Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday June 29, 2008

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

Big Rock

"I'm going to hit this problem
with a big rock."

– Mathematical saying,
quoted here
in July of 2006

June 28, 2007:

A professor discusses a poem by Wallace Stevens:

"Professor Eucalyptus in 'Ordinary Evening' XIV, for example, 'seeks/ God in the object itself,' but this quest culminates in his own choosing of 'the commodious adjective/ For what he sees… the description that makes it divinity, still speech… not grim/ Reality but reality grimly seen/ And spoken in paradisal parlance new'…."

– Douglas Mao, Solid Objects:Modernism and the Test of Production, Princeton University Press, 1998, p. 242
"God in the object" seems
unlikely to be found in the
artifact pictured on the
cover of Mao's book:
Cover of 'Solid Objects,' by Douglas Mao

I have more confidence
that God is to be found
in the Ping Pong balls of
  the New York Lottery….

These objects may be
regarded as supplying
a parlance that is, if not
paradisal, at least
intelligible– if only in
the context of my own
personal experience.

June 28, 2008:

NY Lottery June 28, 2008: Mid-day 629, Evening 530

These numbers can, of course,
be interpreted as symbols of
the dates 6/29 and 5/30.

The last Log24 entry of
 6/29 (St. Peter's Day):

"The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth."
– Wallace Stevens,
"Credences of Summer"

The last Log24 entry of
5/30 (St. Joan's Day):

The Nature of Evil

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday June 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM

The Motive for Metaphor

You like it under the trees in autumn,
Because everything is half dead.
The wind moves like a cripple among the leaves
And repeats words without meaning.

In the same way, you were happy in spring
With the half colors of quarter-things,
The slightly brighter sky, the melting clouds,
The single bird, the obscure moon–

The obscure moon lighting an obscure world
Of things that would never be quite expressed,
Where you yourself were never quite yourself
And did not want nor have to be,

Desiring the exhilarations of changes:
The motive for metaphor, shrinking from
The weight of primary noon,
The A B C of being,

The ruddy temper, the hammer
Of red and blue, the hard sound–
Steel against intimation– the sharp flash,
The vital, arrogant, fatal, dominant X.

— Wallace Stevens,
   Transport to Summer (1947)

Related material:

Today's noon entry (the A B C of being)
and entries of 3/22 in 2006 and 2007.

Saturday June 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM
The God Factor

NY Lottery June 23, 2008: Mid-day 322, Evening 000

The following poem of Emily Dickinson is quoted here in memory of John Watson Foster Dulles, a scholar of Brazilian history who died at 95 on June 23.  He was the eldest son of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a nephew of Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, brother of Roman Catholic Cardinal Avery Dulles, and a grandson of Presbyterian minister Allen Macy Dulles, author of The True Church.

I asked no other thing,   
No other was denied.   
I offered Being for it;   
The mighty merchant smiled.   
Brazil? He twirled a button,           
Without a glance my way:   
"But, madam, is there nothing else   
That we can show to-day?"

"He twirled a button…."

Plato's diamond figure from the 'Meno'

The above figure
of Plato
(see 3/22)
was suggested by
Lacan's diamond
Lacan's lozenge - said by some to symbolize Derrida's 'differance'
(losange or poinçon)
as a symbol —
according to Frida Saal
of Derrida's
which is, in turn,
"that which enables and
results from Being itself"
—  according to
Professor John Lye

I prefer Plato and Dulles
to Lacan and Lye.

Saturday June 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:07 AM
The Cocktail

Bogart and Lorre in 'Casablanca' with chessboard and cocktail

G. H. Hardy on chess problems–

"… the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer."

(A Mathematician's Apology, Cambridge at the University Press, first edition, 1940)

Brian Harley on chess problems–

"It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver's banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be."

(Mate in Two Moves, London, Bell & Sons, first edition, 1931)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tuesday March 22, 2005

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

The God Factor

Reba McEntire on
Make a Difference Day:

"Kids who may never get out of their town will be able to see the world through books. But I'm talking about my passion. What's yours?"

"There is the God factor…."

— NickyJett, Xanga comment

"'What is this Stone?' Chloe asked….
'…It is told that, when the Merciful One
made the worlds, first of all He created
that Stone and gave it to the Divine One
whom the Jews call Shekinah,
and as she gazed upon it
the universes arose and had being.'"

Many Dimensions,
by Charles Williams, 1931

For more on this theme
appropriate to Passion Week
Jews playing God — see

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Trio.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Rebecca Goldstein
in conversation with
Bob Osserman
of the
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco,
Tuesday, March 22.  Wine and cheese
reception at 5:15 PM (San Francisco time).
For the meaning of the diamond,
see the previous entry.

Tuesday March 22, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:01 PM

Make a Différance

From Frida Saal's
Lacan The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Diamond.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Derrida:

"Our proposal includes the lozenge (diamond) in between the names, because in the relationship / non-relationship that is established among them, a tension is created that implies simultaneously a union and a disjunction, in the perspective of a theoretical encounter that is at the same time necessary and impossible. That is the meaning of the lozenge that joins and separates the two proper names. For that reason their respective works become totally non-superposable and at the same time they were built with an awareness, or at least a partial awareness, of each other. What prevails between both of them is the différance, the Derridean signifier that will become one of the main issues in this presentation."


From a Contemporary Literary Theory website:

"Différance is that which all signs have, what constitutes them as signs, as signs are not that to which they refer: i) they differ, and hence open a space from that which they represent, and ii) they defer, and hence open up a temporal chain, or, participate in temporality. As well, following de Sassure's famous argument, signs 'mean' by differing from other signs. The coined word 'différance' refers to at once the differing and the deferring of signs. Taken to the ontological level†, the differing and deferring of signs from what they mean, means that every sign repeats the creation of space and time; and ultimately, that différance is the ultimate phenomenon in the universe, an operation that is not an operation, both active and passive, that which enables and results from Being itself."

From a text purchased on
Make a Difference Day, Oct. 23, 1999:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Fig39.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.22. Without using the Pythagorean Theorem prove that the hypotenuse of  an isosceles right triangle will have the length The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Sqtr2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  if the equal legs have the length 1.  Suggestion: Consider the similar triangles in Fig. 39.
23.  The ancient Greeks regarded the Pythagorean Theorem as involving areas, and they proved it by means of areas.  We cannot do so now because we have not yet considered the idea of area.  Assuming for the moment, however, the idea of the area of a square, use this idea instead of similar triangles and proportion in Ex. 22 above to show that x = The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Sqtr2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. .


— Page 98 of Basic Geometry, by George David Birkhoff, Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, and Ralph Beatley, Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University (Scott, Foresman 1941)

Though it may be true, as the president of Harvard recently surmised, that women are inherently inferior to men at abstract thought — in particular, pure mathematics*  — they may in other respects be quite superior to men:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Reba2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above is from October 1999.
See also Naturalized Epistemology,
from Women's History Month, 2001.

* See the remarks of Frida Saal above and of Barbara Johnson on mathematics (The Shining of May 29, cited in Readings for St. Patrick's Day).

† For the diamond symbol at "the ontological level," see Modal Theology, Feb. 21, 2005.  See also Socrates on the immortality of the soul in Plato's Meno, source of the above Basic Geometry diamond.

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