Log24

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rothstein’s Temptation

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

Edward Rothstein reviewing The Red Book of Jung in today's New York Times

"The temptation, after numbingly turning these pages, is to react finally like the psychiatrist Spielvogel at the end of Philip Roth’s 'Portnoy’s Complaint,' and say: 'So. Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?'"

Free association via Google Image Search on Spielvogel + Portnoy:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091212-SpielvogelPortnoySm.jpg

Click for further details.
See also Jews Telling Stories.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Transylvania Revisited

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:10 PM

The previous post suggests . . .

Jim Holt reviewing Edward Rothstein's Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics  in The New Yorker  of June 5, 1995:

"The fugues of Bach, the symphonies of Haydn, the sonatas of Mozart: these were explorations of ideal form, unprofaned by extramusical associations. Such 'absolute music,' as it came to be called, had sloughed off its motley cultural trappings. It had got in touch with its essence. Which is why, as Walter Pater famously put it, 'all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.'

The only art that can rival music for sheer etheriality is mathematics. A century or so after the advent of absolute music, mathematics also succeeded in detaching itself from the world. The decisive event was the invention of strange, non-Euclidean geometries, which put paid to the notion that the mathematician was exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the scientific universe. 'Pure' mathematics came to be seen by those who practiced it as a free invention of the imagination, gloriously indifferent to practical affairs– a quest for beauty as well as truth." [Links added.]

A line for James McAvoy —

"Pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania Station?"

Bolyai 'worlds out of nothing' quote

See as well Worlds Out of Nothing ,  by Jeremy Gray.

Hijacking the Vatican

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:42 PM

Rothstein's 'Emblems of Mind,' 1995, cover illustrations by Pinturicchio from Vatican

Cover illustration— Arithmetic and Music,
Borgia Apartments, the Vatican.

See also Rothstein in this journal.

Related posts: The Eightfold Hijacking.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Defining a Space

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:57 PM

See also Nada Brahma  in this  journal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gesamtkunstwerk

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:10 AM

IMAGE- Two essays from Mosaic magazine on Wagner and the Jews

Links to the above essays:  
Shields (Jan. 5, 2015),  Rothstein (Jan. 12, 2015)

Talk amongst yourselves.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sacred and Profane

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:00 AM

(Continued from yesterday afternoon)

This journal on December 12th, 2009

Rothstein's 'Emblems of Mind,' 1995, cover illustrations by Pinturicchio from Vatican

Cover illustration— Arithmetic and Music,
Borgia Apartments, The Vatican

Compare and contrast with Frenkel at the Fields Institute

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CMT Awards Night

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM

A meditation, while watching the Country Music Television
CMT Awards, on today's evening NY lottery number 469.

For Reese  Witherspoon* and Dionysus, not Apollo—

A Funny Thing Happened
on the Way to the Edifice

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110608-CP469.jpg

— Page 469 of Wallace Stevens's Collected Poems

See also page 469 of Gravity's Rainbow  (Penguin Classics 1995 paperback)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110608-GR469.jpg

* Not the Witherspoon Church  of this evening's 6 PM entry.
Reese won Sunday's 2011 MTV Movie Awards' Generation Award .

Both the MTV Movie Awards and the CMT Awards are productions
of MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. For some background,
see Sumner Redstone (formerly Rothstein).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

For Sinatra’s Birthday

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

Today's previous entry quoted a review by Edward Rothstein of Jung's The Red Book. The entry you are now reading quotes a review by Jim Holt of a notable book by Rothstein:

The Golden Book

Rothstein's 'Emblems of Mind,' 1995, cover illustrations by Pinturicchio from Vatican

Cover illustration— Arithmetic and Music,
Borgia Apartments, The Vatican

Jim Holt reviewing Edward Rothstein's Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics in The New Yorker of June 5, 1995:

Advent

"The fugues of Bach, the symphonies of Haydn, the sonatas of Mozart: these were explorations of ideal form, unprofaned by extramusical associations. Such 'absolute music,' as it came to be called, had sloughed off its motley cultural trappings. It had got in touch with its essence. Which is why, as Walter Pater famously put it, 'all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.'

