Log24

Monday, September 2, 2019

For Fans of the “Story Theory of Truth”*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:03 AM

* See that title in this journal.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Story Theory of Truth

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:16 PM

(Continued)

Beloved professor dies unexpectedly

"Wesson also said Cottier had 'an encyclopedic
knowledge of everything historical and archaeological,'
and that he lectured straight from memory using
storytelling as a teaching method

'He was absolutely the best lecturer that I've ever had,
spellbinding,' Wesson said. 'He would tell the most
amazing narratives, and the one thing that I could say,
that I've said to a couple of people today, is he was the
closest thing to a real Indiana Jones that there ever will be.
He lived an extraordinary life, just absolutely unusual
in every way and was unafraid of anything. He was the
most fearless person that I've ever met.'" 

See also Pawn Sacrifice (June 28, 2015).

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Story Theory of Truth

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

(Continued)

At right above, a possible image of Queen Isabella I 
of Castile, attributed to Gerard David.

At left above, a Hollywood version.

Happy birthday to Chris Wallace and Hugh Jackman.


Related material: The Foot Configuration 
and Jews Telling Stories.

See also the epigraph to this morning's post Deconstruction —

"                          … Had they deceived us 
Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders,
Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit?"

— Four Quartets

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Story Theory of Truth

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:16 AM

This year's Black Friday Prize for Literature went to…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111126-SavageTalesOfSolomonKane.jpg

Friday, October 11, 2019

Quest

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:45 AM

John Horgan in Scientific American  magazine on October 8, 2019 —

"In the early 1990s, I came to suspect that the quest
for a unified theory is religious rather than scientific.
Physicists want to show that all things came from
one thing a force, or essence, or membrane
wriggling in eleven dimensions, or something that
manifests perfect mathematical symmetry. In their
search for this primordial symmetry, however,
physicists have gone off the deep end . . . ."

Other approaches —

See "Story Theory of Truth" in this  journal and, from the November 2019  
Notices of the American Mathematical Society . . .

Story Driven

More fundamental than the label of mathematician is that of human. And as humans, we’re hardwired to use stories to make sense of our world (story-receivers) and to share that understanding with others (storytellers) [2]. Thus, the framing of any communication answers the key question, what is the story we wish to share? Mathematics papers are not just collections of truths but narratives woven together, each participating in and adding to the great story of mathematics itself.

The first endeavor for constructing a good talk is recognizing and choosing just one storyline, tailoring it to the audience at hand. Should the focus be on a result about the underlying structures of group actions? . . . .

[2] Gottschall, J. , The Storytelling Animal ,
       Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

— "Giving Good Talks,"  by Satyan L. Devadoss

"Before time began, there was the Cube." — Optimus Prime

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Transylvania Revisited

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:10 PM

The previous post suggests . . .

Jim Holt reviewing Edward Rothstein's Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics  in The New Yorker  of June 5, 1995:

"The fugues of Bach, the symphonies of Haydn, the sonatas of Mozart: these were explorations of ideal form, unprofaned by extramusical associations. Such 'absolute music,' as it came to be called, had sloughed off its motley cultural trappings. It had got in touch with its essence. Which is why, as Walter Pater famously put it, 'all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.'

The only art that can rival music for sheer etheriality is mathematics. A century or so after the advent of absolute music, mathematics also succeeded in detaching itself from the world. The decisive event was the invention of strange, non-Euclidean geometries, which put paid to the notion that the mathematician was exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the scientific universe. 'Pure' mathematics came to be seen by those who practiced it as a free invention of the imagination, gloriously indifferent to practical affairs– a quest for beauty as well as truth." [Links added.]

A line for James McAvoy —

"Pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania Station?"

Bolyai 'worlds out of nothing' quote

See as well Worlds Out of Nothing ,  by Jeremy Gray.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Crooning

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:55 PM

For fans of the story theory of truth  

 A "tale as old as time . . ."
 — Song lyric,  Beauty and the Beast

Nicholas Hoult as X-Men "Beast" Hank McCoy

See also the previous post, "Equals Tolkien?"

Related material The real  McCoy

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Space Theory of Truth

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Earlier posts have discussed the "story theory of truth"
versus the "diamond theory of truth," as defined by 
Richard Trudeau in his 1987 book The Non-Euclidean Revolution.

