an epitome
of the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
This consensus, however, was not achieved
without some confusion…." —Wikipedia



Click for further details:



Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:00 PM

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.)

I found some relevant remarks here and here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:48 AM

In memory of artist Ronald Searle

IMAGE- Ronald Searle, 'Pythagoras puzzled by one of my theorums,' from 'Down with Skool'

Searle reportedly died at 91 on December 30th.

From Log24 on that date

IMAGE- Quaternion group acting on an eightfold cube

Click the above image for some context.

Update of 9:29 PM EST Jan. 3, 2012



From RationalWiki

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.

See also


Some backgound— In this journal, "Diamond Theory of Truth."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Accentuate the Positive

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

An image that may be viewed as
a cube with a "+" on each face—


The eightfold cube


Underlying structure

For the Pope and others on St. Benedict's Day
who prefer narrative to mathematics—

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Theology for Antichristmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Hypostasis (philosophy)

"… the formula 'Three Hypostases  in one Ousia '
came to be everywhere accepted as an epitome
of the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
This consensus, however, was not achieved
without some confusion…." —Wikipedia



Click for further details:


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beyond Forgetfulness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

From this journal on July 23, 2007

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– 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."

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Abacus Conundrum*

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

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 bead-strung 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 well-founded 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. 4-5, 2010).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eightfold Symmetries

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

Harvard Crimson headline today–
"Deconstructing Design"

Reconstructing Design

The phrase "eightfold way" in today's
previous entry has a certain
  graphic resonance…

For instance, an illustration from the
Wikipedia article "Noble Eightfold Path" —

Dharma Wheel from Wikipedia

Adapted detail–

Adapted Dharma Wheel detail

See also, from
St. Joseph's Day

Weyl's 'Symmetry,' the triquetrum, and the eightfold cube

Harvard students who view Christian symbols
with fear and loathing may meditate
on the above as a representation of
the Gankyil rather than of the Trinity.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday March 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Solomon's Cube

"There is a book… called A Fellow of Trinity, one of series dealing with what is supposed to be Cambridge college life…. There are two heroes, a primary hero called Flowers, who is almost wholly good, and a secondary hero, a much weaker vessel, called Brown. Flowers and Brown find many dangers in university life, but the worst is a gambling saloon in Chesterton run by the Misses Bellenden, two fascinating but extremely wicked young ladies. Flowers survives all these troubles, is Second Wrangler and Senior Classic, and succeeds automatically to a Fellowship (as I suppose he would have done then). Brown succumbs, ruins his parents, takes to drink, is saved from delirium tremens during a thunderstorm only by the prayers of the Junior Dean, has much difficulty in obtaining even an Ordinary Degree, and ultimately becomes a missionary. The friendship is not shattered by these unhappy events, and Flowers's thoughts stray to Brown, with affectionate pity, as he drinks port and eats walnuts for the first time in Senior Combination Room."

— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

"The Solomon Key is the working title of an unreleased novel in progress by American author Dan Brown. The Solomon Key will be the third book involving the character of the Harvard professor Robert Langdon, of which the first two were Angels & Demons (2000) and The Da Vinci Code (2003)." —Wikipedia

"One has O+(6) ≅ S8, the symmetric group of order 8! …."

 — "Siegel Modular Forms and Finite Symplectic Groups," by Francesco Dalla Piazza and Bert van Geemen, May 5, 2008, preprint.

"The complete projective group of collineations and dualities of the [projective] 3-space is shown to be of order [in modern notation] 8! …. To every transformation of the 3-space there corresponds a transformation of the [projective] 5-space. In the 5-space, there are determined 8 sets of 7 points each, 'heptads' …."

— George M. Conwell, "The 3-space PG(3, 2) and Its Group," The Annals of Mathematics, Second Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jan., 1910), pp. 60-76

"It must be remarked that these 8 heptads are the key to an elegant proof…."