The only art that can rival music for sheer etheriality is mathematics. A century or so after the advent of absolute music, mathematics also succeeded in detaching itself from the world. The decisive event was the invention of strange, non-Euclidean geometries, which put paid to the notion that the mathematician was exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the scientific universe. 'Pure' mathematics came to be seen by those who practiced it as a free invention of the imagination, gloriously indifferent to practical affairs– a quest for beauty as well as truth."

Related material: Hardy's Apology, Non-Euclidean Blocks, and The Story Theory of Truth.

See also Holt on music and emotion:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091212-MandM-review.gif

"Music does model… our emotional life… although
  the methods by which it does so are 'puzzling.'"

Also puzzling: 2010 AMS Notices.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday December 22, 2008

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

Part I:
Ratio

Continued from…

    December 20, 2003

White, Geometric,
   and Eternal

Permutahedron-- a truncated octahedron with vertices labeled by the 24 permutations of four things

Makin' the Changes

(From "Flag Matroids," by
Borovik, Gelfand, and White)

Edward Rothstein,

Edward Rothstein on faith and reason, with snowflakes in an Absolut Vodka ad, NYT 12/20/03

White and Geometric,
 but not Eternal.

Part II:
Fides

Cocktail: the logo of the New York Times 'Proof' series

For more information,
click on the cocktail.
 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday June 13, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:20 AM
A Real Book

Edward Rothstein last Monday:

“What is being said?
What does it mean?
Where does it come from
 and where else is it used?”

A partial answer:
today’s previous entry,
For Philip Rieff,”
and an midrash on
the word “Pahuk”
(as in “Pahuk Pride,”
the name of this week’s
Boy Scout gathering
in Iowa at which
a tornado killed four) —
 
Questia.com book containing Pawnee word 'Pahuk' with 'You are about to read a real book-- online'  ad overlay

Click on image for further details.

Rieff was the author of

Sacred Order/Social Order,
Volume 1–

My Life among the Deathworks:

Illustrations of the
Aesthetics of Authority

(University of Virginia Press, 2006)

Rieff’s concept of sacred order
was Jewish rather than Pawnee,
but his writings still seem relevant.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday June 10, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:31 AM

Return to Paradise

Edward Rothstein's review in yesterday's New York Times–

Museum’s Vision:
West Coast Paradise

seems to me more a description of Hell.

My own concept of paradise is closer to the Gary Cooper film "Return to Paradise," which impressed me greatly when I saw it on TV when I was in 10th grade.

A related vision: two frames from the Jodie Foster film "Contact"–

See Storyline and Time Fold.

See also another Michener-based
production, the current
Lincoln Center "South Pacific."

"Who can explain it,
who can tell you why?
"
 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday June 9, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:20 PM
Lying Rhymes

Readers of the previous entry
who wish to practice their pardes
may contemplate the following:

NY Lottery June 9, 2008: mid-day 007, evening 563

 
The evening 563 may, as in other recent entries, be interpreted as a page number in Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995). From that page:

“He brings out the mandala he found.
‘What’s it mean?’
[….]
Slothrop gives him the mandala. He hopes it will work like the mantra that Enzian told him once, mba-kayere (I am passed over), mba-kayere… a spell […]. A mezuzah. Safe passage through a bad night….”

In lieu of Slothrop’s mandala, here
is another, from the Dante link
in today’s previous entry:

Christ and the four elements, 1495

Christ and the Four Elements

This 1495 image is found in
The Janus Faces of Genius:
The Role of Alchemy

in Newton’s Thought,
by B. J. T. Dobbs,
Cambridge University Press,
2002, p. 85


Related mandalas:

Diamond arrangement of the four elements

and

Logo by Steven H. Cullinane for website on finite geometry

For further details,
click on any of the
three mandalas above.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon, quoted
here on 9/13, 2007

(As for today’s New York Lottery midday number 007, see (for instance) Edward Rothstein in today’s New York Times on paradise, and also Tom Stoppard on heaven as “just a lying rhyme” for seven.)