In a New York Times  opinion piece for tomorrow's print edition,*
novelist Dara Horn touched on what might be called 
"the space theory of truth."

When they return to synagogue, mourners will be greeted
with more ancient words: “May God comfort you
among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”
In that verse, the word used for God is hamakom 
literally, “the place.” May the place comfort you.

[Link added.]

The Source —

See Dara Horn in this  journal, as well as Makom.

* "A version of this article appears in print on ,
on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: 
American Jews Know This Story."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Death of a Salesman

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Yesterday's online LA Times  had an obituary for a
traveling salesman:

"Besides writing and teaching, Borg was a frequent speaker,
usually racking up 100,000 frequent flier miles a year.
He and Crossan, along with their wives, led annual tours
to Turkey to follow the path of the Apostle Paul and to give
a sense of his world. They also led tours to Ireland to
showcase a different brand of Christianity."

Borg and Crossan were members of the Jesus Seminar.
For Crossan, see remarks on "The Story Theory of Truth."

See also, from the date of Borg's death, a different salesman joke.

Some backstory —

"What we do may be small, but it has
a certain character of permanence."

— G. H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday with the Nashes

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

“For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross.” — Gravity’s Rainbow

“I don’t write exclusively on Jewish themes or about Jewish characters.
My collection of short stories, Strange Attractors , contained nine pieces,
five of which were, to some degree, Jewish, and this ratio has provided me
with a precise mathematical answer (for me, still the best kind of answer)
to the question of whether I am a Jewish writer. I am five-ninths a Jewish writer.”

— Rebecca Goldstein, “Against Logic

Midrashim for Rebecca: 

The Diamond Theory vs.  the Story Theory (of truth)

Story Theory and the Number of the Beast

The Palm Sunday post “Gray Space”

For those who prefer the diamond theory of truth,
a “precise mathematical” view of a Gray code —

IMAGE- Six-bit binary and Gray codes

For those who prefer the story theory of truth,
Thursday with the Nashes —

The actors who portrayed Mr. and Mrs. John Nash in
‘A Beautiful Mind’ now portray Mr. and Mrs. Noah…

IMAGE- At UMC.org, the actors who portrayed Mr. and Mrs. John Nash in 'A Beautiful Mind' now portray Mr. and Mrs. Noah.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Story of Noam

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

On The Blazing World , a new novel —

“Hustvedt uses fragment-stories, frame narratives, and unreliable
narrators to talk about the ways in which brilliant women across
history have been silenced, forgotten, and appropriated by men.
This is a narrative suspicious of narratives, a story that
demonstrates how damaging stories can be.”

— Review by Amal El-Mohtar

The protagonist of Hustvedt’s novel is named Harriet Burden.

A midrash for Darren Aronofsky, director of The Fountain*  and Noah

Part I: The Burden of Proof —

Part II: The Story of Noam

* See The Fountain  in “The Story Theory of Truth,” Columbus Day, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Edifice Complex

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 PM

New! Improved!

"Euclid's edifice loomed in my consciousness 
as a marvel among sciences, unique in its
clarity and unquestionable validity." 
—Richard J. Trudeau in
   The Non-Euclidean Revolution  (First published in 1986)

Readers of this journal will be aware that Springer's new page
advertising Trudeau's book, pictured above, is a bait-and-switch
operation. In the chapter advertised, Trudeau promotes what he
calls "the Diamond Theory of Truth" as a setup for his real goal,
which he calls "the Story Theory of Truth."

For an earlier use of the phrase "Diamond Theory" in
connection with geometry, see a publication from 1977.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time and Chance (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:20 AM

For clergymen who embrace Trudeau's
"Story Theory of Truth" (see last evening's
7:20 PM post on geometry and A Wrinkle in Time )

Here are two meditations suggested by
yesterday evening's New York Lottery :

1.  Page 141 in Philosophies of India

2.  Post 4658 in this journal— A Wrinkle in Dimensions.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Theories of Truth

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:20 PM

A review of two theories of truth described
by a clergyman, Richard J. Trudeau, in
The Non-Euclidean Revolution

The Story Theory of Truth:

"But, I asked, is there a difference
between fiction and nonfiction?
'Not much,' she said, shrugging."

New Yorker  profile of tesseract
     author Madeleine L'Engle

The Diamond Theory of Truth:

(Click image for some background.)

