Log24

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Inside the White Cube

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:01 AM

(Continued)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Snow Dance

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

See Ballet Blanc  in this journal.

For a darker perspective, click on the image below.

IMAGE- Detail of large 'Search for the Lost Tesseract' image with Amy Adams, Richard Zanuck, 'snowflake' structure, and white gloves

See also Cartier in The Hexagon of Opposition.

Happy birthday to Kirk Douglas.

Kirk Douglas in 'Diamonds'

Monday, December 21, 2015

Geometry for Snow White

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Related material:  Snow White Dance.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Dance

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:09 PM

The Snow White dance from last Nov. 14
features an ad that was originally embedded
in an American Mathematical Society Notices
review describing three books of vulgarized
mathematics. These books all use "great
equations" as a framing device.

This literary strategy leads to a more abstract
snow dance. See the ballet blanc  in this journal
on Balanchine's birthday (old style) in 2003.
That dance involves equation (C) below.

Recall that in a unit ring ,
"0" denotes the additive identity,
"1" the multiplicative identity, and "-1" the
additive inverse of the multiplicative identity.

Three classic equations:

(A)  1 + 1 = 2    (Characteristic 0, ordinary arithmetic)

(B)  1 + 1 = 0   (Characteristic 2 arithmetic, in which 2 = 0)

(C)  1 + 1 = -1 (Characteristic 3 arithmetic, in which 2 = -1)

Cases (B) and (C), in which the characteristic is prime,
occur in Galois geometry.

For a more elaborate snow dance, see Master Class.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Narratives

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:09 PM

.

See also Snow White Dance.

For those who prefer mathematics to narrative:

Object of Beauty.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Art Object, continued and continued

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:21 PM

Notes on a remark by Chuanming Zong

See as well posts mentioning "An Object of Beauty."

Update of 12 AM June 11 — A screenshot of this post 
is now available at  http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/hqk7-nx97 .

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Decorated

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

For those who prefer more elaborate decorations —

1.  A Facebook image from last August … 

2.  The Facebook glider suggests a tune from "The Thomas Crown Affair"
     (1968) that appeared in a Dec. 16, 2018 post on Christianity and
     "interlocking names"—

'The Eddington Song'

The revised lyrics describe a square space.

3.  An even more  elaborate square space:
     the Dance of the Snowflakes from
     Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker —

Friday, December 9, 2016

Still Point or Hole in the Data?

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:21 PM

Sacred Space (continued)

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

See Plan 9 in this journal.

 The 3x3 square 

Optimism

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:29 AM

As opposed to —

A Nov. 9 panel from the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Space News

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:56 PM

"Bad news on the doorstep…." — American Pie


Update of 5:24 PM ET — A requiem chord

Tom Stoppard, Jumpers —

“Heaven, how can I believe in Heaven?” 
she sings at the finale.

“Just a lying rhyme for seven!”

Perhaps.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Crosswicks Curse Continues

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:29 AM

"There is  such a thing as 1906 "

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Smallest Perfect Number/Universe

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:29 AM

The smallest perfect number,* six, meets
"the smallest perfect universe,"** PG(3,2).

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

  * For the definition of "perfect number," see any introductory
    number-theory text that deals with the history of the subject.
** The phrase "smallest perfect universe" as a name for PG(3,2),
     the projective 3-space over the 2-element Galois field GF(2),
     was coined by math writer Burkard Polster. Cullinane's square
     model of PG(3,2) differs from the earlier tetrahedral model
     discussed by Polster.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Egg Tales

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"And not all the king's men nor his horses
 Will resurrect his corpus."

Finnegans Wake

See as well Andy Weir's "The Egg" and Working Backward.

Plan 9 Continues…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:32 AM

A version of the song in the previous post that I prefer:

A related meditation —

IMAGE- Joseph Campbell, 'The Inner Reaches of Outer Space,' meditation on the number nine, the Goddess, and the Angelus

For a more abstract version of the
"matrix of the cosmic process,"
see "3×3 Grid" in this journal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Tetrahedral Model of PG(3,2)

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:15 PM

The page of Whitehead linked to this morning
suggests a review of Polster's tetrahedral model
of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2) over the
two-element Galois field GF(2).

The above passage from Whitehead's 1906 book suggests
that the tetrahedral model may be older than Polster thinks.

