Log24

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mimzy vs. Mimsy

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

 

Deep Play:

Mimzy vs. Mimsy

From a 2007 film, "The Last Mimzy," based on
the classic 1943 story by Lewis Padgett
  "Mimsy Were the Borogoves"–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100219-LastMimzyTrailer.jpg

As the above mandala pictures show,
the film incorporates many New Age fashions.

The original story does not.

A more realistic version of the story
might replace the mandalas with
the following illustrations–

The Eightfold Cube and a related page from a 1906 edition of 'Paradise of Childhood'

Click to enlarge.

For a commentary, see "Non-Euclidean Blocks."

(Here "non-Euclidean" means simply
other than  Euclidean. It does not imply any
  violation of Euclid's parallel postulate.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday September 8, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM
Froebel's   
Magic Box  
 

Box containing Froebel's Third Gift-- The Eightfold Cube
 
 Continued from Dec. 7, 2008,
and from yesterday.

 

Non-Euclidean
Blocks

Passages from a classic story:

… he took from his pocket a gadget he had found in the box, and began to unfold it. The result resembled a tesseract, strung with beads….

Tesseract
 Tesseract

"Your mind has been conditioned to Euclid," Holloway said. "So this– thing– bores us, and seems pointless. But a child knows nothing of Euclid. A different sort of geometry from ours wouldn't impress him as being illogical. He believes what he sees."

"Are you trying to tell me that this gadget's got a fourth dimensional extension?" Paradine demanded.
 
"Not visually, anyway," Holloway denied. "All I say is that our minds, conditioned to Euclid, can see nothing in this but an illogical tangle of wires. But a child– especially a baby– might see more. Not at first. It'd be a puzzle, of course. Only a child wouldn't be handicapped by too many preconceived ideas."

"Hardening of the thought-arteries," Jane interjected.

Paradine was not convinced. "Then a baby could work calculus better than Einstein? No, I don't mean that. I can see your point, more or less clearly. Only–"

"Well, look. Let's suppose there are two kinds of geometry– we'll limit it, for the sake of the example. Our kind, Euclidean, and another, which we'll call x. X hasn't much relationship to Euclid. It's based on different theorems. Two and two needn't equal four in it; they could equal y, or they might not even equal. A baby's mind is not yet conditioned, except by certain questionable factors of heredity and environment. Start the infant on Euclid–"

"Poor kid," Jane said.

Holloway shot her a quick glance. "The basis of Euclid. Alphabet blocks. Math, geometry, algebra– they come much later. We're familiar with that development. On the other hand, start the baby with the basic principles of our x logic–"

"Blocks? What kind?"

Holloway looked at the abacus. "It wouldn't make much sense to us. But we've been conditioned to Euclid."

— "Mimsy Were the Borogoves," Lewis Padgett, 1943


Padgett (pseudonym of a husband-and-wife writing team) says that alphabet blocks are the intuitive "basis of Euclid." Au contraire; they are the basis of Gutenberg.

For the intuitive basis of one type of non-Euclidean* geometry– finite geometry over the two-element Galois field– see the work of…


Friedrich Froebel
 (1782-1852), who
 invented kindergarten.

His "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

Go figure.

* i.e., other than Euclidean

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday September 7, 2009

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

Magic Boxes

"Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas– only I don't exactly know what they are!…. Let's have a look at the garden first!"

— A passage from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. The "garden" part– but not the "ideas" part– was quoted by Jacques Derrida in Dissemination in the epigraph to Chapter 7, "The Time before First."

Commentary
 on the passage:

Part I    "The Magic Box,"  shown on Turner Classic Movies earlier tonight

Part II: "Mimsy Were the Borogoves," a classic science fiction story:

"… he lifted a square, transparent crystal block, small enough to cup in his palm– much too small to contain the maze of apparatus within it. In a moment Scott had solved that problem. The crystal was a sort of magnifying glass, vastly enlarging the things inside the block. Strange things they were, too. Miniature people, for example– They moved. Like clockwork automatons, though much more smoothly. It was rather like watching a play."

Part III:  A Crystal Block

Cube, 4x4x4

Four coloring pencils, of four different colors

Image of pencils is by
Diane Robertson Design.