— Philippe Cara, "RWPRI Geometries for the Alternating Group A8," in Finite Geometries: Proceedings of the Fourth Isle of Thorns Conference (July 16-21, 2000), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, ed. Aart Blokhuis, James W. P. Hirschfeld, Dieter Jungnickel, and Joseph A. Thas, pp. 61-97

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday February 5, 2009

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

Through the
Looking Glass:

A Sort of Eternity

From the new president's inaugural address:

"… in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

The words of Scripture:

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


First Corinthians 13

"through a glass"

[di’ esoptrou].
By means of
a mirror [esoptron]

Childish things:

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring


Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)



Three planes through
the center of a cube
that split it into
eight subcubes:
Cube subdivided into 8 subcubes by planes through the center
Through a glass, darkly:

A group of 8 transformations is
generated by affine reflections
in the above three planes.
Shown below is a pattern on
the faces of the 2x2x2 cube
 that is symmetric under one of
these 8 transformations–
a 180-degree rotation:

Design Cube 2x2x2 for demonstrating Galois geometry

(Click on image
for further details.)

But then face to face:

A larger group of 1344,
rather than 8, transformations
of the 2x2x2 cube
is generated by a different
sort of affine reflections– not
in the infinite Euclidean 3-space
over the field of real numbers,
but rather in the finite Galois
3-space over the 2-element field.

Galois age fifteen, drawn by a classmate.

Galois age fifteen,
drawn by a classmate.

These transformations
in the Galois space with
finitely many points
produce a set of 168 patterns
like the one above.
For each such pattern,
at least one nontrivial
transformation in the group of 8
described above is a symmetry
in the Euclidean space with
infinitely many points.

For some generalizations,
see Galois Geometry.

Related material:

The central aim of Western religion–



"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
 masculine and feminine,
 life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy–

 Dualities of Pythagoras
 as reconstructed by Aristotle:
  Limited Unlimited
  Odd Even
  Male Female
  Light Dark
  Straight Curved
  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."

— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres (1993)

"In the garden of Adding
live Even and Odd…
And the song of love's recision
is the music of the spheres."

— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in City of God, by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

A quotation today at art critic Carol Kino's website, slightly expanded:

"Art inherited from the old religion
the power of consecrating things
and endowing them with
a sort of eternity;
museums are our temples,
and the objects displayed in them
are beyond history."

— Octavio Paz,"Seeing and Using: Art and Craftsmanship," in Convergences: Essays on Art and Literature (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1987), 52 

From Brian O'Doherty's 1976 Artforum essays– not on museums, but rather on gallery space:

"Inside the White Cube"

"We have now reached
a point where we see
not the art but the space first….
An image comes to mind
of a white, ideal space
that, more than any single picture,
may be the archetypal image
of 20th-century art."


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

— James Joyce, Ulysses  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday December 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:01 PM
Another Opening,
Another Show

“While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick’s Day on a scale similar to the German custom.” —Wikipedia

A footprint from Germany:

/504856559/item.html 12/6/2008
1:21 PM

The link in the above footprint leads
to an entry of July 5, 2006.

The access method:

The urllib Module

“The Python urllib module implements a fairly high-level abstraction for making any web object with a URL act like a Python file: i.e., you open it, and get back an object….”

For more pictures and discussion
of the object fetched by Python,
see Anti-Christmas 2007.

For a larger and more sophisticated
relative of that object,
 see Solomon’s Cube and
the related three presents
from the German link’s target:

Spellbound: A trinity of Christmas presents

1. Many Dimensions
2. Boggle
3. My Space

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday August 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Preview of a Tom Stoppard play presented at Town Hall in Manhattan on March 14, 2008 (Pi Day and Einstein's birthday):

The play's title, "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour," is a mnemonic for the notes of the treble clef EGBDF.

The place, Town Hall, West 43rd Street. The time, 8 p.m., Friday, March 14. One single performance only, to the tinkle– or the clang?– of a triangle. Echoing perhaps the clang-clack of Warsaw Pact tanks muscling into Prague in August 1968.