Shown at right below is a correspondence between Whitehead's
version of the tetrahedral model and my own square  model,
based on the 4×4 array I call the Galois tesseract  (at left below).

(Click to enlarge.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Haaretz Valentine

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:12 PM

See a Haaretz  story commemorating the Feb. 14,
1917, birthday of a crystallographer.

Related material in this journal —

At the Still Point (June 15, 2013):

IMAGE- The dance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The illustration is for those who, like Andy Magid and
Steven Strogatz in the March 2014 AMS Notices,
enjoy the vulgarization of mathematics.

Backstory: Group Actions (November 14, 2012).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Riddle for Davos

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

Hexagonale Unwesen

Einstein and Thomas Mann, Princeton, 1938


IMAGE- Redefining the cube's symmetry planes: 13 planes, not 9.


See also the life of Diogenes Allen, a professor at Princeton
Theological Seminary, a life that reportedly ended on the date—
January 13, 2013— of the above Log24 post.

January 13 was also the dies natalis  of St. James Joyce.

Some related reflections —

"Praeterit figura huius mundi  " — I Corinthians 7:31 —

Conclusion of of "The Dead," by James Joyce—

The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover's eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live.

Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Object of Beauty

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:01 AM

This journal on July 5, 2007 —

The Eightfold Cube and its Inner Structure

“It is not clear why MySpace China will be successful."

— The Chinese magazine Caijing  in 2007, quoted in
Asia Sentinel  on July 12, 2011

This  journal on that same date,  July 12, 2011 —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110712-ObjectOfBeauty.jpg

See also the eightfold cube and kindergarten blocks
at finitegeometry.org/sc.

Friedrich Froebel, Froebel's Chief Writings on Education ,
Part II, "The Kindergarten," Ch. III, "The Third Play":

"The little ones, who always long for novelty and change,
love this simple plaything in its unvarying form and in its
constant number, even as they love their fairy tales with
the ever-recurring dwarfs…."

This journal, Group Actions, Nov. 14, 2012:

"Those who insist on vulgarizing their mathematics
may regard linear and affine group actions on the eight
cubes as the dance of  Snow White (representing (0,0,0))
and the Seven Dwarfs—

  ."

Edwin M. Knowles Fine China Company, 1991

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Object Lesson

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:17 AM

Yesterday's post on the current Museum of Modern Art exhibition
"Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925" suggests a renewed look at
abstraction and a fundamental building block: the cube.

From a recent Harvard University Press philosophical treatise on symmetry—

The treatise corrects Nozick's error of not crediting Weyl's 1952 remarks
on objectivity and symmetry, but repeats Weyl's error of not crediting
Cassirer's extensive 1910 (and later) remarks on this subject.

For greater depth see Cassirer's 1910 passage on Vorstellung :

IMAGE- Ernst Cassirer on 'representation' or 'Vorstellung' in 'Substance and Function' as 'the riddle of knowledge'

This of course echoes Schopenhauer, as do discussions of "Will and Idea" in this journal.

For the relationship of all this to MoMA and abstraction, see Cube Space and Inside the White Cube.

"The sacramental nature of the space becomes clear…." — Brian O'Doherty

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eternal Recreation

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 3:17 AM

Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C. G. Jung

Recorded and edited By Aniela Jaffé, translated from the German
by Richard and Clara Winston, Vintage Books edition of April 1989

From pages 195-196:

"Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation.'*
And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all
goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions."

* Faust , Part Two, trans. by Philip Wayne (Harmondsworth,
England, Penguin Books Ltd., 1959), p. 79. The original:

                   … Gestaltung, Umgestaltung, 
  Des ewigen Sinnes ewige Unterhaltung….

Jung's "Formation, Transformation" quote is from the realm of
the Mothers (Faust Part Two, Act 1, Scene 5: A Dark Gallery).
The speaker is Mephistopheles.

See also Prof. Bruce J. MacLennan on this realm
in a Web page from his Spring 2005 seminar on Faust:

"In alchemical terms, F is descending into the dark, formless
primary matter from which all things are born. Psychologically
he is descending into the deepest regions of the
collective unconscious, to the source of life and all creation.
Mater (mother), matrix (womb, generative substance), and matter
all come from the same root. This is Faust's next encounter with
the feminine, but it's obviously of a very different kind than his
relationship with Gretchen."

