Log24

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Knell

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:19 AM

From a French dictionary

Tintement lent, sur une seule note,
d’une cloche d’église pour annoncer
l’agonie, la mort ou les obsèques de
quelqu’un.
 

” I go, and it is done: the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. “

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Comic-Con 2018

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:31 PM

"For many of us, the geometry course sounded the death knell
for our progress — and interest — in mathematics."

— "Shape and Space in Geometry"

© 1997-2003 Annenberg/CPB. All rights reserved.
Legal Policy

Friday, July 13, 2018

Segue for Harlan Ellison

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

From a Log24 post of March 13, 2003

"For many of us, the geometry course sounded the death knell
for our progress — and interest — in mathematics."

— "Shape and Space in Geometry"

© 1997-2003 Annenberg/CPB. All rights reserved.
Legal Policy

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Related Reading…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

… For those taken aback by the tone of midnight's report
on the death of a 1960's counterculture figure.

See Didion's view of the counterculture in her classic
Slouching Towards Bethlehem .

A search in this journal for Didion + Nihilism yields

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer 

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Nightmare for Wes Craven

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:45 PM

Adapted from posts tagged Cryptomorphisms 
in this journal:

"Hear it not, Craven, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. “

Max von Sydow in Branded  (2012)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

For a Shabbos Goy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM

“But it rings and I rise…”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yonda

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 PM

(Continued)

The Grind House of My Father

New York Times  headline for the latest
    Will Ferrell film, Casa de Mi Padre

Related material—

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Shattered Mind

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:26 AM

For St. Peter's Day

"For Stevens, the poem 'makes meanings of the rock.'
In the mind, 'its barrenness becomes a thousand things/
And so exists no more.' In fact, in a peculiar irony
that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion
of the imagination's function could develop,
the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered
into such diamond-faceted brilliance
that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought…."

—A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954)
    in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes,
    by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120

Related material on transforming shapes:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle  and…

IMAGE- The URL for permutationpuzzles.org, with favicon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday September 15, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM
In memory of
Harvard literature professor
Barbara Ellen Johnson
(Oct. 4, 1947 –
 Aug. 27, 2009)

“…one has to be willing
to tolerate ambiguity,
even to be crazy.”

“Bohr’s words?”

“The party line….”

— Quotation from
Secret Passages linked to on
 the date of Johnson’s death

“Yes and no (what else?).”
— Barbara Johnson in
The Wake of Deconstruction

Related material:


Harvard Crimson obituary
and a
Funeral Service obituary
with comments.

For more on ambiguity,
see this journal’s entries of
 March 7, 8, and 9, 2007.

For more on craziness,
see this journal’s entries of
March 10, 2007.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday February 24, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
 
Hollywood Nihilism
Meets
Pantheistic Solipsism

Tina Fey to Steve Martin
at the Oscars:
"Oh, Steve, no one wants
 to hear about our religion
… that we made up."

Tina Fey and Steve Martin at the 2009 Oscars

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.


Superficially the young men's philosophy seems to resemble what Wikipedia calls "pantheistic solipsism"– noting, however, that "This article has multiple issues."

As, indeed, does pantheistic solipsism– a philosophy (properly called "eschatological pantheistic multiple-ego solipsism") devised, with tongue in cheek, by science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.

Despite their preoccupation with solipsism, Heinlein and Stevens point, each in his own poetic way, to a highly non-solipsistic topic from pure mathematics that is, unlike the religion of Martin and Fey, not made up– namely, the properties of space.

Heinlein:

"Sharpie, we have condensed six dimensions into four, then we either work by analogy into six, or we have to use math that apparently nobody but Jake and my cousin Ed understands. Unless you can think of some way to project six dimensions into three– you seem to be smart at such projections."
    I closed my eyes and thought hard. "Zebbie, I don't think it can be done. Maybe Escher could have done it."

Stevens:

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

Stevens's rock is associated with empty space, a concept that suggests "nothingness" to one literary critic:

B. J. Leggett, "Stevens's Late Poetry" in The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens— On the poem "The Rock":

"… the barren rock of the title is Stevens's symbol for the nothingness that underlies all existence, 'That in which space itself is contained'….  Its subject is its speaker's sense of nothingness and his need to be cured of it."

