Log24

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Schoolgirl Space — Tetrahedron or Square?

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:03 PM

The exercise in the previous post  was suggested by a passage
purporting to "use standard block design theory" that was written
by some anonymous author at Wikipedia on March 1, 2019:

Here "rm OR" apparently means "remove original research."

Before the March 1 revision . . .

The "original research" objected to and removed was the paragraph
beginning "To explain this further."  That paragraph was put into the
article earlier on Feb. 28 by yet another anonymous author (not  by me).

An account of my own (1976 and later) original research on this subject 
is pictured below, in a note from Feb. 20, 1986 —

'The relativity problem in finite geometry,' 1986

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dance of the Fire Temple

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:13 AM

The previous post, Tetrahedron Dance, suggests a review of . . .

A figure from St. Patrick's Day 2004 that might
represent a domed  roof 

Inscribed Carpenter's Square:

In Latin, NORMA

 and a cinematic "Fire Temple" from 2019 

In related news . . .

Related background "e. e. cummings" in this  journal.

Tetrahedron Dance

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 9:42 AM

John Lithgow in "The Tomorrow Man" (2019)

" connect the dots…."

IMAGE- 'The geometry of the dance' is that of a tetrahedron, according to Peter Pesic

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Joy of Six

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 11:07 PM

Note that in the pictures below of the 15 two-subsets of a six-set,
the symbols 1 through 6 in Hudson's square array of 1905 occupy the
same positions as the anticommuting Dirac matrices in Arfken's 1985
square array. Similarly occupying these positions are the skew lines
within a generalized quadrangle (a line complex) inside PG(3,2).

Anticommuting Dirac matrices as spreads of projective lines

Related narrative The "Quantum Tesseract Theorem."

Monday, October 7, 2019

Oblivion

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:09 PM

(A sequel to Simplex Sigillum Veri and 
Rabbit Hole Meets Memory Hole)

" Wittgenstein does not, however, relegate all that is not inside the bounds
of sense to oblivion. He makes a distinction between saying  and showing  
which is made to do additional crucial work. 'What can be shown cannot
be said,' that is, what cannot be formulated in sayable (sensical)
propositions can only be shown. This applies, for example, to the logical
form of the world, the pictorial form, etc., which show themselves in the
form of (contingent) propositions, in the symbolism, and in logical
propositions. Even the unsayable (metaphysical, ethical, aesthetic)
propositions of philosophy belong in this group — which Wittgenstein
finally describes as 'things that cannot be put into words. They make
themselves manifest. They are what is mystical' " (Tractatus  6.522).

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , "Ludwig Wittgenstein"

From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus  by Ludwig Wittgenstein.

(First published in Annalen der Naturphilosophie ,1921.
English edition first published 1922 by Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner. This translation first published 1961 by Routledge & Kegan Paul. Revised edition 1974.)

5.4541

The solutions of the problems of logic must be simple, since they set the standard of simplicity.

Men have always had a presentiment that there must be a realm in which the answers to questions are symmetrically combined — a priori — to form a self-contained system.

A realm subject to the law: Simplex sigillum veri.

Somehow, the old Harvard seal, with its motto "Christo et Ecclesiae ,"
was deleted from a bookplate in an archived Harvard copy of Whitehead's 
The Axioms of Projective Geometry  (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).

In accordance with Wittgenstein's remarks above, here is a new
bookplate seal for Whitehead, based on a simplex

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Midnight Landmarks

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Algebra for Schoolgirls

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:37 AM

The 15 points of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2)
arranged in tetrahedral form:

The letter labels, but not the tetrahedral form,
are from The Axioms of Projective Geometry , by
Alfred North Whitehead (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).

The above space PG(3,2), because of its close association with
Kirkman's schoolgirl problem, might be called "schoolgirl space."

Screen Rant  on July 31, 2019:

A Google Search sidebar this morning:

Apocalypse Soon!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Language Game

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:28 AM

Previous posts now tagged Pyramid Game suggest

A possible New Yorker  caption:   " e . . . (ab) . . . (cd) . "

Caption Origins —

Playing with shapes related to some 1906 work of Whitehead:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Emissary

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 8:04 PM
 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tetrahedral Structures

Filed under: General — Tags:  —
m759 @ 8:11 PM 

In memory of a Church emissary  who reportedly died on  September 4 . . . .

Playing with shapes related to some 1906 work of Whitehead:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Annals of Random Fandom

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:46 PM

For Dan Brown fans …

… and, for fans of The Matrix, another tale
from the above death date: May 16, 2019 —

An illustration from the above
Miracle Octad Generator post:

Related mathematics — Tetrahedron vs. Square.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Inappropriate Capstone

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:59 AM

The All-Night Record Player

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM

See "Politics of Experience" and "Blue Guitar."

IMAGE- Scene from 'Oblivion' (2013) 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Schoolgirl Space…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:56 AM

According to Wikipedia

See also Schoolgirl Space in this journal.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tetrahedral Structures

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:11 PM

In memory of a Church emissary who reportedly died on September 4,
here is a Log24 flashback reposted on that date —

Related poetry —

"To every man upon this earth,
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
and the temples of his gods…?"

— Macaulay, quoted in the April 2013 film "Oblivion"

Related fiction —

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On Steiner Quadruple Systems of Order 16

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:11 AM

An image from a Log24 post of March 5, 2019

Cullinane's 1978  square model of PG(3,2)

The following paragraph from the above image remains unchanged
as of this morning at Wikipedia:

"A 3-(16,4,1) block design has 140 blocks of size 4 on 16 points,
such that each triplet of points is covered exactly once. Pick any
single point, take only the 35 blocks containing that point, and
delete that point. The 35 blocks of size 3 that remain comprise
a PG(3,2) on the 15 remaining points."

Exercise —

Prove or disprove the above assertion about a general "3-(16,4,1) 
block design," a structure also known as a Steiner quadruple system
(as I pointed out in the March 5 post).

Relevant literature —

A paper from Helsinki in 2005* says there are more than a million
3-(16,4,1) block designs, of which only one has an automorphism
group of order 322,560. This is the affine 4-space over GF(2),
from which PG(3,2) can be derived using the well-known process
from finite geometry described in the above Wikipedia paragraph.

* "The Steiner quadruple systems of order 16," by Kaski et al.,
   Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A  
Volume 113, Issue 8, 
   November 2006, pages 1764-1770.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Schoolgirl Space* Revisited:

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:51 PM

The Square "Inscape" Model of
the Generalized Quadrangle W(2)

Click image to enlarge.

* The title refers to the role of PG (3,2) in Kirkman's schoolgirl problem.
For some backstory, see my post Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines
and, more generally, posts tagged Dirac and Geometry.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Artsy Quantum Realm

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:38 PM
 

arXiv.org > quant-ph > arXiv:1905.06914 

Quantum Physics

Placing Kirkman's Schoolgirls and Quantum Spin Pairs on the Fano Plane: A Rainbow of Four Primary Colors, A Harmony of Fifteen Tones

J. P. Marceaux, A. R. P. Rau

(Submitted on 14 May 2019)

A recreational problem from nearly two centuries ago has featured prominently in recent times in the mathematics of designs, codes, and signal processing. The number 15 that is central to the problem coincidentally features in areas of physics, especially in today's field of quantum information, as the number of basic operators of two quantum spins ("qubits"). This affords a 1:1 correspondence that we exploit to use the well-known Pauli spin or Lie-Clifford algebra of those fifteen operators to provide specific constructions as posed in the recreational problem. An algorithm is set up that, working with four basic objects, generates alternative solutions or designs. The choice of four base colors or four basic chords can thus lead to color diagrams or acoustic patterns that correspond to realizations of each design. The Fano Plane of finite projective geometry involving seven points and lines and the tetrahedral three-dimensional simplex of 15 points are key objects that feature in this study.

Comments:16 pages, 10 figures

Subjects:Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Cite as:arXiv:1905.06914 [quant-ph]

 (or arXiv:1905.06914v1 [quant-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: A. R. P. Rau [view email] 
[v1] Tue, 14 May 2019 19:11:49 UTC (263 KB)

See also other posts tagged Tetrahedron vs. Square.

Life in Palermo

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:55 AM

See also other posts tagged Tetrahedron vs. Square, and a related
Log24 search for "Schoolgirl + Space."

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Live from New York, It’s …

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 11:30 PM

Curse of the Fire Temple

"Power outages hit parts of Manhattan
plunging subways, Broadway, into darkness"

New York Post  this evening

Which Roof?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:15 AM

Related material — Tetrahedron vs. Square and Cézanne's Greetings

Compare and contrast:

A figure from St. Patrick's Day 2004 that might represent a domed  roof

Inscribed Carpenter's Square:

In Latin, NORMA

and a cinematic "Fire Temple" from 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

Holloway Today

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:23 AM

"The area is home to many artists and people who work in
 the media, including many journalists, writers and professionals 
working in film and television." — Wikipedia

Tusen takk to My Square Lady —

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Perception of Space

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:45 AM

(Continued)

The three previous posts have now been tagged . . .

