Log24

Monday, July 9, 2018

History for Hollywood

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:45 PM

 

The Pediment of Appearance

For some backstory, search Log24 for "Wolf Barth."

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Related Reading…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

… For those taken aback by the tone of midnight's report
on the death of a 1960's counterculture figure.

See Didion's view of the counterculture in her classic
Slouching Towards Bethlehem .

A search in this journal for Didion + Nihilism yields

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer 

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stevens in a Nutshell

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

A Pediment of Appearance

IMAGE-- PA Keystone with lottery numbers for Sat., July 31, 2010-- Midday 503, Evening 428

Commentary on 503: See 5/03.
Commentary on 428: See 4/28.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Without Diamond-Blazons

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Excerpt from Wallace Stevens's
"The Pediment of Appearance"—

Young men go walking in the woods,
Hunting for the great ornament,
The pediment* of appearance.

They hunt for a form which by its form alone,
Without diamond—blazons or flashing or
Chains of circumstance,

By its form alone, by being right,
By being high, is the stone
For which they are looking:

The savage transparence.

* Pediments, triangular and curved—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100728-Pediments.jpg

— From "Stones and Their Stories," an article written
and illustrated by E.M. Barlow, copyright 1913.

Related geometry—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100728-SimplifiedPeds.gif

 (See Štefan Porubský: Pythagorean Theorem .)

A proof with  diamond-blazons—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100728-DiamondProof.gif

(See Ivars Peterson's "Square of the Hypotenuse," Nov. 27, 2000.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pediments of Appearance

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Part I —

A search for images of Wallace Stevens's "Pediment of Appearance"—

(Click to enlarge.)

Image-- A version of Stevens's 'pediment of appearance'

Part II —

A geometric analogue of the pediment—

Image-- A version of Stevens's 'pediment of appearance'

Note that the above cross also appears in
Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean theorem.

Part III —

An echo of the above geometry—

Image-- Fuentiduena chapel at the Cloisters

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Academy Award

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The history of mathematics continues…

Image-- Academy of Athens announces a Jan. 26, 2010, speech by Professor Nicolaos Artemiadis

PRESS RELEASE

The Academician Professor Nicolaos Artemiadis will give a speech entitled "The Exploration of the Universe through the Mathematical Science" during a public session of the Academy of Athens (the speech will be in Greek).

The public session will be held on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010, at 19:00 at the Academy of Athens.

For some background on Professor Artemiadis, see two notes of July 2005 (the month an international conference on "Mathematics and Narrative" was held in Greece).

A post related by synchronicity to Artemiadis's Jan. 26 speech— Symbology.

Other philosophical remarks— "The Pediment of Appearance."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday February 24, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
 
Hollywood Nihilism
Meets
Pantheistic Solipsism

Tina Fey to Steve Martin
at the Oscars:
"Oh, Steve, no one wants
 to hear about our religion
… that we made up."

Tina Fey and Steve Martin at the 2009 Oscars

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.


Superficially the young men's philosophy seems to resemble what Wikipedia calls "pantheistic solipsism"– noting, however, that "This article has multiple issues."

As, indeed, does pantheistic solipsism– a philosophy (properly called "eschatological pantheistic multiple-ego solipsism") devised, with tongue in cheek, by science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.

Despite their preoccupation with solipsism, Heinlein and Stevens point, each in his own poetic way, to a highly non-solipsistic topic from pure mathematics that is, unlike the religion of Martin and Fey, not made up– namely, the properties of space.

Heinlein:

"Sharpie, we have condensed six dimensions into four, then we either work by analogy into six, or we have to use math that apparently nobody but Jake and my cousin Ed understands. Unless you can think of some way to project six dimensions into three– you seem to be smart at such projections."
    I closed my eyes and thought hard. "Zebbie, I don't think it can be done. Maybe Escher could have done it."

Stevens:

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

Stevens's rock is associated with empty space, a concept that suggests "nothingness" to one literary critic:

B. J. Leggett, "Stevens's Late Poetry" in The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens— On the poem "The Rock":

"… the barren rock of the title is Stevens's symbol for the nothingness that underlies all existence, 'That in which space itself is contained'….  Its subject is its speaker's sense of nothingness and his need to be cured of it."

This interpretation might appeal to Joan Didion, who, as author of the classic novel Play It As It Lays, is perhaps the world's leading expert on Hollywood nihilism.

More positively…

Space is, of course, also a topic
in pure mathematics…
For instance, the 6-dimensional
affine space
(or the corresponding
5-dimensional projective space)

The 4x4x4 cube

over the two-element Galois field
can be viewed as an illustration of
Stevens's metaphor in "The Rock."

Heinlein should perhaps have had in mind the Klein correspondence when he discussed "some way to project six dimensions into three." While such a projection is of course trivial for anyone who has taken an undergraduate course in linear algebra, the following remarks by Philippe Cara present a much more meaningful mapping, using the Klein correspondence, of structures in six (affine) dimensions to structures in three.

Cara:

Philippe Cara on the Klein correspondence
Here the 6-dimensional affine
space contains the 63 points
of PG(5, 2), plus the origin, and
the 3-dimensional affine
space contains as its 8 points
Conwell's eight "heptads," as in
Generating the Octad Generator.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday February 15, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM
From April 28, 2008:

Religious Art

The black monolith of
Kubrick's 2001 is, in
its way, an example
of religious art.

