Log24

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A Natural Diagram

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:54 PM

See also other posts now tagged
       Natural Diagram .

Related remarks by J. H. Conway —

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sermon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"Sports may be the place in contemporary life
where Americans find sacred community most easily."

All Things Shining , the conclusion

Or Bolivia —

Backstories — Natural Hustlers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ask Not

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:20 PM

Background— see Natural Hustler in this journal.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110122-AllThingsShiningNYT.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110122-AskNot.jpg

    This is from All Things Shining— "Conclusion: Lives Worth Living in a Secular Age"

Monday, January 23, 2006

Monday January 23, 2006

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

The Case

An entry suggested by today's New York Times story by Tom Zeller Jr., A Million Little Skeptics:

From The Hustler, by Walter Tevis:

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 everybody 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.  "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.

 

Related material:

Soren Kierkegaard on necessity and possibility
in The Sickness Unto Death, Chapter 3,

The Diamond of Possibility,

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

the Baseball Almanac,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060123-BaseballLogo75.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

and this morning's entry, "Natural Hustler."

Monday January 23, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:57 AM

Natural Hustler (jpg, 283 KB)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Primary Color

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

From a Log24 search for Schwartz + “The Sun”

“Looking carefully at Golay’s code
is like staring into the sun.”

— Richard Evan Schwartz

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Dramarama

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:21 AM

From yesterday morning’s post Multifaceted Unities

A related earlier post —

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Multifaceted Unities

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

Facettenreiche  Grundlage:

Multifaceted Foundation: Facettenreiche Grundlage

Friday, July 17, 2020

Poetic as Well as Prosaic

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:51 AM

Prosaic —

Structure and Mutability

Poetic —

Crystal and Dragon

 

Prosaic —

These devices may have some
theoretical as well as practical value.

Poetic —

Counting symmetries with the orbit-stabilizer theorem

Theoretical as Well as Practical Value

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:25 AM

See also The Lexicographic Octad Generator (LOG) (July 13, 2020)
and Octads and Geometry (April 23, 2020).

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Lexicographic Octad Generator (LOG)*

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:43 PM

The lexicographic Golay code
contains, embedded within it,
the Miracle Octad Generator.

By Steven H. Cullinane, July 13, 2020

Background —


The Miracle Octad Generator (MOG)

of R. T. Curtis (Conway-Sloane version) —

A basis for the Golay code, excerpted from a version of
the code generated in lexicographic order, in

Constructing the Extended Binary Golay Code
Ben Adlam
Harvard University
August 9, 2011:

000000000000000011111111
000000000000111100001111
000000000011001100110011
000000000101010101010101
000000001001011001101001
000000110000001101010110
000001010000010101100011
000010010000011000111010
000100010001000101111000
001000010001001000011101
010000010001010001001110
100000010001011100100100

Below, each vector above has been reordered within
a 4×6 array, by Steven H. Cullinane, to form twelve
independent Miracle Octad Generator  vectors
(as in the Conway-Sloane SPLAG version above, in
which Curtis’s earlier heavy bricks are reflected in
their vertical axes) —

01 02 03 04 05 . . . 20 21 22 23 24 -->

01 05 09 13 17 21
02 06 10 14 18 22
03 07 11 15 19 23
04 08 12 16 20 24

0000 0000 0000 0000 1111 1111 -->

0000 11
0000 11
0000 11
0000 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0000 1111 0000 1111 -->

0001 01
0001 01
0001 01
0001 01 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0011 0011 0011 0011 -->

0000 00
0000 00
0011 11
0011 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0101 0101 0101 0101 -->

0000 00
0011 11
0000 00
0011 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 1001 0110 0110 1001 -->

0010 01
0001 10
0001 10
0010 01 as in the MOG.

0000 0011 0000 0011 0101 0110 -->

0000 00
0000 11
0101 01
0101 10 as in the MOG.

0000 0101 0000 0101 0110 0011 -->

0000 00
0101 10
0000 11
0101 01 as in the MOG.

