Log24

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Savage Logic

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

From "The Cerebral Savage," by Clifford Geertz

(Encounter, Vol. 28 No. 4 (April 1967), pp. 25-32.)

From http://www.diamondspace.net/about.html

The diamond theorem

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Studio Time

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

(The title is a phrase from Oslo artist Josefine Lyche's Instagram page today.)

Note that 6 PM ET is midnight in Oslo.

An image from St. Ursula's Day, 2010

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101021-CelebrationOf.jpg

Related material:

"Is it a genuine demolition of the walls which seem
to separate mind from mind …. ?"

— Clifford Geertz, conclusion of “The Cerebral Savage:
On the Work of Claude Lévi-Strauss

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bali High Chair

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

The phrase "deep play" in the previous post
was a borrowing from Clifford Geertz.

From another weblog's post on Geertz and
deep play—

When family is involved, the Balinese
are much more engaged.

See also the Balinese empty chair
and Amy Adams in this journal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Savage Solstice

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

In memory of kaleidoscope enthusiast Cozy Baker, who died at 86, according to Saturday's Washington Post , on October 19th.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101221-BrewsterSociety.jpg

This journal on that date — Savage Logic and Savage Logic continued.

See this journal on All Saints' Day 2006 for some background to those posts—

“Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope whose chips can fall into a variety of patterns while remaining unchanged in quantity, form, or color. The number of patterns producible in this way may be large if the chips are numerous and varied enough, but it is not infinite. The patterns consist in the disposition of the chips vis-a-vis one another (that is, they are a function of the relationships among the chips rather than their individual properties considered separately). And their range of possible transformations is strictly determined by the construction of the kaleidoscope, the inner law which governs its operation. And so it is too with savage thought. Both anecdotal and geometric, it builds coherent structures out of ‘the odds and ends left over from psychological or historical process.’

These odds and ends, the chips of the kaleidoscope, are images drawn from myth, ritual, magic, and empirical lore. (How, precisely, they have come into being in the first place is one of the points on which Levi-Strauss is not too explicit, referring to them vaguely as the ‘residue of events… fossil remains of the history of an individual or a society.’) Such images are inevitably embodied in larger structures– in myths, ceremonies, folk taxonomies, and so on– for, as in a kaleidoscope, one always sees the chips distributed in some pattern, however ill-formed or irregular. But, as in a kaleidoscope, they are detachable from these structures and arrangeable into different ones of a similar sort. Quoting Franz Boas that ‘it would seem that mythological worlds have been built up, only to be shattered again, and that new worlds were built from the fragments,’ Levi-Strauss generalizes this permutational view of thinking to savage thought in general.”

– Clifford Geertz, “The Cerebral Savage: the Structural Anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss,” in Encounter, Vol. 28 No. 4 (April 1967), pp. 25-32.

Related material  —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101221-TristesTropiques.jpg

See also "Levi-Strauss" in this journal and "At Play in the Field."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shining Forth

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

continued from 2001

A quotation from Robert Lowell in this journal —

From “Epilogue,” in Robert Lowell’s Day by Day , 1977:

The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.

….
All’s misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination….

Lowell’s stepdaughter published a memoir, Why Not Say What Happened? , on October 19th, 2010.

What happened in this journal on that date was “Savage Logic and the New York Lottery.”

That post includes the quoted rhetorical question

“Is it a genuine demolition of the walls which seem to separate mind from mind…?”

Here is the context of October 19th—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101019-Geertz359.gif

For a different, and to me more interesting, context for the “walls” question, see Party Phone  (August 31st, 2006).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St. Ursula’s Day

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:07 PM

Mathematics and Narrative continued

A search for Ursula in this journal yields a story…

“The main character is a slave woman who discovers new patterns in the mosaics.”

Other such stories: Plato’s Meno  and Changing Woman

Changing Woman:

“Kaleidoscope turning…

Juliette Binoche in 'Blue'  The 24 2x2 Cullinane Kaleidoscope animated images

Shifting pattern within
unalterable structure…”

— Roger Zelazny, Eye of Cat  

Philosophical postscript—

“That Lévi-Strauss should have been able to transmute the romantic passion of Tristes Tropiques  into the hypermodern intellectualism of La Pensée Sauvage  is surely a startling achievement. But there remain the questions one cannot help but ask. Is this transmutation science or alchemy? Is the ‘very simple transformation’ which produced a general theory out of a personal disappointment real or a sleight of hand? Is it a genuine demolition of the walls which seem to separate mind from mind by showing that the walls are surface structures only, or is it an elaborately disguised evasion necessitated by a failure to breach them when they were directly encountered? Is Lévi-Strauss writing, as he seems to be claiming in the confident pages of La Pensée Sauvage,  a prolegomenon to all future anthropology? Or is he, like some uprooted neolithic intelligence cast away on a reservation, shuffling the debris of old traditions in a vain attempt to revivify a primitive faith whose moral beauty is still apparent but from which both relevance and credibility have long since departed?”

