Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rubik vs. Galois: Preconception vs. Pre-conception

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:20 PM

From Psychoanalytic Aesthetics: The British School ,
by Nicola Glover, Chapter 4  —

In his last theoretical book, Attention and Interpretation  (1970), Bion has clearly cast off the mathematical and scientific scaffolding of his earlier writings and moved into the aesthetic and mystical domain. He builds upon the central role of aesthetic intuition and the Keats's notion of the 'Language of Achievement', which

… includes language that is both
a prelude to action and itself a kind of action;
the meeting of psycho-analyst and analysand
is itself an example of this language.29.

Bion distinguishes it from the kind of language which is a substitute  for thought and action, a blocking of achievement which is lies [sic ] in the realm of 'preconception' – mindlessness as opposed to mindfulness. The articulation of this language is possible only through love and gratitude; the forces of envy and greed are inimical to it..

This language is expressed only by one who has cast off the 'bondage of memory and desire'. He advised analysts (and this has caused a certain amount of controversy) to free themselves from the tyranny of the past and the future; for Bion believed that in order to make deep contact with the patient's unconscious the analyst must rid himself of all preconceptions about his patient – this superhuman task means abandoning even the desire to cure . The analyst should suspend memories of past experiences with his patient which could act as restricting the evolution of truth. The task of the analyst is to patiently 'wait for a pattern to emerge'. For as T.S. Eliot recognised in Four Quartets , 'only by the form, the pattern / Can words or music reach/ The stillness'.30. The poet also understood that 'knowledge' (in Bion's sense of it designating a 'preconception' which blocks  thought, as opposed to his designation of a 'pre -conception' which awaits  its sensory realisation), 'imposes a pattern and falsifies'

For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have ever been.31.

The analyst, by freeing himself from the 'enchainment to past and future', casts off the arbitrary pattern and waits for new aesthetic form to emerge, which will (it is hoped) transform the content of the analytic encounter.

29. Attention and Interpretation  (Tavistock, 1970), p. 125

30. Collected Poems  (Faber, 1985), p. 194.

31. Ibid., p. 199.

See also the previous posts now tagged Bion.

Preconception  as mindlessness is illustrated by Rubik's cube, and
"pre -conception" as mindfulness is illustrated by n×n×n Froebel  cubes
for n= 1, 2, 3, 4. 

Suitably coordinatized, the Froebel  cubes become Galois  cubes,
and illustrate a new approach to the mathematics of space .

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rubik’s Deathtrap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:20 PM

The previous post suggests a search in this journal
for "Deathtrap."

"Rubik’s Cube® used by permission
Rubik’s Brand Ltd. www.rubiks.com."

— Bernd Sturmfels, June-July 2016 Notices
of the American Mathematical Society
Volume 63, Number 6, page 605

"Tenser, said the Tensor …." — The Demolished Man

Max von Sydow in Branded  (2012)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rubik Quote

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:08 PM

“The Cube was born in 1974 as a teaching tool
to help me and my students better understand
space and 3D. The Cube challenged us to find
order in chaos.”

— Professor Ernő Rubik at Chrome Cube Lab

For a Chinese approach to order and chaos,
see I Ching  Cube in this journal.

Un-Rubik Cube

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:48 AM

IMAGE- Britannica 11th edition on the symmetry axes and planes of the cube

See also Cube Symmetry Planes  in this journal.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Galois vs. Rubik

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:56 PM

(Continued from Abel Prize, August 26)

IMAGE- Elementary Galois Geometry over GF(3)

The situation is rather different when the
underlying Galois field has two rather than
three elements… See Galois Geometry.

Image-- Sugar cube in coffee, from 'Bleu'

The coffee scene from "Bleu"

Related material from this journal:

The Dream of
the Expanded Field

Image-- 4x4 square and 4x4x4 cube

Friday, October 19, 2018

Kaleidoscope and Old Lace

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:31 PM

See posts now tagged "Kaleidoscope Society" and, more generally,
a search in this journal for "Kaleidoscope."