The “u” in favour is the British way, the Stoppard way, "EGBDF" being "a Play for Actors and Orchestra" by Tom Stoppard (words) and André Previn (music).

And what a play!– as luminescent as always where Stoppard is concerned. The music component of the one-nighter at Town Hall– a showcase for the Boston University College of Fine Arts– is by a 47-piece live orchestra, the significant instrument being, well, a triangle.

When, in 1974, André Previn, then principal conductor of the London Symphony, invited Stoppard "to write something which had the need of a live full-time orchestra onstage," the 36-year-old playwright jumped at the chance.

One hitch: Stoppard at the time knew "very little about 'serious' music… My qualifications for writing about an orchestra," he says in his introduction to the 1978 Grove Press edition of "EGBDF," "amounted to a spell as a triangle player in a kindergarten percussion band."

Jerry Tallmer in The Villager, March 12-18, 2008

Review of the same play as presented at Chautauqua Institution on July 24, 2008:

"Stoppard's modus operandi– to teasingly introduce numerous clever tidbits designed to challenge the audience."

Jane Vranish, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, August 2, 2008

"The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul."

— Dan Fogelberg

"He's watching us all the time."

Lucia Joyce


Finnegans Wake,
Book II, Episode 2, pp. 296-297:

I'll make you to see figuratleavely the whome of your eternal geomater. And if you flung her headdress on her from under her highlows you'd wheeze whyse Salmonson set his seel on a hexengown.1 Hissss!, Arrah, go on! Fin for fun!

1 The chape of Doña Speranza of the Nacion.


Log 24, Sept. 3, 2003:

From my entry of Sept. 1, 2003:

"…the principle of taking and giving, of learning and teaching, of listening and storytelling, in a word: of reciprocity….

… 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, review of Himmelfarb, a novel by Michael Kruger, in The New York Times Book Review, October 30, 1994

Last year's entry on this date: 


Today's birthday:
James Joseph Sylvester

"Mathematics is the music of reason."
— J. J. Sylvester

Sylvester, a nineteenth-century mathematician, coined the phrase "synthematic totals" to describe some structures based on 6-element sets that R. T. Curtis has called "rather unwieldy objects." See Curtis's abstract, Symmetric Generation of Finite Groups, John Baez's essay, Some Thoughts on the Number 6, and my website, Diamond Theory.


The picture above is of the complete graph K6  Six points with an edge connecting every pair of points… Fifteen edges in all.

Diamond theory describes how the 15 two-element subsets of a six-element set (represented by edges in the picture above) may be arranged as 15 of the 16 parts of a 4×4 array, and how such an array relates to group-theoretic concepts, including Sylvester's synthematic totals as they relate to constructions of the Mathieu group M24.

If diamond theory illustrates any general philosophical principle, it is probably the interplay of opposites….  "Reciprocity" in the sense of Lao Tzu.  See

Reciprocity and Reversal in Lao Tzu.

For a sense of "reciprocity" more closely related to Michael Kruger's alleged philosophy, see the Confucian concept of Shu (Analects 15:23 or 24) described in

Shu: Reciprocity.

Kruger's novel is in part about a Jew: the quintessential Jewish symbol, the star of David, embedded in the K6 graph above, expresses the reciprocity of male and female, as my May 2003 archives illustrate.  The star of David also appears as part of a graphic design for cubes that illustrate the concepts of diamond theory:

Click on the design for details.

Those who prefer a Jewish approach to physics can find the star of David, in the form of K6, applied to the sixteen 4×4 Dirac matrices, in

A Graphical Representation
of the Dirac Algebra

The star of David also appears, if only as a heuristic arrangement, in a note that shows generating partitions of the affine group on 64 points arranged in two opposing triplets.

