Log24

Friday, July 14, 2017

Black Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:57 AM

A search for posts in this journal on the actress Ellen Page
in the film "Inception" was suggested by Bastille Day (today),
by her character's name, Ariadne, and by the concluding image
of the previous post

 .

That search yielded the following image

IMAGE- 'Inception' totems: red die and chess bishop, with Inception 'Point Man' poster

which in turn suggests a "loop" back to this date last year —

 .

The New York Times  seems to prefer another sort of black art.
A 9 AM illustration from the Times Wire this morning is a misleading
attempt at humor that links to a very  dark poem —

 .

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Security Complex

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:36 PM

"All on a Saturday night" — Johnny Thunder, 1962

'Loop De Loop,' Johnny Thunder, Diamond Records, 1962

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pulp Fiction Incarnate

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:20 PM

From Log24 earlier —

More recently, an image from the above March 18 VUDU date —

'Loop De Loop,' Johnny Thunder, Diamond Records, 1962

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Back to the Past

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:35 PM

"Old men ought to be explorers" — T. S. Eliot

"All on a Saturday night" — Johnny Thunder, 1962

'Loop De Loop,' Johnny Thunder, Diamond Records, 1962

Update of 8:25 PM ET on March 18 —

"Analysis." — Dr. Robert Ford in "Westworld"

"Master theorist and conceptual genius."

— Jon Pareles, front page, online New York Times   tonight

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Time Loop

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:09 PM

"On a Saturday night" — Johnny Thunder, 1962

"Only a peculiar can enter a time loop." — Tim Burton film, 2016

Highly qualified —

Monday, January 30, 2017

Devotional Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:16 PM

Quotations by and for an artist who reportedly died
on Sunday, January 15, 2017 —

"What drives my vision is a need to locate
a 'genetically felt' devotional space
in which a simultaneous multiplicity
of disparate realities coexists."

— The late Ciel Bergman, in her webpage
     "Artist's Statement"

"Once a registered nurse who worked in a hospital
psychiatric ward, Ms. Bergman was a struggling
single mom of two when she couldn’t resist the pull
of her art. In 1969, she entered a painting in the
Jack London Invitational, an art contest in Oakland,
and won first prize. This compelled her to enroll at
the San Francisco Art Institute, where she earned
her master of fine arts with honors in painting."

Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle

See also Oakland in this journal and
"Only a peculiar can enter a time loop."

"The peculiar kind of 'identity' that is attributed to
apparently altogether heterogeneous figures
in virtue of their being transformable into one another
by means of certain operations defining a group,
is thus seen to exist also in the domain of perception."

— Ernst Cassirer, quoted here on
     Midsummer Eve (St. John's Eve), 2010

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Here We Go Loop De Lie

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:15 PM

Wikipedia on The Exorcist III  (1990),
written and directed by William Peter Blatty —

"Kinderman takes his friend, a priest named Father Dyer,
out to see their mutually favorite film It's a Wonderful Life ."

Related material from an RSS feed at noon —

Funny ha-ha, not funny peculiar.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Diamond Song

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:40 PM

From "Night Moves," by Bob Seger

And oh, the wonder
Felt the lightning
Yeah, and we waited on the thunder
Waited on the thunder

I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far-off, I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny* how the night moves?

See as well Johnny Thunder on Diamond Records in 1962 —

'Loop De Loop,' Diamond Records, 1962

* Funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha.

Friday, December 30, 2016

ZZZ Accounting

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

Or:  Lost in Conversion

The main title is the name of Ben Affleck's firm in "The Accountant."
The subtitle was suggested by religious remarks in the previous post.

From "The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic" —

"The following June, 1945, von Neumann penned
what would become a historic document entitled
'First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC,' the first published
description of a stored-program binary computing machine—
the modern computer."

Image from von Neumann's report

Version converted to text —

See also "Turing + Dyson" in this journal . . . 

For a character  that "spans both worlds,"
see posts tagged "Oscar Day 2007."