Related material —

Photo caption in a news story today:

"Father Gary Thomas attends the premiere of Warner Brothers’
'The Rite' at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles,
on January 26, 2011. Thomas is holding a special Mass
on Thursday and Saturday [Oct. 18 and 20] to counter
a planned hex on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh."

See as well posts tagged "Rubik Exorcism."

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Iconology of the Eightfold Cube

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:13 AM

Found today in an Internet image search, from the website of
an anonymous amateur mathematics enthusiast

Forming Gray codes in the eightfold cube with the eight
I Ching  trigrams (bagua ) —

Forming Gray codes in the eightfold cube with the eight I Ching trigrams (bagua)

This  journal on Nov. 7, 2016

A different sort of cube, from the makers of the recent
Netflix miniseries "Maniac" —

See also Rubik in this  journal.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Children of the Six Sides

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:32 AM



From the former date above —

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Box of Nothing

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:13 AM


"And six sides to bounce it all off of.

From the latter date above —

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:00 AM

The term "parametrization," as discussed in Wikipedia, seems useful for describing labelings that are not, at least at first glance, of a vector-space  nature.

Examples: The labelings of a 4×4 array by a blank space plus the 15 two-subsets of a six-set (Hudson, 1905) or by a blank plus the 5 elements and the 10 two-subsets of a five-set (derived in 2014 from a 1906 page by Whitehead), or by a blank plus the 15 line diagrams of the diamond theorem.

Thus "parametrization" is apparently more general than the word "coodinatization" used by Hermann Weyl —

“This is the relativity problem:  to fix objectively a class of equivalent coordinatizations and to ascertain the group of transformations S mediating between them.”

— Hermann Weyl, The Classical Groups , Princeton University Press, 1946, p. 16

Note, however, that Weyl's definition of "coordinatization" is not limited to vector-space  coordinates. He describes it as simply a mapping to a set of reproducible symbols

(But Weyl does imply that these symbols should, like vector-space coordinates, admit a group of transformations among themselves that can be used to describe transformations of the point-space being coordinatized.)

From March 2018 —


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

An Illusion of Brilliance

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:25 PM

" . . . the 3 by 3, the six-sided, three-layer configuration of
the original Rubik’s Cube, which bestows an illusion of brilliance
on those who can solve it."

— John Branch in the online New York Times  today,
     "Children of the Cube":


Cube-solving, like other sports, allows for displays of
impressive and admirable skill, if not "brilliance."

The mathematics — group theory — that is sometimes associated
with Rubik's Cube is, however, not  a sport.  See Rubik + Group
in this journal.


Saturday, March 31, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:56 PM

“The greatest obstacle to discovery
is not ignorance —
it is the illusion of knowledge.”

— Daniel J. Boorstin,
Librarian of Congress,
quoted here in 2006.

Related material —

Remarks on Rubik's Cube from June 13, 2014 and . . .

See as well a different Gresham, author of Nightmare Alley 
and Log24 posts on that book and the film of the same name .

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

On Unfairly Excluding Asymmetry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:28 AM

A comment on the the Diamond Theorem Facebook page

Those who enjoy asymmetry may consult the "Expert's Cube" —

For further details see the previous post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Compare and Contrast

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Detail for Hopkins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Detail from the previous post

See Space Cross in this journal.

See also Anthony Hopkins' new film
"Transformers: The Last Knight" and

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Space Jews

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

For the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul

In memory of Alvin Toffler and Simon Ramo,
a review of figures from the midnight that began
the date of their deaths, June 27, 2016 —


   The 3×3×3 Galois Cube

See also Rubik in this journal.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Common Core versus Central Structure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Rubik's Cube Core Assembly — Swarthmore Cube Project, 2008 —

"Children of the Common Core" —

There is also a central structure within Solomon's  Cube

'Children of the Central Structure,' adapted from 'Children of the Damned'

For a more elaborate entertainment along these lines, see the recent film

"Midnight Special" —

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Expanding the Spielraum …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:40 PM


Rubik cube in the heading of the homepage of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society

"My AMS invited address at the SIAM Annual Meeting July 11–15
in Boston discusses the extension of eigenvectors and singular
vectors from matrices to higher order tensors."