Spaces as Hypercubes

See also the links on a webpage at finitegeometry.org.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Truth and Fiction

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Readings—

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Counterexample

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 AM

An 1978 counterexample to Richard J. Trudeau's
1987 "Story Theory of truth" is now online.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Objectivity

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:25 PM

From math16.com

Quotations on Realism
and the Problem of Universals:

"It is said that the students of medieval Paris came to blows in the streets over the question of universals. The stakes are high, for at issue is our whole conception of our ability to describe the world truly or falsely, and the objectivity of any opinions we frame to ourselves. It is arguable that this is always the deepest, most profound problem of philosophy. It structures Plato's (realist) reaction to the sophists (nominalists). What is often called 'postmodernism' is really just nominalism, colourfully presented as the doctrine that there is nothing except texts. It is the variety of nominalism represented in many modern humanities, paralysing appeals to reason and truth."
— Simon Blackburn, Think, Oxford University Press, 1999, page 268

"You will all know that in the Middle Ages there were supposed to be various classes of angels…. these hierarchized celsitudes are but the last traces in a less philosophical age of the ideas which Plato taught his disciples existed in the spiritual world."
— Charles Williams, page 31, Chapter Two, "The Eidola and the Angeli," in The Place of the Lion (1933), reprinted in 1991 by Eerdmans Publishing

For Williams's discussion of Divine Universals (i.e., angels), see Chapter Eight of The Place of the Lion.

"People have always longed for truths about the world — not logical truths, for all their utility; or even probable truths, without which daily life would be impossible; but informative, certain truths, the only 'truths' strictly worthy of the name. Such truths I will call 'diamonds'; they are highly desirable but hard to find….The happy metaphor is Morris Kline's in Mathematics in Western Culture (Oxford, 1953), p. 430."
— Richard J. Trudeau, The Non-Euclidean Revolution, Birkhauser Boston, 1987, pages 114 and 117

"A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the 'Story Theory' of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called 'true.' The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes…. My own viewpoint is the Story Theory…. I concluded long ago that each enterprise contains only stories (which the scientists call 'models of reality'). I had started by hunting diamonds; I did find dazzlingly beautiful jewels, but always of human manufacture."
— Richard J. Trudeau, The Non-Euclidean Revolution, Birkhauser Boston, 1987, pages 256 and 259

Trudeau's confusion seems to stem from the nominalism of W. V. Quine, which in turn stems from Quine's appalling ignorance of the nature of geometry. Quine thinks that the geometry of Euclid dealt with "an emphatically empirical subject matter" — "surfaces, curves, and points in real space." Quine says that Euclidean geometry lost "its old status of mathematics with a subject matter" when Einstein established that space itself, as defined by the paths of light, is non-Euclidean. Having totally misunderstood the nature of the subject, Quine concludes that after Einstein, geometry has become "uninterpreted mathematics," which is "devoid not only of empirical content but of all question of truth and falsity." (From Stimulus to Science, Harvard University Press, 1995, page 55)
— S. H. Cullinane, December 12, 2000

The correct statement of the relation between geometry and the physical universe is as follows:

"The contrast between pure and applied mathematics stands out most clearly, perhaps, in geometry. There is the science of pure geometry, in which there are many geometries: projective geometry, Euclidean geometry, non-Euclidean geometry, and so forth. Each of these geometries is a model, a pattern of ideas, and is to be judged by the interest and beauty of its particular pattern. It is a map or picture, the joint product of many hands, a partial and imperfect copy (yet exact so far as it extends) of a section of mathematical reality. But the point which is important to us now is this, that there is one thing at any rate of which pure geometries are not pictures, and that is the spatio-temporal reality of the physical world. It is obvious, surely, that they cannot be, since earthquakes and eclipses are not mathematical concepts."
— G. H. Hardy, section 23, A Mathematician's Apology, Cambridge University Press, 1940

The story of the diamond mine continues
(see Coordinated Steps and Organizing the Mine Workers)— 

From The Search for Invariants (June 20, 2011):

The conclusion of Maja Lovrenov's 
"The Role of Invariance in Cassirer’s Interpretation of the Theory of Relativity"—

"… physical theories prove to be theories of invariants
with regard to certain groups of transformations and
it is exactly the invariance that secures the objectivity
of a physical theory."

— SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA 42 (2/2006), pp. 233–241

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110810-MajaLovrenovBio.jpg

Related material from Sunday's New York Times  travel section—

"Exhibit A is certainly Ljubljana…."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diamond Theory vs. Story Theory (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Some background

Richard J. Trudeau, a mathematics professor and Unitarian minister, published in 1987 a book, The Non-Euclidean Revolution , that opposes what he calls the Story Theory of truth [i.e., Quine, nominalism, postmodernism] to what he calls the traditional Diamond Theory of truth [i.e., Plato, realism, the Roman Catholic Church]. This opposition goes back to the medieval "problem of universals" debated by scholastic philosophers.

(Trudeau may never have heard of, and at any rate did not mention, an earlier 1976 monograph on geometry, "Diamond Theory," whose subject and title are relevant.)

From yesterday's Sunday morning New York Times

"Stories were the primary way our ancestors transmitted knowledge and values. Today we seek movies, novels and 'news stories' that put the events of the day in a form that our brains evolved to find compelling and memorable. Children crave bedtime stories…."

Drew Westen, professor at Emory University

From May 22, 2009

Poster for 'Diamonds' miniseries on ABC starting May 24, 2009

The above ad is by
  Diane Robertson Design—

Credit for 'Diamonds' miniseries poster: Diane Robertson Design, London

Diamond from last night’s
Log24 entry, with
four colored pencils from
Diane Robertson Design:

Diamond-shaped face of Durer's 'Melencolia I' solid, with  four colored pencils from Diane Robertson Design
 
See also
A Four-Color Theorem.

For further details, see Saturday's correspondences
and a diamond-related story from this afternoon's
online New York Times.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Special FX…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

For fans of the story theory of truth

A date from the FX channel tonight
at the end of the film "Man on Fire"—

December 16, 2003— 

Material linked to here on that dateBlue Matrices.

From the "Man on Fire" soundtrack
Title: Una Palabra  (Carlos Varela)

Una palabra no dice nada
y al mismo tiempo lo esconde todo
….

The 2004 film, set in Mexico, was based on a 1981 novel set in Italy.

The author of that novel reportedly died in Malta on July 10, 2005.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:29 PM

Today's previous entry was "Gameplayers of the Academy."

More on this theme–

David Corfield in the March 2010
European Mathematical Society newsletter

    "Staying on the theme of games, the mathematician
Alexandre Borovik* once told me he thinks of mathematics
as a Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. If
so, it would show up very clearly the difference between
internal and external viewpoints. Inside the game people
are asking each other whether they were right about
something they encountered in it– 'When you entered
the dungeon did you see that dragon in the fireplace or
did I imagine it?' But someone observing them from the
outside wants to shout: 'You’re not dealing with anything
real. You’ve just got a silly virtual reality helmet on.' External
nominalists say the same thing, if more politely, to
mathematical practitioners. But in an important way the
analogy breaks down. Even if the players interact with
the game to change its functioning in unforeseen ways,
there were the original programmers who set the bounds
for what is possible by the choices they made. When they
release the next version of the game they will have made
changes to allow new things to happen. In the case of
mathematics, it’s the players themselves who make these
choices. There’s no further layer outside.
    What can we do then instead to pin down internal reality?"

*See previous references to Borovik in this journal.

Related material:

The Diamond Theory vs. the Story Theory of Truth,

Infantilizing the Audience, and

It's Still the Same Old Story…God of War III

Saturday, December 12, 2009

For Sinatra’s Birthday

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

Today's previous entry quoted a review by Edward Rothstein of Jung's The Red Book. The entry you are now reading quotes a review by Jim Holt of a notable book by Rothstein:

The Golden Book

Rothstein's 'Emblems of Mind,' 1995, cover illustrations by Pinturicchio from Vatican

Cover illustration— Arithmetic and Music,
Borgia Apartments, The Vatican

Jim Holt reviewing Edward Rothstein's Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics in The New Yorker of June 5, 1995:

Advent

"The fugues of Bach, the symphonies of Haydn, the sonatas of Mozart: these were explorations of ideal form, unprofaned by extramusical associations. Such 'absolute music,' as it came to be called, had sloughed off its motley cultural trappings. It had got in touch with its essence. Which is why, as Walter Pater famously put it, 'all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.'

The only art that can rival music for sheer etheriality is mathematics. A century or so after the advent of absolute music, mathematics also succeeded in detaching itself from the world. The decisive event was the invention of strange, non-Euclidean geometries, which put paid to the notion that the mathematician was exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the scientific universe. 'Pure' mathematics came to be seen by those who practiced it as a free invention of the imagination, gloriously indifferent to practical affairs– a quest for beauty as well as truth."