Having thus, as the New York Times advises, paid tribute to a Jewish symbol, we may note, in closing, a much more sophisticated and subtle concept of reciprocity due to Euler, Legendre, and Gauss.  See

The Jewel of Arithmetic and


Salmonson set his seel:

"Finn MacCool ate the Salmon of Knowledge."


"George Salmon spent his boyhood in Cork City, Ireland. His father was a linen merchant. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin at the age of 19 with exceptionally high honours in mathematics. In 1841 at age 21 he was appointed to a position in the mathematics department at Trinity College Dublin. In 1845 he was appointed concurrently to a position in the theology department at Trinity College Dublin, having been confirmed in that year as an Anglican priest."

Related material:

Kindergarten Theology,

Kindergarten Relativity,

Arrangements for
56 Triangles

For more on the
arrangement of
triangles discussed
in Finnegans Wake,
see Log24 on Pi Day,
March 14, 2008.

Happy birthday,
Martin Sheen.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Wechsler Cubes

 "Confusion is nothing new."
— Song lyric, Cyndi Lauper  

Part I:
Magister Ludi

Hermann Hesse's 1943 The Glass Bead Game (Picador paperback, Dec. 6, 2002, pp. 139-140)–

"For the present, the Master showed him a bulky memorandum, a proposal he had received from an organist– one of the innumerable proposals which the directorate of the Game regularly had to examine. Usually these were suggestions for the admission of new material to the Archives. One man, for example, had made a meticulous study of the history of the madrigal and discovered in the development of the style a curved that he had expressed both musically and mathematically, so that it could be included in the vocabulary of the Game. Another had examined the rhythmic structure of Julius Caesar's Latin and discovered the most striking congruences with the results of well-known studies of the intervals in Byzantine hymns. Or again some fanatic had once more unearthed some new cabala hidden in the musical notation of the fifteenth century. Then there were the tempestuous letters from abstruse experimenters who could arrive at the most astounding conclusions from, say, a comparison of the horoscopes of Goethe and Spinoza; such letters often included pretty and seemingly enlightening geometric drawings in several colors."

Part II:
A Bulky Memorandum

From Siri Hustvedt, author of Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005)– What I Loved: A Novel (Picador paperback, March 1, 2004, page 168)–

A description of the work of Bill Wechsler, a fictional artist:

"Bill worked long hours on a series of autonomous pieces about numbers. Like O's Journey, the works took place inside glass cubes, but these were twice as large– about two feet square. He drew his inspiration from sources as varied as the Cabbala, physics, baseball box scores, and stock market reports. He painted, cut, sculpted, distorted, and broke the numerical signs in each work until they became unrecognizable. He included figures, objects, books, windows, and always the written word for the number. It was rambunctious art, thick with allusion– to voids, blanks, holes, to monotheism and the individual, the the dialectic and yin-yang, to the Trinity, the three fates, and three wishes, to the golden rectangle, to seven heavens, the seven lower orders of the sephiroth, the nine Muses, the nine circles of Hell, the nine worlds of Norse mythology, but also to popular references like A Better Marriage in Five Easy Lessons and Thinner Thighs in Seven Days. Twelve-step programs were referred to in both cube one and cube two. A miniature copy of a book called The Six Mistakes Parents Make Most Often lay at the bottom of cube six. Puns appeared, usually well disguised– one, won; two, too, and Tuesday; four, for, forth; ate, eight. Bill was partial to rhymes as well, both in images and words. In cube nine, the geometric figure for a line had been painted on one glass wall. In cube three, a tiny man wearing the black-and-white prison garb of cartoons and dragging a leg iron has

