Cube Bricks 1984 —
From "Tomorrowland" (2015) —
From John Baez (2018) —
See also this morning's post Perception of Space
and yesterday's Exploring Schoolgirl Space.
Cube Bricks 1984 —
From "Tomorrowland" (2015) —
From John Baez (2018) —
See also this morning's post Perception of Space
and yesterday's Exploring Schoolgirl Space.
The previous two posts dealt, rather indirectly, with
the notion of "cube bricks" (Cullinane, 1984) —
Group actions on partitions —
Cube Bricks 1984 —
Another mathematical remark from 1984 —
For further details, see Triangles Are Square.
See Eightfold 1984 in this journal.
Related material —
"… the object sets up a kind of
frame or space or field
within which there can be epiphany."
"… Instead of an epiphany of being,
we have something like
an epiphany of interspaces."
— Charles Taylor, "Epiphanies of Modernism,"
Chapter 24 of Sources of the Self ,
Cambridge University Press, 1989
"Perhaps every science must start with metaphor
and end with algebra; and perhaps without the metaphor
there would never have been any algebra."
— Max Black, Models and Metaphors ,
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1962
Click to enlarge:
"The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay." — Song lyric
Stewart also starred in "Equals" (2016). From a synopsis —
"Stewart plays Nia, a writer who works at a company that extols
the virtues of space exploration in a postapocalyptic society.
She falls in love with the film's main character, Silas (Nicholas Hoult),
an illustrator . . . ."
Space art in The Paris Review —
For a different sort of space exploration, see Eightfold 1984.
Also on January 27, 2017 . . .
For other appearances of John Hurt here,
see 1984 Cubes.
Update of 12:45 AM Feb. 22 —
A check of later obituaries reveals that Hurt may well
have died on January 25, 2017, not January 27 as above.
Thus the following remarks may be more appropriate:
Not to mention what, why, who, and how.
Stevens's Omega and Alpha (see previous post) suggest a review.
Omega — The Berlekamp Garden. See Misère Play (April 8, 2019).
Alpha — The Kinder Garten. See Eighfold Cube.
Illustrations —
The sculpture above illustrates Klein's order168 simple group.
So does the sculpture below.
Cube Bricks 1984 —
The new Log24 tag "Eightfold Metaphysics" used in the previous post
suggests a review of posts that were tagged "The Reality Blocks" on May 24.
Then there is, of course, the May 24 death of Murray GellMann, who
hijacked from Buddhism the phrase "eightfold way."
See GellMann in this journal and May 24, 2003.
Suggested by a review of Curl on Modernism —
Related material —
Waugh + Orwell in this journal and …
“Unsheathe your dagger definitions.” — James Joyce, Ulysses
The “triple cross” link in the previous post referenced the eightfold cube
as a structure that might be called the trinity stone .
James Propp in the current Math Horizons on the eightfold cube —
For another puerile approach to the eightfold cube,
see Cube Space, 19842003 (Oct. 24, 2008).
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
steeplefingered image looming as big onstage as
Big Brother’s face in the classic Macintosh '1984' commercial."
Review —
Thursday, September 1, 2011
How It Works

See also 1984 Bricks in this journal.
Continuing the previous post's theme …
Group actions on partitions —
Cube Bricks 1984 —
Related material — Posts now tagged Device Narratives.
Foreword by Sir Michael Atiyah —
"Poincaré said that science is no more a collection of facts
than a house is a collection of bricks. The facts have to be
ordered or structured, they have to fit a theory, a construct
(often mathematical) in the human mind. . . .
… Mathematics may be art, but to the general public it is
a black art, more akin to magic and mystery. This presents
a constant challenge to the mathematical community: to
explain how art fits into our subject and what we mean by beauty.
In attempting to bridge this divide I have always found that
architecture is the best of the arts to compare with mathematics.
The analogy between the two subjects is not hard to describe
and enables abstract ideas to be exemplified by bricks and mortar,
in the spirit of the Poincaré quotation I used earlier."
— Sir Michael Atiyah, "The Art of Mathematics"
in the AMS Notices , January 2010
Judy Bass, Los Angeles Times , March 12, 1989 —
"Like Rubik's Cube, The Eight demands to be pondered."
As does a figure from 1984, Cullinane's Cube —
For natural group actions on the Cullinane cube,
see "The Eightfold Cube" and
"A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168."