Tetrahedron vs. Square  and  Triangle vs. Cube.

Related material —

Tetrahedron vs. Square:

Labeling the Tetrahedral Model  (Click to enlarge) —

Triangle vs. Cube:

and, from the date of the above John Baez remark —

Dreamtimes

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:27 AM

“I am always the figure in someone else’s dream. I would really rather
sometimes make my own figures and make my own dreams.”

— John Malkovich at squarespace.com, January 10, 2017

Also on that date . . .

.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Exploring Schoolgirl Space

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 9:48 AM

See also "Quantum Tesseract Theorem" and "The Crosswicks Curse."

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Schoolgirl Problem

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:18 PM

Anonymous remarks on the schoolgirl problem at Wikipedia —

"This solution has a geometric interpretation in connection with 
Galois geometry and PG(3,2). Take a tetrahedron and label its
vertices as 0001, 0010, 0100 and 1000. Label its six edge centers
as the XOR of the vertices of that edge. Label the four face centers
as the XOR of the three vertices of that face, and the body center
gets the label 1111. Then the 35 triads of the XOR solution correspond
exactly to the 35 lines of PG(3,2). Each day corresponds to a spread
and each week to a packing
."

See also Polster + Tetrahedron in this  journal.

There is a different "geometric interpretation in connection with
Galois geometry and PG(3,2)" that uses a square  model rather
than a tetrahedral  model. The square  model of PG(3,2) last
appeared in the schoolgirl-problem article on Feb. 11, 2017, just
before a revision that removed it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Zen and the Art

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:13 PM

Or:  Burning Bright

A post in memory of Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman,
who reportedly died at 88 on Monday.

“Hello the Camp”

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:20 AM

The title is a quotation from the 2015 film "Mojave."

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Secret Characters

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 2:23 PM

"Cell 461" quote from Curzio Malaparte superimposed on a scene from
the 1963 Godard film "Le Mépris " ("Contempt") —

"The architecture… beomes closely linked to the script…."

Malaparte's cell number , 461, is somewhat less closely  linked
to the phrase "eternal blazon" —

Irving was quoted here on Dec. 22, 2008

The Tale of
the Eternal Blazon

by Washington Irving

Blazon  meant originally a shield , and then
the heraldic bearings on a shield .
Later it was applied to the art of describing
or depicting heraldic bearings in the proper
manner; and finally the term came to signify 
ostentatious display  and also description or
record by words or other means 
. In Hamlet ,
Act I Sc. 5, the Ghost, while talking with
Prince Hamlet, says:

‘But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.’

Eternal blazon  signifies revelation or description
of things pertaining to eternity 
.”

— Irving’s Sketch Book , p. 461
 

Update of 6:25 PM ET —

"Self-Blazon of Edenic Plenitude"

(The Issuu text is taken from Speaking about Godard , by Kaja Silverman
and Harun Farocki, New York University Press, 1998, page 34.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

An Inscape for Douthat

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:41 AM

Some images, and a definition, suggested by my remarks here last night
on Apollo and Ross Douthat's remarks today on "The Return of Paganism" —

Detail of Feb. 20, 1986, note by Steven H. Cullinane on Weyl's 'relativity problem'

Kibler's 2008 'Variations on a theme' illustrated.

In finite geometry and combinatorics,
an inscape  is a 4×4 array of square figures,
each figure picturing a subset of the overall 4×4 array:


 

Related material — the phrase
"Quantum Tesseract Theorem" and  

A.  An image from the recent
      film "A Wrinkle in Time" — 

B.  A quote from the 1962 book —

"There's something phoney
in the whole setup, Meg thought.
There is definitely something rotten
in the state of Camazotz."

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Just the Facts

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

The New Yorker  on the recent film "The Square"

"It’s an aesthetic that presents,
so to speak, just the facts, 
as if the facts themselves weren’t
deeply layered with living history
and crisscrossed with vectors
of divergent ideas and ideals."

— Richard Brody, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

For other images deeply layered  and crisscrossed ,
see Geometry of the I Ching.

Dating Harvard

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

See also this journal on today's date four years ago.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dürer for St. Luke’s Day

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Structure of the Dürer magic square 

16   3   2  13
 5  10  11   8   decreased by 1 is …
 9   6   7  12
 4  15  14   1

15   2   1  12
 4   9  10   7
 8   5   6  11
 3  14  13   0 .

Base 4 —

33  02  01  30
10  21  22  13
20  11  12  23 
03  32  31  00 .

Two-part decomposition of base-4 array
as two (non-Latin) orthogonal arrays

3 0 0 3     3 2 1 0
1 2 2 1     0 1 2 3
2 1 1 2     0 1 2 3
0 3 3 0     3 2 1 0 .

Base 2 –

1111  0010  0001  1100
0100  1001  1010  0111
1000  0101  0110  1011
0011  1110  1101  0000 .

Four-part decomposition of base-2 array
as four affine hyperplanes over GF(2) —

1001  1001  1100  1010
0110  1001  0011  0101
1001  0110  0011  0101
0110  0110  1100  1010 .

— Steven H. Cullinane,
  October 18, 2017

See also recent related analyses of
noted 3×3 and 5×5 magic squares.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Plan 9 Continues

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM

See also Holy Field in this journal.

Some related mathematics —

IMAGE- Herbert John Ryser, 'Combinatorial Mathematics' (1963), page 1

Analysis of the Lo Shu structure —

Structure of the 3×3 magic square:

4  9  2
3  5  7    decreased by 1 is
8  1  6

3  8  1
2  4  6
7  0  5

In base 3 —

10  22  01
02  11  20
21  00  12

As orthogonal Latin squares
(a well-known construction) —

1  2  0     0  2  1
0  1  2     2  1  0
2  0  1     1  0  2 .

— Steven H. Cullinane,
     October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Highway 61 Revisited

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:13 AM

"God said to Abraham …." — Bob Dylan, "Highway 61 Revisited"

Related material — 

See as well Charles Small, Harvard '64, 
"Magic Squares over Fields" —

— and Conway-Norton-Ryba in this  journal.

Some remarks on an order-five  magic square over GF(52):

"Ultra Super Magic Square"

on the numbers 0 to 24:

22   5   18   1  14
  3  11  24   7  15
  9  17   0  13  21
10  23   6  19   2
16   4  12  20   8

Base-5:

42  10  33  01  24 
03  21  44  12  30 
14  32  00  23  41
20  43  11  34  02
31  04  22  40  13 

Regarding the above digits as representing
elements of the vector 2-space over GF(5)
(or the vector 1-space over GF(52)) 

All vector row sums = (0, 0)  (or 0, over GF(52)).
All vector column sums = same.

Above array as two
orthogonal Latin squares:
   
4 1 3 0 2     2 0 3 1 4
0 2 4 1 3     3 1 4 2 0 
1 3 0 2 4     4 2 0 3 1         
2 4 1 3 0     0 3 1 4 2
3 0 2 4 1     1 4 2 0 3

— Steven H. Cullinane,
      October 16, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reopening the Tesseract

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:27 AM

Dialogue from the film "Interstellar" —

Cooper: Did it work?

TARS: I think it might have.

Cooper: How do you know?

TARS: Because the bulk beings
            are closing the tesseract.

Related material — "Bulk apperception"
in this journal, and

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the Park with Yin and Yang

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:35 PM

In memory of an art dealer who 
reportedly died on Sunday, May 7—

Decorations for a Cartoon Graveyard

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Text and Context

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:11 PM

Some context for the previous post, which was about
a new Art Space  Pinterest board

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Pinterest Board

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 PM

https://www.pinterest.com/stevenhcullinane/art-space/

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Art Space

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

Detail of an image in the previous post

This suggests a review of a post on a work of art by fashion photographer
Peter Lindbergh, made when he was younger and known as "Sultan."

The balls in the foreground relate Sultan's work to my own.

Linguistic backstory —

The art space where the pieces by Talman and by Lindbergh
were displayed is Museum Tinguely in Basel.

As the previous post notes, the etymology of "glamour" (as in
fashion photography) has been linked to "grammar" (as in 
George Steiner's Grammars of Creation ). A sculpture by 
Tinguely (fancifully representing Heidegger) adorns one edition
of Grammars .

Yale University Press, 2001:

Tinguely, "Martin Heidegger,
Philosopher," sculpture, 1988

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Special Topics

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:41 PM

A roundup of posts now tagged "Apollo Psi" led to the name
Evan Harris Walker in the post Dirac and Geometry of
Dec. 14, 2015. That post mentions

" Evan Harris Walker’s ingenious theory of
the psi force, a theory that assigned psi
both positive and negative values in such a way
that the mere presence of a skeptic in the near
vicinity of a sensitive psychic investigation could
force null results. Neat, Dr. Walker, thought
Peter Slater— neat, and totally without content."

— From the 1983 novel Broken Symmetries  
     by Paul Preuss 

It turns out that Walker died "on the evening of August 17, 2006." 

