Log24

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Ice Giants and Fire Gods: Mind the Gap

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:52 PM

From my reading Monday morning —

From the online New York Times  this afternoon —

Related literature —

For the Church of Synchronology

The Gigantomachia page above is dated September 20, 2003.
See as well my own webpage from that date: "The Form, the Pattern."

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Couple of Tots

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

The title is from the post "Child's Play" of May 21, 2012 . . .

"It seems that only one course is open to the philosopher
who values knowledge and truth above all else. He must
refuse to accept from the champions of the forms the
doctrine that all reality is changeless [and exclusively
immaterial], and he must turn a deaf ear to the other party
who represent reality as everywhere changing [and as only
material]. Like a child begging for 'both', he must declare
that reality or the sum of things is both at once  [το όν τε και
το παν συναμφότερα] (Sophist  246a-249d)."

Related material —

"Schoolgirl Space: 1984 Revisited" (July 9, 2019) and
posts tagged Tetrahedron vs. Square.

Gods and Giants

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

For "the Pergamum altar," see Pergamon in this journal.

See also . . .

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Structure at Pergamon

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:35 AM

Some background for The Epstein Chronicles

"What modern painters
are trying to do,
if they only knew it,
is paint invariants."

— James J. Gibson, Leonardo,
    Vol. 11, pp. 227-235.
    Pergamon Press Ltd., 1978

See also Robert Maxwell,
Frank Oppenheimer,
and the history of Leonardo .

Click the above Pergamon Press image
for Pergamon-related material.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gods and Giants

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

A weblog reports Chris Rock's remarks
on Saturday Night Live this past weekend:

"It’s America, we commercialize everything.
Look at what we did to Christmas.
Christmas.  Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
It’s Jesus’ birthday.  Now, I don’t know Jesus
but from what I’ve read, Jesus is the least
materialistic person to ever roam the earth.
No bling on Jesus.
Jesus kept a low profile and we turned his
birthday into the most materialistic day of the
year.  Matter of fact, we have the Jesus birthday
season.  It’s a whole season of materialism.
Then, at the end of the Jesus birthday season
we have the nerve to have an economist come
on TV and tell you how horrible the Jesus birthday
season was this year.  Oh, we had a horrible Jesus’
birthday this year.  Hopefully, business will pick up
by his Crucifixion.”

Related music and image:

"Show us the way to the next little girl …"

Natalie Wood in "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)

Related non-materialistic meditations:
The Rhetoric of Abstract Concepts and Gods and Giants.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Child’s Play (continued*)

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

You and I …

we are just like a couple of tots…

Sinatra

JOSEFINE LYCHE

Born 1973 in Bergen. Lives and works in Oslo.

Education

2000 – 2004 National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo
1998 – 2000 Strykejernet Art School, Oslo, NO
1995 – 1998 Philosophy, University of Bergen

University of Bergen—

 It might therefore seem that the idea of digital and analogical systems as rival fundaments to human experience is a new suggestion and, like digital technology, very modern. In fact, however, the idea is as old as philosophy itself (and may be much older). In his Sophist, Plato sets out the following ‘battle’ over the question of ‘true reality’:

What we shall see is something like a battle of gods and giants going on between them over their quarrel about reality [γιγαντομαχία περì της ουσίας] ….One party is trying to drag everything down to earth out of heaven and the unseen, literally grasping rocks and trees in their hands, for they lay hold upon every stock and stone and strenuously affirm that real existence belongs only to that which can be handled and offers resistance to the touch. They define reality as the same thing as body, and as soon as one of the opposite party asserts that anything without a body is real, they are utterly contemptuous and will not listen to another word. (…) Their adversaries are very wary in defending their position somewhere in the heights of the unseen, maintaining with all their force that true reality [την αληθινήν ουσίαν] consists in certain intelligible and bodiless forms. In the clash of argument they shatter and pulverize those bodies which their opponents wield, and what those others allege to be true reality they call, not real being, but a sort of moving process of becoming. On this issue an interminable battle is always going on between the two camps [εν μέσω δε περι ταυτα απλετος αμφοτέρων μάχη τις (…) αει συνέστηκεν]. (…) It seems that only one course is open to the philosopher who values knowledge and truth above all else. He must refuse to accept from the champions of the forms the doctrine that all reality is changeless [and exclusively immaterial], and he must turn a deaf ear to the other party who represent reality as everywhere changing [and as only material]. Like a child begging for 'both', he must declare that reality or the sum of things is both at once [το όν τε και το παν συναμφότερα] (Sophist 246a-249d).

The gods and the giants in Plato’s battle present two varieties of the analog position. Each believes that ‘true reality’ is singular, that "real existence belongs only to" one side or other of competing possibilities. For them, difference and complexity are secondary and, as secondary, deficient in respect to truth, reality and being (την αληθινήν ουσίαν, το όν τε και το παν). Difference and complexity are therefore matters of "interminable battle" whose intended end for each is, and must be (given their shared analogical logic), only to eradicate the other. The philosophical child, by contrast, holds to ‘both’ and therefore represents the digital position where the differentiated two yet belong originally together. Here difference, complexity and systematicity are primary and exemplary.