The phrase "Gestaltung, Umgestaltung " suggests a more mathematical
approach to the Unterhaltung . Hence

Part I: Mothers

"The ultimate, deep symbol of motherhood raised to
the universal and the cosmic, of the birth, sending forth,
death, and return of all things in an eternal cycle,
is expressed in the Mothers, the matrices of all forms,
at the timeless, placeless originating womb or hearth
where chaos is transmuted into cosmos and whence
the forms of creation issue forth into the world of
place and time."

— Harold Stein Jantz, The Mothers in Faust:
The Myth of Time and Creativity 
,
Johns Hopkins Press, 1969, page 37

Part II: Matrices

        

Part III: Spaces and Hypercubes

Click image for some background.

Part IV: Forms

Forms from the I Ching :

Click image for some background.

Forms from Diamond Theory :

Click image for some background.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Group Actions

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 PM

The December 2012 Notices of the American
Mathematical Society  
has an ad on page 1564
(in a review of two books on vulgarized mathematics)
for three workshops next year on "Low-dimensional
Topology, Geometry, and Dynamics"—

(Only the top part of the ad is shown; for further details
see an ICERM page.)

(ICERM stands for Institute for Computational
and Experimental Research in Mathematics.)

The ICERM logo displays seven subcubes of
a 2x2x2 eight-cube array with one cube missing—

The logo, apparently a stylized image of the architecture 
of the Providence building housing ICERM, is not unlike
a picture of Froebel's Third Gift—

 

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube

© 2005 The Institute for Figuring

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

The eighth cube, missing in the ICERM logo and detached in the
Froebel Cubes photo, may be regarded as representing the origin
(0,0,0) in a coordinatized version of the 2x2x2 array—
in other words the cube invariant under linear , as opposed to
more general affine , permutations of the cubes in the array.

These cubes are not without relevance to the workshops' topics—
low-dimensional exotic geometric structures, group theory, and dynamics.

See The Eightfold Cube, A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168, and 
The Quaternion Group Acting on an Eightfold Cube.

Those who insist on vulgarizing their mathematics may regard linear
and affine group actions on the eight cubes as the dance of
Snow White (representing (0,0,0)) and the Seven Dwarfs—

.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Art Object, continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Inside the White Cube

"An image comes to mind of a white, ideal space
 that, more than any single picture, may be
 the archetypal image of 20th-century art."

"May be" —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101123-plain_cube_200x227.gif

     Image from this journal
     at noon (EST) Tuesday

"The geometry of unit cubes is a meeting point
 of several different subjects in mathematics."
                                    — Chuanming Zong

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101125-ZongAMS.jpg

    (Click to enlarge.)

"A meeting point" —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101125-NYTobit-UN.jpg

  The above death reportedly occurred "early Wednesday in Beijing."

Another meeting point —

                            http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101125-McDonaldLogoSm.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101125-DayTheEarth.jpg

(Click on logo and on meeting image for more details.)

See also "no ordinary venue."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday February 5, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Through the
Looking Glass:

A Sort of Eternity

From the new president's inaugural address:

"… in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

The words of Scripture:

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

First Corinthians 13

"through a glass"

[di’ esoptrou].
By means of
a mirror [esoptron]
.

Childish things:

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)

 

Not-so-childish:

Three planes through
the center of a cube
that split it into
eight subcubes:
Cube subdivided into 8 subcubes by planes through the center
Through a glass, darkly:

A group of 8 transformations is
generated by affine reflections
in the above three planes.
Shown below is a pattern on
the faces of the 2x2x2 cube
 that is symmetric under one of
these 8 transformations–
a 180-degree rotation:

Design Cube 2x2x2 for demonstrating Galois geometry

(Click on image
for further details.)

But then face to face:

A larger group of 1344,
rather than 8, transformations
of the 2x2x2 cube
is generated by a different
sort of affine reflections– not
in the infinite Euclidean 3-space
over the field of real numbers,
but rather in the finite Galois
3-space over the 2-element field.

Galois age fifteen, drawn by a classmate.

Galois age fifteen,
drawn by a classmate.

These transformations
in the Galois space with
finitely many points
produce a set of 168 patterns
like the one above.
For each such pattern,
at least one nontrivial
transformation in the group of 8
described above is a symmetry
in the Euclidean space with
infinitely many points.