Related image data —

" 'No views' is good." — Christian Wolff

For the Accountant*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:17 PM

From "The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic" —

"To store the programs as data, the computer would need
something newa memory. That’s where Pitts’ loops 
came into play.  'An element which stimulates itself
will hold a stimulus indefinitely,' von Neumann wrote
in his report . . . ."

Amanda Gefter, Nautilus , Feb. 5, 2015

Related material —

"Here we go loop de loop" — Johnny Thunder, 1962

* I.e., Ben Affleck in his new film.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Quick Now, Here, Now, Always

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:25 AM

'Only a peculiar can enter a time loop' — Nov. 21, 2016

'Loop De Loop,' Johnny Thunder, Diamond Records, 1962

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Dark Side

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:04 PM

"The record, released on the Diamond label,
became a big hit, rising to no. 4 on the
Billboard  Hot 100 in early 1963." — Wikipedia

'Loop De Loop,' Johnny Thunder, Diamond Records, 1962

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Funny Peculiar, Not Funny Ha-Ha

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

See also this  journal on the above "peculiar" date — Sept. 27, 2016.

Loopers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:45 AM

'Only a peculiar can enter a time loop' — Nov. 21, 2016

See also Log24 posts from the above date.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Once Upon a Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:31 PM

This post's title was suggested by the previous post
and by today's news of a notable sale of a one-copy
record album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."

See as well posts from Tuesday, March 11, 2014,
the day Emma Watson unveiled a new trailer

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Strange Loop

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM

From an explanation of the Web app IFTTT —
"IF This Then That" —

"If you are a programmer you can think of it as a loop*
that checks for a certain condition… to run one or
multiple actions if the condition is met."

After Completion  (from Friday night, and 1989) —

Advertisement —

Wikipedia —

"On February 19, 2015, IFTTT renamed
their original application to IF…."

This journal —

From Tuesday's post on the death of E. L. Doctorow —

“…right through hell
     there is a path…”
 
  — Malcolm Lowry

* More precisely, a conditional  or conditional loop 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday School

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The previous post suggests a review of
the phrase "strange loop" in this journal.

The Knight's Move, by Loder and Neidhardt

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Logical Loop

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:45 PM

In memory of Theodore SturgeonLeonard Nimoy,
and William Thomas McKinley —

From the Boston Modern Orchestra Project today :

"In a good way"

Or not.

Elegy with Stars

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

This evening's New York Times —

"William Thomas McKinley, a prolific American composer
whose music was infused with the jazz he had performed
since childhood, died on Feb. 3 at his home in Reading,
Mass. He was 76.

He died in his sleep, his son Elliott said."

"William Thomas McKinley: Elegy for Strings (2006)

[Elliott McKinley]  

137 views as of 9:45 PM ET Feb. 28, 2015

Published on Feb 11, 2015

Composed as an elegy and tribute for friends and family
that have passed, spurred by the passing of McKinley's
long time friend, drummer Roger Ryan. The performance
heard here is by the Seattle Symphony under the direction
of Gerard Schwarz. 

Photos by Elliott McKinley (Rho Ophiuchi nebula complex…
and the Pleiades…) shot at Cherry Springs State Park."

Related material from the date of McKinley's death —
Expanding the Spielraum.

Recycled Religion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:16 PM

The previous post's Kirkridge link leads to
a mention of religious philosopher Parker J. Palmer.

From an Utne Reader  page on Palmer:

See also Theodore Sturgeon's 1949 story "What Dead Men Tell"—

"… He’d read about it in a magazine or somewhere.
He took a strip of scrap film about eighteen
inches long and put the ends together. He turned
one end over and spliced ’em. Now, if you trace
that strip, or mark it with a grease pencil, right up
the center, you find that the doggone thing only
has one side!”
The doctor nodded, and the girl said:
“A Möbius strip.”
“That what they call it?” said Hulon. “Well, I figured
this corridor must be something like that. On that
strip, a single continuous line touched both sides.
All I had to do was figure out an object built so that
a continuous line would cover all three of three sides,
and I’d have it. So I sat down and thought it out…."