— End of page 168 —

opened the door to his cell. The hidden rhyme is "free." Looking closely through the walls of the cube, one can see the parallel rhyme in another language: the German word drei is scratched into one glass wall. Lying at the bottom of the same box is a tiny black-and-white photograph cut from a book that shows the entrance to Auschwitz: ARBEIT MACHT FREI. With every number, the arbitrary dance of associations worked togethere to create a tiny mental landscape that ranged in tone from wish-fulfillment dream to nightmare. Although dense, the effect of the cubes wasn't visually disorienting. Each object, painting, drawing, bit of text, or sculpted figure found its rightful place under the glass according to the necessary, if mad, logic of numerical, pictorial, and verbal connection– and the colors of each were startling. Every number had been given a thematic hue. Bill had been interested in Goethe's color wheel and in Alfred Jensen's use of it in his thick, hallucinatory paintings of numbers. He had assigned each number a color. Like Goethe, he included black and white, although he didn't bother with the poet's meanings. Zero and one were white. Two was blue. Three was red, four was yellow, and he mixed colors: pale blue for five, purples in six, oranges in seven, greens in eight, and blacks and grays in nine. Although other colors and omnipresent newsprint always intruded on the basic scheme, the myriad shades of a single color dominated each cube.

The number pieces were the work of a man at the top of his form. An organic extension of everything Bill had done before, these knots of symbols had an explosive effect. The longer I looked at them, the more the miniature constructions seemed on the brink of bursting from internal pressure. They were tightly orchestrated semantic bombs through which Bill laid bare the arbitrary roots of meaning itself– that peculiar social contract generated by little squiggles, dashes, lines, and loops on a page."

Part III:
Wechsler Cubes

(named not for
Bill Wechsler, the
fictional artist above,
but for the non-fictional
   David Wechsler) —

From 2002:

Above: Dr. Harrison Pope, Harvard professor of psychiatry, demonstrates the use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale "block design" subtest.

Part IV:
A Magic Gallery
Log24, March 4, 2004


Figures from the
Kaleidoscope Puzzle
of Steven H. Cullinane:

Poem by Eugen Jost:
Zahlen und Zeichen,
Wörter und Worte

Mit Zeichen und Zahlen
vermessen wir Himmel und Erde
auf weiss
schaffen wir neue Welten
oder gar Universen

 Numbers and Names,
Wording and Words

With numbers and names
we measure heaven and earth
on white
we create new worlds
and universes

English translation
by Catherine Schelbert

A related poem:

by Hermann Hesse

From time to time
we take our pen in hand
and scribble symbols
on a blank white sheet
Their meaning is
at everyone's command;
it is a game whose rules
are nice and neat.

But if a savage
or a moon-man came
and found a page,
a furrowed runic field,
and curiously studied
lines and frame:
How strange would be
the world that they revealed.
a magic gallery of oddities.
He would see A and B
as man and beast,
as moving tongues or
arms or legs or eyes,
now slow, now rushing,
all constraint released,
like prints of ravens'
feet upon the snow.
He'd hop about with them,
fly to and fro,
and see a thousand worlds
of might-have-been
hidden within the black
and frozen symbols,
beneath the ornate strokes,
the thick and thin.
He'd see the way love burns
and anguish trembles,
He'd wonder, laugh,
shake with fear and weep
because beyond this cipher's
cross-barred keep
he'd see the world
in all its aimless passion,
diminished, dwarfed, and
spellbound in the symbols,
and rigorously marching
He'd think: each sign
all others so resembles
that love of life and death,
or lust and anguish,
are simply twins whom
no one can distinguish…
until at last the savage
with a sound
of mortal terror
lights and stirs a fire,
chants and beats his brow
against the ground
and consecrates the writing
to his pyre.
Perhaps before his
consciousness is drowned
in slumber there will come
to him some sense
of how this world
of magic fraudulence,
this horror utterly
behind endurance,
has vanished as if
it had never been.
He'll sigh, and smile,
and feel all right again.

— Hermann Hesse (1943),
"Buchstaben," from
Das Glasperlenspiel,
translated by
Richard and Clara Winston

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday May 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 8:00 AM
MoMA Goes to

"… the startling thesis of Mr. Brosterman's new book, 'Inventing Kindergarten' (Harry N. Abrams, $39.95): that everything the giants of modern art and architecture knew about abstraction they learned in kindergarten, thanks to building blocks and other educational toys designed by Friedrich Froebel, a German educator, who coined the term 'kindergarten' in the 1830's."