— Clifford Geertz, conclusion of “The Cerebral Savage: On the Work of Claude Lévi-Strauss

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Savage Logic…

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:22 AM

and the New York Lottery

IMAGE-- NY Lottery Oct. 18, 2010-- Midday 069, Evening 359

A search in this journal for yesterday's evening number in the New York Lottery, 359, leads to…

The Cerebral Savage: 
On the Work of Claude Lévi-Strauss

by Clifford Geertz

Shown below is 359, the final page of Chapter 13 in
The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz,
New York, 1973: Basic Books, pp. 345-359 —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101019-Geertz359.gif

This page number 359 also appears in this journal in an excerpt from Dan Brown's novel Angels & Demons

See this journal's entries for March 1-15, 2009, especially…

Sunday, March 15, 2009  5:24 PM

Philosophy and Poetry:

The Origin of Change

A note on the figure
from this morning's sermon:

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison

"Two things of opposite natures seem to depend
On one another, as a man depends
On a woman, day on night, the imagined

On the real. This is the origin of change.
Winter and spring, cold copulars, embrace
And forth the particulars of rapture come."

-- Wallace Stevens,
  "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,"
   Canto IV of "It Must Change"

Sunday, March 15, 2009  11:00 AM

Ides of March Sermon:

Angels, Demons,
"Symbology"

"On Monday morning, 9 March, after visiting the Mayor of Rome and the Municipal Council on the Capitoline Hill, the Holy Father spoke to the Romans who gathered in the square outside the Senatorial Palace…

'… a verse by Ovid, the great Latin poet, springs to mind. In one of his elegies he encouraged the Romans of his time with these words:

"Perfer et obdura: multo graviora tulisti."

 "Hold out and persist:
  you have got through
  far more difficult situations."

 (Tristia, Liber  V, Elegia  XI, verse 7).'"
 

This journal
on 9 March:

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison

Note the color-interchange
symmetry
of each symbol
under 180-degree rotation.

Related material:
The Illuminati Diamond:

IMAGE- Illuminati Diamond, pp. 359-360 in 'Angels & Demons,' Simon & Schuster Pocket Books 2005, 448 pages, ISBN 0743412397

The symmetry of the yin-yang symbol, of the diamond-theorem symbol, and of Brown's Illuminati Diamond is also apparent in yesterday's midday New York lottery number (see above).

"Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope…." — Clifford Geertz on Lévi-Strauss

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Universal Culture Machines

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

University of California anthropologist Alan Dundes:

“One could well argue that binary opposition is a universal. Presumably all human societies, past and present, made some kind of distinction between ‘Male and Female,’ ‘Life and Death,’ ‘Day and Night’ (or Light and Dark), etc.” –“Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect,” Western Folklore, Winter 1997

To Levi-Strauss, I prefer Clifford Geertz

“…what Levi-Strauss has made for himself is an infernal culture machine.” –“The Cerebral Savage”

— and Heinrich Zimmer —

“…all opposition, as well as identity, stems from Maya. Great Maya is wisdom and increase, stability and readiness to assist, compassion and serenity. Queen of the World, she is alive in every nuance of feeling and perception; feelings and perceptions are her gestures. And her nature can be sensed only by one who has comprehended that she is the unity of opposites.” —The King and the Corpse

And then there are more up-to-date culture machines.

Levi-Strauss, obtuse and boring, is an opposite, of sorts, to the smart and funny Dundes. The latter, in the binary opposition posed in yesterday’s Log24 title “Sinner or Saint?,” is definitely on the side of the saints. (See selected Log24 entries for the date of his death– Warren Beatty’s birthday.)

Today’s happy birthdays — Elke Sommer

Parallax illustrated, from Wikipedia-- A star on two background colors, blue and red

and Sesame Street —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091105-CookieMonster.jpg

Google logo today, Nov. 5, 2009

Click images for historical background.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday March 24, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:09 AM
Savage Scrutiny

“They sang desiring an object that was near,
In face of which desire no longer moved,
Nor made of itself that which it could not find…
Three times the concentred self takes hold, three times
The thrice concentred self, having possessed

The object, grips it in savage scrutiny,
Once to make captive, once to subjugate
Or yield to subjugation, once to proclaim
The meaning of the capture, this hard prize,
Fully made, fully apparent, fully found.”

