Thursday, May 7, 2020

Notes on MSRI (Pronounced “Misery”)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

Sunday, October 20, 2019

MSRI (Pronounced “Misery”)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:29 AM

Monday, May 27, 2019

Misery Emissary: A Thurston Memorial

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:19 PM

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Misery Continues.

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:40 AM

Part I: Sharp Objects

Part II: Out of Blue

Part III: Misery

Misery according to Simone Weil

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:01 PM

The title is the usual pronunciation of MSRI,
the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley, California.

The late Scandinavian novelist Stieg Larsson
might prefer to call this street Gardner Way.

I do not.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 8:04 PM

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tetrahedral Structures

Filed under: General — Tags:  —
m759 @ 8:11 PM 

In memory of a Church emissary  who reportedly died on  September 4 . . . .

Playing with shapes related to some 1906 work of Whitehead:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Misère Play

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:21 PM

Facebook on Bloomsday 2017 —

Also on that Bloomsday —

Chalkroom Jungle Revisited —

Friday, August 17, 2018

Hogwarts Peak

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Or:  Misery, Jessica …  Jessica, Misery .



Related material from The Harvard Crimson

"The beach and the castle on the hill and the waves
would always be here, always moving, always changing,
but always constant." 

— Robert Miranda, "The Simplicity of Waves," August 8, 2018

Related material on waves (i.e. , "Fourier's laboratory") —

See also this  journal on August 8.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Compare and Contrast

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:28 PM

Weyl on symmetry, the eightfold cube, the Fano plane, and trigrams of the I Ching

Related material on automorphism groups —

The "Eightfold Cube" structure shown above with Weyl
competes rather directly with the "Eightfold Way" sculpture 
shown above with Bryant. The structure and the sculpture
each illustrate Klein's order-168 simple group.

Perhaps in part because of this competition, fans of the Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute (MSRI, pronounced "Misery') are less likely
to enjoy, and discuss, the eight-cube mathematical structure  above
than they are an eight-cube mechanical puzzle  like the one below.

Note also the earlier (2006) "Design Cube 2x2x2" webpage
illustrating graphic designs on the eightfold cube. This is visually,
if not mathematically, related to the (2010) "Expert's Cube."

Monday, September 11, 2017

More Ado

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

A flashback from the previous post, "Leave a Space" —

From my RSS feed this evening —

Related material from the Web

Len Wein reportedly died on Sunday.
An image from this  journal on Sunday —

" There was an Outer Limits episode called 'The Architects of Fear.' 
I thought: 'Wow. That’s a bit close to our story.' " — Alan Moore


See as well a Log24 post from the above Bleeding Cool  date,
2013-01-29, for more comic-book-related material.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Music for a Dark and Stormy Night

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 AM

See also Misery in this journal.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Look What You Made Me Do

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:04 AM

Or: Modern Muse  (Continued from August 1, 2017)

Click to enlarge.

Friday, August 4, 2017


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:08 PM

Landon T. Clay, founder of the Clay Mathematics Institute,
reportedly died on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

See related Log24 posts, now tagged Prize Problem,
from the date of Clay's death and the day before.

Update of 9 PM ET on August 4, 2017 —

Other mathematics discussed here on the date of Clay's death —

MSRI Program. Here MSRI is pronounced "Misery."

Update of 9:45 PM ET on August 4, 2017 —

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Modern Muse

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

From a 1987 review of the Stephen King novel Misery :

"In other words, for all her craziness, Annie Wilkes
becomes Paul Sheldon's literary muse, and as muses go
she probably isn't too much worse than average,
her main fault being a tendency to punish more literally
than most muses do."

— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in The New York Times

From the Estée Lauder website :

"Who is a Modern Muse? The description of
our iconic fragrance says it all . . . ."

A rival product


See all related posts.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stealth Cars

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:09 PM

From a June 8, 1987, New York Times  review of
Stephen King's novel Misery

"She doesn't like Fast Cars , the manuscript of which she found
in his traveling bag. It's confusing and the language is profane."

From the IMDb biography of film director Rob Cohen —

"He attended Harvard University and graduated
magna cum laude  in the class of '71, concentrating
in a cross major between anthropology and visual studies."

"He is the creator of The Fast and the Furious (2001),
Universal Pictures' biggest franchise of all time."

Cohen also directed Stealth  (2005). See a Sam Shepard fan site.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sermon: MS R I

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:57 AM

From Solomon's Cube

"Here MSRI, an acronym for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute,
is pronounced 'Misery.' See Stephen King [and] K.C. Cole . . . ."

From a manuscript by Mikhail Gromov cited yesterday in MSRI Program —

Quotes from a founder of geometric group theory

Saturday, July 29, 2017

MSRI Program

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:29 PM

"The field of geometric group theory emerged from Gromov’s insight
that even mathematical objects such as groups, which are defined
completely in algebraic terms, can be profitably viewed as geometric
objects and studied with geometric techniques."

— Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 2016:

Geometric Group theory at MSRI (pronounced 'Misery')

See also some writings of Gromov from 2015-16:

For a simpler example than those discussed at MSRI
of both algebraic and geometric techniques applied to
the same group, see a post of May 19, 2017,
"From Algebra to Geometry." That post reviews
an earlier illustration —

For greater depth, see "Eightfold Cube" in this journal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Memoriam…

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM

industrial designer Kenji Ekuan —

Eightfold Design.