Bernd Sturmfels in the June-July 2016 AMS Notices

See also Sturmfels in this  journal — for instance, in
"Expanding the Spielraum," a post of Feb. 3, 2015 —

Monday, April 25, 2016

Peirce’s Accounts of the Universe

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:19 PM

Compare and contrast Peirce's seven systems of metaphysics with
the seven projective points in a post of March 1, 2010 —

Wikipedia article 'Group theory' with Rubik Cube and quote from Nathan Carter-- 'What is symmetry?'

From my commentary on Carter's question —

Labelings of the eightfold cube

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cube for Berlin

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Foreword by Sir Michael Atiyah —

"Poincaré said that science is no more a collection of facts
than a house is a collection of bricks. The facts have to be
ordered or structured, they have to fit a theory, a construct
(often mathematical) in the human mind. . . . 

 Mathematics may be art, but to the general public it is
a black art, more akin to magic and mystery. This presents
a constant challenge to the mathematical community: to
explain how art fits into our subject and what we mean by beauty.

In attempting to bridge this divide I have always found that
architecture is the best of the arts to compare with mathematics.
The analogy between the two subjects is not hard to describe
and enables abstract ideas to be exemplified by bricks and mortar,
in the spirit of the Poincaré quotation I used earlier."

— Sir Michael Atiyah, "The Art of Mathematics"
     in the AMS Notices , January 2010

Judy Bass, Los Angeles Times , March 12, 1989 —

"Like Rubik's Cube, The Eight  demands to be pondered."

As does a figure from 1984, Cullinane's Cube —

The Eightfold Cube

For natural group actions on the Cullinane cube, 
see "The Eightfold Cube" and
"A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168."

See also the recent post Cube Bricks 1984

An Approach to Symmetric Generation of the Simple Group of Order 168

Related remark from the literature —


Note that only the static structure is described by Felsner, not the
168 group actions discussed by Cullinane. For remarks on such
group actions in the literature, see "Cube Space, 1984-2003."

(From Anatomy of a Cube, Sept. 18, 2011.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Escape Clause

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:24 PM

For Jews of Hungarian background
who do not  worship Paul Erdős and
Rubik's Cube:

The Great Escape.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hungarian Phenomenon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:07 PM

For Autism Sunday —

Mathematician John von Neumann
reportedly died on this date.

"He belonged  to that so-called
Hungarian phenomenon…."

A webpage titled 
"Von Neumann, Jewish Catholic"

Illustrations of another Hungarian phenomenon:

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

Monday, December 29, 2014

Revolution of Forms

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:49 PM

In memory of Cuban architect
Ricardo Porro, who died
on Christmas Day, 2014:

See also Rubik + Revolution
and Launched from Cuber.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another Opening, Another Show

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM

“What happens when you mix the brilliant wit of Noel Coward
with the intricate plotting of Agatha Christie? Set during a
weekend in an English country manor in 1932, Death by Design
is a delightful and mysterious ‘mash-up’ of two of the greatest
English writers of all time. Edward Bennett, a playwright, and
his wife Sorel Bennett, an actress, flee London and head to
Cookham after a disastrous opening night. But various guests
arrive unexpectedly….”

Samuel French (theatrical publisher) on a play that
opened in Houston on September 9, 2011.