— and the following mathematical illustration —

A Kirk for Spock

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:09 PM

Related material:

What Dead Men Tell*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:23 PM

Theodore Sturgeon, 1949 :

"I thought I had an important idea.
It's part of a  call it a philosophy,
if that doesn't sound too high-
falutin'," he said.

"It's a philosophy," she said.
"We can call things by their names."

Leonard Nimoy,  2015 :

"A life is like a garden. 
Perfect moments can be had, 
but not preserved, except in memory."  

* A tale from Astounding Science Fiction
   Vol. 44, No. 3, November 1949

Friday, February 27, 2015

Final Tweet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:44 PM

"Final Tweet Will Make You Cry"

Or not.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Magical and Seductive

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:45 AM

"I am trying to introduce a narrative,
something magical and seductive…."

— Oslo artist Josefine Lyche, translated
from the Norwegian by Google

Perhaps something like Arcade Fire or
Taylor Swift? (Click links for related posts.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fire and Ice

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:45 AM

Or: Debriefing Josefine

From the CV of Oslo artist Josefine Lyche:

Selected Collections/ Public Commissions:
2016 Jarfjord Grensevaktstasjon,
Jarfjord/Kirkenes, NO (upcoming)
 

From an Amazon.com customer review of a book on
northern Norway in World War II, Fire and Ice 

"… Hunt doesn't take sides. He approaches
the story as a journalist and documentary maker,
rather than as an academic."

The book, as the author notes, was published in Britain
on October 6, 2014.

A synchronicity check of the publication date yields 
a variation on the "Fire and Ice" theme —


____________________________

"Jeg prøver å innføre et narrativ, noe magisk og forførende,
samt erstatte den iboende materialistiske logikken med
esoterisk kosmologi og symbolikk." — Josefine Lyche

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mapping Problem

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:06 AM

A mapping problem posed (informally) in 1985
and solved 27 years later,  in 2012:

See also Finite Relativity and Finite Relativity: The Triangular Version.

(A note for fans of the recent film Looper  (see previous post)—

Hunter S. Thompson in this journal on February 22, 2005 

IMAGE- Hunter S. Thompson, the old and the young
           Hunter S. Thompson, photos from The New York Times

and on March 3, 2009.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Big Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:06 PM

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in Looper :

IMAGE- Diner scene from 'Looper'

Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys :

IMAGE- Examining a spider web in '12 Monkeys'

See also Big Time  in this journal.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:48 AM

A Log24 post, "Bridal Birthday," one year ago today linked to
"The Discrete and the Continuous," a brief essay by David Deutsch.

From that essay—

"The idea of quantization—
the discreteness of physical quantities
turned out to be immensely fruitful."

Deutsch's "idea of quantization" also appears in
the April 12 Log24 post Mythopoetic

"Is Space Digital?" 

— Cover storyScientific American 
     magazine, February 2012

"The idea that space may be digital
  is a fringe idea of a fringe idea
  of a speculative subfield of a subfield."

— Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder 
     at her weblog on Feb. 5, 2012

"A quantization of space/time
 is a holy grail for many theorists…."

— Peter Woit in a comment 
      at his weblog on April 12, 2012

It seems some clarification is in order.

Hossenfelder's "The idea that space may be digital"
and Woit's "a quantization of space/time" may not
refer to the same thing.

Scientific American  on the concept of digital space—

"Space may not be smooth and continuous.
Instead it may be digital, composed of tiny bits."

Wikipedia on the concept of quantization—

Causal setsloop quantum gravitystring theory,
and 
black hole thermodynamics all predict
quantized spacetime….

For a purely mathematical  approach to the
continuous-vs.-discrete issue, see
Finite Geometry and Physical Space.

The physics there is somewhat tongue-in-cheek,
but the geometry is serious.The issue there is not
continuous-vs.-discrete physics , but rather
Euclidean-vs.-Galois geometry .

Both sorts of geometry are of course valid.
Euclidean geometry has long been applied to 
physics; Galois geometry has not. The cited
webpage describes the interplay of both  sorts
of geometry— Euclidean and Galois, continuous
and discrete— within physical space— if not
within the space of physics.

