Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ageometretos Medeis Eisito

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

See Bagombo Snuff Box and
"Will this be on the test?"

IMAGE- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday August 5, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Published Today:

Cover of  'The Last Theorem,' a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl

The Last Theorem
, a novel by
Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl

From the publisher's description:

"The Last Theorem is a story of one man’s mathematical obsession, and a celebration of the human spirit and the scientific method. It is also a gripping intellectual thriller….

In 1637, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat scrawled a note in the margin of a book about an enigmatic theorem: 'I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.' He also neglected to record his proof elsewhere. Thus began a search for the Holy Grail of mathematics– a search that didn’t end until 1994, when Andrew Wiles published a 150-page proof. But the proof was burdensome, overlong, and utilized mathematical techniques undreamed of in Fermat’s time, and so it left many critics unsatisfied– including young Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for mathematics and a passion for the famous 'Last Theorem.'

When Ranjit writes a three-page proof of the theorem that relies exclusively on knowledge available to Fermat, his achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune…."

For a similar third-world fantasy about another famous theorem, see the oeuvre of Ashay Dharwadker.

Note the amazing conclusion of Dharwadker's saga (thus far)–

Dharwadker devises a proof of the four-color theorem that leads to…

Grand Unification
of the Standard Model
with Quantum Gravity!

For further background, see

Ashay Dharwadker
  and Usenet Postings.

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) from 1956 until his death last March.

For another connection with Sri Lanka, see

Location, Location, Location
(July 13, 2005) and
Bagombo Snuff Box
(May 7, 2006).

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Sunday May 7, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Bagombo Snuff Box
(in memory of
 Burt Kerr Todd)

“Well, it may be the devil
    or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to
    serve somebody.”

— “Bob Dylan”
   (pseudonym of Robert Zimmerman),
    quoted by “Bob Stewart”
    on July 18, 2005

“Bob Stewart” may or may not be the same person as “crankbuster,” author of the “Rectangular Array Theorem” or “RAT.”  This “theorem” is intended as a parody of the “Miracle Octad Generator,” or “MOG,” of R. T. Curtis.  (See the Usenet group sci.math, “Steven Cullinane is a Crank,” July 2005, messages 51-60.)

“Crankbuster” has registered at Math Forum as a teacher in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).   For a tall tale involving Ceylon, see the short story “Bagombo Snuff Box” in the book of the same title by Kurt Vonnegut, who has at times embodied– like Martin Gardner and “crankbuster“– “der Geist, der stets verneint.”

Here is my own version (given the alleged Ceylon background of “crankbuster”) of a Bagombo snuff box:

Related material:

Log24 entries of
April 16-30, 2005,

and the 5 Log24 entries
ending on Friday,
April 28, 2006.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Wednesday May 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Ontology Alignment

“Mathematics ushers one into the realm of abstraction and universality, grasped only through pure reason.  Mathematics is the threshold we cross to pass into the ideal, the truly real.”

     — Rebecca Goldstein,
       Mathematics and
       the Character of Tragedy

Pennsylvania Lottery:

The winning numbers
for Tuesday, May 2–
the feast of
St. Athanasius:

Mid-day 703
Evening 462

“You gotta be true to your code”
— Sinatra (see previous entry)

 Dewey Decimal Code:

703 The Arts:
       Dictionaries &
462 Spanish Etymology

Related material:

For the arts, see
the previous entry.
For Spanish etymology,
see the remarks on
a Spanish word in
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star,
a note linked to in the
April 30 memorial entry
for John Kenneth Galbraith.

The numbers 703 and 462 are, in Goldstein’s phrase, “truly real.”  However, their link to St. Athanasius and to the Spanish language is, as purveyors of fiction* say, “purely coincidental”– as is much of what makes life interesting.

“All persons living and dead are purely coincidental….”– Kurt Vonnegut, epigraph to Bagombo Snuff Box

* For instance,
   David Auburn in Proof,

   The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060503-DrLecter2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

   which also involves
   Dewey decimal numbers

Powered by WordPress