— "Was Modernism Born
     in Toddler Toolboxes?"
     by Trip Gabriel, New York Times,
     April 10, 1997


Figure 1 —
Concept from 1819:

Cubic crystal system
(Footnotes 1 and 2)

Figure 2 —
The Third Gift, 1837:

Froebel's third gift

Froebel's Third Gift

Froebel, the inventor of
kindergarten, worked as
an assistant to the
crystallographer Weiss
mentioned in Fig. 1.

(Footnote 3)

Figure 3 —
The Third Gift, 1906:

Seven partitions of the eightfold cube in a book from 1906

Figure 4 —
Solomon's Cube,
1981 and 1983:

Solomon's Cube - A 1981 design by Steven H. Cullinane

Figure 5 —
Design Cube, 2006:

Design Cube 4x4x4 by Steven H. Cullinane

The above screenshot shows a
moveable JavaScript display
of a space of six dimensions
(over the two-element field).

(To see how the display works,
try the Kaleidoscope Puzzle first.)

For some mathematical background, see

1. Image said to be after Holden and Morrison, Crystals and Crystal Growing, 1982
2. Curtis Schuh, "The Library: Biobibliography of Mineralogy," article on Mohs
3. Bart Kahr, "Crystal Engineering in Kindergarten" (pdf), Crystal Growth & Design, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2004, 3-9

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday July 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 8:00 AM
Daniel Radcliffe
is 18 today.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter


“The greatest sorcerer (writes Novalis memorably)
would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of
taking his own phantasmagorias for autonomous apparitions.
Would not this be true of us?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Avatars of the Tortoise”

El mayor hechicero (escribe memorablemente Novalis)
sería el que se hechizara hasta el punto de
tomar sus propias fantasmagorías por apariciones autónomas.
¿No sería este nuestro caso?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Los Avatares de la Tortuga

Autonomous Apparition

At Midsummer Noon:

“In Many Dimensions (1931)
Williams sets before his reader the
mysterious Stone of King Solomon,
an image he probably drew from
a brief description in Waite’s
The Holy Kabbalah (1929) of
a supernatural cubic stone
on which was inscribed
‘the Divine Name.’”
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070624-Waite.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Related material:
It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure


Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– Wallace Stevens, “The Rock”

See also
as well as
Hofstadter on
his magnum opus:
“… I realized that to me,
Gödel and Escher and Bach
were only shadows
cast in different directions by
some central solid essence.
I tried to reconstruct
the central object, and
came up with this book.”
Goedel Escher Bach cover

Hofstadter’s cover.

Here are three patterns,
“shadows” of a sort,
derived from a different
“central object”:
Faces of Solomon's Cube, related to Escher's 'Verbum'

Click on image for details.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday December 23, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Black Mark

Bernard Holland in The New York Times on Monday, May 20, 1996:

“Philosophers ponder the idea of identity: what it is to give something a name on Monday and have it respond to that name on Friday….”

Log24 on Monday,
Dec. 18, 2006:

“I did a column in
Scientific American
on minimal art, and
I reproduced one of
Ed Rinehart’s [sic]
black paintings.”

Martin Gardner (pdf)

“… the entire profession
has received a very public
and very bad black mark.”

Joan S. Birman (pdf)

Lottery on Friday,
Dec. 22, 2006:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061222-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

, 2005:

Analysis of the structure
of a 2x2x2 cube

The Eightfold Cube

via trinities of
projective points
in a Fano plane.

7/15, 2005:

“Art history was very personal
through the eyes of Ad Reinhardt.”