From this journal on that date

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Delos Incorporated* Sunday School

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The 3x3 square

Click image for a search.

* Parent company of Westworld.
  See also Delos  in this journal.

Friday, March 3, 2017

PSI

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

(Notes for Josefine, continued from December 22, 2013) 

From a prequel to The Shining , by Stephen King—

You had to keep an eye on the boiler
because if you didn’t, she would creep on you. 

What did that mean, anyway? Or was it just
one of those nonsensical things that sometimes
came to you in dreams, so much gibberish?
Of course there was undoubtedly a boiler
in the basement or somewhere to heat the place,
even summer resorts had to have heat sometimes,
didn’t they (if only to supply hot water)? But creep ?
Would a boiler creep ?
You had to keep an eye on the boiler.
It was like one of those crazy riddles,
why is a mouse when it runs,
when is a raven like a writing desk,
what is a creeping boiler? 

The boiler room from Kubrick's 'The Shining'

A related figure —

Adventure

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:40 PM

The New York Times  on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 —

This  journal on the previous afternoon —

For greater artistic depth, see Tetrads in this journal.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tetrahedral Death Star

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

Continuing the "Memory, History, Geometry" theme
from yesterday

See Tetrahedral,  Oblivion,  and Tetrahedral Oblivion.

IMAGE- From 'Oblivion' (2013), the Mother Ship

"Welcome home, Jack."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Folk Etymology

Images from Burkard Polster's Geometrical Picture Book

See as well in this journal the large  Desargues configuration, with
15 points and 20 lines instead of 10 points and 10 lines as above.

Exercise:  Can the large Desargues configuration be formed
by adding 5 points and 10 lines to the above Polster model
of the small configuration in such a way as to preserve
the small-configuration model's striking symmetry?  
(Note: The related figure below from May 21, 2014, is not
necessarily very helpful. Try the Wolfram Demonstrations
model
, which requires a free player download.)

Labeling the Tetrahedral Model (Click to enlarge) —

Related folk etymology (see point a  above) —

Related literature —

The concept  of "fire in the center" at The New Yorker , 
issue dated December 12, 2016, on pages 38-39 in the
poem by Marsha de la O titled "A Natural History of Light."

Cézanne's Greetings.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Smallest Perfect Number/Universe

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

The smallest perfect number,* six, meets
"the smallest perfect universe,"** PG(3,2).

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

  * For the definition of "perfect number," see any introductory
    number-theory text that deals with the history of the subject.
** The phrase "smallest perfect universe" as a name for PG(3,2),
     the projective 3-space over the 2-element Galois field GF(2),
     was coined by math writer Burkard Polster. Cullinane's square
     model of PG(3,2) differs from the earlier tetrahedral model
     discussed by Polster.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dirac and Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 AM

(Continued)

See a post by Peter Woit from Sept. 24, 2005 — Dirac's Hidden Geometry.

The connection, if any, with recent Log24 posts on Dirac and Geometry
is not immediately apparent.  Some related remarks from a novel —

From Broken Symmetries by Paul Preuss
(first published by Simon and Schuster in 1983) —

"He pondered the source of her fascination with the occult, which sooner or later seemed to entangle a lot of thoughtful people who were not already mired in establishmentarian science or religion. It was  the religious impulse, at base. Even reason itself could function as a religion, he supposed— but only for those of severely limited imagination. 

He’d toyed with 'psi' himself, written a couple of papers now much quoted by crackpots, to his chagrin. The reason he and so many other theoretical physicists were suckers for the stuff was easy to understand— for two-thirds of a century an enigma had rested at the heart of theoretical physics, a contradiction, a hard kernel of paradox. Quantum theory was inextricable from the uncertainty relations. 

The classical fox knows many things, but the quantum-mechanical hedgehog knows only one big thing— at a time. 'Complementarity,' Bohr had called it, a rubbery notion the great professor had stretched to include numerous pairs of opposites. Peter Slater was willing to call it absurdity, and unlike some of his older colleagues who, following in Einstein’s footsteps, demanded causal explanations for everything (at least in principle), Peter had never thirsted after 'hidden variables' to explain what could not be pictured. Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him, mere formal relationships which existed at all times, everywhere, at once. It was a thin nectar, but he was convinced it was the nectar of the gods. 

The psychic investigators, on the other hand, demanded to know how  the mind and the psychical world were related. Through ectoplasm, perhaps? Some fifth force of nature? Extra dimensions of spacetime? All these naive explanations were on a par with the assumption that psi is propagated by a species of nonlocal hidden variables, the favored explanation of sophisticates; ignotum per ignotius

'In this connection one should particularly remember that the human language permits the construction of sentences which do not involve any consequences and which therefore have no content at all…' The words were Heisenberg’s, lecturing in 1929 on the irreducible ambiguity of the uncertainty relations. They reminded Peter of Evan Harris Walker’s ingenious theory of the psi force, a theory that assigned psi both positive and negative values in such a way that the mere presence of a skeptic in the near vicinity of a sensitive psychic investigation could force null results. Neat, Dr. Walker, thought Peter Slater— neat, and totally without content. 

One had to be willing to tolerate ambiguity; one had to be willing to be crazy. Heisenberg himself was only human— he’d persuasively woven ambiguity into the fabric of the universe itself, but in that same set of 1929 lectures he’d rejected Dirac’s then-new wave equations with the remark, 'Here spontaneous transitions may occur to the states of negative energy; as these have never been observed, the theory is certainly wrong.' It was a reasonable conclusion, and that was its fault, for Dirac’s equations suggested the existence of antimatter: the first antiparticles, whose existence might never have been suspected without Dirac’s crazy results, were found less than three years later. 

Those so-called crazy psychics were too sane, that was their problem— they were too stubborn to admit that the universe was already more bizarre than anything they could imagine in their wildest dreams of wizardry."

Particularly relevant

"Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him,
mere formal relationships which existed at all times,
everywhere, at once."

Some related pure  mathematics

Anticommuting Dirac matrices as spreads of projective lines

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Space

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

Notes on space for day 13 of May, 2015 —

The 13 symmetry axes of the cube may be viewed as
the 13 points of the Galois projective space PG(2,3).
This space (a plane) may also be viewed as the nine points
of the Galois affine space AG(2,3) plus the four points on
an added "line at infinity."

Related poetic material:

The ninefold square and Apollo, as well as 

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110426-ApolloAndDionysus.jpg

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Remember me to…

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

Herald Square.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Creativity

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Quoted here on April 11 —

“…direct access to the godhead, which
in this case was Creativity.”
— Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House

From “Today in History: April 25, 2014,” by The Associated Press:

“Five years ago… University of Georgia professor
George Zinkhan, 57, shot and killed his wife
and two men outside a community theater in Athens
before taking his own life.”

Related material:

A Google Scholar search for Zinkhan’s 1993 paper,
Creativity in Advertising,” Journal of Advertising  22,2: 1-3 —

Obiter Dicta:

“Dour wit” — Obituary of a Scots herald who died on Palm Sunday

“Remember me to Herald Square.” — Song lyric

“Welcome to Scotland.” — Kincade in Skyfall

Monday, October 28, 2013

Harvard Anniversary

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

From the AP Today in History  page
for October 28, 2013 —

IMAGE- Harvard founded Oct. 28.

From this journal seven years ago:

The Practical Cogitator

Recommended.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Demonstrations

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:00 PM

IMAGE- Wolfram Demonstrations, '15 Point Projective Space'

IMAGE- From 'Oblivion' (2013), the Mother Ship

"Welcome home, Jack."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tale

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

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul….

— Hamlet’s Father’s Ghost

The results of a search in this journal for “a tale unfold” suggest
a review of the following passage from Donna Tartt’s Secret History

A math weblog discussed this passage on January 24, 2013.
For related alliances, see this  weblog on that same date.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What Dreams

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

“For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.” — Hamlet

Sleep well, Mr. Matheson.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Palpatine Dimension

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

A physics quote relayed at Peter Woit's weblog today—

"The relation between 4D N=4 SYM and the 6D (2, 0) theory
is just like that between Darth Vader and the Emperor.
You see Darth Vader and you think 'Isn’t he just great?
How can anyone be greater than that? No way.'
Then you meet the Emperor."

— Arkani-Hamed

Some related material from this  weblog—

(See Big Apple and Columbia Film Theory)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120108-Space_Time_Penrose_Hawking.jpg

The Meno Embedding:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101128-TheEmbedding.gif

Some related material from the Web—

IMAGE- The Penrose diamond and the Klein quadric

See also uses of the word triality  in mathematics. For instance…

A discussion of triality by Edward Witten

Triality is in some sense the last of the exceptional isomorphisms,
and the role of triality for n = 6  thus makes it plausible that n = 6
is the maximum dimension for superconformal symmetry,
though I will not give a proof here.

