Log24

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Class of 64 continues…

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

Mathematician Norbert Wiener reportedly died on this date in 1964.

"Mathematics is too arduous and uninviting a field to appeal to those to whom it does not give great rewards. These rewards are of exactly the same character as those of the artist. To see a difficult uncompromising material take living shape and meaning is to be Pygmalion, whether the material is stone or hard, stonelike logic. To see meaning and understanding come where there has been no meaning and no understanding is to share the work of a demiurge. No amount of technical correctness and no amount of labour can replace this creative moment, whether in the life of a mathematician or of a painter or musician. Bound up with it is a judgment of values, quite parallel to the judgment of values that belongs to the painter or the musician. Neither the artist nor the mathematician may be able to tell you what constitutes the difference between a significant piece of work and an inflated trifle; but if he is not able to recognise this in his own heart, he is no artist and no mathematician."

— Wiener, Ex-Prodigy

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday April 16, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:10 AM

Poetry for Physicists:
The Gates of Hell

From the obituary of physicist John Archibald Wheeler at Princeton:
 

In the fall of 1967, he was invited to give a talk…. As he spoke, he… [mentioned] something strange… what he called a gravitationally completely collapsed object. But such a phrase was a mouthful, he said, wishing aloud for a better name. "How about black hole?" someone shouted from the audience.

That was it. "I had been searching for just the right term for months, mulling it over in bed, in the bathtub, in my car, wherever I had quiet moments," he later said. "Suddenly this name seemed exactly right." He kept using the term, in lectures and on papers, and it stuck.

From Log24 last year on this date ("Happy Birthday, Benedict XVI"):
 

"Know the one about the Demiurge and the Abridgment of Hope?"

— Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise, Knopf, 1981, the final page, 439

From Dante, The Inferno, inscription on the gates of Hell:
 

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter."

From Psychoshop, an unfinished novel by Alfred Bester completed by Roger Zelazny:
 

His manner was all charm and grace; pure cafe society….

He purred a chuckle. "My place. If you want to come, I'll show you."

"Love to. The Luogo Nero? The Black Place?"

"That's what the locals call it. It's really Buoco Nero, the Black Hole."

"Like the Black Hole of Calcutta?"

"No. Black Hole as in astronomy. Corpse of a dead star, but also channel between this universe and its next-door neighbor."

"Here? In Rome?"

"Sure. They drift around in space until they run out of gas and come to a stop. This number happened to park here."

"How long ago?"

"No one knows," he said. "It was there six centuries before Christ, when the Etruscans took over a small town called Roma and began turning it into the capital of the world."

 

Related material:

Log24 on
narrative–

Life of the Party
(March 24, 2006),
and
'Nauts
(March 26, 2006)
 

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday April 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Icons

Part I

The Library of Congress
Today in History, April 20:

“American sculptor Daniel Chester French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on April 20, 1850. His colossal seated figure of Abraham Lincoln presides over the Lincoln Memorial.

Reared in Cambridge and Concord, Massachusetts, he was embraced by members of the Transcendentalist community including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Author and fellow Concord resident Louisa May Alcott encouraged young French to pursue a career as an artist. Louisa’s sister, artist May Alcott, was his early teacher.

French studied in Boston and New York prior to receiving his first commission for the 1875 statue The Minute Man. Standing near the North Bridge in Concord, in the Minute Man National Historical Park, this work commemorates events at the North Bridge, the site of ‘the shot heard ’round the world.’ An American icon, images derivative of The Minute Man statue appeared on defense bonds, stamps, and posters during World War II.”

Part II:

Entertainment Weekly,

November 7, 2003

Keanu Reeves, Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 7, 2003

Part III:

Log24 on the anniversary of
Lincoln’s assassination —

Saturday, April 14, 2007  4:30 AM

The Sun Also Sets, or…

This Way to
the Egress

Continued from April 12:

“I have only come here 
seeking knowledge,
 Things they would not   
       teach me of in college….”
 
— Synchronicity
lyrics

Quoted in Log24,
Time’s Labyrinth continued:

“The sacred axe was used to kill the King. The ritual had been the same since the beginning of time. The game of chess was merely a reenactment. Why hadn’t I recognized it before?”

— Katherine Neville,
The Eight,

Ballantine reprint, 1990,


“Know the one about
the Demiurge and the
Abridgment of Hope?”

