Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday April 23, 2009

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


The Geometry
of Language

(continued from April 16)


Professor Arielle Saiber with chess set

Click on the image for an
interview with the author of
Giordano Bruno and
the Geometry of Language

Related material:

Joyce on language —

The sigla of 'Finnegans Wake'

Bruno, Joyce, and coincidentia oppositorum

Cullinane on geometry —

Geometry of the I Ching (for comparison to Joyce's 'sigla')

Click on images for details.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday June 20, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 AM


Mathematical Reviews citation:

MR2163497 (2006g:81002) 81-03 (81P05)
Gieser, Suzanne The innermost kernel. Depth psychology and quantum physics. Wolfgang Pauli's dialogue with C. G. Jung. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2005. xiv+378 pp. ISBN: 3-540-20856-9

A quote from MR at Amazon.com:

"This revised translation of a Swedish Ph. D. thesis in philosophy offers far more than a discussion of Wolfgang Pauli's encounters with the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung…. Here the book explains very well how Pauli attempted to extend his understanding beyond superficial esotericism and spiritism…. To understand Pauli one needs books like this one, which… seems to open a path to a fuller understanding of Pauli, who was seeking to solve a quest even deeper than quantum physics." (Arne Schirrmacher, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2006g)

An excerpt:


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

I do not yet know what Gieser means by "the innermost kernel." The following is my version of a "kernel" of sorts– a diagram well-known to students of anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss and art theorist Rosalind Krauss:

The four-group is also known as the Vierergruppe or Klein group.  It appears, notably, as the translation subgroup of A, the group of 24 automorphisms of the affine plane over the 2-element field, and therefore as the kernel of the homomorphism taking A to the group of 6 automorphisms of the projective line over the 2-element field. (See Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.)

Related material:

The "chessboard" of
   Nov. 7, 2006
(as revised Nov. 7, 2012)–

I Ching chessboard. Previous version replaced on Nov. 7, 2012, by original 1989 chessboard arrangement

I Ching chessboard

None of this material really has much to do with the history of physics, except for its relation to the life and thought of physicist Wolfgang Pauli— the "Mephistopheles" of the new book Faust in Copenhagen. (See previous entry.)

"Only gradually did I discover
what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation,
Eternal Mind's eternal recreation'"

(Faust, Part Two, as
quoted by Jung in
Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Tuesday November 7, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
A Game of Chess

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061107-McQueen.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"And these chessmen are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world. And the silver table is Time. And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of these same men and women."

— C. S. Lewis,
The Great Divorce

I Ching chessboard

I Ching chessboard

Related material:

"At the still point,
there the dance is


Number and Time, by Marie-Louise von Franz

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday September 10, 2006

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

And the
Meet Max Black"
Award goes to…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060910-Obits.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"For the Aeron and other designs,
Mr. Stumpf won this year’s
National Design Award
in Product Design
which is to be presented
posthumously on Oct. 18
by the Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum
in Manhattan."

— Today's New York Times

Stumpf died on August 30,
the date of the Log24 entry
"The Seventh Symbol."

Related material:

Geometry of the I Ching,
a chessboard:

I Ching chessboard (original 1989 arrangement)

From the
 National Design Museum:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060910-DesignAwards.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 From Log24 on the
date of Stumpf's death,

The Seventh Symbol:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060910-Box121.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Pictorial version of
Hexagram 20,
Contemplation (View)

See also
Fearful Symmetry
Symmetry Framed.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Sunday September 22, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 8:02 PM

Force Field of Dreams

Metaphysics and chess in today’s New York Times Magazine:

  • From “Must-See Metaphysics,” by Emily Nussbaum:

    Joss Whedon, creator of a new TV series —

    “I’m a very hard-line, angry atheist” and
    “I want to invade people’s dreams.”

  • From “Check This,” by Wm. Ferguson:

    Garry Kasparov on chess —

    “When the computer sees forced lines,
    it plays like God.”

Putting these quotations together, one is tempted to imagine God having a little game of chess with Whedon, along the lines suggested by C. S. Lewis:

As Lewis tells it the time had come for his “Adversary [as he was wont to speak of the God he had so earnestly sought to avoid] to make His final moves.” (C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1955, p. 216) Lewis called them “moves” because his life seemed like a chess match in which his pieces were spread all over the board in the most disadvantageous positions. The board was set for a checkmate….

For those who would like to imagine such a game (God vs. Whedon), the following may be helpful.

George Steiner has observed that

The common bond between chess, music, and mathematics may, finally, be the absence of language.

This quotation is apparently from

Fields of Force:
Fischer and Spassky at Reykjavik
. by George Steiner, Viking hardcover, June 1974.

George Steiner as quoted in a review of his book Grammars of Creation:

“I put forward the intuition, provisional and qualified, that the ‘language-animal’ we have been since ancient Greece so designated us, is undergoing mutation.”

The phrase “language-animal” is telling.  A Google search reveals that it is by no means a common phrase, and that Steiner may have taken it from Heidegger.  From another review, by Roger Kimball:

In ”Grammars of Creation,” for example, he tells us that ”the classical and Judaic ideal of man as ‘language animal,’ as uniquely defined by the dignity of speech . . . came to an end in the antilanguage of the death camps.”

This use of the Holocaust not only gives the appearance of establishing one’s credentials as a person of great moral gravity; it also stymies criticism. Who wants to risk the charge of insensitivity by objecting that the Holocaust had nothing to do with the ”ideal of man as ‘language animal’ ”?

Steiner has about as clear an idea of the difference between “classical” and “Judaic” ideals of man as did Michael Dukakis. (See my notes of September 9, 2002.)

Clearly what music, mathematics, and chess have in common is that they are activities based on pure form, not on language. Steiner is correct to that extent. The Greeks had, of course, an extremely strong sense of form, and, indeed, the foremost philosopher of the West, Plato, based his teachings on the notion of Forms. Jews, on the other hand, have based their culture mainly on stories… that is, on language rather than on form. The phrase “language-animal” sounds much more Jewish than Greek. Steiner is himself rather adept at the manipulation of language (and of people by means of language), but, while admiring form-based disciplines, is not particularly adept at them.

I would argue that developing a strong sense of form — of the sort required to, as Lewis would have it, play chess with God — does not require any “mutation,” but merely learning two very powerful non-Jewish approaches to thought and life: the Forms of Plato and the “archetypes” of Jung as exemplified by the 64 hexagrams of the 3,000-year-old Chinese classic, the I Ching.

For a picture of how these 64 Forms, or Hexagrams, might function as a chessboard,

click here.

Other relevant links:

“As you read, watch for patterns. Pay special attention to imagery that is geometric…”


from Shakhmatnaia goriachka

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