Related material:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Educational Series

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:01 PM

Barron’s Educational Series (click to enlarge):

The Tablet of Ahkmenrah:

IMAGE- The Tablet of Ahkmenrah, from 'Night at the Museum'

 “With the Tablet of Ahkmenrah and the Cube of Rubik,
my power will know no bounds!”
— Kahmunrah in a novelization of Night at the Museum:
Battle of the Smithsonian , Barron’s Educational Series

Another educational series (this journal):

Image-- Rosalind Krauss and The Ninefold Square

Art theorist Rosalind Krauss and The Ninefold Square

IMAGE- Elementary Galois Geometry over GF(3)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cut to Stanley Chase

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Chase worked for years to make a movie of
‘The Threepenny Opera.’ He finally got it done in 1989 as
Mack the Knife,’ with Menahem Golan directing.”

— David Colker, LA Times  obituary, Oct. 9, 2014

See also, from Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, the date of Chase’s death,
the Log24 posts Grids and Space, Concepts of Space, and As Is.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nine is a Vine

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:29 PM

See also Concepts of Space and  “Launched from Cuber.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Concepts of Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:28 PM


IMAGE- Rubik's Cube in an ad, and some pure mathematics

Friday, June 13, 2014

It’s 10 PM

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

"The wind of change is blowing throughout the continent.
Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness
is a political fact."— Prime Minister Harold Macmillan,
South Africa, 1960

"Lord knows when the cold wind blows
it'll turn your head around." — James Taylor

From a Log24 post of August 27, 2011:

IMAGE- 'Group Theory' Wikipedia article with Rubik's cube as main illustration and argument  by a cuber for the image's use

For related remarks on "national consciousness," see Frantz Fanon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Twisty Quaternion Symmetry

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:11 PM

The previous post told how user58512 at math.stackexchange.com
sought in 2013 a geometric representation of Q, the quaternion group.
He ended up displaying an illustration that very possibly was drawn,
without any acknowledgement of its source, from my own work.

On the date that user58512 published that illustration, he further
pursued his March 1, 2013, goal of a “twisty” quaternion model.

On March 12, 2013,  he suggested that the quaternion group might be
the symmetry group of the following twisty-cube coloring:

IMAGE- Twisty-cube coloring illustrated by Jim Belk

Illustration by Jim Belk

Here is part of a reply by Jim Belk from Nov. 11, 2013, elaborating on
that suggestion:

IMAGE- Jim Belk's proposed GAP construction of a 2x2x2 twisty-cube model of the quaternion group 

Belk argues that the colored cube is preserved under the group
of actions he describes. It is, however, also preserved under a
larger group.  (Consider, say, rotation of the entire cube by 180
degrees about the center of any one of its checkered faces.)  The
group Belk describes seems therefore to be a  symmetry group,
not the  symmetry group, of the colored cube.

I do not know if any combination puzzle has a coloring with
precisely  the quaternion group as its symmetry group.

(Updated at 12:15 AM June 6 to point out the larger symmetry group
and delete a comment about an arXiv paper on quaternion group models.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cube Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

A sequel to this afternoon's Rubik Quote:

"The Cube was born in 1974 as a teaching tool
to help me and my students better understand
space and 3D. The Cube challenged us to find
order in chaos."

— Professor Ernő Rubik at Chrome Cube Lab

IMAGE- Weyl on symmetry

(Click image below to enlarge.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fast Forward

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Continued from Nov. 21, 2010:

“They always print… the lottery.”

The reader may interpret the lottery numbers
as he or she pleases.

Related material: Jersey City in Log24 posts
of April 25 and April 28, and today’s NY Times
image of another Jersey City landmark.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:15 AM

Suggested by a Saturday death in Jersey City:

Somewhere, over the gray space

Gray Space, by Wagner

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:37 AM

(Orlin Wagner/Associated Press) – A vehicle tops a hill along
U.S. Route 56 as a severe thunderstorm moves through the area
near Baldwin City, Kansas, on Sunday, April 27, 2014.

See a related news story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday School

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Galois and Abel vs. Rubik


“Abel was done to death by poverty, Galois by stupidity.
In all the history of science there is no completer example
of the triumph of crass stupidity….”