It is an unfailing mark of the greatest thinkers of the tradition, like Plato, that they recognize the digital possibility and therefore recognize the principal difference of it from analog possibilities.

— Cameron McEwen, "The Digital Wittgenstein,"
    The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen

* See that phrase in this journal.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Group Characters

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Steve Pond on "Crazy Heart"

"… this gentle little movie… is, after all, a character study– and in an alcoholic country singer named Bad Blake, we’ve got one hell of a character."

And then there's Baaad Blake–

Group Characters, from 'Symmetry,' Pergamon Press, 1963

Related material:

This journal on the president of
London's Blake Society
and
Wikipedia on the founder of
Pergamon Press

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Thursday August 12, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:26 AM

Battle of Gods and Giants,
Part III:

The Invisible Made Visible

From today's New York Times:

"Leon Golub, an American painter of expressionistic, heroic-scale figures that reflect dire modern political conditions, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 82….

In the 1960's he produced a series, called 'Gigantomachies,' of battling, wrestling figures. They were based on classical models, including the Hellenistic Altar of Pergamon. But there was nothing idealized about them."

The Hellenistic Altar of Pergamon,
from  Battle of Gods and Giants:

 

Golub's New York Times obituary concludes with a quote from a 1991 interview:

"Asked about his continuing and future goal he said, 'To head into real!'"

From Tuesday's Battle of Gods and Giants:

This sort of mathematics illustrates the invisible "form" or "idea" behind the visible two-color pattern.  Hence it exemplifies, in a way, the conflict described by Plato between those who say that "real existence belongs only to that which can be handled" and those who say that "true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless forms."

Perhaps, if Golub is fortunate enough to escape from the afterlife version of Plato's Cave, he will also be fortunate enough to enter Purgatory, where there awaits a course in reality, in the form of…

Geometry for Jews.

 

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wednesday August 11, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:35 AM

Battle of Gods and Giants,
Part II:

Wonders of the Invisible World

Yesterday at about 5 PM I added a section titled "Invariants" to the 3:01 PM entry Battle of Gods and Giants.  Within this added section was the sentence

"This sort of mathematics illustrates the invisible 'form' or 'idea' behind the visible two-color pattern."

Now, at about 5 AM, I see in today's New York Times a review of a book titled The Invisible Century, by Richard Panek.  The reviewer, David Gelernter, says the "invisible" of the title refers to

"science that is done not by studying what you can see…. but by repairing instead to the privacy of your own mind, with the shades drawn and the lights off: the inner sanctum of intellectual history."

The book concerns the research of Einstein and Freud.  Gelernter says

"As Mr. Panek usefully notes, Einstein himself first called his work an 'invariant theory,' not a 'relativity theory.' Einstein does not say 'everything is relative,' or anything remotely like it."

The reader who clicks on the word "invariants" in Battle of Gods and Giants will receive the same information.

Gelernter's conclusion:

"The Invisible Century is a complex book about a complex topic. Mr. Panek's own topic is not so much invisibility, it seems to me, as a different kind of visibility, centering on mind-pictures revealed by introspection, which are just as sharp and clear as (for example) the mind-music Beethoven heard when he was deaf.

Inner visibility is a fascinating topic…."

As is synchronicity, a topic in the work of a greater man than Freud– Carl Jung.  The above remarks may be viewed as "synchronicity made visible."

All of this was, of course, foreshadowed in my web page "A Mathematician's Aesthetics" of August 2000:

C. G. Jung on Archetypes
and Visible Reality:

"All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes. This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form they are variants of archetypal ideas, created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us."

— Carl Gustav Jung, "The Structure of the Psyche" (1927), in Collected Works Vol. 8, Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, P. 342

Paul Klee on Visible Reality:

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible…. My aim is always to get hold of the magic of reality and to transfer this reality into painting– to make the invisible visible through reality. It may sound paradoxical, but it is, in fact, reality which forms the mystery of our existence."

— Paul Klee, "Creative Credo" from The Inward Vision: Watercolors, Drawings, Writings. Abrams, not dated; published c. 1958.

Wallace Stevens on
the Visibility of Archetypes:

"These forms are visible
     to the eye that needs,
Needs out of the whole
     necessity of sight."

— Wallace Stevens, "The Owl in the Sarcophagus," (first publ. 1950) in
Collected Poetry and Prose, Library of America, 1997

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tuesday August 10, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:01 PM

Battle of Gods and Giants

In checking the quotations from Dante in the previous entry, I came across the intriguing site Gigantomachia:

"A gigantomachia or primordial battle between the gods has been retold in myth, cult, art and theory for thousands of years, from the Egyptians to Heidegger. This site will present the history of the theme. But it will do so in an attempt to raise the question of the contemporary relevance of it. Does the gigantomachia take place today? Where? When? In what relation to you and me?"

Perhaps atop the Empire State Building?