Time of entry: 10:20:55 PM

Monday June 9, 2008

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

"With respect, you only interpret."
"Countries have gone to war
after misinterpreting one another."

The Interpreter

"Once upon a time (say, for Dante),
it must have been a revolutionary
and creative move to design works
of art so that they might be
experienced on several levels."

— Susan Sontag,
"Against Interpretation"

Edward Rothstein in today's New York Times review of San Francisco's new Contemporary Jewish Museum:

"An introductory wall panel tells us that in the Jewish mystical tradition the four letters [in Hebrew] of pardes each stand for a level of biblical interpretation: very roughly, the literal, the allusive, the allegorical and the hidden. Pardes, we are told, became the museum’s symbol because it reflected the museum’s intention to cultivate different levels of interpretation: 'to create an environment for exploring multiple perspectives, encouraging open-mindedness' and 'acknowledging diverse backgrounds.' Pardes is treated as a form of mystical multiculturalism.

But even the most elaborate interpretations of a text or tradition require more rigor and must begin with the literal. What is being said? What does it mean? Where does it come from and where else is it used? Yet those are the types of questions– fundamental ones– that are not being asked or examined […].

How can multiple perspectives and open-mindedness and diverse backgrounds be celebrated without a grounding in knowledge, without history, detail, object and belief?"

"It's the system that matters.
How the data arrange
themselves inside it."

Gravity's Rainbow  

"Examples are the stained-
glass windows of knowledge."

Vladimir Nabokov  

Map Systems (decomposition of functions over a finite field)

Click on image to enlarge.   
 

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday January 19, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 AM
In Memory of
Bobby Fischer

Edward Rothstein has a piece on Bobby Fischer in today’s New York Times.  The Rothstein opening:

“There may be only three human activities in which miraculous accomplishment is possible before adulthood: mathematics, music and chess.”

This echoes the opening of a classic George Steiner essay (The New Yorker, Sept. 7, 1968):

“There are three intellectual pursuits, and, so far as I am aware, only three, in which human beings have performed major feats before the age of puberty. They are music, mathematics, and chess.”

— “A Death of Kings,” reprinted in George Steiner: A Reader, Oxford University Press, 1984, pp. 171-178.

Despite its promising (if unoriginal) opening, the New York Times piece is mainly an attack on Fischer’s anti-Jewish stance.  Rothstein actually has little of interest to say about what he calls the “glass-bead games” of music, mathematics, and chess. For a better-written piece on chess and madness, see Charles Krauthammer’s 2005 essay in TIME. The feuilletons of Rothstein and Krauthammer do not, of course, come close to the genuinely bead-game-like writing of Steiner.

Related material on
chess and religion:
Magical Thinking
(December 7th, 2005)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday March 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 PM
Rings

“Philosophers ponder the idea of identity: what it is to give something a name on Monday and have it respond to that name on Friday….”

— Bernard Holland in
   The New York Times
  
Monday, May 20, 1996

The headline for Edward Rothstein’s “Connections” column in The New York Times of Monday, March 26, 2007, was “Texts That Run Rings Around Everyday Linear Logic.”

Here is such a text.

The New York Lottery,
Friday, March 30, 2007:

Mid-day 002
Evening 085


Continuing yesterday’s lottery meditation, let us examine today’s New York results in the light of Rothstein’s essay.  The literary “ring” structure he describes is not immediately apparent in Friday’s numbers, although the mid-day number, 002– which in the I Ching signifies yin, the feminine, receptive principle– might be interpreted as referring to a ring of sorts.

Illustration from
an entry of
March 2, 2004

For the evening number, 085, see the list of page numbers in last year’s Log24 entry (cited here last night) for today’s date, March 30.  Page 85, in the source cited here a year ago, begins…

“A random selection from Hopkins’s journal shows how the sun acts as a focus….”