Related material: Hardy's Apology, Non-Euclidean Blocks, and The Story Theory of Truth.

See also Holt on music and emotion:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091212-MandM-review.gif

"Music does model… our emotional life… although
  the methods by which it does so are 'puzzling.'"

Also puzzling: 2010 AMS Notices.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Divine Comedy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:33 PM

The Story Theory of Truth

“We have a need to tell ourselves stories
that explain it all. We use these stories to
supply the metaphysics, without which
life seems pointless and empty.”

David Brooks, NY Times of Nov. 10

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's website has quotes on her soon-to-be-published novel 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

"Hilarious"
"Savagely funny"
"Supremely witty"
"Rollicking"

Description of the novel–

"At the center: Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology…."

Not to be confused with Professor Seltzer in Wanted  or characters in the films of Matt Damon–

The professor in Good Will Hunting and The Professor in The Bourne Identity

Related material–

Stories and Metaphysics

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday November 20, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:04 PM
An Exercise
of Power

Johnny Cash:
“And behold,
a white horse.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051120-SpringerLogo9.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Adapted from
illustration below:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051120-NonEuclideanRev.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question ‘What is truth?'”

H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Richard J. Trudeau’s remarks on the “Story Theory” of truth as opposed to  the “Diamond Theory” of truth in The Non-Euclidean Revolution

“A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the ‘Story Theory’ of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called ‘true.’ The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes*….”

Richard J. Trudeau in
The Non-Euclidean Revolution

“‘Deniers’ of truth… insist that each of us is trapped in his own point of view; we make up stories about the world and, in an exercise of power, try to impose them on others.”

— Jim Holt in The New Yorker.

(Click on the box below.)

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050819-Critic4.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Exercise of Power:

Show that a white horse–

A Singer 7-Cycle

a figure not unlike the
symbol of the mathematics
publisher Springer–
is traced, within a naturally
arranged rectangular array of
polynomials, by the powers of x
modulo a polynomial
irreducible over a Galois field.

This horse, or chess knight–
“Springer,” in German–
plays a role in “Diamond Theory”
(a phrase used in finite geometry
in 1976, some years before its use
by Trudeau in the above book).

Related material

On this date:

 In 1490, The White Knight
 (Tirant lo Blanc The image “http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. )–
 a major influence on Cervantes–
was published, and in 1910

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051120-Caballo1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

the Mexican Revolution began.

Illustration:
Zapata by Diego Rivera,
Museum of Modern Art,
New York

The image “http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Description from Amazon.com

“First published in the Catalan language in Valencia in 1490…. Reviewing the first modern Spanish translation in 1969 (Franco had ruthlessly suppressed the Catalan language and literature), Mario Vargas Llosa hailed the epic’s author as ‘the first of that lineage of God-supplanters– Fielding, Balzac, Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Joyce, Faulkner– who try to create in their novels an all-encompassing reality.'”

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday September 28, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:26 AM
Mathematical Narrative,
continued:

There is a pleasantly discursive treatment
of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question
“What is truth?”

— H. S. M. Coxeter, introduction to
Richard J. Trudeau’s
The Non-Euclidean Revolution

“People have always longed for truths about the world — not logical truths, for all their utility; or even probable truths, without which daily life would be impossible; but informative, certain truths, the only ‘truths’ strictly worthy of the name. Such truths I will call ‘diamonds’; they are highly desirable but hard to find….The happy metaphor is Morris Kline’s in Mathematics in Western Culture (Oxford, 1953), p. 430.”

— Richard J. Trudeau,
   The Non-Euclidean Revolution,
   Birkhauser Boston,
   1987, pages 114 and 117

“A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the ‘Story Theory’ of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called ‘true.’ The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes…. My own viewpoint is the Story Theory…. I concluded long ago that each enterprise contains only stories (which the scientists call ‘models of reality’). I had started by hunting diamonds; I did find dazzlingly beautiful jewels, but always of human manufacture.”

  — Richard J. Trudeau,
     The Non-Euclidean Revolution,
     Birkhauser Boston,
     1987, pages 256 and 259

An example of
the story theory of truth:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050925-Proof1.jpg”  cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (“Proof”) was apparently born on either Sept. 27, 1972, or Sept. 28, 1972.   Google searches yield  “about 193” results for the 27th and “about 610” for the 28th.