Monday, January 9, 2012

M Theory

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

Yesterday's All About Eve post featured Pope John Paul II
with his close friend and confidant Jerzy Kluger.
Their counterparts Xavier and Magneto in the recent film
"X-Men: First Class," together with Catholic doctrine on telepathy,
suggest  the following meditations.

Douglas Hofstadter on interpenetration

IMAGE- 'Interpenetration' in Douglas Hofstadter's 'I Am a Strange Loop'

— as well as Trinity in this journal.

First the punchline—

Script M (interpreted by some scanners as '771.')

Then the joke.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:23 AM
Dagger Definitions

From 'Ulysses,' 1922 first edition, page 178-- 'dagger definitions'
 
Midrash by a post-bac:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

“Horseness is
the whatness of allhorse”:
Thingism vs. Thisness

By Amy Peterson

Jacques Derrida once asked the surly and self-revealing question, “Why is it the philosopher who is expected to be easier and not some scientist who is even more inaccessible?” As with philosophers generally, literary critics come with their own inaccessible argot, some terms of which are useful, but most of which are not and only add more loops to literary criticism’s spiraling abstraction. Take for example, James Wood’s neologism thisness (h/t: 3 Quarks Daily):

The project of modernity in Wood’s eyes is largely in revealing the contour and shape, the specific ‘feel’ of that essential mystery. He even borrows a concept from the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus, haecceitas or ‘thisness,’ to explain what he means: ‘By thisness, I mean any detail that draws abstraction toward itself and seems to kill that abstraction with a puff of palpability, any detail that centers our attention with its concretion.’ (my emphasis)

Wood is clearly taking his cue here from the new trend in literary criticism of referring to realism by its etymological meaning, thingism. Where thingism is meant to capture the materialism of late nineteenth and early 20th century Realist literature, thisness, it seems, is meant to capture the basic immaterialism of Modern realist literature. In this, it succeeds. Realism is no longer grounded in the thingism, or material aspect, of reality as it was during the Victorian era. In contemporary literature, it is a “puff of palpability” that hints at reality’s contours but does not disturb our essential understanding of existence as an impalpable mystery. So now we have this term that seems to encompass the Modern approach to reality, but is it useful as an accurate conception of reality (i.e. truth, human existence, and the like), and how are we to judge its accuracy?

I think that, as far as literature is concerned, the test of the term’s accuracy lies in the interpretation of the Modernist texts that Wood champions as truthful but largely abstract depictions of human experience:

‘Kafka’s ‘”Metamorphosis” and Hamsun’s “Hunger” and Beckett’s “Endgame” are not representations of likely or typical human activity but are nevertheless harrowingly truthful texts.’

For brevity’s sake, I’ll pick a passage from a different Modernist text that I think exemplifies the issues involved in the question of thingism and thisness’ reality. In James Joyce’s Ulysses, a pub discussionhttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif of art’s purpose arises in which the writer Geoffrey Russell asserts that “Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences”; in his thoughts, Stephen Dedalus prepares to counter this:

Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through spaces smaller than red globules of man’s blood they creepy crawl after [William] Blake’s buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

To give my best translation of Stephen-think: The physical being of the horse (“horseness”) grounds the over-arching, abstract idea of the horse (“allhorse”) in reality (“whatness”). God—the ultimate abstraction—is elusive and rarely manifests himself as a material reality (when listening to children playing earlier in the book, Stephen asserts that God is a “shout in the street”). Space—the material world—must be observed to make sense of abstract ideas (like God). Stephen’s opponents who believe that art must depict the abstract and the essential make claims about existence that have very little basis in material reality so that they can grasp at the divine through the work of such famously fantastic artists as William Blake, whose unrealistic poetry and paintings Stephen evidently holds in little esteem here, though he’s kinder to Blake elsewhere. Finally, the present makes concrete the abstract possibilities of the future by turning them into the realities of the past.