— "Conformal Field Theory in Four and Six Dimensions"

and a discussion by Peter J. Cameron

There are exactly two non-isomorphic ways
to partition the 4-subsets of a 9-set
into nine copies of AG( 3,2).
Both admit 2-transitive groups.

— "The Klein Quadric and Triality"

Exercise: Is Witten's triality related to Cameron's?
(For some historical background, see the triality  link from above
and Cameron's Klein Correspondence and Triality.)

Cameron applies his  triality to the pure geometry of a 9-set.
For a 9-set viewed in the context of physics, see A Beginning

From MIT Commencement Day, 2011—

A symbol related to Apollo, to nine, and to "nothing"

A minimalist favicon—

IMAGE- Generic 3x3 square as favicon

This miniature 3×3 square— http://log24.com/log/pix11A/110518-3x3favicon.ico — may, if one likes,
be viewed as the "nothing" present at the Creation. 
See Feb. 19, 2011, and Jim Holt on physics.

Happy April 1.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

High White Noon

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

Grid from a post linked to in yesterday's 24 Hour DeLillo

The 3x3 square

A Study in Art Education

For an example of this grid as slow art , consider the following—

"One can show that the binary tetrahedral group
is isomorphic to the special linear group SL(2,3)—
the group of all 2×2 matrices over the finite field F3
with unit determinant." —Wikipedia

As John Baez has noted, these two groups have the same structure as the geometric 24-cell.

For the connection of the grid to the groups and the 24-cell, see Visualizing GL(2,p).

Related material—

The 3×3 grid has been called a symbol of Apollo (Greek god of reason and of the sun).

"This is where we sat through his hushed hour,
a torchlit sky, the closeness of hills barely visible
at high white noon." — Don DeLillo, Point Omega

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Beginning

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:29 AM
 

From MIT Commencement Day, 2011—

A symbol related to Apollo, to nine, and to "nothing"

A minimalist favicon—

IMAGE- Generic 3x3 square as favicon

This miniature 3×3 squarehttp://log24.com/log/pix11A/110518-3x3favicon.ico — may, if one likes,
be viewed as the "nothing" present at the Creation. 
See Feb. 19, 2011, and Jim Holt on physics.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

True Grid (continued)

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

"Rosetta Stone" as a Metaphor
  in Mathematical Narratives

For some backgound, see Mathematics and Narrative from 2005.

Yesterday's posts on mathematics and narrative discussed some properties
of the 3×3 grid (also known as the ninefold square ).

For some other properties, see (at the college-undergraduate, or MAA, level)–
Ezra Brown, 2001, "Magic Squares, Finite Planes, and Points of Inflection on Elliptic Curves."

His conclusion:

When you are done, you will be able to arrange the points into [a] 3×3 magic square,
which resembles the one in the book [5] I was reading on elliptic curves….

This result ties together threads from finite geometry, recreational mathematics,
combinatorics, calculus, algebra, and number theory. Quite a feat!

5. Viktor Prasolov and Yuri Solvyev, Elliptic Functions and Elliptic Integrals ,
    American Mathematical Society, 1997.

Brown fails to give an important clue to the historical background of this topic —
the word Hessian . (See, however, this word in the book on elliptic functions that he cites.)

Investigation of this word yields a related essay at the graduate-student, or AMS, level–
Igor Dolgachev and Michela Artebani, 2009, "The Hesse Pencil of Plane Cubic Curves ."

From the Dolgachev-Artebani introduction–

In this paper we discuss some old and new results about the widely known Hesse
configuration
  of 9 points and 12 lines in the projective plane P2(k ): each point lies
on 4 lines and each line contains 3 points, giving an abstract configuration (123, 94).

PlanetMath.org on the Hesse configuration

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110108-PlanetMath.jpg

A picture of the Hesse configuration–

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/grid3x3med.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(See Visualizing GL(2,p), a note from 1985).

Related notes from this journal —

From last November —

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Story

m759 @ 10:12 PM

From the December 2010 American Mathematical Society Notices

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101113-Ono.gif

Related material from this  journal—

Mathematics and Narrative and

Consolation Prize (August 19, 2010)

From 2006 —

Sunday December 10, 2006

 

 m759 @ 9:00 PM

A Miniature Rosetta Stone:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/grid3x3med.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Function defined form, expressed in a pure geometry
that the eye could easily grasp in its entirety.”

– J. G. Ballard on Modernism
(The Guardian , March 20, 2006)

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance –
it is the illusion of knowledge.”

— Daniel J. Boorstin,
Librarian of Congress, quoted in Beyond Geometry

Also from 2006 —

Sunday November 26, 2006

 

m759 @ 7:26 AM

Rosalind Krauss
in "Grids," 1979:

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art  or The Non-Objective World , for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example…."

"He was looking at the nine engravings and at the circle,
checking strange correspondences between them."
The Club Dumas ,1993

"And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason."
Robert Plant ,1971

The nine engravings of The Club Dumas
(filmed as "The Ninth Gate") are perhaps more
an example of the concrete than of the universal.

An example of the universal*– or, according to Krauss,
a "staircase" to the universal– is the ninefold square:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason…."
John Outram, architect    

For more on the field of reason, see
Log24, Oct. 9, 2006.

A reasonable set of "strange correspondences"
in the garden of Apollo has been provided by
Ezra Brown in a mathematical essay (pdf).

Unreason is, of course, more popular.

* The ninefold square is perhaps a "concrete universal" in the sense of Hegel:

"Two determinations found in all philosophy are the concretion of the Idea and the presence of the spirit in the same; my content must at the same time be something concrete, present. This concrete was termed Reason, and for it the more noble of those men contended with the greatest enthusiasm and warmth. Thought was raised like a standard among the nations, liberty of conviction and of conscience in me. They said to mankind, 'In this sign thou shalt conquer,' for they had before their eyes what had been done in the name of the cross alone, what had been made a matter of faith and law and religion– they saw how the sign of the cross had been degraded."

– Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy ,
   "Idea of a Concrete Universal Unity"

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
– Thomas Pynchon   

And from last October —

Friday, October 8, 2010

 

m759 @ 12:00 PM
 

Starting Out in the Evening
… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening's post on mathematics and narrative and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning's New York Times .

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-StartingOut.jpg

 

Above: Frank Langella in
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Right: Johnny Depp in
"The Ninth Gate"

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-NinthGate.jpg

"One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage."

– "Is Fiction the Art of Lying?"* by Mario Vargas Llosa,
    New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

* The Web version's title has a misprint—
   "living" instead of "lying."

"You've got to pick up every stitch…"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Plan 9 Revisited

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Leading today's New York Times  obituaries —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101213-NYTobits.jpg

— is that of Nassos Daphnis, a painter of geometric abstractions
who in 1995 had an exhibition at a Leo Castelli gallery
titled "Energies in Outer Space." (See pictures here.)

Daphnis died, according to the Times, on November 23.
See Art Object, a post in this journal on that date—

There is more than one way
to look at a cube.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101123-plain_cube_200x227.gif

Some context— this morning's previous post (Apollo's 13,
on the geometry of the 3×3×3 cube), yesterday's noon post
featuring the 3×3 square grid (said to be a symbol of Apollo),

The 3x3 square

and, for connoisseurs of the Ed Wood school of cinematic art,
a search in this journal for the phrase "Plan 9."

You can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brightness at Noon continued…

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

A picture one might view as
related to the novel An Object of Beauty
and the film "The Object of Beauty" —

The 3x3 square

Click for some background.

"If it's a seamless whole you want,
 pray to Apollo." — Margaret Atwood

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mathematics and Narrative, continued

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 AM
 

The Story of N

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090109-Stories.jpg

Roberta Smith in the New York Times  of July 7, 2006

Art Review

Endgame Art? It's Borrow, Sample and Multiply in an Exhibition at Bard College

"… The show has an endgame, end-time mood, as if we are looking at the end of the end of the end of Pop, hyperrealism and appropriation art. The techniques of replication and copying have become so meticulous that they are beside the point. This is truly magic realism: the kind you can't see, that has to be explained. It is also a time when artists cultivate hybridism and multiplicity and disdain stylistic coherence, in keeping with the fashionable interest in collectivity, lack of ego, the fluidity of individual identity. But too often these avoidance tactics eliminate the thread of a personal sensibility or focus.

I would call all these strategies fear of form, which can be parsed as fear of materials, of working with the hands in an overt way and of originality. Most of all originality. Can we just say it? This far from Andy Warhol and Duchamp, the dismissal of originality is perhaps the oldest ploy in the postmodern playbook. To call yourself an artist at all is by definition to announce a faith, however unacknowledged, in some form of originality, first for yourself, second, perhaps, for the rest of us.

Fear of form above all means fear of compression— of an artistic focus that condenses experiences, ideas and feelings into something whole, committed and visually comprehensible. With a few exceptions, forms of collage and assemblage dominate this show: the putting together (or simply putting side by side) of existing images and objects prevails. The consistency of this technique in two and three dimensions should have been a red flag for the curators. Collage has driven much art since the late 1970's. Lately, and especially in this exhibition, it often seems to have become so distended and pulled apart that its components have become virtually autonomous and unrelated, which brings us back to square one. This is most obvious in the large installations of graphic works whose individual parts gain impact and meaning from juxtaposition but are in fact considered distinct artworks."