— Eric Temple Bell,  Men of Mathematics

Gray Space  (Continued)

… For The Church of Plan 9.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

For Two Artists of Norway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:48 AM

IMAGE- Conclusion of introduction to Heinrich Zimmer's 'The King and the Corpse'

See also LYNX 760 , Rubik vs. Abel, and Toying.

Friday, April 25, 2014


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

IMAGE- 'Another instance of producers toying with artists' and a Rubik's Cube exhibition in Jersey City beginning Saturday, April 26

Related material: Quilt Geometry and Magical Realism Revisited.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Completing the Supersquare

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Presbyterian elder Reubin Askew was called “Jesus Christ Supersquare”
after completing his first year as governor of Florida—

IMAGE- Reubin Askew was called 'Jesus Christ Supersquare' after completing his first year as governor of Florida.

Now Askew has completed his life.

See also other instances of “Super” in this journal.

Update of 10:30 AM March 13 —

For those who like puzzles, here is yet another
instance of “Super,” this one related to the pattern
in last evening’s post Obiter Dictum —

IMAGE- Rubik 'Supercube' with nine triangular half-squares on each face

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Promotional description of a new book:

"Like Gödel, Escher, Bach  before it, Surfaces and Essences  will profoundly enrich our understanding of our own minds. By plunging the reader into an extraordinary variety of colorful situations involving language, thought, and memory, by revealing bit by bit the constantly churning cognitive mechanisms normally completely hidden from view, and by discovering in them one central, invariant core— the incessant, unconscious quest for strong analogical links to past experiences— this book puts forth a radical and deeply surprising new vision of the act of thinking."

"Like Gödel, Escher, Bach  before it…."

Or like Metamagical Themas

Rubik core:

Swarthmore Cube Project, 2008

Non- Rubik cores:

Of the odd  nxnxn cube:

Of the even  nxnxn cube:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/cube2x2x2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material: The Eightfold Cube and

"A core component in the construction
is a 3-dimensional vector space  over F."

—  Page 29 of "A twist in the M24 moonshine story," 
      by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland.
      (Submitted to the arXiv on 13 Mar 2013.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Café Society

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

In honor of this year's Nobel Peace Prize
recipients, here are some remarks related
to European ethnicity:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM


For Pete Rustan, space recon expert, who died on June 28—

(Click to enlarge.)

See also Galois vs. Rubik and Group Theory Template.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:29 PM

"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 physics weblog today

See also 

* See yesterday's Steiner's Systems.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cuber (continued)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:23 PM

Click images for further details.

See also Crimson TideRubik, and Cuber.

For another monochromatic enigma without
guaranteed equality of results, see
Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Damnation Morning*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:24 AM


The following is adapted from a 2011 post

IMAGE- Galois vs. Rubik

* The title, that of a Fritz Leiber story, is suggested by
   the above picture of the symmetry axes of the square.
   Click "Continued" above for further details. See also
   last Wednesday's Cuber.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Cosmic Part

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Yesterday's midday post, borrowing a phrase from the theology of Marvel Comics,
offered Rubik's mechanical contrivance as a rather absurd "Cosmic Cube."

A simpler candidate for the "Cube" part of that phrase:


The Eightfold Cube

As noted elsewhere, a simple reflection group* of order 168 acts naturally on this structure.

"Because of their truly fundamental role in mathematics,
even the simplest diagrams concerning finite reflection groups
(or finite mirror systems, or root systems—
the languages are equivalent) have interpretations
of cosmological proportions."

Alexandre V. Borovik in "Coxeter Theory: The Cognitive Aspects"

Borovik has a such a diagram—


The planes in Borovik's figure are those separating the parts of the eightfold cube above.

In Coxeter theory, these are Euclidean hyperplanes. In the eightfold cube, they represent three of seven projective points that are permuted by the above group of order 168.

In light of Borovik's remarks, the eightfold cube might serve to illustrate the "Cosmic" part of the Marvel Comics phrase.