See also last night’s picture:

Trigram Sun: Wind, Wood
 

Last night’s reference to last
year’s entry on this date provides,
like the last and first pages of
Finnegans Wake, an example
of literary “ring” structure.

Today’s New York evening number,
85, reinforces this “ring” reference.

For related material, see
an entry for Reba McEntire’s
birthday four years ago
.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday March 28, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 PM
Plato, God, Stories

Peter Woit’s latest weblog entry links to a discussion of Plato’s cave and the modular group, which in turn suggests a second look at an entry linked to, indirectly, at the end of Saturday’s Log24 entry: Natasha’s Dance.  This leads to the following:

“To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension.”

— Freeman Dyson, “Science & Religion: No Ends in Sight,” The New York Review of Books, issue dated five years ago today– March 28, 2002.

If Dyson’s “recognition” is correct, why should mind and intelligence not be woven into the fabric of the Pennsylvania Lottery?

PA Lottery March 28, 2007: Mid-day 226, Evening 826

The practiced reader of Log24 will have little difficulty in constructing a story based on these numbers.  Briefly, the story is… 2/26 and 8/26.  The way the story was written may “surpass our comprehension,” but the story itself need not.

Those more interested in the writing than the story may consult Edward Rothstein’s piece in the March 26 New York Times, “Texts That Run Rings Around Everyday Linear Logic.”  There they will find a brief discussion of, appropriately, the Bible’s Book of Numbers.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sunday December 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:22 AM

Washington hosts Hollywood elite for Kennedy Honors

By Joel Rothstein

Reuters
Sunday, December 3, 2006; 12:12 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – "Washington's elite mingled with artistic icons at the Kennedy Center Honors on Saturday….

The Kennedy Center Honors weekend was to conclude on Sunday with Bush hosting an afternoon reception at the White House followed by an evening performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The show will be broadcast on the CBS television network on December 26."

From "Today in History,"
by The Associated Press:

On this date (Dec. 3):

In 1925,
"Concerto in F,"
by George Gershwin,
had its world premiere
at New York's Carnegie Hall,
with Gershwin himself
at the piano.

In 1947,
the Tennessee Williams play
"A Streetcar Named Desire"
opened on Broadway.

In 1953,
the musical "Kismet"
opened on Broadway.

In 1960,
the musical "Camelot"
opened on Broadway.

Related material:

Yesterday's entries–

Monroe and the Kennedys
and

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061203-KennedysCenter.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Monroe and the Kennedys,
Part II
.

Click on the picture
for further details.
 

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Wednesday August 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM

In memory of Wallace Stevens,
Presbyterian saint,
whose feast is today


Agon of the Critics:
Christian vs. Jew


The following are extracts from recent reviews of On Late Style, a book by Edward Said.

John Updike on Adorno and Said:

“‘The Tempest,’ like Beethoven’s late compositions, refuses, in Adorno’s phrase, to ‘reconcile in a single image what is not reconciled.’ Said wrote, ‘What I find valuable in Adorno is this notion of tension, of highlighting and dramatizing what I call irreconcilabilities.'”

Edward Rothstein on late style:

“Late style, Said suggests, expresses a sense of being out of place and time: it is a rejection of what is being offered. But listen to Beethoven or Strauss or Gould: the music is more like a discovery of place. That place is different from where one started; it may not even be what was once expected or desired. But it is there, in resignation and fulfillment, that late works take their stand, where even exile meets its end.”

The Jew wins.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday July 24, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Discourse Analysis

Edward Rothstein in today’s New York Times, reviewing Evil Incarnate (Princeton University Press):

“… the most decisive aspect of the myth is that it is, literally, a myth. Every single example of evil he gives turns out to be evil imagined: there is, he says, no evidence for any of it. Evil, he argues, is not something real, it is a ‘discourse,’ a ‘way of representing things and shaping our experience, not some force in itself.'”