Those who believe in the “story theory” of truth may therefore want to wish her a happy birthday today.  Those who do not may prefer the contents of yesterday’s entry, from Paltrow’s other birthday.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday August 19, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Mathematics and Narrative
continued

"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of Pontius Pilate's unanswered question 'What is truth?'"

H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Richard J. Trudeau's remarks on the "Story Theory" of truth as opposed to  the "Diamond Theory" of truth " in The Non-Euclidean Revolution

"I had an epiphany: I thought 'Oh my God, this is it! People are talking about elliptic curves and of course they think they are talking mathematics. But are they really? Or are they talking about stories?'"

An organizer of last month's "Mathematics and Narrative" conference

"A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the 'Story Theory' of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called 'true.' The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes*…."

Richard J. Trudeau in The Non-Euclidean Revolution

"'Deniers' of truth… insist that each of us is trapped in his own point of view; we make up stories about the world and, in an exercise of power, try to impose them on others."

— Jim Holt in this week's New Yorker magazine.  Click on the box below.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050819-Critic4.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

* Many stripes

   "What disciplines were represented at the meeting?"
   "Apart from historians, you mean? Oh, many: writers, artists, philosophers, semioticians, cognitive psychologists – you name it."

 

An organizer of last month's "Mathematics and Narrative" conference

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thursday May 26, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:23 PM
Drama of the Diagonal
“The beautiful in mathematics
resides in contradiction.
Incommensurability, logoi alogoi, was
the first splendor in mathematics.”
— Simone Weil, Oeuvres Choisies,
éd. Quarto
, Gallimard, 1999, p. 100

Logos Alogos
by S. H. Cullinane

“To a mathematician, mathematical entities have their own existence, they habitate spaces created by their intention.  They do things, things happen to them, they relate to one another.  We can imagine on their behalf all sorts of stories, providing they don’t contradict what we know of them.  The drama of the diagonal, of the square…

— Dennis Guedj, abstract of “The Drama of Mathematics,” a talk to be given this July at the Mykonos conference on mathematics and narrative.

For the drama of the diagonal of the square, see

Monday, April 26, 2004

Monday April 26, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 AM

Philosophy

From today’s New York Times:

“Philip Hamburger, a writer for The New Yorker for more than six decades whose meticulously calibrated inflections — sober, droll and everything in between — helped create and nurture the magazine’s reputation for urbanity, died on Friday [April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday] at Columbia Presbyterian Center in Manhattan. He was 89….

Although he had a light touch, reflecting his own affability, there were times when he did not seek to amuse.”

From Friday’s rather unamusing log24 entry on the philosophy of mathematical proof, a link to a site listed in the Open Directory under

Society: Philosophy: Philosophy of Logic: Truth Definitions

“See also The Story Theory of Truth.”

From the weekend edition (April 24-25) of aldaily.com, a Jew’s answer to Pilate’s question:

With a philosophy degree you can ask such difficult questions as “What is truth?”, “Can we know the good?”, and “Do you want fries with that?”… more»

Whether Hamburger’s last Friday was in any sense a “good” Friday, I do not know.

Related religious meditations….

From Holy Thursday, April 8, 2004:

The Triple Crown of Philosophy,

which links to a Hamburger song, and

from Good Friday, April 9, 2004,

Temptation,

an unorthodox portrait of a New Yorker as St. Peter — from Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ.”

The many connoisseurs of death who admire Mel Gibson’s latest film can skip the final meditation, from the admirable Carol Iannone:

The Last Temptation Reconsidered.

They, as someone once said, have their reward.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Friday April 23, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Proof by Osmosis

by Kenneth Chang in the
New York Times of April 6, 2004

“A rigorous proof, a notion first set forth by Euclid around 300 B.C., is a progression of logic, starting from assumptions and arriving at a conclusion. If the chain is correct, the proof is true. If not, it is wrong.

But a proof is sometimes a fuzzy concept, subject to whim and personality. Almost no published proof contains every step; there are just too many….

…. reviewers rarely check every step, instead focusing mostly on the major points. In the end, they either believe the proof or not.

‘It’s like osmosis,’ said Dr. Akihiro Kanamori, a mathematics professor at Boston University who writes about the history of mathematics. ‘More and more people say it’s a proof and you believe them.’….”