For some related theological remarks, see Cube Trinity in this journal.

Happy St. Augustine's Day.

* I.e., one generated by reflections : group actions that fix a hyperplane pointwise. In the eightfold cube, viewed as a vector space of 3 dimensions over the 2-element Galois field, these hyperplanes are certain sets of four subcubes.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cosmic Cube*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:25 PM

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

Prequel (Click to enlarge)

IMAGE- Galois vs. Rubik: Posters for Abel Prize, Oslo, 2008

Background —

IMAGE- 'Group Theory' Wikipedia article with Rubik's cube as main illustration and argument  by a cuber for the image's use

See also Rubik in this journal.

* For the title, see Groups Acting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ART WARS continued

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

See the signature link in last night's post for a representation of Madison Avenue.

For a representation by  Madison Avenue, see today's New York Times—

IMAGE- Butter-Cow Lady, NY Math Museum, and World-as-Rubik-Cube ad

"As a movement Pop Art came and went in a flash, but it was the kind of flash that left everything changed. The art public was now a different public— larger, to be sure, but less serious, less introspective, less willing or able to distinguish between achievement and its trashy simulacrum. Moreover, everything connected with the life of art— everything, anyway, that might have been expected to offer some resistance to this wholesale vulgarization and demoralization— was now cheapened and corrupted. The museums began their rapid descent into show biz and the retail trade. Their exhibitions were now mounted like Broadway shows, complete with set designers and lighting consultants, and their directors pressed into service as hucksters, promoting their wares in radio and television spots and selling their facilities for cocktail parties and other entertainments, while their so-called education programs likewise degenerated into sundry forms of entertainment and promotion. The critics were co-opted, the art magazines commercialized, and the academy, which had once taken a certain pride in remaining aloof from the blandishments of the cultural marketplace, now proved eager to join the crowd— for there was no longer any standard in the name of which a sellout could be rejected. When the boundary separating art and fashion was breached, so was the dividing line between high art and popular culture, and upon all those institutions and professions which had been painstakingly created to preserve high art from the corruptions of popular culture. The effect was devastating. Some surrendered their standards with greater alacrity than others, but the drift was unmistakable and all in the same direction— and the momentum has only accelerated with the passage of time."

— Hilton Kramer, The Triumph of Modernism: The Art World, 1985-2005 , publ. by Ivan R. Dee on Oct. 26, 2006, pp. 146-147

Related material— Rubik in this journal, Exorcist in this journal, and For the Class of '11.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Galois Cube Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

   The 3×3×3 Galois Cube

    See Unity and Multiplicity.

   This cube, unlike Rubik's, is a
    purely mathematical structure.

    Its properties may be compared
    with those of the order-2  Galois
    cube (of eight subcubes, or
    elements ) and the order-4  Galois
    cube (of 64 elements). The
    order-3  cube (of 27 elements)
    lacks, because it is based on
    an odd  prime, the remarkable
    symmetry properties of its smaller
    and larger cube neighbors.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For the Class of ’11

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:12 PM

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins exorcises a Rubik cube

But leave the wise to wrangle, and with me
the quarrel of the universe let be;
and, in some corner of the hubbub couched,
make game of that which makes as much of thee.

John McKay at sci.math

Related material: Harvard Treasure, Favicon, and Crimson Tide.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Art and Magic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

Two Blocks Short of a Design:

A sequel to this morning's post on Douglas Hofstadter


Photo of Hofstadter by Mike McGrath taken May 13, 2006

Related material — See Lyche's  "Theme and Variations" in this journal
and Hofstadter's "Variations on a Theme as the Essence of Imagination"
Scientific American  October 1982

A quotation from a 1985 book by Hofstadter—

"… we need to entice people with the beauties of clarity, simplicity, precision,
elegance, balance, symmetry, and so on.

Those artistic qualities… are the things that I have tried to explore and even
to celebrate in Metamagical Themas .  (It is not for nothing that the word
'magic' appears inside the title!)"