Related material:
"A Four-Color Theorem."

Part IV:

David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

"Click on the Yellow Book."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday September 6, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:18 PM
Magic Boxes

Part I: “The Magic Box,” shown on Turner Classic Movies tonight

Part II: “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” a classic science fiction story:

“… he lifted a square, transparent crystal block, small enough to cup in his palm– much too small to contain the maze of apparatus within it. In a moment Scott had solved that problem. The crystal was a sort of magnifying glass, vastly enlarging the things inside the block. Strange things they were, too. Miniature people, for example–

They moved. Like clockwork automatons, though much more smoothly. It was rather like watching a play.”

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/GridCube165C2.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/090906-Pencils.jpg

Image of pencils is by
Diane Robertson Design.

Related material:
A Four-Color Theorem.”

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  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday December 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:12 AM

An Indiana Jones Xmas
continues…

 

Chalice, Grail,
Whatever

 

Last night on TNT:
The Librarian Part 3:
Curse of the Judas Chalice,
in which The Librarian
encounters the mysterious
Professor Lazlo

Related material:

An Arthur Waite quotation
from the Feast of St. Nicholas:

“It is like the lapis exilis of
the German Graal legend”

as well as
yesterday’s entry
relating Margaret Wertheim’s
Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:
A History of Space from
Dante to the Internet

 to a different sort of space–
that of the I Ching— and to
Professor Laszlo Lovasz’s
cube space

David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

“Click on the Yellow Book.”

Happy birthday, David Carradine.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday October 30, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM

Readings for
Devil’s Night

Pope Benedict XVI, formerly the modern equivalent of The Grand Inquisitor

1. Today’s New York Times  review
of Peter Brook’s production of
“The Grand Inquisitor”
2. Mathematics and Theology
3. Christmas, 2005
4. Cube Space, 1984-2003

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday October 24, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:08 AM

The Cube Space” is a name given to the eightfold cube in a vulgarized mathematics text, Discrete Mathematics: Elementary and Beyond, by Laszlo Lovasz et al., published by Springer in 2003. The identification in a natural way of the eight points of the linear 3-space over the 2-element field GF(2) with the eight vertices of a cube is an elementary and rather obvious construction, doubtless found in a number of discussions of discrete mathematics. But the less-obvious generation of the affine group AGL(3,2) of order 1344 by permutations of parallel edges in such a cube may (or may not) have originated with me. For descriptions of this process I wrote in 1984, see Diamonds and Whirls and Binary Coordinate Systems. For a vulgarized description of this process by Lovasz, without any acknowledgement of his sources, see an excerpt from his book.

 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday July 21, 2008

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

Knight Moves:

The Relativity Theory
of Kindergarten Blocks

(Continued from
January 16, 2008)

"Hmm, next paper… maybe
'An Unusually Complicated
Theory of Something.'"

Garrett Lisi at
Physics Forums, July 16

Something:

From Friedrich Froebel,
who invented kindergarten:

Froebel's Third Gift: A cube made up of eight subcubes

Click on image for details.

An Unusually
Complicated Theory:

From Christmas 2005:

The Eightfold Cube: The Beauty of Klein's Simple Group

Click on image for details.

For the eightfold cube
as it relates to Klein's
simple group, see
"A Reflection Group
of Order 168
."

For an even more
complicated theory of
Klein's simple group, see

Cover of 'The Eightfold Way: The Beauty of Klein's Quartic Curve'

Click on image for details.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday May 10, 2008

MoMA Goes to
Kindergarten

"… the startling thesis of Mr. Brosterman's new book, 'Inventing Kindergarten' (Harry N. Abrams, $39.95): that everything the giants of modern art and architecture knew about abstraction they learned in kindergarten, thanks to building blocks and other educational toys designed by Friedrich Froebel, a German educator, who coined the term 'kindergarten' in the 1830's."

— "Was Modernism Born
     in Toddler Toolboxes?"
     by Trip Gabriel, New York Times,
     April 10, 1997
 

RELATED MATERIAL

Figure 1 —
Concept from 1819:

Cubic crystal system
(Footnotes 1 and 2)

Figure 2 —
The Third Gift, 1837:

Froebel's third gift

Froebel's Third Gift

Froebel, the inventor of
kindergarten, worked as
an assistant to the
crystallographer Weiss
mentioned in Fig. 1.