See also the recent post Cube Bricks 1984 —
Related remark from the literature —
Note that only the static structure is described by Felsner, not the
168 group actions discussed by Cullinane. For remarks on such
group actions in the literature, see "Cube Space, 19842003."
(From Anatomy of a Cube, Sept. 18, 2011.)
Continued from yesterday evening
Today's mathematical birthday —
Claude Chevalley, 11 Feb. 1909 – 28 June 1984.
Chevalley's daughter, Catherine Chevalley, wrote about For him it was important to see questions as a whole, to see the necessity of a proof, its global implications. As to rigour, all the members of Bourbaki cared about it: the Bourbaki movement was started essentially because rigour was lacking among French mathematicians, by comparison with the Germans, that is the Hilbertians. Rigour consisted in getting rid of an accretion of superfluous details. Conversely, lack of rigour gave my father an impression of a proof where one was walking in mud, where one had to pick up some sort of filth in order to get ahead. Once that filth was taken away, one could get at the mathematical object, a sort of crystallized body whose essence is its structure. When that structure had been constructed, he would say it was an object which interested him, something to look at, to admire, perhaps to turn around, but certainly not to transform. For him, rigour in mathematics consisted in making a new object which could thereafter remain unchanged. The way my father worked, it seems that this was what counted most, this production of an object which then became inert— dead, really. It was no longer to be altered or transformed. Not that there was any negative connotation to this. But I must add that my father was probably the only member of Bourbaki who thought of mathematics as a way to put objects to death for aesthetic reasons. 
Recent scholarly news suggests a search for Chapel Hill
in this journal. That search leads to Transformative Hermeneutics.
Those who, like Professor Eucalyptus of Wallace Stevens's
New Haven, seek God "in the object itself" may contemplate
yesterday's afternoon post on Eightfold Design in light of the
Transformative post and of yesterday's New Haven remarks and
Chapel Hill events.
… industrial designer Kenji Ekuan —
The adjective "eightfold," intrinsic to Buddhist
thought, was hijacked by GellMann and later
by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
(MSRI, pronounced "misery"). The adjective's
application to a 2x2x2 cube consisting of eight
subcubes, "the eightfold cube," is not intended to
have either Buddhist or Semitic overtones.
It is pure mathematics.
"Die Unendlichkeit ist die uranfängliche Tatsache: es wäre nur
zu erklären, woher das Endliche stamme…."
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Das Philosophenbuch/Le livre du philosophe
(Paris: AubierFlammarion, 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 Bauhausrelated 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, 19842003.
For a less rigorous approach to space at the Harvard Graduate
School of Design, see earlier references to Lefebvre in this journal.
R.D. Carmichael's seminal 1931 paper on tactical configurations suggests
a search for later material relating such configurations to block designs.
Such a search yields the following—
"… it seems that the relationship between
BIB [balanced incomplete block ] designs
and tactical configurations, and in particular,
the Steiner system, has been overlooked."
— D. A. Sprott, U. of Toronto, 1955
The figure by Cullinane included above shows a way to visualize Sprott's remarks.
For the group actions described by Cullinane, see "The Eightfold Cube" and
"A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168."
Update of 7:42 PM Sept. 18, 2011—
From a Summer 2011 course on discrete structures at a Berlin website—
A different illustration of the eightfold cube as the Steiner system S(3, 4, 8)—
Note that only the static structure is described by Felsner, not the
168 group actions discussed (as above) by Cullinane. For remarks on
such group actions in the literature, see "Cube Space, 19842003."
The New York Times at 9 PM ET June 23, 2011—
ROBERT FANO: I’m trying to think briefly how to put it.
GINO FANO: "On the Fundamental Postulates"—
"E la prova di questo si ha precisamente nel fatto che si è potuto costruire (o, dirò meglio immaginare) un ente per cui sono verificati tutti i postulati precedenti…."
"The proof of this is precisely the fact that you could build (or, to say it better, imagine) an entity by which are verified all previous assumptions…."
Also from the Times article quoted above…
"… like working on a cathedral. We laid our bricks and knew that others might later replace them with better bricks. We believed in the cause even if we didn’t completely understand the implications.”
— Tom Van Vleck
Some art that is related, if only by a shared metaphor, to Van Vleck's cathedral—
The art is also related to the mathematics of Gino Fano.
For an explanation of this relationship (implicit in the above note from 1984),
see "The Fano plane revisualized—or: the eIghtfold cube."