For some generalizations,
see Galois Geometry.

Related material:

The central aim of Western religion–

 

"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
 masculine and feminine,
 life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy–

 Dualities of Pythagoras
 as reconstructed by Aristotle:
  Limited Unlimited
  Odd Even
  Male Female
  Light Dark
  Straight Curved
  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."

— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres (1993)

"In the garden of Adding
live Even and Odd…
And the song of love's recision
is the music of the spheres."

— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in City of God, by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

A quotation today at art critic Carol Kino's website, slightly expanded:

"Art inherited from the old religion
the power of consecrating things
and endowing them with
a sort of eternity;
museums are our temples,
and the objects displayed in them
are beyond history."

— Octavio Paz,"Seeing and Using: Art and Craftsmanship," in Convergences: Essays on Art and Literature (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1987), 52 

From Brian O'Doherty's 1976 Artforum essays– not on museums, but rather on gallery space:

"Inside the White Cube"

"We have now reached
a point where we see
not the art but the space first….
An image comes to mind
of a white, ideal space
that, more than any single picture,
may be the archetypal image
of 20th-century art."

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090205-cube2x2x2.gif

"Space: what you
damn well have to see."

— James Joyce, Ulysses  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — 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, May 25, 2007

Friday May 25, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 7:11 AM
Dance and the Soul

From Log24 on
this date last year:

"May there be an ennui
of the first idea?
What else,
prodigious scholar,
should there be?"

— Wallace Stevens,
"Notes Toward a
Supreme Fiction"

The Associated Press,
May 25, 2007–

Thought for Today:
"I hate quotations.
 Tell me what you know."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Journals, on May 3, 1849]

The First Idea:

The Line, by S. H. Cullinane

Four Elements:
 

Four Elements (Diamond)

Square Dance:

Square Dance (Diamond Theorem)

This "telling of what
I know" will of course
mean little to those
who, like Emerson,
have refused to learn
through quotations.

For those less obdurate
than Emerson —Harold Bloom
on Wallace Stevens

and Paul Valery's
   "Dance and the Soul"–

"Stevens may be playful, yet seriously so, in describing desire, at winter's end, observing not only the emergence of the blue woman of early spring, but seeing also the myosotis, whose other name is 'forget-me-not.' Desire, hearing the calendar hymn, repudiates the negativity of the mind of winter, unable to bear what Valery's Eryximachus had called 'this cold, exact, reasonable, and moderate consideration of human life as it is.' The final form of this realization in Stevens comes in 1950, in The Course of a Particular, in the great monosyllabic line 'One feels the life of that which gives life as it is.' But even Stevens cannot bear that feeling for long. As Eryximachus goes on to say in Dance and the Soul:

A cold and perfect clarity is a poison impossible to combat. The real, in its pure state, stops the heart instantaneously….[…] To a handful of ashes is the past reduced, and the future to a tiny icicle. The soul appears to itself as an empty and measurable form. –Here, then, things as they are come together, limit one another, and are thus chained together in the most rigorous and mortal* fashion…. O Socrates, the universe cannot for one instant endure to be only what it is.

Valery's formula for reimagining the First Idea is, 'The idea introduces into what is, the leaven of what is not.' This 'murderous lucidity' can be cured only by what Valery's Socrates calls 'the intoxication due to act,' particularly Nietzschean or Dionysiac dance, for this will rescue us from the state of the Snow Man, 'the motionless and lucid observer.'" —Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate

* "la sorte… la plus mortelle":
    mortal in the sense
   "deadly, lethal"

Other quotations

(from March 28,
the birthday of
Reba McEntire):

Logical Songs

Reba McEntire, Saturday Evening Post, Mar/Apr 1995

Logical Song I
(Supertramp)

"When I was young, it seemed that
Life was so wonderful, a miracle,
Oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees,
Well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me"

Logical Song II
(Sinatra)

"You make me feel so young,
You make me feel like
Spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I'm such a happy in-
dividual….

You and I are
Just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots
Of forget-me-nots"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thursday December 15, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM
In honor of Freeman Dyson’s birthday:

Dance of the Numbers

“Mahlburg likens his approach to an analogous one for deciding whether a dance party has an even or odd number of attendees. Instead of counting all the participants, a quicker method is to see whether everyone has a partner—in effect making groups that are divisible by 2.