Margaret Atwood on art and the trickster

"The pleasures of fabulation, the charming and playful lie— this line of thought leads Hyde* to the last link in his subtitle, the connection of the trickster to art. Hyde reminds us that the wall between the artist and that American favourite son, the con-artist, can be a thin one indeed; that craft and crafty rub shoulders; and that the words artifice, artifact, articulation  and art  all come from the same ancient root, a word meaning 'to join,' 'to fit,' and 'to make.'  If it’s a seamless whole you want, pray to Apollo, who sets the limits within which such a work can exist.  Tricksters, however, stand where the door swings open on its hinges and the horizon expands: they operate where things are joined together, and thus can also come apart."

* Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art,  Farrar Straus & Giroux, January 1998

Smith mentions "an artistic focus that condenses experiences, ideas and feelings into something whole, committed and visually comprehensible."

Atwood mentions "a seamless whole."

For some related remarks, see "A Study in Art Education" and the central figure pictured above. (There "N" can stand for "number," "nine," or "narrative.")

Friday, October 8, 2010

Starting Out in the Evening

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

… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening’s post on mathematics and narrative
and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning’s New York Times.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-StartingOut.jpg

Above: Frank Langella in
Starting Out in the Evening

Right: Johnny Depp in
The Ninth Gate

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-NinthGate.jpg

“One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage.”

— “Is Fiction the Art of Lying?”* by Mario Vargas Llosa, New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

My own adventures in that realm— as reader, not author— may illustrate Llosa’s remark.

A nearby stack of paperbacks I haven’t touched for some months (in order from bottom to top)—

  1. Pale Rider by Alan Dean Foster
  2. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  3. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
  5. Literary Reflections by James A. Michener
  6. The Ninth Configuration by William Peter Blatty
  7. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  8. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
  9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  10. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  11. Being There by Jerzy Kosinski
  12. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
  13. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  14. A Gathering of Spies by John Altman
  15. Selected Poems by Robinson Jeffers
  16. Hook— Tinkerbell’s Challenge by Tristar Pictures
  17. Rising Sun by Michael Crichton
  18. Changewar by Fritz Leiber
  19. The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe
  20. The Hustler by Walter Tevis
  21. The Natural by Bernard Malamud
  22. Truly Tasteless Jokes by Blanche Knott
  23. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
  24. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

What moral Vargas Llosa might draw from the above stack I do not know.

Generally, I prefer the sorts of books in a different nearby stack. See Sisteen, from May 25. That post the fanciful reader may view as related to number 16 in the above list. The reader may also relate numbers 24 and 22 above (an odd couple) to By Chance, from Thursday, July 22.

* The Web version’s title has a misprint— “living” instead of “lying.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

What on earth is a 'concrete universal'?"
Said to be an annotation (undated)
by Robert M. Pirsig of A History of Philosophy,
by Frederick Copleston, Society of Jesus.

From Aaron Urbanczyk's 2005 review of Christ and Apollo  by William Lynch, S.J., a book first published in 1960—

"Lynch's use of analogy vis-a-vis literature provides, in a sense, a philosophical basis to the theoretical paradox popularized by W. K. Wimsatt (1907-1975), which contends that literature is a sort of 'concrete universal.'"

The following figure has often been
offered in this journal as a symbol of Apollo

Image-- 3x3 array of white squares

Arguments that it is, rather, a symbol of Christ
may be left to the Society of Jesus.

One possible approach—
Urbanczyk's review says that
"Christianity offers the critic
   a privileged ontological window…."

"The world was warm and white when I was born:
Beyond the windowpane the world was white,
A glaring whiteness in a leaded frame,
Yet warm as in the hearth and heart of light."

Delmore Schwartz

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For Miss Prothero (and Dylan Thomas)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:23 AM

 

The Ninth Gate

Friday's post "Religion at Harvard" continues…

Image-- List of nine religions in the chapters of Prothero's 'God is Not One'

This list may be of some use to
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who, like Prothero,
spoke recently at Harvard Book Store.

See also Rosalind Krauss on Grids,
An Education, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Readers more advanced than Harvard audiences
may wish to compare yesterday's linked-to story
"Loo Ree" with the works of Alison Lurie
in particular, Imaginary Friends and Familiar Spirits.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Veritas

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Some historians consider today's date, April 7, to be the date of the Crucifixion in the Roman calendar (a solar calendar, as opposed to the Jewish lunar scheme).

Since the ninefold square has been called both a symbol of Apollo and the matrix of a cross, it will serve as an icon for today–

The 3x3 square

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051202-Cross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Adapted from
Ad Reinhardt

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday September 30, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Midnight in the Garden, Autumn 2009

 

Review:

Der Einsatz

Motto of Plato's Academy: 'Let no one ignorant of geometry enter'

The Ninefold Square (a 3x3 grid)

The New York Times Magazine
on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009:
 

From this journal on the following day, Sept. 21:

Pearl Jam 'Backspacer' album released Sept. 20, 2009

Happy birthday, Stephen King.

Today's previous entry is based on a song, "Unthought Known,"
from the above album; the cover of the album uses the 3×3 grid
shown in Sept. 20's midnight review. For related material
on the unconscious, see June 13-15, 2005.

I know more than Apollo,
For oft when he lies sleeping
I see the stars at mortal wars
In the wounded welkin weeping.

Tom O'Bedlam's Song

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday April 17, 2009

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

Begettings of
the Broken Bold

Thanks for the following
quotation (“Non deve…
nella testa“) go to the
weblog writer who signs
himself “Conrad H. Roth.”

Autobiography
of Goethe

(Vol. II, London, Bell & Daldy,
1868, at Google Books):

… Yesterday I took leave of my Captain, with a promise of visiting him at Bologna on my return. He is a true

A PAPAL SOLDIER’S IDEAS OF PROTESTANTS 339

representative of the majority of his countrymen. Here, however, I would record a peculiarity which personally distinguished him. As I often sat quiet and lost in thought he once exclaimed “Che pensa? non deve mai pensar l’uomo, pensando s’invecchia;” which being interpreted is as much as to say, “What are you thinking about: a man ought never to think; thinking makes one old.” And now for another apophthegm of his; “Non deve fermarsi l’uomo in una sola cosa, perche allora divien matto; bisogna aver mille cose, una confusione nella testa;” in plain English, “A man ought not to rivet his thoughts exclusively on any one thing, otherwise he is sure to go mad; he ought to have in his head a thousand things, a regular medley.”

Certainly the good man could not know that the very thing that made me so thoughtful was my having my head mazed by a regular confusion of things, old and new. The following anecdote will serve to elucidate still more clearly the mental character of an Italian of this class. Having soon discovered that I was a Protestant, he observed after some circumlocution, that he hoped I would allow him to ask me a few questions, for he had heard such strange things about us Protestants that he wished to know for a certainty what to think of us.

Notes for Roth:

Roth and Corleone in Havana

The title of this entry,
“Begettings of the Broken Bold,”
is from Wallace Stevens’s
“The Owl in the Sarcophagus”–

This was peace after death, the brother of sleep,
The inhuman brother so much like, so near,
Yet vested in a foreign absolute,

Adorned with cryptic stones and sliding shines,
An immaculate personage in nothingness,
With the whole spirit sparkling in its cloth,

Generations of the imagination piled
In the manner of its stitchings, of its thread,
In the weaving round the wonder of its need,

And the first flowers upon it, an alphabet
By which to spell out holy doom and end,
A bee for the remembering of happiness.

Peace stood with our last blood adorned, last mind,
Damasked in the originals of green,
A thousand begettings of the broken bold.

This is that figure stationed at our end,
Always, in brilliance, fatal, final, formed
Out of our lives to keep us in our death....

Related material:

  • Yesterday’s entry on Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language
  • James Joyce and Heraldry
  • “One might say that he [Joyce] invented a non-Euclidean geometry of language; and that he worked over it with doggedness and devotion….” —Unsigned notice in The New Republic, 20 January 1941
  • Joyce’s “collideorscape” (scroll down for a citation)
  • “A Hanukkah Tale” (Log24, Dec. 22, 2008)
  • Stevens’s phrase from “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” (Canto XXV)

Some further context:

Roth’s entry of Nov. 3, 2006–
Why blog, sinners?“–
and Log24 on that date:
First to Illuminate.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday February 19, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:07 AM

A Sunrise
for Sunrise

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art or The Non-Objective World, for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter. They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete."

Rosalind Krauss, "Grids"

Yesterday's entry featured a rather simple-minded example from Krauss of how the ninefold square (said to be a symbol of Apollo)

The 3x3 grid

may be used to create a graphic design– a Greek cross, which appears also in crossword puzzles:

Crossword-puzzle design that includes Greek-cross elements

Illustration by
Paul Rand
(born Peretz Rosenbaum)

A more sophisticated example
of the ninefold square
in graphic design:

"That old Jew
gave me this here."