See also The Story Theory of Truth.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Sunday November 23, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:23 PM

A Contribution to Trudeau’s
Story Theory of Truth” —

Epic of the Chosen People:

After Forty Years
in the Wilderness,

The Winners Are…

Dallas, 1963:

Sam the Sham
“started his music career
in Dallas in the early sixties”
— The Pharaohs Discography

Leesville, La., 2003:

Forty years later,
Leesville to honor
“Wooly Bully” singer

Friday, October 10, 2003

Friday October 10, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:35 AM

The West Wing’s
Story Line

From USATODAY.com, Oct. 9, 2003:

News analysis by Judy Keen, USA TODAY

Posted 10/9/2003 9:40 PM 
Updated 10/9/2003 9:42 PM

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s fierce defense Thursday of the war with Iraq was part of an effort to regain control of the debate over the wisdom of the conflict….

Bush’s insistence that the United States “won’t run from a challenge” in Iraq was a sign that he and his top aides are doing what they always do when they’re in trouble. They attempt to recapture equilibrium by confronting critics and trying to control the story line.

See also the “story theory of truth
versus the “diamond theory of truth.”

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Sunday September 7, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 PM

Horse Sense

Mathematicians are familiar with the emblem of Springer Verlag, the principal publisher of higher mathematics.

Ferdinand Springer, son of Julius Springer, founder of Springer Verlag, "was a passionate chess player and published a number of books on the subject. In 1881 this personal hobby and the name Springer led the company to adopt the knight in chess (in German, Springer) as its colophon."

Hermann Hesse on a certain sort of serenity:

"I would like to say something more to you about cheerful serenity, the serenity of the stars and of the mind…. neither frivolity nor complacency; it is supreme insight and love, affirmation of all reality, alertness on the brink of all depths and abysses; it is a virtue of saints and of knights; it is indestructible and only increases with age and nearness to death. It is the secret of beauty and the real substance of all art."

— From The Glass Bead Game

A saint and a knight, Jeanne d'Arc, was memorably portrayed by Milla Jovovich in The Messenger.

(Jovovich seems fated to play more-than-human characters in religious epics; see The Fifth Element.)

Another Springer, related to horses and to the accusation of witchcraft faced by Jeanne d'Arc, is Nancy Springer, the author of

The Hex Witch of Seldom.

Springer has written a number of books about horses, as well as other topics.

All of the above…. especially the parts having to do with mathematics and horses… was prompted by my redrawing today of a horse-shape within mathematics.  See my entry The Eight of April 4, 2003, and the horse-figure redrawn at right below.

 



Springer
Verlag



The
 Messenger



A
7-Cycle

Believers in the story theory of truth may wish to relate the gifts of Jeanne d'Arc and of the girl in The Hex Witch of Seldom to the legend of Pegasus.  See, for instance,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

For another connection between mathematics and horses, see Sangaku.
 

Saturday, August 9, 2003

Saturday August 9, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:07 PM

Beware of…
Jews Peddling Stories:

An episode in the ongoing saga of the conflict between the "story theory of truth" and the "diamond theory of truth."

The following set of pictures summarizes some reflections on truth and reality suggested by the August 9, 2003, New York Times obituary of writer William Woolfolk, who died on July 20, 2003.

Woolfolk was the author of The Sex Goddess and was involved in the production of the comic book series The Spirit (see below).

The central strategy of the three Semitic religions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — is to pretend that we are all characters in a story whose author is God.  This strategy suggests the following Trinity, based on the work of William Woolfolk (The Sex Goddess and The Spirit) and Steven Spielberg ("Catch Me If You Can").  Like other Semitic tales, the story of this Trinity should not be taken too seriously.

 

William Woolfolk
Woolfolk as
a Jewish God

The Sex Goddess
Woolfolk's Story

 

Martin Sheen in Catch Me If You Can
The Father as
a Lutheran God

 

Amy Adams in Catch Me If You Can
The Father's
Story

DiCaprio as a doctor
The Son

DiCaprio and Adams
The Son's Story

Amy Adams, star of Catch Me If You Can
The Holy
Spirit

The Spirit, 1942
The Holy
Spirit's Story

 

A Confession of Faith:

Theology Based On the Film
"Catch Me If You Can":

The Son to God the Lutheran Father:

"I'm nothing really, just a kid in love with your daughter."

