Log24

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Valid States of Maximal Knowledge

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:30 PM

"Few scripts would have the audacity
to have the deus ex machina be
Captain Midnight  decoder ring."

Review of "The House with
a Clock in Its Walls" (2018 film) 

Related mathematics (click to enlarge) . . .

The "uwa.edu.au" above is for the University of Western Australia.
See the black swan in its coat of arms (and in the above film).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Making a Play

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

From "Deus ex Machina and the Aesthetics of Proof"
(Alan J. Cain in The Mathematical Intelligencer * of September 2010, pdf)—

Deus ex Machina
In a narrative, a deus is unsatisfying for two reasons. The
first is that any future attempt to build tension is undercut if
the author establishes that a difficulty can be resolved by a
deus. The second reason—more important for the purposes
of this essay—is that the deus does not fit with the internal
structure of the story. There is no reason internal to the
story why the deus should intervene at that moment.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101126-MacySanta.jpg

Santa in the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day, 2010 (November 25), New York Lottery—

Midday 411, Evening 332.

For 411, see (for instance) April 11 (i.e., 4/11) in 2008

Pegasus

NYT obituaries, morning of Friday, April 11, 2008-- Carousel designer and others

For 332, see "A Play for Kristen**" — March 16, 2008

"A search for the evening  number, 332, in Log24 yields a rather famous line from Sophocles…"

Sophocles, Antigone, edited by Mark Griffith, Cambridge University Press, 1999:

Sophocles, Antigone, line 332 in the original Greek

“Many things are formidable (deina ) and none is more formidable (deinoteron ) than man.”

Antigone , lines 332-333, in Valdis Leinieks, The Plays of Sophokles, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1982, p. 62
 

See also the lottery numbers 411 and 332 in this journal on March 22, 2009— "The Storyteller in Chance ."

“… it’s going to be accomplished in steps,
this establishment of the Talented
  in the scheme of things.”

— Anne McCaffrey, Radcliffe ’47, To Ride Pegasus

* It seems Santa has delivered an early gift — free online access to all issues of the Intelligencer .
** Teaser headline in the original version at Xanga.com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Darkness at Noon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The New York Times, July 17

"'A Disappearing Number'… is lucid, dynamic and continuously engaging."

"'All beautiful theorems require a very high degree of economy, unexpectedness and inevitability,' the string-theory* specialist Aninda tells us after elucidating one of Ramanujan’s formulas. That’s not a bad recipe for beautiful theater either…."

Related material:

Image-- 'Deus ex Machina and the Aesthetics of Proof'

Hardy is also the play's (apparently uncredited) source of "economy."

"… a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability  and economy."

A Mathematician's Apology, §18, by G. H. Hardy, 1940

* For more on string theory and a deus, see Not Even Wrong, July 7, 2010.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Saturday August 7, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Playing God:

The Color of
Collateral

John Lahr (Log24 on 1/26 2003):

“The play’s narrator and general master of artifice is the Stage Manager, who gives the phrase ‘deus ex machina’ a whole new meaning. He holds the script, he sets the scene, he serves as an interlocutor between the worlds of the living and the dead, calling the characters into life and out of it; he is, it turns out, the Author of Authors, the Big Guy himself. It seems, in every way, apt for Paul Newman to have taken on this role.”

“It’s not easy being green.”
Jill O’Hara    

Friday, January 24, 2003

Friday January 24, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Steps

John Lahr on a current production of "Our Town":

"The play's narrator and general master of artifice is the Stage Manager, who gives the phrase 'deus ex machina' a whole new meaning. He holds the script, he sets the scene, he serves as an interlocutor between the worlds of the living and the dead, calling the characters into life and out of it; he is, it turns out, the Author of Authors, the Big Guy himself. It seems, in every way, apt for Paul Newman to have taken on this role. God should look like Newman: lean, strong-chinned, white-haired, and authoritative in a calm and unassuming way—if only we had all been made in his image!"

The New Yorker, issue of Dec. 16, 2002

On this date in 1971, Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, died. 


Newman


Wilson

"Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful….

First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director….

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed….

We were now at Step Three."

Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as "The Big Book," Chapter 5 

Postscript of 5:15 AM, after reading the following in the New York Times obituaries:

"Must be a tough objective," says Willie to Joe as they huddle on the side of a road, weapons ready. "Th' old man says we're gonna have th' honor of liberatin' it."

"The old men know when an old man dies."

— Ogden Nash
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Wednesday January 22, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:44 PM

Through a Soda-Fountain Mirror, Darkly

For Piper Laurie on Her Birthday

“He was part of my dream, of course —
but then I was part of his dream, too!”

— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, Chapter XII (“Which Dreamed It?”) quoted as epigraph to a script for the film Pleasantville, which features a soda fountain from the 1950’s.

“Scenes from yesteryear are revisited through the soda-fountain mirror, creating such a fluid pathway between the past and present that one often becomes lost along the way.”

— Caroline Palmer’s review of “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” 

The above quotations are related to the 1952 film Has Anybody Seen My Gal?, in which James Dean makes a brief appearance at a 1920’s soda fountain. The film is chiefly notable for displaying the beauty of Piper Laurie, but a subplot is also of iterest.  Charles Coburn, a rich man visiting incognito a timeless town* rather like Pleasantville or Riverdale, takes up painting and is assisted by the young Gigi Perreau, who, as I recall, supplies him with the frame from a Circe Soap ad displayed in a shop window.

For more on a fictional rich character and Circe — indeed, enough for a soap — see my note of January 11, 2003, “The First Days of Disco,” and the sequel of January 12, 2003, “Ask Not.”  In the manner of magic realism, the adventures in the earlier entry of Scrooge McDuck and Circe are mirrored by those in the later entry of C. Douglas Dillon and Monique Wittig.

For a less pleasant trip back in time, see the later work of Gigi Perreau in Journey to the Center of Time (1967).  One viewer’s comment:

This is the worst movie ever made. I don’t want to hear about any of Ed Wood’s pictures. This is it, this is the one. Right here. The bottom of the deepest pit of cinema hell.

Happy birthday, Miss Laurie.

*Rather, in fact, like “Our Town.”  Here is John Lahr on a current production of that classic:

“The play’s narrator and general master of artifice is the Stage Manager, who gives the phrase ‘deus ex machina’ a whole new meaning. He holds the script, he sets the scene, he serves as an interlocutor between the worlds of the living and the dead, calling the characters into life and out of it; he is, it turns out, the Author of Authors, the Big Guy himself. It seems, in every way, apt for Paul Newman to have taken on this role. God should look like Newman: lean, strong-chinned, white-haired, and authoritative in a calm and unassuming way—if only we had all been made in his image!”

The New Yorker, issue of Dec. 16, 2002

If Newman is God, then Miss Laurie played God’s girlfriend.  Nice going, Piper.

 

Powered by WordPress