(See An Affair to Remember and  Empire State Building to Honor Fay Wray.)

Perhaps in relation to what the late poet Donald Justice called "the wood within"?

Perhaps in relation to T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and the Feast of the Metamorphosis?

Or perhaps not.

Perhaps at Pergamon:

Perhaps at Pergamon Press:

Invariants 

"What modern painters are trying to do,
if they only knew it, is paint invariants."

— James J. Gibson in Leonardo
(Vol. 11, pp. 227-235.
Pergamon Press Ltd., 1978)

An example of invariant structure:

The three line diagrams above result from the three partitions, into pairs of 2-element sets, of the 4-element set from which the entries of the bottom colored figure are drawn.  Taken as a set, these three line diagrams describe the structure of the bottom colored figure.  After coordinatizing the figure in a suitable manner, we find that this set of three line diagrams is invariant under the group of 16 binary translations acting on the colored figure.

A more remarkable invariance — that of symmetry itself — is observed if we arbitrarily and repeatedly permute rows and/or columns and/or 2×2 quadrants of the colored figure above. Each resulting figure has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry.

This sort of mathematics illustrates the invisible "form" or "idea" behind the visible two-color pattern.  Hence it exemplifies, in a way, the conflict described by Plato between those who say that "real existence belongs only to that which can be handled" and those who say that "true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless forms."

For further details, see a section on Plato in the Gigantomachia site.

Monday, April 5, 2004

Monday April 5, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:03 AM

Ideas and Art

 
Motto of
Plato's Academy

 

From Minimalist Fantasies,
by Roger Kimball, May 2003:

All I want anyone to get out of my paintings, and all I ever get out of them, is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion. … What you see is what you see.
—Frank Stella, 1966

Minimal Art remains too much a feat of ideation, and not enough anything else. Its idea remains an idea, something deduced instead of felt and discovered.
— Clement Greenberg, 1967

The artists even questioned whether art needed to be a tangible object. Minimalism … Conceptualism — suddenly art could be nothing more than an idea, a thought on a piece of paper….
— Michael Kimmelman, 2003

There was a period, a decade or two ago, when you could hardly open an art journal without encountering the quotation from Frank Stella I used as an epigraph. The bit about “what you see is what you see” was reproduced ad nauseam. It was thought by some to be very deep. In fact, Stella’s remarks—from a joint interview with him and Donald Judd—serve chiefly to underscore the artistic emptiness of the whole project of minimalism. No one can argue with the proposition that “what you see is what you see,” but there’s a lot to argue with in what he calls “the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion.” We do not, of course, see ideas. Stella’s assertion to the contrary might be an instance of verbal carelessness, but it is not merely verbal carelessness. At the center of minimalism, as Clement Greenberg noted, is the triumph of ideation over feeling and perception, over aesthetics.
— Roger Kimball, 2003

 

 

From How Not Much Is a Whole World,
by Michael Kimmelman, April 2, 2004

Decades on, it's curious how much Minimalism, the last great high modern movement, still troubles people who just can't see why … a plain white canvas with a line painted across it


"William Clark,"
by Patricia Johanson, 1967

should be considered art. That line might as well be in the sand: on this side is art, it implies. Go ahead. Cross it.

….

The tug of an art that unapologetically sees itself as on a par with science and religion is not to be underestimated, either. Philosophical ambition and formal modesty still constitute Minimalism's bottom line.

If what results can sometimes be more fodder for the brain than exciting to look at, it can also have a serene and exalted eloquence….

That line in the sand doesn't separate good art from bad, or art from nonart, but a wide world from an even wider one.

 

I maintain that of course
we can see ideas.

Example: the idea of
invariant structure.

"What modern painters
are trying to do,
if they only knew it,
is paint invariants."

— James J. Gibson, Leonardo,
    Vol. 11, pp. 227-235.
    Pergamon Press Ltd., 1978

For a discussion
of how this works, see
Block Designs,
4×4 Geometry, and
Diamond Theory.

Incidentally, structures like the one shown above are invariant under an important subgroup of the affine group AGL(4,2)…  That is to say, they are not lost in translation.  (See previous entry.)

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Sunday February 22, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:53 AM

Invariants

"What modern painters are trying to do,
if they only knew it, is paint invariants."

— James J. Gibson in Leonardo

(Vol. 11, pp. 227-235.
Pergamon Press Ltd., 1978)

Those who have clicked
on the title above
may find the following of interest.

Sean Socha

Imagination/Reality:
Wallace Stevens'
Harmonium

and the Visual Arts

I see modern art's usefulness for Stevens in its reconfiguration of the relationship between imagination and reality…. Stevens will incorporate a device from painting to illustrate his poetic idea. For instance, "Metaphors of a Magnifico" (Harmonium) illustrates an idea about the fragmentation and/or subjectivity of reality and the importance of perspective by incorporating the Cubist technique of multiple perspectives.

Also perhaps relevant:

Einstein wanted to know what was invariant (the same) for all observers. The original title for his theory was (translated from German) "Theory of Invariants." — Wikipedia

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