In Mahlburg’s work, the partition numbers play the role of the dance participants, and the crank splits them not into couples but into groups of a size divisible by the prime number in question. The total number of partitions is, therefore, also divisible by that prime.

Mahlburg’s work ‘has effectively written the final chapter on Ramanujan congruences,’ Ono says.

‘Each step in the story is a work of art,’ Dyson says, ‘and the story as a whole is a sequence of episodes of rare beauty, a drama built out of nothing but numbers and imagination.'”

Erica Klarreich in Science News Online, week of June 18, 2005

This would seem to meet the criteria set by Fritz Leiber for “a story that works.” (See previous entry.)  Whether the muse of dance (played in “Xanadu” by a granddaughter of physicist Max Born– see recent entries) has a role in the Dyson story is debatable.

Born Dec. 11, 1882, Breslau, Germany.

Died Jan. 5, 1970, Göttingen,
West Germany.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051215-Born.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Max Born

Those who prefer less abstract stories may enjoy a mythic tale by Robert Graves, Watch the North Wind Rise, or a Christian tale by George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind.

Related material:

“The valley spirit never dies. It’s named the mystic woman.”

Tao Te Ching

For an image of a particular
incarnation of the mystic woman
(whether as muse, as goddess,
or as the White Witch of Narnia,
I do not know) see Julie Taymor.

“Down in the valley,
 valley so low,
 hang your head over,
 hear the wind blow.”

Folk song

“Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in
    the same bare place

For the listener,
    who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there
    and the nothing that is.”

Wallace Stevens

Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday December 17, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM
Christmas Dance at Taos

One grows used to the weather,
The landscape and that;
And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.

— Wallace Stevens,
"The American Sublime"

The Times Online on the artist Agnes Martin,
who died Dec. 16 in Taos, New Mexico:

"At a glance, or from a distance, her work looks like nothing at all. Square canvases are so palely touched with colour they might almost be blank. Considered slowly and carefully and close-up, however, the whole surface comes alive."

"The restraint and formal regularity of Martin’s work has led her often to be grouped with the Minimalists. She shares something of their self-effacing rigour and their concern with the material qualities of art, but she herself preferred to be seen in the context of the Abstract Expressionist painters who were her own contemporaries and early artistic models. Like them she may have seen abstract art as the means to a distinctively American sublime…."

"Taos had been a magnet for artists since the last years of the 19th century. D. H. Lawrence famously spent time there in the 1920s. 'Never shall I forget the Christmas dances at Taos,' he wrote, 'twilight, snow, the darkness coming over the great wintry mountains and the lonely pueblo.'"

Related material:

Pictures of Nothing,

Balanchine's Birthday.

Friday December 17, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:05 PM

Song in Red and Gray

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041217-WaterFlower2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.   The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041217-Agnes.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From today's New York Times:

Agnes Martin, Abstract Painter, Dies at 92

Background: entry of 7 PM Wednesday.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thursday December 16, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Nothing Nothings
(Again)

Background: recent Log24 entries (beginning with Chorus from the Rock on Dec. 5, 2004) and Is Nothing Sacred? (quotations compiled on March 9, 2000).

From an obituary of Paul Edwards, a writer on philosophy, in this morning's New York Times:

"Heidegger's Confusions, a collection of Professor Edwards's scholarly articles, was published last month by Prometheus."

Edwards, born in Vienna in 1923 to Jewish parents, died on December 9.

Some sites I visited earlier this evening, before reading of Edwards's death:

  • " 'Nothingness itself nothings' — with these words, uttered by Martin Heidegger in the early 1930s, the incipient (and now-familiar) split between analytic and continental philosophy began tearing open. For Rudolf Carnap, a leader of the Vienna Circle [Wiener Kreis] of logical empiricists and a strident advocate of a new, scientific approach to philosophy, this Heideggerian proposition exemplified 'a metaphysical pseudo-sentence,' meaningless and unable to withstand any logical analysis. Heidegger countered that Carnap’s misplaced obsession with logic missed the point entirely."
    Review of A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger
  • "Death and Metaphysics," by Peter Kraus, pp. 98-111 in Death and Philosophy, ed. by Jeff Malpas and Robert Solomon.  Heidegger's famous phrase (misquoted by Quine in Gray Particular in Hartford) "Das Nichts selbst nichtet" is discussed on page 102.

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