This interpretation might appeal to Joan Didion, who, as author of the classic novel Play It As It Lays, is perhaps the world's leading expert on Hollywood nihilism.

More positively…

Space is, of course, also a topic
in pure mathematics…
For instance, the 6-dimensional
affine space
(or the corresponding
5-dimensional projective space)

The 4x4x4 cube

over the two-element Galois field
can be viewed as an illustration of
Stevens's metaphor in "The Rock."

Heinlein should perhaps have had in mind the Klein correspondence when he discussed "some way to project six dimensions into three." While such a projection is of course trivial for anyone who has taken an undergraduate course in linear algebra, the following remarks by Philippe Cara present a much more meaningful mapping, using the Klein correspondence, of structures in six (affine) dimensions to structures in three.

Cara:

Philippe Cara on the Klein correspondence
Here the 6-dimensional affine
space contains the 63 points
of PG(5, 2), plus the origin, and
the 3-dimensional affine
space contains as its 8 points
Conwell's eight "heptads," as in
Generating the Octad Generator.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday February 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Diamond-Faceted:
Transformations
of the Rock

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

A mathematical version of
this poetic concept appears
in a rather cryptic note
from 1981 written with
Stevens's poem in mind:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090217-SolidSymmetry.jpg

For some explanation of the
groups of 8 and 24
motions referred to in the note,
see an earlier note from 1981.

For the Perlis "diamond facets,"
see the Diamond 16 Puzzle.

For a much larger group
of motions, see
Solomon's Cube.

As for "the mind itself"
and "possibilities for
human thought," see
Geometry of the I Ching.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday February 15, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM
From April 28, 2008:

Religious Art

The black monolith of
Kubrick's 2001 is, in
its way, an example
of religious art.

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

One artistic shortcoming
(or strength– it is, after
all, monolithic) of
that artifact is its
resistance to being
analyzed as a whole
consisting of parts, as
in a Joycean epiphany.

The following
figure does
allow such
  an epiphany.

A 2x4 array of squares

One approach to
 the epiphany:

"Transformations play
  a major role in
  modern mathematics."
– A biography of
Felix Christian Klein

See 4/28/08 for examples
of such transformations.

 
Related material:

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, pp. 117-118:

"… his point of origin is external nature, the fount to which we come seeking inspiration for our fictions. We come, many of Stevens's poems suggest, as initiates, ritualistically celebrating the place through which we will travel to achieve fictive shape. Stevens's 'real' is a bountiful place, continually giving forth life, continually changing. It is fertile enough to meet any imagination, as florid and as multifaceted as the tropical flora about which the poet often writes. It therefore naturally lends itself to rituals of spring rebirth, summer fruition, and fall harvest. But in Stevens's fictive world, these rituals are symbols: they acknowledge the real and thereby enable the initiate to pass beyond it into the realms of his fictions.

Two counter rituals help to explain the function of celebration as Stevens envisions it. The first occurs in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer. A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination. For in 'Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction' he tells us that

... the first idea was not to shape the clouds
In imitation. The clouds preceded us.      

There was a muddy centre before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.      

From this the poem springs: that we live in a place
That is not our own and, much more, not ourselves
And hard it is in spite of blazoned days.      

We are the mimics.

                                (Collected Poems, 383-84)

Believing that they are the life and not the mimics thereof, the world and not its fiction-forming imitators, these young men cannot find the savage transparence for which they are looking. In its place they find the pediment, a scowling rock that, far from being life's source, is symbol of the human delusion that there exists a 'form alone,' apart from 'chains of circumstance.'

A far more productive ritual occurs in 'Sunday Morning.'…."