— “Credences of Summer,” VII,
    by Wallace Stevens, from
    Transport to Summer (1947)

Clifford Geertz on Levi-Strauss, from The Cerebral Savage:

“Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope whose chips can fall into a variety of patterns…. “

Related material:

The kaleidoscope puzzle and “Claude Levi-Strauss and the Aesthetic Object,” a videotaped interview with Dr. Boris Wiseman.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Wednesday November 1, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:24 AM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061101-Geertz2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Clifford Geertz 

Professor Emeritus,
Institute for Advanced Study

Savage Logic

"Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope whose chips can fall into a variety of patterns while remaining unchanged in quantity, form, or color. The number of patterns producible in this way may be large if the chips are numerous and varied enough, but it is not infinite. The patterns consist in the disposition of the chips vis-a-vis one another (that is, they are a function of the relationships among the chips rather than their individual properties considered separately). And their range of possible transformations is strictly determined by the construction of the kaleidoscope, the inner law which governs its operation. And so it is too with savage thought. Both anecdotal and geometric, it builds coherent structures out of 'the odds and ends left over from psychological or historical process.'

These odds and ends, the chips of the kaleidoscope, are images drawn from myth, ritual, magic, and empirical lore. (How, precisely, they have come into being in the first place is one of the points on which Levi-Strauss is not too explicit, referring to them vaguely as the 'residue of events… fossil remains of the history of an individual or a society.') Such images are inevitably embodied in larger structures– in myths, ceremonies, folk taxonomies, and so on– for, as in a kaleidoscope, one always sees the chips distributed in some pattern, however ill-formed or irregular. But, as in a kaleidoscope, they are detachable from these structures and arrangeable into different ones of a similar sort. Quoting Franz Boas that 'it would seem that mythological worlds have been built up, only to be shattered again, and that new worlds were built from the fragments,' Levi-Strauss generalizes this permutational view of thinking to savage thought in general."

— Clifford Geertz, "The Cerebral Savage: the Structural Anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss," in Encounter, Vol. 28 No. 4 (April 1967), pp. 25-32.

Today's New York Times
reports that
Geertz died on Monday,
October 30, 2006.

Related material:

Kaleidoscope Puzzle,

Being Pascal Sauvage,

and Up the River:
 

 

 
The Necessity For Story

by Frederick Zackel

While it's a story that's never been written, a suggested title– Indiana Jones Sails Up The River Of Death–

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041016-Poster2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

shows how readily we as individuals or we as a culture can automatically visualize a basic story motif. We may each see the particular elements of the story differently, but almost instantaneously we catch its drift.

The hero sails up the river of death to discover what lies within his own heart: i.e., how much moral and physical strength he has.

Indiana Jones sails up the River of Death.

We are following Indiana Jones up the River of Death. We're going to visit with Colonel Kurtz. (You may not want to get off the boat.)

No, I am not mixing up metaphors.

These are the Story.

 

Amen.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Thursday August 11, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:16 AM

Kaleidoscope, continued

From Clifford Geertz, The Cerebral Savage:

"Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope whose chips can fall into a variety of patterns while remaining unchanged in quantity, form, or color. The number of patterns producible in this way may be large if the chips are numerous and varied enough, but it is not infinite. The patterns consist in the disposition of the chips vis-a-vis one another (that is, they are a function of the relationships among the chips rather than their individual properties considered separately).  And their range of possible transformations is strictly determined by the construction of the kaleidoscope, the inner law which governs its operation. And so it is too with savage thought.  Both anecdotal and geometric, it builds coherent structures out of 'the odds and ends left over from psychological or historical process.'

These odds and ends, the chips of the kaleidoscope, are images drawn from myth, ritual, magic, and empirical lore….  as in a kaleidoscope, one always sees the chips distributed in some pattern, however ill-formed or irregular.   But, as in a kaleidoscope, they are detachable from these structures and arrangeable into different ones of a similar sort….  Levi-Strauss generalizes this permutational view of thinking to savage thought in general.  It is all a matter of shuffling discrete (and concrete) images–totem animals, sacred colors, wind directions, sun deities, or whatever–so as to produce symbolic structures capable of formulating and communicating objective (which is not to say accurate) analyses of the social and physical worlds.

…. And the point is general.  The relationship between a symbolic structure and its referent, the basis of its meaning,  is fundamentally 'logical,' a coincidence of form– not affective, not historical, not functional.  Savage thought is frozen reason and anthropology is, like music and mathematics, 'one of the few true vocations.'

