Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whitehead and the Relativity Problem

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 PM

"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

Sunday, July 5, 2020

It’s Still the Same Old Story …

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:29 PM

“He recounted the story of Adam and Eve, who were banished
from paradise because of their curiosity. Their inability to resist
the temptation of the forbidden fruit. Which itself was a metaphorical
stand-in for knowledge and power. He urged us to find the restraint
needed to resist the temptation of the cube—the biblical apple
in modern garb. He urged us to remain in Eden until we were able
to work out the knowledge the apple offered, all by ourselves.”

— Richards, Douglas E.. The Enigma Cube  (Alien Artifact Book 1)
(pp. 160-161). Paragon Press, 2020. Kindle Edition.

The biblical apple also appears in the game, and film, Assassin’s Creed .

Related material —

See the cartoon version of Alfred North Whitehead in the previous post,
and some Whitehead-related projective geometry —

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Eye-in-the-Pyramid Points

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:06 PM

"it remains only to choose a pleasing arrangement of {1, 2, … 7}
to label the eye-in-the-pyramid points.
there are, as it’ll turn out, 168 of ’em that’ll work."

— Comment at a weblog on November 27, 2010.

See also Log24 on that date.

The 11/27/2010 comment was on a post dated November 23, 2010.

See also Log24 on that  date.


Monday, October 7, 2019


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:09 PM

(A sequel to Simplex Sigillum Veri and 
Rabbit Hole Meets Memory Hole)

" Wittgenstein does not, however, relegate all that is not inside the bounds
of sense to oblivion. He makes a distinction between saying  and showing  
which is made to do additional crucial work. 'What can be shown cannot
be said,' that is, what cannot be formulated in sayable (sensical)
propositions can only be shown. This applies, for example, to the logical
form of the world, the pictorial form, etc., which show themselves in the
form of (contingent) propositions, in the symbolism, and in logical
propositions. Even the unsayable (metaphysical, ethical, aesthetic)
propositions of philosophy belong in this group — which Wittgenstein
finally describes as 'things that cannot be put into words. They make
themselves manifest. They are what is mystical' " (Tractatus  6.522).

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , "Ludwig Wittgenstein"

From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus  by Ludwig Wittgenstein.

(First published in Annalen der Naturphilosophie ,1921.
English edition first published 1922 by Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner. This translation first published 1961 by Routledge & Kegan Paul. Revised edition 1974.)


The solutions of the problems of logic must be simple, since they set the standard of simplicity.

Men have always had a presentiment that there must be a realm in which the answers to questions are symmetrically combined — a priori — to form a self-contained system.

A realm subject to the law: Simplex sigillum veri.

Somehow, the old Harvard seal, with its motto "Christo et Ecclesiae ,"
was deleted from a bookplate in an archived Harvard copy of Whitehead's 
The Axioms of Projective Geometry  (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).

In accordance with Wittgenstein's remarks above, here is a new
bookplate seal for Whitehead, based on a simplex

Friday, September 27, 2019

Algebra for Schoolgirls

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:37 AM

The 15 points of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2)
arranged in tetrahedral form:

The letter labels, but not the tetrahedral form,
are from The Axioms of Projective Geometry , by
Alfred North Whitehead (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).

The above space PG(3,2), because of its close association with
Kirkman's schoolgirl problem, might be called "schoolgirl space."

Screen Rant  on July 31, 2019:

A Google Search sidebar this morning:

Apocalypse Soon!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Rabbit Hole Meets Memory Hole:

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 9:11 AM

The disappearance of "Christo et Ecclesiae" at Harvard

Rabbit Hole 

Memory Hole

The above Harvard seal in a PDF —

The same page, minus the seal, today at the Internet Archive — 

For a larger image of the seal-less page, click here.

Happy Fall 2019!

Click to enlarge.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Colorful Tale

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:59 PM

“Perhaps the philosophically most relevant feature of modern science
is the emergence of abstract symbolic structures as the hard core
of objectivity behind— as Eddington puts it— the colorful tale of
the subjective storyteller mind.”

— Hermann Weyl, Philosophy of  Mathematics and
    Natural Science 
, Princeton, 1949, p. 237

"The bond with reality is cut."

— Hans Freudenthal, 1962

Indeed it is.

From page 180, Logicomix — It was a dark and stormy night


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.

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.)

Through the Vanishing Point*

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Marshall McLuhan in "Annie Hall" —

"You know nothing of my work."

Related material — 

"I need a photo opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard"

— Paul Simon

It was a dark and stormy night…


— Page 180, Logicomix

A photo opportunity for Whitehead
(from Romancing the Cube, April 20, 2011)—

IMAGE- Whitehead on Fano's construction of the 15-point projective Galois space over GF(2)

See also Absolute Ambition (Nov. 19, 2010).

* For the title, see Vanishing Point in this journal.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True Grid

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Part I: True

Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society , October 2002, page 563

“…  the study of symmetries of patterns led to… finite geometries….”

– David W. Henderson, Cornell University

This statement may be misleading, if not (see Part II below) actually false. In truth, finite geometries appear to have first arisen from Fano's research on axiom systems. See The Axioms of Projective Geometry  by Alfred North Whitehead, Cambridge University Press, 1906, page 13.

Part II: Grid

For the story of how symmetries of patterns later did  lead to finite geometries, see the diamond theorem.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mathematics and Narrative, continued:

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

A graphic novel reviewed in the current Washington Post  features Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell–

Whitehead and Russell, 'Logicomix' page 181

Related material:

Whitehead on Fano’s finite projective three-space:

“This is proved by the consideration of a three dimensional geometry in which there are only fifteen points.”

The Axioms of Projective Geometry , Cambridge University Press, 1906

A related affine six-space:

Grey cube, 4x4x4

Further reading:

See Solomon’s Cube and the link at the end of today’s previous entry, then compare and contrast the above portraits of Whitehead and Russell with Charles Williams’s portraits of Sir Giles Tumulty and Lord Arglay in the novel Many Dimensions .

It was a dark and stormy night….

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