For transformations of a more
specifically religious nature,
see the remarks on
Richard Strauss,
"Death and Transfiguration,"
(Tod und Verklärung, Opus 24)

in Mathematics and Metaphor
on July 31, 2008, and the entries
of August 3, 2008, related to the
 death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
 

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday July 11, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:15 PM
"In Tom Stoppard's new play 'Rock 'n' Roll,' showing in the West End, he [Syd Barrett] is portrayed in the opening scene, and his life and music are a recurring theme."

— Terry Kirby, Syd Barrett: The Crazy Diamond, in The Independent of July 12

Keynote

"Each scene is punctuated with a rock track from such acts as the Velvet Underground, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd. Songs by Floyd's lost founder, Syd Barrett, are the keynote for Stoppard's theme that rock music sounded the death knell for repression but also heralded a freedom filled with its own perils."

— Ray Bennett, today's review of a new play, "Rock 'n' Roll," by Tom Stoppard

Related material:

Dance of the Numbers,
for Tom Stoppard
on his birthday,
July 3, 2006,

and
Knock, Knock, Knockin',
from yesterday.

'Cause I'm a poet
Don't you know it

— Syd Barrett,
Bob Dylan Blues

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Tuesday December 16, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:24 PM

Moulin Bleu

  

Kaleidoscope turning…
Shifting pattern
within unalterable structure…

— Roger Zelazny, Eye of Cat   

See, too, Blue Matrices, and
a link for Beethoven's birthday:

Song for the
Unification of Europe
(Blue 1)

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Wednesday March 19, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:04 AM


Aptheker

  A Look at the Rat

In memory of Herbert Aptheker, theoretician of the American Communist Party, who died on St. Patrick’s Day, 2003 —

From The New Yorker, issue dated March 24, 2003, Louis Menand on Edmund Wilson’s To the Finland Station:

“Wilson did know what was going on in the Soviet Union in the nineteen-thirties, as his pages on Stalin in To the Finland Station make clear. The problem wasn’t with Stalin; the problem was with Lenin, the book’s ideal type of the intellectual as man of action. Wilson admitted that he had relied on publications controlled by the Party for his portrait of Lenin. (Critical accounts were available; for example, the English translation of the émigré Mark Landau-Aldanov’s Lenin was published, by Dutton, in 1922.) Lenin could create an impression of selfless humanitarianism; he was also a savage and ruthless politician—a ‘pail of milk of human kindness with a dead rat at the bottom,’ as Vladimir Nabokov put it to Wilson in 1940, after reading To the Finland Station.  In the introduction to the 1972 edition, Wilson provided a look at the rat. He did not go on to explain in that introduction that the most notorious features of Stalin’s regime—the use of terror, the show trials, and the concentration camps—had all been inaugurated by Lenin. To the Finland Station begins with Napoleon’s betrayal of the principles of the French Revolution; it should have ended with Lenin’s betrayal of European socialism.” 

From Herbert Aptheker, “More Comments on Howard Fast“:

“We observe that in the list of teachers whom Howard Fast names as most influential in his own life there occur the names of fourteen individuals from Jefferson to Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair to Marx, Douglass to Engels, but there is no room for Lenin.
   He is, I think, an important teacher, too; indeed, in my view, Lenin is the greatest figure in the whole galaxy of world revolutionary leaders. He is, certainly, the greatest analyzer of and fighter against imperialism.”

For more on Howard Fast, see my entry
“Death Knell” of March 13, 2003

For a look at the pail of milk, see
the New Yorker cover in Geometry for Jews.

For a more cheerful look at geometry
on this St. Joseph’s Day, see
Harry J. Smith’s

Tesseract Site.

“There is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A Wrinkle in Time

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Thursday March 13, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:24 AM

Death Knell

In memory of Howard Fast, novelist and Jewish former Communist,
who died yesterday, a quotation:

"For many of us, the geometry course sounded the death knell
for our progress — and interest — in mathematics."

— "Shape and Space in Geometry"

© 1997-2003 Annenberg/CPB. All rights reserved.
Legal Policy

See also
Geometry for Jews.

Added March 16, 2003: See, too, the life of
John Sanford, blacklisted Jewish writer,
who died on March 6, 2003 —
Michelangelo's birthday and the date of
"
Geometry for Jews."

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