  — Robert Morris,
Smithsonian Archives
of American Art

Also on 7/15, 2005,
a quotation on Usenet:

“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

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Saturday November 5, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:24 PM

Contrapuntal Themes
in a Shadowland

(See previous entry.)

Douglas Hofstadter on his magnum opus:

"… I realized that to me, Gödel and Escher and Bach were only shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence. I tried to reconstruct the central object, and came up with this book."

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/GEBcover.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Hofstadter's cover

Here are three patterns,
"shadows" of a sort,
derived from a different
"central object":

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/GEB.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For details, see
Solomon's Cube.

Related material:
The reference to a
"permutation fugue"
(pdf) in an article on
Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Friday May 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:28 PM


"To improvise an eight-part fugue
is really beyond human capability."

— Douglas R. Hofstadter,
Gödel, Escher, Bach

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/cube2x2x2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:

"There are possibilities of
contrapuntal arrangement
of subject-matter."

— T. S. Eliot, quoted in
Origins of Form in Four Quartets.

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Grid4x4A.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:

Friday May 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Trinity symbol
(See Sequel.)

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/KleinDualInsideOut200.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Trinity symbol
by Greg Egan
(via John Baez)



"Difficult to understand because of intricacy: byzantine, complex, complicated, convoluted, daedal, Daedalian, elaborate, intricate, involute, knotty, labyrinthine, tangled."

— Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

See also the previous three entries,
as well as Symmetries.


Friday, April 30, 2004

Friday April 30, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:24 AM


These are the folios of April,
All the library of spring

Christopher Morley

The above quotation is dedicated to Quay A. McCune, M.D., whose copy of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations I purchased for two dollars at a Friends of the Library sale on July 2, 1999.  Dr. McCune's copy of Bartlett was the twelfth edition, of November 1948, in a February 1952 reprint.  It was edited by Christopher Morley.

Incidentally, Morley's father Frank, a professor of mathematics, is the discoverer of Morley's theorem, which says that the angle trisectors of any triangle, of whatever shape, determine an equilateral "Morley triangle" hidden within the original triangle.


Those familiar with Dorothy Sayers's explication of the Trinity, The Mind of the Maker, will recognize that this figure represents a triumph over the heresies she so skillfully describes in the chapter "Scalene Trinities."  From another chapter:

"… this is the Idea that is put forward for our response. There is nothing mythological about Christian Trinitarian doctrine: it is analogical. It offers itself freely for meditation and discussion; but it is desirable that we should avoid the bewildered frame of mind of the apocryphal Japanese gentleman who complained:

'Honourable Father, very good;
 Honourable Son, very good; but
 Honourable Bird
     I do not understand at all.'

'Honourable Bird,' however, has certain advantages as a pictorial symbol, since, besides reminding us of those realities which it does symbolise, it also reminds us that the whole picture is a symbol and no more."

In the Morley family trinity, if Frank is the Father and Christopher is the Son, we must conclude that the Holy Spirit is Christopher's mother — whose maiden name was, appropriately, Bird.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Sunday August 17, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:21 PM

Diamond theory is the theory of affine groups over GF(2) acting on small square and cubic arrays. In the simplest case, the symmetric group of degree 4 acts on a two-colored diamond figure like that in Plato's Meno dialogue, yielding 24 distinct patterns, each of which has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry .

This symmetry invariance can be generalized to (at least) a group of order approximately 1.3 trillion acting on a 4x4x4 array of cubes.

The theory has applications to finite geometry and to the construction of the large Witt design underlying the Mathieu group of degree 24.

Further Reading:

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Sunday June 15, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Readings for Trinity Sunday

  1. Triune knot:
    Problems in Combinatorial Group Theory, 7 and 8, in light of the remark in Section 8.3 of Lattice Polygons and the Number 12 
  2. Cardinal Newman:
    Sermon 24
  3. Simon Nickerson:

For more on the structure
discussed by Nickerson, see

Raiders of the Lost Matrix:

For theology in general, see

Jews Telling Stories.

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