The artistic qualities Hofstadter lists are best sought in mathematics, not in magic.

An example from Wikipedia —




The Fano plane block design



The Deathly Hallows  symbol—
Two blocks short of  a design.

Beyond Forgetfulness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

From this journal on July 23, 2007

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

This quotation from Stevens (Harvard class of 1901) was posted here on when Daniel Radcliffe (i.e., Harry Potter) turned 18 in July 2007.

Other material from that post suggests it is time for a review of magic at Harvard.

On September 9, 2007, President Faust of Harvard

"encouraged the incoming class to explore Harvard’s many opportunities.

'Think of it as a treasure room of hidden objects Harry discovers at Hogwarts,' Faust said."

That class is now about to graduate.

It is not clear what "hidden objects" it will take from four years in the Harvard treasure room.

Perhaps the following from a book published in 1985 will help…


The March 8, 2011, Harvard Crimson  illustrates a central topic of Metamagical Themas , the Rubik's Cube—


Hofstadter in 1985 offered a similar picture—


Hofstadter asks in his Metamagical  introduction, "How can both Rubik's Cube and nuclear Armageddon be discussed at equal length in one book by one author?"

For a different approach to such a discussion, see Paradigms Lost, a post made here a few hours before the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster—


Whether Paradigms Lost is beyond forgetfulness is open to question.

Perhaps a later post, in the lighthearted spirit of Faust, will help. See April 20th's "Ready When You Are, C.B."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crimson Tide…

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:59 PM

A sequel to Wednesday afternoon's post on The Harvard Crimson ,
Atlas Shrugged (illustrated below) —


Related material found today in Wikipedia—

A defense of Rubik by 'Pazouzou'

See also Savage Logic (Oct. 19, 2010), as well as
Stellan Skarsgård in Lie Groups for Holy Week (March 30, 2010)
and in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Paradigms Lost

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:48 PM

(Continued from February 19)

The cover of the April 1, 1970 second edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , by Thomas S. Kuhn—


This journal on January 19, 2011

IMAGE- A Galois cube: model of the 27-point affine 3-space

If Galois geometry is thought of as a paradigm shift from Euclidean geometry,
both images above— the Kuhn cover and the nine-point affine plane—
may be viewed, taken together, as illustrating the shift. The nine subcubes
of the Euclidean  3×3 cube on the Kuhn cover do not  form an affine plane
in the coordinate system of the Galois  cube in the second image, but they
at least suggest  such a plane. Similarly, transformations of a
non-mathematical object, the 1974 Rubik  cube, are not Galois  transformations,
but they at least suggest  such transformations.

See also today's online Harvard Crimson  illustration of problems of translation
not unrelated to the problems of commensurability  discussed by Kuhn.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Visual Group Theory

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The current article on group theory at Wikipedia has a Rubik's Cube as its logo– 

Wikipedia article 'Group theory' with Rubik Cube and quote from Nathan Carter-- 'What is symmetry?'


The article quotes Nathan C. Carter on the question "What is symmetry?"

This naturally suggests the question "Who is Nathan C. Carter?"

A search for the answer yields the following set of images…

Labelings of the eightfold cube

Click image for some historical background.

Carter turns out to be a mathematics professor at Bentley University.  His logo– an eightfold-cube labeling (in the guise of a Cayley graph)– is in much better taste than Wikipedia's.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cubist Geometries

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:01 PM

"The cube has…13 axes of symmetry:
  6 C2 (axes joining midpoints of opposite edges),
4 C3 (space diagonals), and
3C4 (axes joining opposite face centroids)."
–Wolfram MathWorld article on the cube

These 13 symmetry axes can be used to illustrate the interplay between Euclidean and Galois geometry in a cubic model of the 13-point Galois plane.