0000 1001 0000 0110 0011 1010 -->

0100 01
0001 00
0001 11
0100 10 as in the MOG.

0001 0001 0001 0001 0111 1000 -->

0000 01
0000 10
0000 10
1111 10 as in the MOG.

0010 0001 0001 0010 0001 1101 -->

0000 01
0000 01
1001 00
0110 11 as in the MOG.

0100 0001 0001 0100 0100 1110 -->

0000 01
1001 11
0000 01
0110 00 as in the MOG.

1000 0001 0001 0111 0010 0100 -->

10 00 00
00 01 01
00 01 10
01 11 00 as in the MOG (heavy brick at center).

Update at 7:41 PM ET the same day —
A check of SPLAG shows that the above result is not new:

And at 7:59 PM ET the same day —
Conway seems to be saying that at some unspecified point in the past,
M.J.T. Guy, examining the lexicographic Golay code,  found (as I just did)
that weight-8 lexicographic Golay codewords, when arranged naturally
in 4×6 arrays, yield certain intriguing visual patterns. If the MOG existed
at the time of his discovery, he would have identified these patterns as
those of the MOG.  (Lexicographic codes have apparently been
known since 1960, the MOG since the mid-1970s.)

* Addendum at 4 AM ET  the next day —
See also Logline  (Walpurgisnacht 2013).

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Miracle Octad Generator Structure

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:44 PM

Miracle Octad Generator — Analysis of Structure

(Adapted from Eightfold Geometry, a note of April 28, 2010.
See also the recent post Geometry of 6 and 8.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Historical Note

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

Possible title

A new graphic approach
to an old geometric approach
to a new combinatorial approach
to an old algebraic approach
to M24

Monday, January 12, 2015

Points Omega*

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

The previous post displayed a set of
24 unit-square “points” within a rectangular array.
These are the points of the
Miracle Octad Generator  of R. T. Curtis.

The array was labeled  Ω
because that is the usual designation for
a set acted upon by a group:

* The title is an allusion to Point Omega , a novel by
Don DeLillo published on Groundhog Day 2010.
See “Point Omega” in this journal.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Real Beyond Artifice

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

A professor at Harvard has written about
“the urge to seize and display something
real beyond artifice.”

He reportedly died on January 3, 2015.

An image from this journal on that date:

Another Gitterkrieg  image:

 The 24-set   Ω  of  R. T. Curtis

Click on the images for related material.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Form

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

The Galois tesseract  appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977—

IMAGE- Hypercube and 4x4 matrix from the 1976 'Diamond Theory' preprint, as excerpted in 'Computer Graphics and Art'

The Galois tesseract is the basis for a representation of the smallest
projective 3-space, PG(3,2), that differs from the representation at
Wolfram Demonstrations Project. For the latter, see yesterday’s post.

The tesseract representation underlies the diamond theorem, illustrated
below in its earliest form, also from the above February 1977 article—

IMAGE- Steven H. Cullinane, diamond theorem, from 'Diamond Theory,' Computer Graphics and Art, Vol. 2 No. 1, Feb. 1977, pp. 5-7

As noted in a more recent version, the group described by
the diamond theorem is also the group of the 35 square
patterns within the 1976 Miracle Octad Generator  (MOG) of
R. T. Curtis.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Codes

The hypercube  model of the 4-space over the 2-element Galois field GF(2):

IMAGE- A hyperspace model of the 4D vector space over GF(2)

The phrase Galois tesseract  may be used to denote a different model
of the above 4-space: the 4×4 square.

MacWilliams and Sloane discussed the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R. T. Curtis further on in their book (see below), but did not
seem to realize in 1977 that the 4×4 structures within the MOG are
based on the Galois-tesseract model of the 4-space over GF(2).