Ulysses elucidates the distinction between abstractly based and materially based realism because, while abstract to be sure, Joyce’s writing is deeply rooted in material existence, and it is this material existence which has given it its lasting meaning and influence. The larger point that I’m trying to make here is that material reality gives meaning to the abstract. (As a corollary, the abstract helps us to make sense of material reality.) There can be no truth without meaning, and there can be no meaning without a material form of existence against which to judge abstract ideas. To argue, as Wood does, that the abstract can produce concrete truths with little reference to material reality is to ignore the mutual nature of the relationship between material reality and truth. The more carefully we observe material reality, the more truth we gain from our abstractions of its phenomena, or, to state it in the vocabulary—though not the style—of literary criticism: thisness is a diluted form of thingism, which means that thisness is productive of fewer (and lesser) truths.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif “Space: what you
  damn well
     have to see.”

Amy Peterson
has failed to see
that the unsheathing
of dagger definitions
takes place not in
a pub, but in
The National Library
of Ireland
.

The Russell here is not
Geoffrey but rather
George William Russell,
also known as AE.

Related material:

Yesterday’s Log24 entry
for the Feast of
St. Thomas Aquinas,
Actual Being,”
and the four entries
that preceded it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday December 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:07 PM
Narrative

“Wayne C. Booth’s lifelong
study of the art of rhetoric
 illuminated the means
 by which authors seduce,
 cajole and lie to their readers
 in the service of narrative.”

New York Times, Oct. 11, 2005

Roberta Smith in a New York Times Christmas Day review of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art:

“He ends the show with Ed Ruscha’s painting ‘The End.’ But if you consult the brochure, you’ll see that it also lists one final object up above, near the ceiling. This is the green LED exit sign that directs you out of the gallery. The sign, designed by Mark Wamble, Dawn Finley and Ben Thorne of Interloop Architecture, is, like everything else here, in the Modern’s collection. Here, of course, it is also just doing its job.”

Other Christmas Day endings —

Those of W.C. Fields– see Cafe Society (April 14, 2007)– and, this year, of Eartha Kitt:

Eartha Kitt in NYT obituaries, Dec. 26, 2008

From April 12 last year:

Kurt Vonnegut online obit, NYT April 12, 2007

This Way to
the Egress

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
 

ZZ
WW

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
schwarz
auf weiss
schaffen wir neue Welten
oder gar Universen


 Numbers and Names,
Wording and Words


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


English translation
by Catherine Schelbert



A related poem:

Alphabets
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
prisoner-fashion.
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

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday February 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:01 AM
Kindergarten Theology

On the late James Edwin Loder,
a Presbyterian minister and
a professor of Christian education
at Princeton Theological Seminary,
co-author of The Knight’s Move (1992):

“At his memorial service his daughter Tami told the story of ‘little Jimmy,’ whose kindergarten teacher recognized a special quality of mind that set him apart. ‘Every day we read a story, and after the story is over, Jimmy gets up and wants to tell us what the story means.'” — Dana R. Wright

For a related story about
knight moves and kindergarten,
see Knight Moves: The Relativity
Theory of Kindergarten Blocks
,
and Log24, Jan. 16, 17, and 18.

See also Loder’s book
(poorly written, but of some
interest in light of the above):

The Knight's Move, by Loder and Neidhardt

Opening of The Knight’s Move —

“In a game of chess, the knight’s move is unique because it alone goes around corners. In this way, it combines the continuity of a set sequence with the discontinuity of an unpredictable turn in the middle. This meaningful combination of continuity and discontinuity in an otherwise linear set of possibilities has led some to refer to the creative act of discovery in any field of research as a ‘knight’s move’ in intelligence.