The title refers not to numbers of the form p^{ 3}, p prime, but to geometric cubes with p ^{3} subcubes.
Such cubes are natural models for the finite vector spaces acted upon by general linear groups viewed as permutation groups of degree (not order ) p^{ 3}.
For the case p =2, see The Eightfold Cube.
For the case p =3, see the "External links" section of the Nov. 30, 2009, version of Wikipedia article "General Linear Group." (That is the version just prior to the Dec. 14, 2009, revision by anonymous user "Greenfernglade.")
For symmetries of group actions for larger primes, see the related 1985 remark* on two dimensional linear groups—
"Actions of GL(2,p ) on a p ×p coordinatearray
have the same sorts of symmetries,
where p is any odd prime."
Cubic models of finite geometries
display an interplay between
Euclidean and Galois geometry.
Example 1— The 2×2×2 Cube—
also known as the eightfold cube—
Group actions on the eightfold cube, 1984—
Version by Laszlo Lovasz et al., 2003—
Lovasz et al. go on to describe the same group actions
as in the 1984 note, without attribution.
Example 2— The 3×3×3 Cube
A note from 1985 describing group actions on a 3×3 plane array—
Undated software by Ed Pegg Jr. displays
group actions on a 3×3×3 cube that extend the
3×3 group actions from 1985 described above—
Pegg gives no reference to the 1985 work on group actions.
Example 3— The 4×4×4 Cube
A note from 27 years ago today—
As far as I know, this version of the
groupactions theorem has not yet been ripped off.
The current (Feb. 2009) Notices of the American Mathematical Society has a written version of Freeman Dyson’s 2008 Einstein Lecture, which was to have been given in October but had to be canceled. Dyson paraphrases a mathematician on Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes:
“… we do not need to accept Jung’s theory as true in order to find it illuminating.”
The same is true of Jung’s remarks on synchronicity.
For example —
Yesterday’s entry, “A Wealth of Algebraic Structure,” lists two articles– each, as it happens, related to Jung’s fourdiamond figure from Aion as well as to my own Notes on Finite Geometry. The articles were placed online recently by Cambridge University Press on the following dates:
R. T. Curtis’s 1974 article defining his Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) was published online on Oct. 24, 2008.
Curtis’s 1987 article on geometry and algebraic structure in the MOG was published online on Dec. 19, 2008.
On these dates, the entries in this journal discussed…
Oct. 24:
Cube Space, 19842003
Material related to that entry:
Dec. 19:
Art and Religion: Inside the White Cube
That entry discusses a book by Mark C. Taylor:
The Picture in Question: Mark Tansey and the Ends of Representation (U. of Chicago Press, 1999).
“What, then, is a frame, and what is frame work?”
One possible answer —
Hermann Weyl on the relativity problem in the context of the 4×4 “frame of reference” found in the above Cambridge University Press articles.
Part I: The White Cube
Part II: Inside
Part III: Outside
For remarks on religion
related to the above, see
Log24 on the Garden of Eden
and also Mark C. Taylor,
"What Derrida Really Meant"
(New York Times, Oct. 14, 2004).
For some background on Taylor,
see Wikipedia. Taylor, Chairman
of the Department of Religion at
Columbia University, has a
1973 doctorate in religion from
Harvard University. His opinion
of Derrida indicates that his
sympathies lie more with
the serpent than with the angel
in the Tansey picture above.
For some remarks by Taylor on
the art of Tansey relevant to the
structure of the white cube
(Part I above), see Taylor's
The Picture in Question:
Mark Tansey and the
Ends of Representation
(U. of Chicago Press, 1999):
From Chapter 3,
"Sutures* of Structures," p. 58: "What, then, is a frame, and what is frame work? This question is deceptive in its simplicity. A frame is, of course, 'a basic skeletal structure designed to give shape or support' (American Heritage Dictionary)…. when the frame is in question, it is difficult to determine what is inside and what is outside. Rather than being on one side or the other, the frame is neither inside nor outside. Where, then, Derrida queries, 'does the frame take place….'" * P. 61:

101 101
— Ben Macintyre,
The London Times, June 4:
When Rimbaud Meets Rambo
“Room 101 was the place where
your worst fears were realised
in George Orwell’s classic
Nineteen EightyFour.
Classics Illustrated —
Click on picture for details.
(For some mathematics that is actually
from 1984, see Block Designs
and the 2005 followup
The Eightfold Cube.)
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