The adjective "eightfold," intrinsic to Buddhist
thought, was hijacked by Gell-Mann 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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home from Home continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Or— Childhood's Rear End

This post was suggested by…

  1. Today's New York Times
    "For many artists Electric Lady has become a home away from home…. For Jimmy Page the personal imprimaturs of Hendrix and Mr. Kramer made all the difference when Led Zeppelin mixed parts of 'Houses of the Holy' there in 1972."
  2. The album cover pictures for "Houses of the Holy"
  3. Boleskine House, home to Aleister Crowley and (occasionally) to Jimmy Page.

Related material:

The Zeppelin album cover, featuring rear views of nude children, was shot at the Giant's Causeway.

From a page at led-zeppelin.org—


See also Richard Rorty on Heidegger

Safranski, the author of ''Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy,'' never steps back and pronounces judgment on Heidegger, but something can be inferred from the German title of his book: ''Ein Meister aus Deutschland'' (''A Master From Germany''). Heidegger was, undeniably, a master, and was very German indeed. But Safranski's spine-chilling allusion is to Paul Celan's best-known poem, ''Death Fugue.'' In Michael Hamburger's translation, its last lines are:

death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on us he grants us a grave in the air
he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith.

No one familiar with Heidegger's work can read Celan's poem without recalling Heidegger's famous dictum: ''Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells.'' Nobody who makes this association can reread the poem without having the images of Hitler and Heidegger — two men who played with serpents and daydreamed — blend into each other. Heidegger's books will be read for centuries to come, but the smell of smoke from the crematories — the ''grave in the air'' — will linger on their pages.

Heidegger is the antithesis of the sort of philosopher (John Stuart Mill, William James, Isaiah Berlin) who assumes that nothing ultimately matters except human happiness. For him, human suffering is irrelevant: philosophy is far above such banalities. He saw the history of the West not in terms of increasing freedom or of decreasing misery, but as a poem. ''Being's poem,'' he once wrote, ''just begun, is man.''

For Heidegger, history is a sequence of ''words of Being'' — the words of the great philosophers who gave successive historical epochs their self-image, and thereby built successive ''houses of Being.'' The history of the West, which Heidegger also called the history of Being, is a narrative of the changes in human beings' image of themselves, their sense of what ultimately matters. The philosopher's task, he said, is to ''preserve the force of the most elementary words'' — to prevent the words of the great, houses-of-Being-building thinkers of the past from being banalized.

Related musical meditations—

Shine On (Saturday, April 21, 2007), Shine On, Part II, and Built (Sunday, April 22, 2007).

Related pictorial meditations—


The Giant's Causeway at Peter J. Cameron's weblog

and the cover illustration for Diamond Theory (1976)—


The connection between these two images is the following from Cameron's weblog today

… as we saw, there are two different Latin squares of order 4;
one, but not the other, can be extended to a complete set
of 3 MOLS [mutually orthogonal Latin squares].

The underlying structures of the square pictures in the Diamond Theory cover are those of the two different Latin squares of order 4 mentioned by Cameron.

Connection with childhood—

The children's book A Wind in the Door, by Madeleine L'Engle. See math16.com. L'Engle's fantasies about children differ from those of Arthur C. Clarke and Led Zeppelin.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plato’s Ghost

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Jeremy Gray, Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics, Princeton, 2008–

"Here, modernism is defined as an autonomous body of ideas, having little or no outward reference, placing considerable emphasis on formal aspects of the work and maintaining a complicated— indeed, anxious— rather than a naïve relationship with the day-to-day world, which is the de facto view of a coherent group of people, such as a professional or discipline-based group that has a high sense of the seriousness and value of what it is trying to achieve. This brisk definition…."

Brisk? Consider Caesar's "The die is cast," Gray in "Solomon's Cube," and yesterday's post

Group of 8 cube-face permutations generated by reflections in midplanes parallel to faces

This is the group of "8 rigid motions
generated by reflections in midplanes"
of Solomon's Cube.

Related material:

"… the action of G168 in its alternative guise as SL(3; Z/2Z) is also now apparent. This version of G168 was presented by Weber in [1896, p. 539],* where he attributed it to Kronecker."

— Jeremy Gray, "From the History of a Simple Group," in The Eightfold Way, MSRI Publications, 1998

Here MSRI, an acronym for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, is pronounced "Misery." See Stephen King, K.C. Cole, and Heinrich Weber.

*H. Weber, Lehrbuch der Algebra, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1896. Reprinted by Chelsea, New York, 1961.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Thursday April 15, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:30 PM

Today’s Kerry Misery Index

70%: Karl Rove is smiling today.

“The Sharon-Bush partnership creates a ticklish tactical problem for John Kerry. The Democrats (like the GOP) have traditionally regarded Jewish settlements in the West Bank as ‘obstacles to peace.’

Now that Bush has ruled that some of them are kosher, Kerry is in an awkward position.

If he follows President Bush’s new policy direction he will bump up hard against the Jimmy Carter-NPR wing of his own party, not to mention polite European society. If, on the other hand, he decides to stand pat he will, much to his dismay, find himself running for commander in chief as the favorite son of Arafat and Hamas.”

— Zev Chafets, columnist for the New York Daily News, April 15, 2004

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Tuesday April 13, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:26 PM

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

The previous entry dealt with politicians’ lies and clergymen’s damned lies.  This entry deals with statistics (often grouped with the former two sins).

Group: Kerry’s Misery Index
Selective, Makes Bush Look Bad

Tuesday, April 13, 2004 11:40 AM ET

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., claims middle-class Americans are miserable under the economic stewardship of President George W. Bush. A new report released Tuesday says Kerry’s campaign selectively designed a “misery index” to make Bush look bad.

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