The significance of the title of this volume might stop there but for Kierkegaard’s use of the ‘knight’ image. The force of Kierkegaards’s usage might be described in relation to the chess metaphor by saying that not merely does Kierkegaard’s ‘knight of faith’ undertake a unique move within the rules of the human game, but faith transposes the whole idea of a ‘knight’s move’ into the mind of the Chess Master Himself. That is to say, chess is a game of multiple possibilities and interlocking strategies, so a chess master must combine the  continuity represented by the whole complex of the game with the unpredictable decision he must make every time it is his turn. A master chess player, then, does not merely follow the rules; in him the game becomes a construct of consciousness. The better the player the more fully the game comes into its own as a creation of human intelligence. Similarly, for Kierkegaard, the knight of faith is a unique figure in human experience. The knight shows how, by existing in faith as a creative act of Christ’s Spirit, human existence comes into its own as an expression of the mind of Christ. Thus, the ultimate form of a ‘knight’s move’ is a creative act raised to the nth power by Spiritus Creator, but it still partakes fully in the concrete pieces and patterns that comprise the nature of the human game and the game of nature.”

— James E. Loder and W. Jim Neidhardt (Helmers & Howard Publishing, 1992)

For a discussion, see Triplett’s
Thinking Critically as a Christian.”

Many would deny that such
a thing is possible; let them
read the works of T. S. Eliot.

Related material:

The Knight’s Move
discusses (badly) Hofstadter’s
“strange loop” concept; see
Not Mathematics but Theology
(Log24, July 12, 2007).

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday July 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 AM
 Behind Every
Great Man…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070730-OdileCrick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Odile Crick with her husband, Francis H.C. Crick, in Cambridge, England. Mrs. Crick, an artist, illustrated the work of her husband, whose team received a Nobel Prize for its DNA research.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Of The Salk Institute For Biological Studies

Washington Post, July 21, 2007

“Her graceful drawing of the double-helix structure of DNA with intertwined helical loops has become a symbol of the achievements of science and its aspirations to understand the secrets of life. The image represents the base pairs of nucleic acids, twisted around a center line to show the axis of the helix. Terrence J. Sejnowski, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, where Francis Crick later worked, said: ‘Mrs. Crick’s drawing was an abstract representation of DNA, but it was accurate with regard to its shape and size of its spacing.

‘The models you see now have all the atoms in them,’ Sejnowski said. ‘The one in Nature was the backbone and gave the bare outline. It may be the most famous [scientific] drawing of the 20th century, in that it defines modern biology.'”

— Adam Bernstein in
The Washington Post, July 21, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday July 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:11 AM
The Church of St. Frank

See yesterday’s entries for
some relevant quotations
from Wallace Stevens.

Further quotations for what
Marjorie Garber, replying to
a book review by
Frank Kermode, has called
the Church of St. Frank“–

Frank Kermode on

Harold Bloom:

“He has… a great, almost
selfish passion for poetry,
and he interprets difficult
texts as if there were no
more important activity
in the world, which may
be right.”

Page 348 of Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom
(1977, Cornell U. Press):

“The fiction of the leaves is now Stevens’ fiction…. Spring, summer, and autumn adorn the rock of reality even as a woman is adorned, the principle being the Platonic one of copying the sun as source of all images….

… They are more than leaves
              that cover the barren rock….

They bear their fruit    
             so that the year is known….

If they are more than leaves, then they are no longer language, and the leaves have ceased to be tropes or poems and have become magic or mysticism, a Will-to-Power over nature rather than over the anteriority of poetic imagery.”

For more on magic, mysticism, and the Platonic “source of all images,” see Scott McLaren on “Hermeticism and the Metaphysics of Goodness in the Novels of Charles Williams.” McLaren quotes Evelyn Underhill on magic vs. mysticism:

The fundamental difference between the two is this: magic wants to get, mysticism wants to give […] In mysticism the will is united with the emotions in an impassioned desire to transcend the sense-world in order that the self may be joined by love to the one eternal and ultimate Object of love […] In magic, the will unites with the intellect in an impassioned desire for supersensible knowledge. This is the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness […] (Underhill 84; see also 178ff.)

— Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dutton, 1911.

For more on what Bloom calls the “Will-to-Power over nature,” see Faust in Copenhagen and the recent (20th- and 21st-century) history of Harvard University. These matters are also discussed in “Log24 – Juneteenth through Midsummer Night.”