(Footnote 3)

Figure 3 —
The Third Gift, 1906:

Seven partitions of the eightfold cube in 'Paradise of Childhood,' 1906

Figure 4 —
Solomon's Cube,
1981 and 1983:

Solomon's Cube - A 1981 design by Steven H. Cullinane

Figure 5 —
Design Cube, 2006:

Design Cube 4x4x4 by Steven H. Cullinane

The above screenshot shows a
moveable JavaScript display
of a space of six dimensions
(over the two-element field).

(To see how the display works,
try the Kaleidoscope Puzzle first.)

For some mathematical background, see

Footnotes:
 
1. Image said to be after Holden and Morrison, Crystals and Crystal Growing, 1982
2. Curtis Schuh, "The Library: Biobibliography of Mineralogy," article on Mohs
3. Bart Kahr, "Crystal Engineering in Kindergarten" (pdf), Crystal Growth & Design, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2004, 3-9

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday January 16, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 12:25 PM
Knight Moves:
Geometry of the
Eightfold Cube

Actions of PSL(2, 7) on the eightfold cube

Click on the image for a larger version
and an expansion of some remarks
quoted here on Christmas 2005.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday July 23, 2007

Daniel Radcliffe
is 18 today.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Greetings.

“The greatest sorcerer (writes Novalis memorably)
would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of
taking his own phantasmagorias for autonomous apparitions.
Would not this be true of us?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Avatars of the Tortoise”

El mayor hechicero (escribe memorablemente Novalis)
sería el que se hechizara hasta el punto de
tomar sus propias fantasmagorías por apariciones autónomas.
¿No sería este nuestro caso?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Los Avatares de la Tortuga

Autonomous Apparition

At Midsummer Noon:

“In Many Dimensions (1931)
Williams sets before his reader the
mysterious Stone of King Solomon,
an image he probably drew from
a brief description in Waite’s
The Holy Kabbalah (1929) of
a supernatural cubic stone
on which was inscribed
‘the Divine Name.’”
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070624-Waite.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Related material:
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”

See also
as well as
Hofstadter on
his magnum opus:
“… I realized that to me,
Gödel and Escher and Bach
were only shadows
cast in different directions by
some central solid essence.
I tried to reconstruct
the central object, and
came up with this book.”
Goedel Escher Bach coverHofstadter’s cover.

Here are three patterns,
“shadows” of a sort,
derived from a different
“central object”:
Faces of Solomon's Cube, related to Escher's 'Verbum'

Click on image for details.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Saturday November 5, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:24 PM

Contrapuntal Themes
in a Shadowland

 
(See previous entry.)

Douglas Hofstadter on his magnum opus:

"… I realized that to me, Gödel and Escher and Bach were only shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence. I tried to reconstruct the central object, and came up with this book."

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/GEBcover.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Hofstadter's cover

Here are three patterns,
"shadows" of a sort,
derived from a different
"central object":

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

For details, see
Solomon's Cube.

Related material:
The reference to a
"permutation fugue"
(pdf) in an article on
Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Friday May 6, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 7:28 PM

Fugues

"To improvise an eight-part fugue
is really beyond human capability."

— Douglas R. Hofstadter,
Gödel, Escher, Bach

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

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:
168

"There are possibilities of
contrapuntal arrangement
of subject-matter."

— T. S. Eliot, quoted in
Origins of Form in Four Quartets.

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Grid4x4A.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:
20,160

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Sunday August 17, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:21 PM

Diamond theory is the theory of affine groups over GF(2) acting on small square and cubic arrays. In the simplest case, the symmetric group of degree 4 acts on a two-colored diamond figure like that in Plato's Meno dialogue, yielding 24 distinct patterns, each of which has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry .

This symmetry invariance can be generalized to (at least) a group of order approximately 1.3 trillion acting on a 4x4x4 array of cubes.

The theory has applications to finite geometry and to the construction of the large Witt design underlying the Mathieu group of degree 24.

Further Reading:

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