Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Matrix for Quantum Mystics

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:29 PM

Scholia on the title — See Quantum + Mystic in this journal.

The Matrix of Lévi-Strauss

"In Vol. I of Structural Anthropology , p. 209, I have shown that
this analysis alone can account for the double aspect of time
representation in all mythical systems: the narrative is both
'in time' (it consists of a succession of events) and 'beyond'
(its value is permanent)." — Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1976

I prefer the earlier, better-known, remarks on time by T. S. Eliot
in Four Quartets , and the following four quartets (from
The Matrix Meets the Grid) —


From a Log24 post of June 26-27, 2017:

A work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz

See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.

Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —

For more about hyperbolic  and isotropic  lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.

For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Matrix

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM

David Brooks in The New York Times  today

"We once had a unifying national story, celebrated each Thanksgiving.
It was an Exodus story. Americans are the people who escaped oppression,
crossed a wilderness and are building a promised land. The Puritans brought
this story with them. Each wave of immigrants saw themselves in this story.
The civil rights movement embraced this story.

But we have to admit that many today do not resonate with this story. . . .

Today, we have no common national narrative, no shared way
of interpreting the flow of events. Without a common story,
we don’t know what our national purpose is. We have no
common set of goals or ideals.

We need a new national narrative."

From a post of August 15, 2010


For some background, see Java Jive and Today's Theology.

Related readings —

From 1928:

From the previous post:

"Thus, instead of Propp's chronological scheme,
in which the order of succession of events
is a feature of the structure . . .
another scheme should be adopted, which would present
a structural model defined as the group of transformations
of a small number of elements. This scheme would appear
as a matrix . . . ."

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1960 

Lévi-Strauss vs. Propp

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:25 PM

​Claude Lévi-Strauss

From "Structure and Form:
Reflections on a Work by Vladimir Propp
" *

To maintain. as I have done. that the permutability of contents is not arbitrary amounts to saying that, if the analysis is carried to a sufficiently deep level, behind diversity we will discover constancy. And, of course. the avowed constancy of form must not hide from us that functions are also permutable.

The structure of the folktale as it is illustrated by Propp presents a chronological succession of qualitatively distinct functions. each constituting an independent genre. One can wonder whether—as with dramatis personae and their attributes— Propp does not stop too soon, seeking the form too close to the level of empirical observation. Among the thirty-one functions that he distinguishes, several are reducible to the same  function reappearing at different  moments of the narrative but after undergoing one or a number of transformations . I have already suggested that this could be true of the false hero (a transformation of the villain), of assigning a difficult task (a transformation of the test), etc. (see p. 181 above), and that in this case the two parties  constituting the fundamental tale would themselves be transformations of each other.

Nothing prevents pushing this reduction even further and analyzing each separate partie  into a small number of recurrent functions, so that several of Propp's functions would constitute groups of transformations of one and the same function. We could treat the "violation" as the reverse of the "prohibition" and the latter as a negative transformation of the "injunction." The "departure" of the hero and his "return" would appear as the negative and positive expressions of the same disjunctive function. The "quest" of the hero (hero pursues someone or something) would become the opposite of "pursuit" (hero is pursued by something or someone), etc.

In Vol. I of Structural Anthropology , p. 209, I have shown that this analysis alone can account for the double aspect of time representation in all mythical systems: the narrative is both "in time" (it consists of a succession of events) and "beyond" (its value is permanent). With regard to Propp's theories my analysis offers another advantage: I can reconcile much better than Propp himself  his principle of a permanent order of wondertale elements with the fact that certain functions or groups of functions are shifted from one tale to the next (pp. 97-98. p. 108) If my view is accepted, the chronological succession will come to be absorbed into an atemporal matrix structure whose form is indeed constant. The shifting of functions is then no more than a mode of permutation (by vertical columns or fractions of columns).

These critical remarks are certainly valid for the method used by Propp and for his conclusions. However. it cannot be stressed enough that Propp envisioned them and in several places formulated with perfect clarity the solutions I have just suggested. Let us take up again from this viewpoint the two essential themes of our discussion: constancy of the content (in spite of its permutability) and permutability of functions (in spite of their constancy).

* Translated from a 1960 work in French.  It appeared in English as Chapter VIII of Structural Anthropology, Volume 2  (Basic Books, 1976. and U. of Chicago Press, 1976.)  Chapter VIII was originally published in Cahiers de l'Institut de Science économique appliquée, No. 9 (Series M, No. 7) (Paris: ISEA, March 1960).

See also "Lévi-Strauss" + Formula  in this journal.

Some background related to the previous post

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Universal Culture Machines

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:10 AM

University of California anthropologist Alan Dundes:

“One could well argue that binary opposition is a universal. Presumably all human societies, past and present, made some kind of distinction between ‘Male and Female,’ ‘Life and Death,’ ‘Day and Night’ (or Light and Dark), etc.” –“Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect,” Western Folklore, Winter 1997

To Levi-Strauss, I prefer Clifford Geertz —

“…what Levi-Strauss has made for himself is an infernal culture machine.” –“The Cerebral Savage”

— and Heinrich Zimmer —

“…all opposition, as well as identity, stems from Maya. Great Maya is wisdom and increase, stability and readiness to assist, compassion and serenity. Queen of the World, she is alive in every nuance of feeling and perception; feelings and perceptions are her gestures. And her nature can be sensed only by one who has comprehended that she is the unity of opposites.” —The King and the Corpse

And then there are more up-to-date culture machines.

Levi-Strauss, obtuse and boring, is an opposite, of sorts, to the smart and funny Dundes. The latter, in the binary opposition posed in yesterday’s Log24 title “Sinner or Saint?,” is definitely on the side of the saints. (See selected Log24 entries for the date of his death– Warren Beatty’s birthday.)

Today’s happy birthdays — Elke Sommer

Parallax illustrated, from Wikipedia-- A star on two background colors, blue and red

and Sesame Street —


Google logo today, Nov. 5, 2009

Click images for historical background.

Powered by WordPress