For more on what Underhill calls “the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness,” see the review, in the August 2007 Notices of the American Mathematical Society, of a book by Douglas Hofstadter– a writer on the nature of consciousness— by magician Martin Gardner.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday July 12, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM
On Interpenetration,
or Coinherence, of Souls

The August 2007 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society contains a review of a new book by Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop. (2007, Basic Books, New York. $26.95, 412 pages.)

A better review, in the Los Angeles Times of March 18, 2007, notes an important phrase in the book, "interpenetration of souls," that the AMS Notices review ignores.

Here is an Amazon.com search on "interpenetration" in the Hofstadter book:

1. on Page 217:
"… described does not create a profound blurring of two people's identities. Tennis and driving do not give rise to deep interpenetrations of souls. …"
2. on Page 237:
"… What seems crucial here is the depth of interpenetration of souls the sense of shared goals, which leads to shared identity. Thus, for instance, Carol always had a deep, …"
3. on Page 270:
"… including the most private feelings and the most confidential confessions, then the interpenetration of our worlds becomes so great that our worldviews start to fuse. Just as I could jump to California when …"
4. on Page 274:
"… we choose to downplay or totally ignore the implications of the everyday manifestations of the interpenetration of souls. Consider how profoundly wrapped up you can become in a close friend's successes and failures, in their very …"
5. on Page 276:
"… Interpenetration of National Souls Earlier in this chapter, I briefly offered the image of a self as analogous to a country …"
6. from Index:
"… birthday party for, 350 "bachelor", elusiveness of concept, 178 bad-breath analogy, 150 bandwidth of communication as determinant of degree of interpenetration, 212 213, 220, …"
7. from Index:
"… phrases denying interpenetration of souls, 270 271; physical phenomena that lack consciousness, 281 282; physical structures lacking hereness, 283; potential personal attributes, 183; …"

The American Mathematical Society editors and reviewer seem to share Hofstadter's ignorance of Christian doctrine; they might otherwise have remembered a rather famous remark: "This is not mathematics, it is theology."
 
For more on the theology of interpenetration, see Log24 on "Perichoresis, or Coinherence" (Jan. 22, 2004).

For a more mathematical approach to this topic, see Spirituality Today, Spring 1991:

"… the most helpful image is perhaps the ellipse often used to surround divine figures in ancient art, a geometrical figure resulting from the overlapping, greater or lesser, of two independent circles, an interpenetration or coinherence which will, in some sense, reunify divided humanity, thus restoring to some imperfect degree the original image of God."

See also the trinitarian doctrine implicit in related Log24 entries of July 1, 2007, which include the following illustration of the geometrical figure described, in a somewhat confused manner, above:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070701-Ratio.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

"Values are rooted
in narrative."

Harvey Cox,    
Hollis Professor
of Divinity
at Harvard,
Atlantic Monthly,
  November 1995  

Related material:

Steps Toward Salvation:
An Examination of
Co-Inherence and
Substitution in
the Seven Novels
of Charles Williams
,
by Dennis L. Weeks

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday November 18, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:09 AM
Animated diamond theorem

Copyright © 2006 Steven H. Cullinane

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Thursday August 5, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:06 PM

In the beginning
was…
the recursion?

"Words are events."
— The Walter J. Ong Project,
    quoted in Log24 on Aug. 25, 2003 

"Words are events."
— The Walter J. Ong Project,
    quoted in the Heckler & Coch weblog
    on July 17, 2004 as part of a section
    titled "Recursive, Wide, and Loopy"

Walter J. Ong was a Jesuit.  The Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, is celebrated on July 31 each year.

"Recursive, Wide, and Loopy 2", a Heckler & Coch entry dated July 31, 2004, leads to the following:

MSNBC, Jan. 15, 2004:

How humans got
the gift of gab
:

Why do other primates
lag behind in language?
 

"New research may help scientists dissect just what it is about the human brain that endows us with language.

Researchers have found that tamarin monkeys have some distinctly languagelike abilities but that they can’t quite master the more complex rules of human grammar. The findings appear in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the non-profit science society.

