Log24

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Logic of the Dust

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"Dust is a fictional elementary particle that is of
fundamental importance within the story." 

— Wikipedia on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials  trilogy

A review of posts tagged Kabbalah yields —

  "If all that 'matters' are fundamentally mathematical relationships, then there ceases to be any important difference between the actual and the possible. (Even if you aren't a mathematical Platonist, you can always find some collection of particles of dust to fit any required pattern. In Permutation City  this is called the 'logic of the dust' theory.)….
    Paul Durham is convinced by the 'logic of the dust' theory mentioned above, and plans to run, just for a few minutes, a complex cellular automaton (Permutation City) started in a 'Garden of Eden' configuration — one which isn't reachable from any other, and which therefore must have been the starting point of a simulation….  I didn't understand the need for this elaborate set-up, but I guess it makes for a better story than 'well, all possible worlds exist, and I'm going to tell you about one of them.' "

— Danny Yee, review of Permutation City
     a novel by Greg Egan

See also in this journal a search for Dark Matter.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Darkness Visible

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Andrew O'Hehir on July 22 —

— and on July 27 —

"Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage…."

— John Milton, Paradise Lost , Book II

For Benedict Cumberbatch as a "warie fiend,"
see posts now tagged Both Hands.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Darkness at Noon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

In today's Wall Street Journal , Peter Woit reviews a new book on dark matter and dark energy.

For a more literary approach, see "dark materials" in this  journal.

Before thir eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless warrs and by confusion stand.
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring amidst the noise
Thir embryon Atoms....
                                ... Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage....

-- John Milton, Paradise Lost , Book II

Related material:

1. The “spider” symbol of Fritz Leiber’s short story “Damnation Morning”—

2. Angels and demons here and in the Catholic Church.

3. The following diagram by one “John Opsopaus”—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090312-OpsopausSquare.jpg

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday August 16, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Return to Paradise

(Title of a New Yorker
essay dated June 2, 2008)

Kenneth Bacon, an advocate for refugees, died yesterday at 64 on the Feast of the Assumption.

In his honor, we may perhaps be justified in temporarily ignoring the wise saying “never assume.”

From a defense of the dogma of the Assumption:

“On another level, the Assumption epitomizes the reconciliation of the material and spiritual world, as the human Mary enters ‘body and soul to heavenly glory.’ Carl Jung, the transpersonal psychologist, concluded that the doctrine of the Assumption reflected an acceptance of the physical world.”

For other such reconciliations, see

  • The New Yorker on Milton meeting Galileo: “Though Milton was the much younger man, in some ways his world system seems curiously older than the astronomer’s empirical universe.”
  • This journal on Milton’s world system: the four qualities “hot, cold, moist, and dry” and the four elements “Sea, Shore, Air, and Fire.”

    But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
    Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
    Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
    His dark materials to create more Worlds….

  • This journal’s “For Galois on Bastille Day” reconciles, if only in a literary way, physical and non-physical worlds. The work of Evariste Galois allows us to depict an analogue of Milton’s (and Philip Pullman’s) physical world of dark materials within the purely mathematical world of finite groups. (For a less literary connection between physical and mathematical worlds, see this journal on Bastille Eve.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday June 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM
Raven Steals the Light

Raven from the home page of 'Dark Materials' author Philip Pullman   

Home page of 'Dark Materials' author Philip Pullman

Thanks for a reference
to this story go to
Robert Bringhurst,
in his own way a
 Cleric of the Grammaton.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday June 27, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Dark Materials

Before thir eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless warrs and by confusion stand.
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring amidst the noise
Thir embryon Atoms....
                                ... Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage....

-- John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday June 26, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM

Apocatastasis Now

I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate,
Built in Jerusalems wall.
— WILLIAM BLAKE

“In ‘Apocatastasis Now: A Very Condensed Reading of William Blake’s Jerusalem‘ (JBSSJ [Journal of the Blake Society at St James‘s] 6 [2001] 18–25), Susanne Sklar argues that Blake is not apocalyptic but apocatastatic, that is (following a doctrine of Origen and Gregory of Nyssa) he believes that all free creatures will be redeemed by God’s universal love.”

The Year’s Work in English Studies, 2003: Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 493-547

Related material:

Thriller

From the website of Philip Pullman, president of The Blake Society:

“I must create a System…”

The Blake Society, 25 October 2005: St James’s Church, Piccadilly

I see that the title of this lecture is given as BLAKE’S DARK MATERIALS. Now in the lecturer’s handbook, the second rule says “You need take no obsessive notice of the title that has been announced in advance.” Whether Blake’s materials are dark or not I couldn’t really say, but I am going to talk about Blake, partly, and partly about religion. Appropriate, perhaps, in a place like this, but you might think not appropriate from someone whose reputation is that of a scoffer or mocker or critic of religion; but I haven’t come here to scoff or mock. Nor have I come here to recant, as a matter of fact. I’m profoundly interested in religion, and I think it’s extremely important to understand it. I’ve been trying to understand it all my life, and every so often it’s useful to put one’s thoughts in order; but I shall never like God.

Download the full lecture
(pdf format, 155.62 KB)

For more dark materials
from the Halloween season
of 2005 — in fact, from the
  very date of Pullman’s lecture–
see Darkness Doubled.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Wednesday January 15, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

Conversations in Hell

Part I: Locating Hell

“Noi siam venuti al loco ov’ i’ t’ho detto
           che tu vedrai le genti dolorose
        c’hanno perduto il ben de l’intelletto
.”

Dante, Inferno, Canto 3, 16-18

“We have come to where I warned you
       we would find
Those wretched souls who no longer have 
The intellectual benefits of the mind.”

Dante, Hell, Canto 3, 16-18

From a Harvard student’s weblog:

Heard in Mather  I hope you get gingivitis You want me to get oral cancer?! Goodnight fartface Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Make your own waffles!! Blah blah blah starcraft blah blah starcraft blah starcraft. It’s da email da email. And some blue hair! Oohoohoo Izod! 10 gigs! Yeah it smells really bad. Only in the stairs though. Starcraft blah blah Starcraft fartface. Yeah it’s hard. You have to get a bunch of battle cruisers. 40 kills! So good! Oh ho ho grunt grunt squeal.  I’m getting sick again. You have a final tomorrow? In What?! Um I don’t even know. Next year we’re draggin him there and sticking the needle in ourselves. 

” … one more line / unravelling from the dark design / spun by God and Cotton Mather”

— Robert Lowell

Part II: The Call of Stories

From a website on college fund-raising

• “The people who come to us bring their stories. They hope they tell them well enough so that we understand the truth of their lives.”—Robert Coles, Harvard professor, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination

• “If there’s anything worth calling theology, it is listening to people’s stories, listening to them and cherishing them.”—Mary Pellauer, quoted in Kathleen Norris’ Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

From a website on “The West Wing”:

THE LONG GOODBYE   
9pm 2003-01-15    

ALL NEW!

In a special episode guest written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, C.J. (Allison Janney) reluctantly returns to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion…”

From a website illustrating language in Catholic religious stories:

“Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the Sisters of the Precious Blood is a Catholic religious congregation…”

From a Catholic religious story by J. R. R. Tolkien:

“It shone now as if verily it was
 wrought of living fire.
‘Precious, precious, precious!’ Gollum cried.
‘My Precious! O my Precious!'”

From a website on Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials

“‘Stories are the most important thing in the world.  Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”

From the same website, a short story:

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on

19th October 1946.”

Part III: My Story

For a different story, see my weblog of

19th October 2002:

Saturday, October 19, 2002

What is Truth?

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