Related material:

A review (pdf) by Steven G. Krantz of Charles Wells’s A Handbook of Mathematical Discourse (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, September 2004):

“Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is a remarkable and compelling piece of writing because of its searing wit and sardonic take on life. Bierce does not define any new words. He instead gives deadly interpretations of very familiar words. Wells’s book does not fit into the same category of literary effort.”

For literary efforts perhaps more closely related to Bierce’s, see Mathematics and Narrative and the five Log24 entries ending on this date last year.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Saturday August 20, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:07 PM
Truth vs. Bullshit

Background:
For an essay on the above topic
from this week’s New Yorker,
click on the box below.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050819-Critic4.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Representing truth:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050820-Goldstein.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Rebecca Goldstein

Representing bullshit:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050820-Doxiadis.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Apostolos Doxiadis

Goldstein’s truth:

Gödel was a Platonist who believed in objective truth.

See Rothstein’s review of Goldstein’s new book Incompleteness.

Doxiadis’s bullshit:

Gödel, along with Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, and Heisenberg, destroyed a tradition of certainty that began with Plato and Euclid.

“Examples are the stained-glass
windows of knowledge.” — Nabokov

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Saturday December 20, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

White, Geometric, and Eternal

This afternoon's surfing:

Prompted by Edward Rothstein's own Fides et Ratio encyclical in today's NY Times, I googled him.

At the New York Review of Books, I came across the following by Rothstein:

"… statements about TNT can be represented within TNT: the formal system can, in a precise way, 'talk' about itself."

This naturally prompted me to check what is on TNT on this, the feast day of St. Emil Artin.  At 5 PM this afternoon, we have Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate" — a perfect choice for the festival of an alleged saint.

Preparing for Al, I meditated on the mystical significance of the number 373, as explained in Zen and Language Games: the page number 373 in Robert Stone's theological classic A Flag for Sunrise conveys the metaphysical significance of the phrase "diamonds are forever" — "the eternal in the temporal," according to Stone's Catholic priest.  This suggests a check of another theological classic, Pynchon's Gravity's RainbowPage 373 there begins with the following description of prewar Berlin:

"white and geometric."

This suggests the following illustration of a white and geometric object related to yesterday's entry on Helmut Wielandt:

From antiquark.com

Figure 1

(This object, which illustrates the phrase "makin' the changes," also occurs in this morning's entry on the death of a jazz musician.)

A further search for books containing "white" and "geometric" at Amazon.com yields the following:

Figure 2

From Mosaics, by
Fassett, Bahouth, and Patterson:

"A risco fountain in Mexico city, begun circa 1740 and made up of Mexican pottery and Chinese porcelain, including Ming.

The delicate oriental patterns on so many different-sized plates and saucers [are] underlined by the bold blue and white geometric tiles at the base."

Note that the tiles are those of Diamond Theory; the geometric object in figure 1 above illustrates a group that plays a central role in that theory.

Finally, the word "risco" (from Casa del Risco) associated with figure 2 above leads us to a rather significant theological site associated with the holy city of Santiago de Compostela:

Figure 3

Vicente Risco's
Dedalus in Compostela.

Figure 3 shows James Joyce (alias Dedalus), whose daughter Lucia inspired the recent entry Jazz on St. Lucia's Day — which in turn is related, by last night's 2:45 entry and by Figure 1, to the mathematics of group theory so well expounded by the putative saint Emil Artin.

"His lectures are best described as
polished diamonds."
Fine Hall in its Golden Age,
by Gian-Carlo Rota

If Pynchon plays the role of devil's advocate suggested by his creation, in Gravity's Rainbow, of the character Emil Bummer, we may hope that Rota, no longer in time but now in eternity, can be persuaded to play the important role of saint's advocate for his Emil.
 

Update of 6:30 PM 12/20/03:

Riddled:

The Absolutist Faith
of The New York Times

White and Geometric, but not Eternal.

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