This is taken from a review of "Catch Me If You Can" by Thomas S. Hibbs.

For some philosophical background to this confession, see Hibbs's book

Shows About Nothing:
Nihilism in Popular Culture
from The Exorcist to Seinfeld
.

By the way, today is the anniversary of the dropping on Nagasaki
of a made-in-USA Weapon of Mass Destruction, a plutonium bomb
affectionately named Fat Man.

Fat Man was a sequel to an earlier Jewish story,

Trinity.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Saturday June 14, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Indiana Jones
and the Hidden Coffer

In memory of Bernard Williams,

Oxford philosopher, who died Tuesday, June 10, 2003. 

“…in… Truth and Truthfulness [September, 2002], he sought to speak plainly, and took on the post-modern, politically correct notion that truth is merely relative…”

— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

“People have always longed for truths about the world — not logical truths, for all their utility; or even probable truths, without which daily life would be impossible; but informative, certain truths, the only ‘truths’ strictly worthy of the name. Such truths I will call ‘diamonds’; they are highly desirable but hard to find….

A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the ‘Story Theory’ of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called ‘true.’ The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes…. My own viewpoint is the Story Theory….”

— Richard J. Trudeau, The Non-Euclidean Revolution, Birkhauser Boston, 1987

Today is the feast day of Saint Jorge Luis Borges (b. Buenos Aires, August 24, 1899 – d. Geneva, June 14, 1986).

From Borges’s “The Aleph“:

“The Faithful who gather at the mosque of Amr, in Cairo, are acquainted with the fact that the entire universe lies inside one of the stone pillars that ring its central court…. The mosque dates from the seventh century; the pillars come from other temples of pre-Islamic religions…. Does this Aleph exist in the heart of a stone?”

(“Los fieles que concurren a la mezquita de Amr, en el Cairo, saben muy bien que el universo está en el interior de una de las columnas de piedra que rodean el patio central…. la mezquita data del siglo VII; las columnas proceden de otros templos de religiones anteislámicas…. ¿Existe ese Aleph en lo íntimo de una piedra?”)

From The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Un cofre de gran riqueza
Hallaron dentro un pilar,
Dentro del, nuevas banderas
Con figuras de espantar.*

* A coffer of great richness
In a pillar’s heart they found,
Within it lay new banners,
With figures to astound.

See also the figures obtained by coloring and permuting parts of the above religious symbol.

Lena Olin and Harrison Ford
in “Hollywood Homicide

Sunday, August 4, 2002

Sunday August 4, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:52 PM

The Story Theory of Truth

versus

The Diamond Theory of Truth

One year ago today, Lorenzo Music, the voice of Carlton the doorman on Rhoda, died.  His eulogy from Valerie Harper:

 “Valerie’s heart is breaking, but Rhoda is certain that Carlton the doorman is giving St. Peter at the gate a run for his money.”

Today’s birthday: Logician John Venn

Appearing for the story theory…

Flannery O’Connor:

“In the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or statistics, but by the stories it tells. Fiction is the most impure and the most modest and the most human of the arts.”

Appearing for the diamond theory…

Mary McCarthy and G. H. Hardy:

From the Hollywood Investigator:

 On October 18, 1979, Mary McCarthy said on PBS’s Dick Cavett Show: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'”

Don’t forget “a,” as in “a people is known” —

“Greek mathematics is permanent, more permanent even than Greek literature.  Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not.”

— G. H. Hardy in A Mathematician’s Apology

And a closing rebuttal from the story theory…

Martin Heidegger and Dean Martin: 

Words of wisdom from Martin Heidegger, Catholic Nazi:

“The nature of art is poetry.  The nature of poetry, in turn, is the founding of truth…. In the work, truth is thrown toward… an historical group of men.”

Poetry, Language, Thought, page 75, translated by Albert Hofstadter, Harper & Row paperback, 1975

And from Dean Martin, avatar of anti-art :

That’s Amore:

– Artist: Dean Martin as sung on “Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits”
– Capitol 4XL-9389
– peak Billboard position # 2 in 1953
– from the movie “the Caddy” starring Dean, Jerry Lewis, and Donna Reed
– Words and Music by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks

(In Napoli where love is King, when boy meets girl, here’s what they say)

When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie,
That’s amore!
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine,
That’s amore!

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