IMAGE- Octads within the Curtis MOG, which uses a 4x4-array model of the 4D vector space over GF(2)

The thirty-five 4×4 structures within the MOG:

IMAGE- The 35 square patterns within the Curtis MOG

Curtis himself first described these 35 square MOG patterns
combinatorially, (as his title indicated) rather than
algebraically or geometrically:

IMAGE- R. T. Curtis's combinatorial construction of 4x4 patterns within the Miracle Octad Generator

A later book co-authored by Sloane, first published in 1988,
did  recognize the 4×4 MOG patterns as based on the 4×4
Galois-tesseract model.

Between the 1977 and 1988 Sloane books came the diamond theorem.

Update of May 29, 2013:

The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977
(the year the above MacWilliams-Sloane book was first published):

IMAGE- Hypercube and 4x4 matrix from the 1976 'Diamond Theory' preprint, as excerpted in 'Computer Graphics and Art'

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Galois Tesseract (continued)

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

A post of September 1, The Galois Tesseract, noted that the interplay
of algebraic and geometric properties within the 4×4 array that forms
two-thirds of the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) may first have
been described by Cullinane (AMS abstract 79T-A37, Notices , Feb. 1979).

Here is some supporting material—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110903-Carmichael-Conway-Curtis.jpg

The passage from Carmichael above emphasizes the importance of
the 4×4 square within the MOG.

The passage from Conway and Sloane, in a book whose first edition
was published in 1988, makes explicit the structure of the MOG’s
4×4 square as the affine 4-space over the 2-element Galois field.

The passage from Curtis (1974, published in 1976) describes 35 sets
of four “special tetrads” within the 4×4 square of the MOG. These
correspond to the 35 sets of four parallel 4-point affine planes within
the square. Curtis, however, in 1976 makes no mention of the affine
structure, characterizing his 140 “special tetrads” rather by the parity
of their intersections with the square’s rows and columns.

The affine structure appears in the 1979 abstract mentioned above—

IMAGE- An AMS abstract from 1979 showing how the affine group AGL(4,2) of 322,560 transformations acts on a 4x4 square

The “35 structures” of the abstract were listed, with an application to
Latin-square orthogonality, in a note from December 1978

IMAGE- Projective-space structure and Latin-square orthogonality in a set of 35 square arrays

See also a 1987 article by R. T. Curtis—

Further elementary techniques using the miracle octad generator
, by R. T. Curtis. Abstract:

“In this paper we describe various techniques, some of which are already used by devotees of the art, which relate certain maximal subgroups of the Mathieu group M24, as seen in the MOG, to matrix groups over finite fields. We hope to bring out the wealth of algebraic structure* underlying the device and to enable the reader to move freely between these matrices and permutations. Perhaps the MOG was mis-named as simply an ‘octad generator’; in this paper we intend to show that it is in reality a natural diagram of the binary Golay code.”

(Received July 20 1987)

Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Series 2) (1989), 32: 345-353

* For instance:

Algebraic structure in the 4x4 square, by Cullinane (1985) and Curtis (1987)

Update of Sept. 4— This post is now a page at finitegeometry.org.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Correspondences

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

Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité….

— Baudelaire, “Correspondances

From “A Four-Color Theorem”

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110806-Four_Color_Correspondence.gif

Figure 1

Note that this illustrates a natural correspondence
between

(A) the seven highly symmetrical four-colorings
of the 4×2 array at the left of Fig. 1, and

(B) the seven points of the smallest
projective plane at the right of Fig. 1.

To see the correspondence, add, in binary
fashion, the pairs of projective points from the
“points” section that correspond to like-colored
squares in a four-coloring from the left of Fig. 1.
(The correspondence can, of course, be described
in terms of cosets rather than of colorings.)

A different correspondence between these 7 four-coloring
structures and these 7 projective-line structures appears in
a structural analysis of the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R.T. Curtis—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110806-Analysis_of_Structure.gif

Figure 2

Here the correspondence between the 7 four-coloring structures (left section) and the 7 projective-line structures (center section) is less obvious, but more fruitful.  It yields, as shown, all of the 35 partitions of an 8-element set  (an 8-set ) into two 4-sets. The 7 four-colorings in Fig. 2 also appear in the 35 4×4 parts of the MOG that correspond, in a way indicated by Fig. 2, to the 35 8-set paritions. This larger correspondence— of 35 4×2 arrays with 35 4×4 arrays— is  the MOG, at least as it was originally defined. See The MOG, Generating the Octad Generator, and Eightfold Geometry

For some applications of the Curtis MOG, see
(for instance) Griess’s Twelve Sporadic Groups .