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

One artistic shortcoming
(or strength– it is, after
all, monolithic) of
that artifact is its
resistance to being
analyzed as a whole
consisting of parts, as
in a Joycean epiphany.

The following
figure does
allow such
  an epiphany.

A 2x4 array of squares

One approach to
 the epiphany:

"Transformations play
  a major role in
  modern mathematics."
– A biography of
Felix Christian Klein

See 4/28/08 for examples
of such transformations.

 
Related material:

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, pp. 117-118:

"… his point of origin is external nature, the fount to which we come seeking inspiration for our fictions. We come, many of Stevens's poems suggest, as initiates, ritualistically celebrating the place through which we will travel to achieve fictive shape. Stevens's 'real' is a bountiful place, continually giving forth life, continually changing. It is fertile enough to meet any imagination, as florid and as multifaceted as the tropical flora about which the poet often writes. It therefore naturally lends itself to rituals of spring rebirth, summer fruition, and fall harvest. But in Stevens's fictive world, these rituals are symbols: they acknowledge the real and thereby enable the initiate to pass beyond it into the realms of his fictions.

Two counter rituals help to explain the function of celebration as Stevens envisions it. The first occurs in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer. A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination. For in 'Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction' he tells us that

... the first idea was not to shape the clouds
In imitation. The clouds preceded us.      

There was a muddy centre before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.      

From this the poem springs: that we live in a place
That is not our own and, much more, not ourselves
And hard it is in spite of blazoned days.      

We are the mimics.

                                (Collected Poems, 383-84)

Believing that they are the life and not the mimics thereof, the world and not its fiction-forming imitators, these young men cannot find the savage transparence for which they are looking. In its place they find the pediment, a scowling rock that, far from being life's source, is symbol of the human delusion that there exists a 'form alone,' apart from 'chains of circumstance.'

A far more productive ritual occurs in 'Sunday Morning.'…."

For transformations of a more
specifically religious nature,
see the remarks on
Richard Strauss,
"Death and Transfiguration,"
(Tod und Verklärung, Opus 24)

in Mathematics and Metaphor
on July 31, 2008, and the entries
of August 3, 2008, related to the
 death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday February 14, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 PM
The Devil
in the Details

 

Here are clearer pictures of
the Einstein-Gutkind letter
discussed here February 7.

The pictures are from
the Bloomsbury Auctions site.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/Einstein-Gutkind1954-1.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/Einstein-Gutkind1954-2.jpg

The Bloomsbury Auctions caption for these images is as follows:

303. Einstein (Albert, theoretical physicist, 1879-1955) Autograph Letter signed to Eric B. Gutkind, in German, 1½pp. & envelope, 4to, Princeton, 3rd January 1954, thanking him for a copy of his book and expressing his view of God and Judaism, [The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish… . For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people…], folds, slightly browned ; and a photograph of Gutkind, v.s., v.d.

est. £6000 – £8000

Einstein’s view of God and Judaism.
Eric B. Gutkind (1877-1965), philosopher; author of Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt, 1952.
Albert Einstein – see also lot 497

Sold for £170000
Sale 649, 15th May 2008

Here is a close reading of the part of the letter itself that Bloomsbury gives in English, transcribed from the above images.

Line-by-line transcription of paragraph 2, starting at line 4 of that paragraph:                        

                   ... Das Wort Gott ist für mich nichts als Ausdruck
und Produkt menschlicher Schwächen, die Bibel eine Sammlung
ehrwürdiger, aber doch reichlich primitiver Legenden. Keine noch
so feinsinnige Auslegung kann (für mich) etwas daran ändern.
Diese verfeinerten Auslegungen sind naturgemäß höchst mannigfaltig
und haben so gut wie nichts mit dem Urtext zu schaffen. Für
mich ist die unverfälschte jüdische Religion, wie alle anderen
Religionen, eine Inkarnation des primitiven Aberglaubens. Und das
jüdische Volk, zu dem ich gern gehöre und mit dessen Mentalität ich
tief verwachsen bin, hat für mich doch keine andersartige
Qualität als alle anderen Völker. So weit meine Erfahrung reicht,
ist es auch um nichts besser als andere menschliche Gruppierungen,
wenn es auch durch Mangel an Macht gegen die schlimmsten
Auswüchse gesichert ist. Ansonsten kann ich nichts "Auserwähltes"
an ihm wahrnehmen.

The Guardian of May 13, 2008 stated that the following was "translated from German by Joan Stambaugh"–

... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression
and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection
of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No
interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.
These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold
according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For
me the Jewish religion like all other
religions is an incarnation of the most childish [German: primitiven] superstitions. And the
Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I
have a deep affinity have no different
quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes,
they are also no better than other human groups,
although they are protected from the worst
cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen'
about them.

Phrases by Stambaugh that do not appear in the German text are highlighted.

Stambaugh, a philosophy professor, is the author of a work on Buddhism, The Formless Self. For some related material on young men who "go crying 'The world is myself, life is myself'" in May, see Wallace Stevens's "The Pediment of Appearance."
 

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