— A Flag for Sunrise  

The 3x3 grid as an organizing frame for Chinese calligraphy. Example-- the character for 'sunrise'
From Paul-Rand.com

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday December 22, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:00 PM

The Folding

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5

Ghost:

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!”

This recalls the title of a piece in this week’s New Yorker:”The Book of Lists:
Susan Sontag’s early journals
.” (See Log24 on Thursday, Dec. 18.)

In the rather grim holiday spirit of that piece, here are some journal notes for Sontag, whom we may imagine as the ghost of Hanukkah past.

There are at least two ways of folding a list (or tale) to fit a rectangular frame.The normal way, used in typesetting English prose and poetry, starts at the top, runs from left to right, jumps down a line, then again runs left to right, and so on until the passage is done or the bottom right corner of the frame is reached.

The boustrophedonic way again goes from top to bottom, with the first line running from left to right, the next from right to left, the next from left to right, and so on, with the lines’ directions alternating.

The word “boustrophedon” is from the Greek words describing the turning, at the end of each row, of an ox plowing (or “harrowing”) a field.

The Tale of
the Eternal Blazon

by Washington Irving

Blazon meant originally a shield, and then the heraldic bearings on a shield.
Later it was applied to the art of describing or depicting heraldic bearings
in the proper manner; and finally the term came to signify ostentatious display
and also description or record by words or other means. In Hamlet, Act I. Sc. 5,
the Ghost, while talking with Prince Hamlet, says:

‘But this eternal blazon
must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.’

Eternal blazon signifies revelation or description of things pertaining to eternity.”

Irving’s Sketch Book, p. 461

By Washington Irving and Mary Elizabeth Litchfield, Ginn & Company, 1901

Related material:

Folding (and harrowing up)
some eternal blazons —

The 16 Puzzle: transformations of a 4x4 square
These are the foldings
described above.

They are two of the 322,560
natural ways to fit
the list (or tale)
“1, 2, 3, … 15, 16”
into a 4×4 frame.

For further details, see
The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

Moral of the tale:

Cynthia Zarin in The New Yorker, issue dated April 12, 2004–

“Time, for L’Engle, is accordion-pleated. She elaborated, ‘When you bring a sheet off the line, you can’t handle it until it’s folded, and in a sense, I think, the universe can’t exist until it’s folded– or it’s a story without a book.'”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:26 PM
Symbol

“If it’s a seamless whole you want,
 pray to Apollo, who sets the limits
  within which such a work can exist.”

Margaret Atwood,
quoted here on
November 17, 2008

The 3x3 square

A symbol of Apollo

Related material:

A web page by
Nick Wedd at Oxford

with a neater version
of pictures I drew on
March 26, 1985

(Recall that Apollo is the god
   of, among other things, reason.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday November 17, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Limits

From the previous entry:

“If it’s a seamless whole you want,
 pray to Apollo, who sets the limits
  within which such a work can exist.”

— Margaret Atwood,
author of Cat’s Eye

The 3x3 square

Happy birthday
to the late
Eugene Wigner

… and a belated
Merry Christmas
 to Paul Newman:

Elke Sommer, former Erlangen Gymnasium student, in 'The Prize' with Paul Newman, released Christmas Day, 1963

“The laws of nature permit us to foresee events on the basis of the knowledge of other events; the principles of invariance should permit us to establish new correlations between events, on the basis of the knowledge of established correlations between events. This is exactly what they do.”

— Eugene Wigner, Nobel Prize Lecture, December 12, 1963

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday August 2, 2008

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

(continued from
June 15, 2007)

Today is the anniversary
of the 1955 death of poet
Wallace Stevens.

Related material:

A poem by Stevens,

an essay on  the
relationships between
poets and philosophers —
“Bad Blood,” by
Leonard Michaels

and

The ninefold square, a symbol of Apollo

the Log24 entries
of June 14-15, 2007
.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday November 26, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:26 AM

Rosalind Krauss
in "Grids," 1979:

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art or The Non-Objective World, for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example…."

"He was looking at
the nine engravings
and at the circle,
checking strange
correspondences
between them."
The Club Dumas,1993

"And it's whispered that soon
if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us
to reason."
Robert Plant,1971

The nine engravings of
The Club Dumas
(filmed as "The Ninth Gate")
are perhaps more an example
of the concrete than of the
universal.

An example of the universal*–
or, according to Krauss, a
"staircase" to the universal–
is the ninefold square:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"This is the garden of Apollo,
the field of Reason…."
John Outram, architect    

For more on the field
of reason, see
Log24, Oct. 9, 2006.

A reasonable set of
"strange correspondences"
in the garden of Apollo
has been provided by Ezra Brown
in a mathematical essay (pdf).

Unreason is, of course,
more popular.

* The ninefold square is perhaps a "concrete universal" in the sense of Hegel:

"Two determinations found in all philosophy are the concretion of the Idea and the presence of the spirit in the same; my content must at the same time be something concrete, present. This concrete was termed Reason, and for it the more noble of those men contended with the greatest enthusiasm and warmth. Thought was raised like a standard among the nations, liberty of conviction and of conscience in me. They said to mankind, 'In this sign thou shalt conquer,' for they had before their eyes what had been done in the name of the cross alone, what had been made a matter of faith and law and religion– they saw how the sign of the cross had been degraded."

— Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, "Idea of a Concrete Universal Unity"

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon   
 

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday September 16, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Pandora's Box

Part I:
The Pandora Cross

"There is no painter in the West who can be unaware of the symbolic power of the cruciform shape and the Pandora's box of spiritual reference that is opened once one uses it."

— Rosalind Krauss in "Grids"


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060916-Art.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(See Log24, Sept. 13)

Part II:
The Opening

Remarks by the Pope on Sept. 12,
as reported by the Vatican:

Faith, Reason, and the University:
Memories and Reflections

For the result of
the Pope's remarks, see
a transcript of
 yesterday's Google News
and the following
from BBC today:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060916-Benedict16.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click to enlarge the screenshot.

Part III:
Hope

The New Yorker (issue of June 5, 2006) on the late Oriana Fallaci:

"In September [2005], she had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence outside Rome. She had criticized John Paul II for making overtures to Muslims, and for not condemning terrorism heartily enough, but she has hopes for Joseph Ratzinger."

For further details, see yesterday's Log24.


Part IV:
The Sibyl's Song

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060916-MC7.GIF” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

— From The Magic Circle,
 a spiritual narrative
 by Katherine Neville

For more on "the long-mute voice
of the past," on "darkness beneath
the volcano," and on uncorking,
see Glory Season and Harrowing.

Related material from
Log24 on Dec. 2, 2005:

Benedict XVI, before he became Pope:

"… a purely harmonious concept of beauty is not enough…. Apollo, who for Plato's Socrates was 'the God' and the guarantor of unruffled beauty as 'the truly divine' is absolutely no longer sufficient."

A symbol of Apollo:

IMAGE- The ninefold square

and a related
Christian symbol,

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051202-Cross.gif� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

the Greek Cross
(adapted from
Ad Reinhardt).

Moral of the Pandora Cross:

"Nine is a very powerful Nordic number."
— Katherine Neville in The Magic Circle…

quoted in The Nine, a Log24 entry
for Hermann Weyl's birthday,
November 9, 2004.
 

Friday, August 4, 2006

Friday August 4, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 AM

ART WARS
continued from
previous entry

In memory of
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf:

"Who is the fairest of them all?"

This question might
well be posed by…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Krauss.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Rosalind Krauss,
Meyer Schapiro Professor
of Modern Art and Theory
at Columbia University
(Ph.D., Harvard U., 1969).

"The grid is a staircase to the Universal….
We could think about Ad Reinhardt, who,
despite his repeated insistence that
'Art is art,'
ended up by painting a series of…
nine-square grids in which the motif
that inescapably emerges is
a Greek cross.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051202-Cross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Adapted from
Ad Reinhardt

There is no painter in the West
who can be unaware of
the symbolic power
of the cruciform shape and the
Pandora's box of spiritual reference
that is opened once one uses it."

— Rosalind Krauss in "Grids"

"Nine is a very powerful Nordic number."
— Katherine Neville, author of The Eight

Related material:

Balanchine's Birthday,

Apollo and Christ.
 

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Sunday February 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM
The Logic of Apollo

“The icon that I use… is the nine-fold square…. This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason….”

Architect’s notes on the design of a college campus

“Binary image morphological operations are well suited to a large class of basic image processing applications. These operations include image analysis tasks such as shape recognition, image segmentation, noise reduction, and feature extraction.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/060206-Masks.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Programmable Logic-based Implementation of Ultra-fast Parallel Binary Image Morphological Operations (pdf), by Kenneth G. Ricks et al., ISCA 18th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications (March 2003)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Saturday July 30, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:21 AM

Born today: Laurence Fishburne

Matrix

"The nine-fold square has centre, periphery, axes and diagonals. But all are present only in their bare essentials. It is also a sequence of eight triads. Four pass through the centre and four do not. This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason, sheltered by the Gate from the turmoil of the Delta, with its endless cycles of erasure and reinscription. This is the Temple of Solomon, as inscribed, for example, by a nine-fold compartmentation to provide the ground plan of Yale…."