Or like linguistics."

Edward Sapir on Linguistics, Mathematics, and Music:

"… linguistics has also that profoundly serene and satisfying quality which inheres in mathematics and in music and which may be described as the creation out of simple elements of a self-contained universe of forms.  Linguistics has neither the sweep nor the instrumental power of mathematics, nor has it the universal aesthetic appeal of music.  But under its crabbed, technical, appearance there lies hidden the same classical spirit, the same freedom in restraint, which animates mathematics and music at their purest."

— Edward Sapir, "The Grammarian and his Language,"
  American Mercury 1:149-155,1924

From Robert de Marrais, Canonical Collage-oscopes:

"…underwriting the form languages of ever more domains of mathematics is a set of deep patterns which not only offer access to a kind of ideality that Plato claimed to see the universe as created with in the Timaeus; more than this, the realm of Platonic forms is itself subsumed in this new set of design elements– and their most general instances are not the regular solids, but crystallographic reflection groups.  You know, those things the non-professionals call . . . kaleidoscopes! *  (In the next exciting episode, we'll see how Derrida claims mathematics is the key to freeing us from 'logocentrism' **— then ask him why, then, he jettisoned the deepest structures of mathematical patterning just to make his name…)

* H. S. M. Coxeter, Regular Polytopes (New York: Dover, 1973) is the great classic text by a great creative force in this beautiful area of geometry  (A polytope is an n-dimensional analog of a polygon or polyhedron.  Chapter V of this book is entitled 'The Kaleidoscope'….)

** … contemporary with the Johns Hopkins hatchet job that won him American marketshare, Derrida was also being subjected to a series of probing interviews in Paris by the hometown crowd.  He first gained academic notoriety in France for his book-length reading of Husserl's two-dozen-page essay on 'The Origin of Geometry.'  The interviews were collected under the rubric of Positions (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1981…).  On pp. 34-5 he says the following: 'the resistance to logico-mathematical notation has always been the signature of logocentrism and phonologism in the event to which they have dominated metaphysics and the classical semiological and linguistic projects…. A grammatology that would break with this system of presuppositions, then, must in effect liberate the mathematization of language…. The effective progress of mathematical notation thus goes along with the deconstruction of metaphysics, with the profound renewal of mathematics itself, and the concept of science for which mathematics has always been the model.'  Nice campaign speech, Jacques; but as we'll see, you reneged on your promise not just with the kaleidoscope (and we'll investigate, in depth, the many layers of contradiction and cluelessness you put on display in that disingenuous 'playing to the house'); no, we'll see how, at numerous other critical junctures, you instinctively took the wrong fork in the road whenever mathematical issues arose… henceforth, monsieur, as Joe Louis once said, 'You can run, but you just can't hide.'…."

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Wednesday March 3, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Deep Play

In the previous entry, there was a reference to Carl Kaysen, former director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and father of Susanna Kaysen, author of Girl, Interrupted.

A search for further information on Carl Kaysen led to

Mark Turner, Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science: The Way We Think About Politics, Economics, Law, and Society, Oxford University Press, 2001.  For a draft of this work, click here.

Turner’s book describes thought and culture in terms of what he calls “blends.”  It includes a meditation on

Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” in Dædalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, issue entitled, “Myth, Symbol, and Culture,” Winter 1972, volume 101, number 1

That Turner bases weighty ruminations of what he is pleased to call “social science” on the properties of cockfights suggests that the academic world is, in some respects, even more bizarre than the mental hospital described by Kaysen’s daughter.

Still, Turner’s concept of “blends” is not without interest.

Here is a blend based on a diagram of the fields in which Turner and Kaysen père labor:

“politics, economics,
law, and society” (Turner)

and “economics, sociology,
politics and law” (Kaysen).

In the previous entry we abstracted from the nature of these academic pursuits, representing them simply as sets in a Venn diagram.  This led to the following religious icon, an example of a Turner “blend” —


The Jewel
in Venn’s Lotus.

Here is another “blend,” related both to the religious material in the previous entry and to Geertz’s influential essay.

From my entry for
St. Patrick’s Day, 2003
:

Summa Theologica

How can you tell there’s an Irishman
present at a cockfight?
He enters a duck.
How can you tell a Pole is present?
He bets on the duck.
How can you tell an Italian is present?
The duck wins.

(Source: Blanche Knott,
Truly Tasteless Jokes)

Illustration for the entries
of Oct. 27, 2003:

El Pato-lógico and a

“dream of heaven.”

 

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