Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Big Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the LA Times  online obituaries today:

Michael Feran Baigent was born in Nelson, New Zealand,
in 1948. After graduating from New Zealand's University
of Canterbury with a degree in psychology, he worked as a
photographer and magazine editor in Australia, New
Zealand and Spain before taking up research for a
documentary called "The Shadow of the Templars."

From 1998 he lectured on and led tours of the temples and
tombs in Egypt, and from 2001 he was editor of the
magazine "Freemasonry Today."

Elliott Reid

Longtime film, TV actor with a comic touch

Elliott "Ted" Reid, 93, a longtime character actor in films
and on television, stage and radio who played opposite
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the classic comedy
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," died Friday [June 21, 2013]
in Studio City, said his nephew Roger R. Jackson.

From a post last Saturday, June 22, and the earlier
​post last Friday, June 21, that preceded it:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the final pages of the new novel
Lexicon , by Max Barry: 

"… a fundamental language
of the human mind— 
the tongue in which the human animal 
speaks to itself at the basest level. 
The machine language, in essence…."

"… the questions raised by 
this underlying lexicon
What are its words? 
How many are there? ….
Can we learn to speak them?
What does it sound like 
when who we are is expressed
in its most fundamental form? 
Something to think about."

       R. Lowell

See also, in this journal, Big Rock.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:15 AM

From a religious meditation on St. Peter's Day, 2008, "Big Rock"—

An academic quotes Wallace Stevens:
"Professor Eucalyptus in 'Ordinary Evening' XIV, for example, 'seeks/ God in the object itself'…."

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

From today's New York Lottery— Midday 215, Evening 000.

The latter number seems to speak with a certain authority.

The former may or may not mean something. See a search for "2/15" in this journal.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday June 29, 2008

Filed under: General — 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, July 29, 2006

Saturday July 29, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Big Rock

Thanks to Ars Mathematicaa link to everything2.com:

“In mathematics, a big rock is a result which is vastly more powerful than is needed to solve the problem being considered. Often it has a difficult, technical proof whose methods are not related to those of the field in which it is applied. You say ‘I’m going to hit this problem with a big rock.’ Sard’s theorem is a good example of a big rock.”

Another example:

Properties of the Monster Group of R. L. Griess, Jr., may be investigated with the aid of the Miracle Octad Generator, or MOG, of R. T. Curtis.  See the MOG on the cover of a book by Griess about some of the 20 sporadic groups involved in the Monster:

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

The MOG, in turn, illustrates (via Abstract 79T-A37, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979) the fact that the group of automorphisms of the affine space of four dimensions over the two-element field is also the natural group of automorphisms of an arbitrary 4×4 array.

This affine group, of order 322,560, is also the natural group of automorphisms of a family of graphic designs similar to those on traditional American quilts.  (See the diamond theorem.)

This top-down approach to the diamond theorem may serve as an illustration of the “big rock” in mathematics.

For a somewhat simpler, bottom-up, approach to the theorem, see Theme and Variations.

For related literary material, see Mathematics and Narrative and The Diamond as Big as the Monster.

“The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth.”

Wallace Stevens,
“Credences of Summer”


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