— Architects John Outram Associates
    on work at Rice University

Yale Daily News, Jan. 11, 2001:  

    "When New Haven was founded, the city was laid out into a grid of nine squares surrounded by a great wilderness.
    Last year History of Art Professor Emeritus Vincent Scully said the original town plan reflected a feeling that the new city should be sacred.
    Scully said the colony's founders thought of their new Puritan settlement as a 'nine-square paradise on Earth, heaven on earth, New Haven, New Jerusalem.'"

"Real and unreal are two in one:
    New Haven
 Before and after one arrives…."

 — Wallace Stevens,
    "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven,' XXVIII
 

Related material:
 Log24 entries on
St. Peter's Day, 2004

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thursday April 22, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:07 PM

Minimalism

"It's become our form of modern classicism."

— Nancy Spector in 
   the New York Times of April 23, 2004

Part I: Aesthetics

In honor of the current Guggenheim exhibition, "Singular Forms" — A quotation from the Guggenheim's own website

"Minimalism refers to painting or sculpture

  1. made with an extreme economy of means
  2. and reduced to the essentials of geometric abstraction….
  3. Minimalist art is generally characterized by precise, hard-edged, unitary geometric forms….
  4. mathematically regular compositions, often based on a grid….
  5. the reduction to pure self-referential form, emptied of all external references….
  6. In Minimal art what is important is the phenomenological basis of the viewer’s experience, how he or she perceives the internal relationships among the parts of the work and of the parts to the whole….
  7. The repetition of forms in Minimalist sculpture serves to emphasize the subtle differences in the perception of those forms in space and time as the spectator’s viewpoint shifts in time and space."

Discuss these seven points
in relation to the following:

 
Form,
by S. H. Cullinane

Logos and Logic

Mark Rothko's reference
to geometry as a "swamp"
and his talk of "the idea" in art

Michael Kimmelman's
remarks on ideas in art 

Notes on ideas and art

Geometry
of the 4×4 square

The Grid of Time

ART WARS:
Judgment Day
(2003, 10/07)

Part II: Theology

Today's previous entry, "Skylark," concluded with an invocation of the Lord.   Of course, the Lord one expects may not be the Lord that appears.


 John Barth on minimalism:

"… the idea that, in art at least, less is more.

It is an idea surely as old, as enduringly attractive and as ubiquitous as its opposite. In the beginning was the Word: only later came the Bible, not to mention the three-decker Victorian novel. The oracle at Delphi did not say, 'Exhaustive analysis and comprehension of one's own psyche may be prerequisite to an understanding of one's behavior and of the world at large'; it said, 'Know thyself.' Such inherently minimalist genres as oracles (from the Delphic shrine of Apollo to the modern fortune cookie), proverbs, maxims, aphorisms, epigrams, pensees, mottoes, slogans and quips are popular in every human century and culture–especially in oral cultures and subcultures, where mnemonic staying power has high priority–and many specimens of them are self-reflexive or self-demonstrative: minimalism about minimalism. 'Brevity is the soul of wit.' "


Another form of the oracle at Delphi, in minimalist prose that might make Hemingway proud:

"He would think about Bert.  Bert was an interesting man.  Bert had said something about the way a gambler wants to lose.  That did not make sense.  Anyway, he did not want to think about it.  It was dark now, but the air was still hot.  He realized that he was sweating, forced himself to slow down the walking.  Some children were playing a game with a ball, in the street, hitting it against the side of a building.  He wanted to see Sarah.

When he came in, she was reading a book, a tumbler of dark whiskey beside her on the end table.  She did not seem to see him and he sat down before he spoke, looking at her and, at first, hardly seeing her.  The room was hot; she had opened the windows, but the air was still.  The street noises from outside seemed almost to be in the room with them, as if the shifting of gears were being done in the closet, the children playing in the bathroom.  The only light in the room was from the lamp over the couch where she was reading.

He looked at her face.  She was very drunk.  Her eyes were swollen, pink at the corners.  'What's the book,' he said, trying to make his voice conversational.  But it sounded loud in the room, and hard.

She blinked up at him, smiled sleepily, and said nothing.

'What's the book?'  His voice had an edge now.

'Oh,' she said.  'It's Kierkegaard.  Soren Kierkegaard.' She pushed her legs out straight on the couch, stretching her feet.  Her skirt fell back a few inches from her knees.  He looked away.

'What's that?' he said.

'Well, I don't exactly know, myself."  Her voice was soft and thick.

He turned his face away from her again, not knowing what he was angry with.  'What does that mean, you don't know, yourself?'

She blinked at him.  'It means, Eddie, that I don't exactly know what the book is about.  Somebody told me to read it once, and that's what I'm doing.  Reading it.'

He looked at her, tried to grin at her — the old, meaningless, automatic grin, the grin that made everbody like him — but he could not.  'That's great,' he said, and it came out with more irritation than he had intended.

She closed the book, tucked it beside her on the couch.  She folded her arms around her, hugging herself, smiling at him.  'I guess this isn't your night, Eddie.  Why don't we have a drink?'

'No.'  He did not like that, did not want her being nice to him, forgiving.  Nor did he want a drink.

Her smile, her drunk, amused smile, did not change.  'Then let's talk about something else,' she said.  'What about that case you have?  What's in it?'  Her voice was not prying, only friendly, 'Pencils?'

'That's it,' he said.  'Pencils.'

She raised her eyebrows slightly.  Her voice seemed thick.  'What's in it, Eddie?'

'Figure it out yourself.'  He tossed the case on the couch."

— Walter Tevis, The Hustler, 1959,
    Chapter 11


See, too, the invocation of Apollo in

A Mass for Lucero, as well as 

GENERAL AUDIENCE OF JOHN PAUL II
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

"The invocation of the Lord is relentless…."

and

JOURNAL ENTRY OF S. H. CULLINANE
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

Karl Cullinane —
"I will fear no evil, for I am the
meanest son of a bitch in the valley."

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Sunday April 27, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:24 PM

ART WARS:

Graphical Password

From a summary of “The Design and Analysis of Graphical Passwords“:

“Results from cognitive science show that people can remember pictures much better than words….

The 5×5 grid creates a good balance between security and memorability.”

 Ian Jermyn, New York University; Alain Mayer, Fabian Monrose, Michael K. Reiter, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies; Aviel Rubin, AT&T Labs — Research

Illustration — Warren Beatty as
a graphical password:

Town & Country,”
released April 27, 2001

Those who prefer the simplicity of a 3×3 grid are referred to my entry of Jan. 9, 2003, Balanchine’s Birthday.  For material related to the “Town & Country” theme and to Balanchine, see Leadbelly Under the Volcano (Jan. 27, 2003). (“Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in town…” – Huddie Ledbetter).  Those with more sophisticated tastes may prefer the work of Stephen Ledbetter on Gershwin’s piano preludes or, in view of Warren Beatty’s architectural work in “Town & Country,” the work of Stephen R. Ledbetter on window architecture.

As noted in Balanchine’s Birthday, Apollo (of the Balanchine ballet) has been associated by an architect with the 3×3, or “ninefold” grid.  The reader who wishes a deeper meditation on the number nine, related to the “Town & Country” theme and more suited to the fact that April is Poetry Month, is referred to my note of April 27 two years ago, Nine Gates to the Temple of Poetry.

Intermediate between the simplicity of the 3×3 square and the (apparent) complexity of the 5×5 square, the 4×4 square offers an introduction to geometrical concepts that appears deceptively simple, but is in reality fiendishly complex.  See Geometry for Jews.  The moral of this megilla?

32 + 42 = 52.

But that is another story.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Friday January 10, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:15 PM

Story

“How much story do you want?” 
— George Balanchine

While researching yesterday’s entry on Balanchine, Apollo, and the nine Muses, I came across this architect’s remarks, partially quoted yesterday and continued here:

“The icon that I use for this element is the nine-fold square…. This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason….  This is the Temple of Solomon, as inscribed, for example, by a nine-fold compartmentation to provide the ground plan of Yale, as described to me by Professor Hersey.”

Duncanology Part 3

Checking this out yesterday, I came across the following at a Yale University Art Gallery site:

“This exhibition of nine boldly colored, asymmetrically designed quilts selected from a private collection will be displayed in the Matrix Gallery….

With the guidance of Professor Maude Southwell Wahlman, author of ‘Signs and Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts,’ the collector has explored and gathered examples….”

Exploring and gathering examples myself today, I received a book in the mail — W. M. Spackman’s On the Decay of Humanism (Rutgers University Press, 1967) — and picked up a second-hand book at a sale — Barbara Michaels’s Stitches in Time (Harper Collins Publishers, 1995).