— Robert Stone,
A Flag for Sunrise,
Knopf, 1981,
the final page

Part IV:

Log24 entry of

November 7, 2003

Nixon's the One button

— and a
student play from
Virginia Tech:

Play by Virginia Tech student

Part V:


Symmetry
for Beavis and Butt-Head

and
The Rhetoric of Scientism:

It’s a very ancient saying,
But a true and honest thought,
That if you become a teacher,
By your pupils you’ll be taught.

— Oscar Hammerstein,
“Getting to Know You”

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday April 16, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 PM

The Abridgment of Hope

Part I: Framework

From Log24,
Here’s Your Sign,
Aug. 8, 2002–

“Paz also mentions the Christian concept of eternity as a realm outside time, and discusses what happened to modern thought after it abandoned the concept of eternity.

Naturally, many writers have dealt with the subject of time, but it seems particularly part of the Zeitgeist now, with a new Spielberg film about precognition.  My own small experience, from last night until today, may or may not have been precognitive.  I suspect it’s the sort of thing that many people often experience, a sort of ‘So that’s what that was about’ feeling.  Traditionally, such experience has been expressed in terms of a theological framework.”

Part II: Context

From Ann Copeland,
Faith and Fiction-Making:
The Catholic Context
“–

“Each of us is living out a once-only story which, unlike those mentioned here, has yet to reveal its ending. We live that story largely in the dark. From time to time we may try to plumb its implications, to decipher its latent design, or at least get a glimmer of how parts go together. Occasionally, a backward glance may suddenly reveal implications, an evolving pattern we had not discerned, couldn’t have when we were ‘in’ it. Ah, now I see what I was about, what I was after.”

Part III: Context Sensitivity

From Log24’s
Language Game,
Jan. 14, 2004–

Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Philosophical Investigations:

373. Grammar tells what kind of object anything is. (Theology as grammar.)

From Wikipedia

Another definition of context-sensitive grammars defines them as formal grammars where all productions are of the form

a yields b where the length of a is less than or equal to the length of b

Such a grammar is also called a monotonic or noncontracting grammar because none of the rules decreases the size of the string that is being rewritten.

If the possibility of adding the empty string to a language is added to the strings recognized by the noncontracting grammars (which can never include the empty string) then the languages in these two definitions are identical.

 Part IV: Abridgment

“Know the one about the Demiurge and the Abridgment of Hope?”

— Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise, Knopf, 1981, the final page, 439

Also from Stone’s novel, quoted by Ann Copeland in the above essay:

You after all? Inside, outside, round and about. Disappearing stranger, trickster. Christ, she thought, so far. Far from where?

But why always so far?

Por qué?” she asked. There was a guy yelling.

Always so far away. You. Always so hard on the kid here, making me be me right down the line. You old destiny. You of Jacob, you of Isaac, of Esau.

Let it be you after all. Whose after all I am. For whom I was nailed.

So she said to Campos: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (416)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday April 14, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM
Entertainment Tonight

“What is the spirit of the bayonet?”

— United States Army
training question, 1964

A partial answer
in two parts:

Part I —

Another question —

“Know the one about
the Demiurge and the
Abridgment of Hope?”

— Robert Stone,
A Flag for Sunrise,
Knopf, 1981,
the final page, 439,
cited by page number
here this morning


Part II —

The image “http://www.log24.com/log07/saved/070414-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Today’s numbers, in
this morning’s context,
strongly suggest
a look at
A Flag for Sunrise,
by Robert Stone,
Knopf, 1981,

page 431,
and at
Hexagram 34,

The Power of the Great,
in the context of a
Log24 entry for
October 8, 2005
.

There is no teacher
but the enemy.

— Orson Scott Card,
Ender’s Game

Related entertainment:
the previous entry
and the Vietnam memoir
Black Virgin Mountain.

Saturday April 14, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM
This Way to
the Egress

Continued from April 12:

“I have only come here 
seeking knowledge,
 Things they would not   
       teach me of in college….”
 
— Synchronicity
lyrics

Quoted in Log24,
Time’s Labyrinth continued:

“The sacred axe was used to kill the King. The ritual had been the same since the beginning of time. The game of chess was merely a reenactment. Why hadn’t I recognized it before?”

— Katherine Neville,
The Eight,

Ballantine reprint, 1990,


“Know the one about
the Demiurge and the
Abridgment of Hope?”

— Robert Stone,
A Flag for Sunrise,
Knopf, 1981,
the final page:

page 439

Sunset Boulevard

Related material:

John Bartlett  (1820–1905),
Familiar Quotations,
10th edition, 1919,

page 439

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