The geometer's 3×3×3 cube–
27 separate subcubes unconnected
by any Rubik-like mechanism–

The 3x3x3 geometer's cube, with coordinates

The 13 symmetry axes of the (Euclidean) cube–
exactly one axis for each pair of opposite
  subcubes in the (Galois) 3×3×3 cube–

The 13 symmetry axes of the cube

A closely related structure–
the finite projective plane
with 13 points and 13 lines–

Oxley's 2004 drawing of the 13-point projective plane

A later version of the 13-point plane
by Ed Pegg Jr.–

Ed Pegg Jr.'s 2007 drawing of the 13-point projective plane

A group action on the 3×3×3 cube
as illustrated by a Wolfram program
by Ed Pegg Jr. (undated, but closely
related to a March 26, 1985 note
by Steven H. Cullinane)–

Ed Pegg Jr.'s program at Wolfram demonstrating concepts of a 1985 note by Cullinane

The above images tell a story of sorts.
The moral of the story–

Galois projective geometries can be viewed
in the context of the larger affine geometries
from which they are derived.

The standard definition of points in a Galois projective plane is that they are lines through the (arbitrarily chosen) origin in a corresponding affine 3-space converted to a vector 3-space.

If we choose the origin as the center cube in coordinatizing the 3×3×3 cube (See Weyl's relativity problem ), then the cube's 13 axes of symmetry can, if the other 26 cubes have properly (Weyl's "objectively") chosen coordinates, illustrate nicely the 13 projective points derived from the 27 affine points in the cube model.

The 13 lines of the resulting Galois projective plane may be derived from Euclidean planes  through the cube's center point that are perpendicular to the cube's 13 Euclidean symmetry axes.

The above standard definition of points in a Galois projective plane may of course also be used in a simpler structure– the eightfold cube.

(The eightfold cube also allows a less standard way to picture projective points that is related to the symmetries of "diamond" patterns formed by group actions on graphic designs.)

See also Ed Pegg Jr. on finite geometry on May 30, 2006
at the Mathematical Association of America.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:09 PM
On the Symmetric Group S8

Wikipedia on Rubik's 2×2×2 "Pocket Cube"–


"Any permutation of the 8 corner cubies is possible (8! positions)."

Some pages related to this claim–

Simple Groups at Play

Analyzing Rubik's Cube with GAP

Online JavaScript Pocket Cube.

The claim is of course trivially true for the unconnected subcubes of Froebel's Third Gift:

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring


Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)

See also:

MoMA Goes to Kindergarten,

Tea Privileges


"Ad Reinhardt and Tony Smith:
A Dialogue,"
an exhibition opening today
at Pace Wildenstein.

For a different sort
of dialogue, click on the
artists' names above.

For a different
approach to S8,
see Symmetries.

"With humor, my dear Zilkov.
Always with a little humor."

-- The Manchurian Candidate

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Wednesday July 5, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:25 PM

And now, from
the author of Sphere


He beomes aware of something else… some other presence.
“Anybody here?” he says.
I am here.
He almost jumps, it is so loud. Or it seems loud. Then he wonders if he has heard anything at all.
“Did you speak?”
How are we communicating? he wonders.
The way everything communicates with everything else.
Which way is that?
Why do you ask if you already know the answer?

Sphere, by Michael Crichton, Harvard ’64

“… when I went to Princeton things were completely different. This chapel, for instance– I remember when it was just a clearing, cordoned off with sharp sticks.  Prayer was compulsory back then, and you couldn’t just fake it by moving your lips; you had to know the words, and really mean them.  I’m dating myself, but this was before Jesus Christ.”

Baccalaureate address at Princeton, Pentecost 2006, reprinted in The New Yorker, edited by David Remnick, Princeton ’81

Related figures:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060617-Spellbound.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For further details,
see Solomon’s Cube
and myspace.com/affine.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060705-Cube.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For further details,
see Jews on Buddhism
Adventures in Group Theory.

“In this way we are offered
a formidable lesson
for every Christian community.”

Pope Benedict XVI
on Pentecost,
June 4, 2006,
St. Peter’s Square

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