The Spackman book includes the following poem at the end:

In sandarac etui for sepulchre
  lies the cered body of a poisoned queen;
     and in her mouth and hair, and at her feet,
     and in the grey folds of her winding-sheet,
  there sifts a dreamy powder, smooth and green,
the magic of an idle sorcerer,
  an ancient spell, cast when the shroud was spun.
     In death her hands clasp amourously a bowl
     that still contains the fragments of her soul,
  a tale of Beauty sought, and Beauty won,
his false lips kissed, and Beauty dead for her.

— Alexander B. Griswold, Princeton ’28, in the
    Nassau Literary Magazine of December 1925

From a synopsis of Michaels‘s Stitches in Time:

“Michaels follows Rachel, a graduate student studying women’s crafts–weaving, spinning, quilting, embroidery–and the superstitions connected with them. Linking all important rites of passage to the garments created as markers of these occasions leads Rachel to her theory: in societies in which magic was practiced, the garment was meant to protect its wearer. She gains evidence that her theory is valid when an evil antique bridal quilt enters her life.”

Although Stitches in Time is about a quilt — stitched, not spun — Griswold’s line

“an ancient spell, cast when the shroud was spun” 

is very closely related to the evil spell in Michaels’s book. 

The above events display a certain synchronicity that Wallace Stevens might appreciate, especially in light of the following remark in a review of Stitches in Time:

“…the premise is too outlandish for even the suspension of disbelief….” (Publishers Weekly, 4/24/95)

Stevens might reply,

The very man despising honest quilts
Lies quilted to his poll in his despite.

— “The Comedian as the Letter C,” Part V

Finally, those who prefer stories to the more formal qualities of pure dance (ballet) pure mathematics (see previous entry), pure (instrumental) music, and pure (abstract, as in quilt designs) art, can consult the oeuvre of Jodie Foster — as in my 

Pearl Harbor Day entry on Buddhism.

An art historian named Griswold — perhaps that very same Griswold quoted above — might have a thing or two to say to Jodie on her recent film “Anna and the King.”  In the April, 1957, issue of The Journal of the Siam Society, Alexander B. Griswold takes issue with Broadway’s and Hollywood’s “grotesque caricature” of Siamese society, and ultimately with Anna herself:

“The real fault lies in the two books they ultimately spring from — The English Governess at the Court of Siam and The Romance of the Harem — both written by Mrs. Anna Leonowens.”

Is a puzzlement.

See also The Diamond 16 Puzzle for some quilt designs.

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Thursday January 9, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:48 PM

Balanchine's Birthday

Today seems an appropriate day to celebrate Apollo and the nine Muses.

From a website on Balanchine's and Stravinsky's ballet, "Apollon Musagete":

In his Poetics of Music (1942) Stravinsky says: "Summing up: What is important for the lucid ordering of the work– for its crystallization– is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist in motion and make the life-sap rise must be properly subjugated before they intoxicate us, and must finally be made to submit to the law: Apollo demands it."  Stravinsky conceived Apollo as a ballet blanc– a "white ballet" with classical choreography and monochromatic attire. Envisioning the work in his mind's eye, he found that "the absence of many-colored hues and of all superfluities produced a wonderful freshness." Upon first hearing Apollo, Diaghilev found it "music somehow not of this world, but from somewhere else above." The ballet closes with an Apotheosis in which Apollo leads the Muses towards Parnassus. Here, the gravely beautiful music with which the work began is truly recapitulated "on high"– ceaselessly recycled, frozen in time.

— Joseph Horowitz

 

 

Another website invoking Apollo:

The icon that I use… is the nine-fold square…. The nine-fold square has centre, periphery, axes and diagonals.  But all are present only in their bare essentials.  It is also a sequence of eight triads.  Four pass through the centre and four do not.  This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason…. 

In accordance with these remarks, here is the underlying structure for a ballet blanc:

A version of 'grid3x3.gif.'

This structure may seem too simple to support movements of interest, but consider the following (click to enlarge):

As Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, paraphrasing Horace, remarks in his Whitsun, 1939, preface to the new edition of the Oxford Book of English Verse, "tamen usque recurret Apollo."

The alert reader will note that in the above diagrams, only eight of the positions move.

Which muse remains at the center?

Consider the remark of T. S. Eliot, "At the still point, there the dance is," and the fact that on the day Eliot turned 60, Olivia Newton-John was born.  How, indeed, in the words of another "sixty-year-old smiling public man," can we know the dancer from the dance?
 

Sunday, September 8, 2002

Sunday September 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

In honor of the September 8 birthdays of

From a website on Donna Tartt‘s novel The Secret History… 

“It is like a storyteller looking up suddenly into the eyes of his audience across the embers of a once blazing fire…

…the reader feels privy to the secrets of human experience by their passage down through the ages; the telling and re-telling. A phrase from the ghost in Hamlet comes to mind:

‘I could a tale unfold whose lightest word /
Would harrow up thy soul…..’ “

This work of literature seems especially relevant at the start of a new school year, and in light of my remarks below about ancient Greek religion. One should, when praising Apollo, never forget that Dionysus is also a powerful god.

For those who prefer film to the written word, I recommend “Barton Fink” as especially appropriate viewing for the High Holy Days. Judy Davis (my favorite actress) plays a Faulkner-figure’s “secretary” who actually writes most of his scripts.

Tartt is herself from Faulkner country.  For her next book, see this page from Square Books, 160 Courthouse Square, Oxford, Misssissippi.

Let us pray that Tartt fares better in real life than Davis did in the movie.

As music for the High Holy Days, I recommend Don Henley’s “The Garden of Allah.” For some background on the actual Garden of Allah Hotel at 8080 Sunset Boulevard (where “Barton Fink” might have taken place), see

NAZIMOVA AND THE GARDEN OF ALLA.

Saturday, September 7, 2002

Saturday September 7, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:44 PM

The Boys from Uruguay

If one were to write a “secret history” of the twentieth century, one possible organizing theme might be the religious struggle between worshippers of the Semitic deity (variously known as Yahweh, God, and Allah) and worshippers of the Aryan deities… notably, the Aryan god of music, light, and reason, Apollo.

(See my jounal notes of Monday, Sept. 2, 2002, below.)

In perhaps the best academic website I have ever seen, Karey L. Perkins quotes Walker Percy:

“The truth is that man’s capacity for symbol-mongering in general and language in particular is…intimately part and parcel of his being human, of his perceiving and knowing, of his very consciousness…”

The greatest symbol-monger of the twentieth century was, of course, Adolf Hitler. His use of the Aryan sun-wheel symbol rose to the level of genius. Of course, it ultimately failed to win the approval of the sun god himself, Apollo, who is also the god of reason.

Since symbol-mongering cannot be avoided, let us hope that it can be done in a somewhat more reasonable way than that of the National Socialist movement. Two examples suggest themselves.

  1. From Peggy Noonan’s column of Friday, Sept. 6:

    The cross, the heart, and the flag.

  2. From Karey Perkins’s website:

    A brain, a heart, and courage

On this Rosh Hashanah, the cross as a symbol of intelligence may be offensive to some worshippers of Yahweh. Let them read The Archivist, a novel by Martha Cooley, and then my journal note The Matthias Defense.

They might also contemplate the biblical quotation in the musical “Contact” broadcast from Lincoln Center on September 1, 2002: “Let there be light!”

Three Jews named Paul have been associated with light…

  1. Saul of Tarsus, who later assumed an alias.

  2. Paul Newman, whose performance in “The Verdict” continues, indirectly, to trouble Cardinal Law of Boston.

  3. Paul R. Halmos, a personal hero of mine ever since I saw his Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces and Measure Theory as an ignorant young undergraduate browsing the bookstores of Harvard Square.

In accordance with the “secret history” theme mentioned above, the struggle between Aryan and Semitic religions may also be viewed in the light of the struggle between Christianity and Communism. Hitler exploited this viewpoint very successfully, pretending to be the champion of the Christians against the godless Reds. Peggy Noonan also successfully uses this strategy. Both Hitler and Noonan manage to ignore the fact that Christianity is itself one of the Semitic religions, and that at least two of its three deities are Jewish.

As for me, I rather identify with the young Hitler clone at the end of the film “The Boys from Brazil.” Forced to decide between Gregory Peck and Sir Laurence Olivier, he sides with Olivier. His reason? Peck lied.

In a similar situation, forced to decide between Peggy Noonan and the Jew Halmos, I would probably side with Halmos. Halmos, who should, if not a saint, be at least dubbed a knight, does not, unlike the great majority of the damned human race, lie.

See Halmos’s memoir, I Want to Be a Mathematician. In particular, see the single index entry “communist by allegation” and the 29 entries under “Uruguay.”

Happy birthday to Elia Kazan and Peggy Noonan, and a happy and prosperous New Year to should-be-Sir Paul R. Halmos. 

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