 The grammatical toolkit

'A relatively open question concerning language evolution is, "What aspects of the language faculty are shared with other animals, and what aspects are unique to humans?" ' said study author Marc Hauser of Harvard University.

To investigate, Hauser and W. Tecumseh Fitch of the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, devised tests for cotton-top tamarin monkeys and human volunteers. Tamarins have been evolving separately from humans for approximately 40 million years –suggesting that any shared machinery in human and tamarin brains is old enough to be relatively common among primates.

Instead of trying to teach the monkeys real words, Hauser and Fitch generated strings of one-syllable words that followed various grammatical rules.

According to linguistics expert Noam Chomsky, the simplest type of grammar is a 'finite state grammar' or 'FSG,' which dictates which types of words go near each other in a sentence. In English, for example, an adjective like 'fast' must go directly in front of 'car,' the noun it's describing.

Building on previous experiments, Hauser and Fitch recorded word-strings that obeyed a specific FSG, in which any syllable spoken by a female voice was automatically followed by one from a male voice.

Audio: Listen to an FSG word-string.
(Requires Windows Media Player.)

After listening to a series of word-strings, the monkeys were able to distinguish between those that followed this rule and others that didn't. Human test subjects could tell the difference as well, implying that tamarins and humans may share at least some components of what Hauser called 'the universal toolkit underlying all languages.'

Mastering this type of grammar represents the ability to compute some simple statistics, something human infants accomplish early on as they learn to speak. This ability may not be specific to language, however.

'Either the same mechanism or some approximation of it is used in mathematics, vision, music and other activities,' Hauser said.

Upping the Complexity

The grammatical rules of real languages govern more than just the placement of neighboring words, as anyone who had to diagram sentences in English class may remember all too well.

One of the more complex types of grammar is known as a 'phrase structure grammar,' or PSG. These grammars involve relationships between words that aren't next to each other in a sentence and thus allow for a more complex range of expression. The 'if … then' construction is an example of a PSG.

The researchers generated a second set of word-strings that followed a PSG in which a pairing of syllables spoken by a female and a male could be embedded within another pairing. This grammar produces structures like [female [female, male] male].

Audio: Listen to a PSG word-string.
(Requires Windows Media Player)

After playing these recordings repeatedly to the monkeys, the researchers found that the animals didn't seem to notice the difference between word strings that obeyed the PSG and other strings that did not. In contrast, the human volunteers did notice the difference."

— Kathleen Wren

"The grammar or syntax of human language is certainly unique. Like an onion or Russian doll, it is recursive: One instance of an item is embedded in another instance of the same item. Recursion makes it possible for the words in a sentence to be widely separated and yet dependent on one another. 'If-then' is a classic example…. Are animals capable of such recursion? Fitch and Hauser have reported that tamarin monkeys are not capable of recursion. Although the monkeys learned a nonrecursive grammar, they failed to learn a grammar that is recursive. Humans readily learn both."

— David Premack (Science 2004 303:318, quoted in ScienceWeek)

These citations by Heckler & Coch show that inability to understand complex language is not limited to monkeys.

The examples given by Wren in the audio samples are of alternating female (Hi) and male (Lo) voices, thus —

FSG:  Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo

PSG:  Hi Hi Hi Lo Lo Lo

As these examples show, neither monkeys nor humans heard the sound of parentheses (or square brackets) as Wren describes them:

"structures like [female [female, male] male]."

There of course is, in ordinary language (which does not include the monologues of Victor Borge), no such thing as the sound of parentheses.

Thus the research of Hauser and Fitch is not only invalid, but ridiculous.

This point is driven strongly home by the following two articles:

Greg Kochanski, Research Fellow,
 Oxford University Phonetics Lab
:

Is a Phrase Structure Grammar
the Important Difference
between Humans and Monkeys?
,

and

Mark Liberman, Professor,
University of Pennsylvania

Departments of Linguistics
and of Computer Science,
and co-director of the
Institute for Research
in Cognitive Science,
in his

Language Log,
January 17, 2004:

Hi Lo Hi Lo,
it's off to
formal language theory
we go
.

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