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.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Competing MOG Definitions

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

A recently created Wikipedia article says that  “The Miracle Octad Generator [MOG] is an array of coordinates, arranged in four rows and six columns, capable of describing any point in 24-dimensional space….” (Clearly any  array with 24 parts is so capable.) The article ignores the fact that the MOG, as defined by R.T. Curtis in 1976, is not  an array of coordinates, but rather a picture of a correspondence between two sets, each containing 35 structures. (As a later commentator has remarked, this correspondence is a well-known one that preserves a certain incidence property. See Eightfold Geometry.)

From the 1976 paper defining the MOG—

“There is a correspondence between the two systems of 35 groups, which is illustrated in Fig. 4 (the MOG or Miracle Octad Generator).” —R.T. Curtis, “A New Combinatorial Approach to M24,” Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society  (1976), 79: 25-42

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100514-Curtis1976MOG.jpg

Curtis’s 1976 Fig. 4. (The MOG.)

The Wikipedia article, like a similar article at PlanetMath, is based on a different definition, from a book first published in 1988—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100514-SpherePack.jpg

I have not seen the 1973 Curtis paper, so I do not know whether it uses the 35-sets correspondence definition or the 6×4 array definition. The remarks of Conway and Sloane on page 312 of the 1998 edition of their book about “Curtis’s original way of finding octads in the MOG [Cur2]” indicate that the correspondence definition was the one Curtis used in 1973—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100514-ConwaySloaneMOG.jpg

Here the picture of  “the 35 standard sextets of the MOG”
is very like (modulo a reflection) Curtis’s 1976 picture
of the MOG as a correspondence between two 35-sets.

A later paper by Curtis does  use the array definition. See “Further Elementary Techniques Using the Miracle Octad Generator,” Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society  (1989) 32, 345-353.

The array definition is better suited to Conway’s use of his hexacode  to describe octads, but it obscures the close connection of the MOG with finite geometry. That connection, apparent in the phrases “vector space structure in the standard square” and “parallel 2-spaces” (Conway and Sloane, third ed., p. 312, illustrated above), was not discussed in the 1976 Curtis paper.  See my own page on the MOG at finitegeometry.org.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eightfold Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Image-- The 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets

Image-- Analysis of structure of the 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets

Image-- Miracle Octad Generator of R.T. Curtis

Related web pages:

Miracle Octad Generator,
Generating the Octad Generator,
Geometry of the 4×4 Square

Related folklore:

“It is commonly known that there is a bijection between the 35 unordered triples of a 7-set [i.e., the 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets] and the 35 lines of PG(3,2) such that lines intersect if and only if the corresponding triples have exactly one element in common.” –“Generalized Polygons and Semipartial Geometries,” by F. De Clerck, J. A. Thas, and H. Van Maldeghem, April 1996 minicourse, example 5 on page 6

The Miracle Octad Generator may be regarded as illustrating the folklore.

Update of August 20, 2010–

For facts rather than folklore about the above bijection, see The Moore Correspondence.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday October 14, 2009

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

Singer 7-Cycles

Seven-cycles by R.T. Curtis, 1987

Singer 7-cycles by Cullinane, 1985

Click on images for details.

The 1985 Cullinane version gives some algebraic background for the 1987 Curtis version.

The Singer referred to above is James Singer. See his “A Theorem in Finite Projective Geometry and Some Applications to Number Theory,” Transactions of the American Mathematical Society 43 (1938), 377-385.For other singers, see Art Wars and today’s obituaries.

Some background: the Log24 entry of this date seven years ago, and the entries preceding it on Las Vegas and painted ponies.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday January 5, 2009

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

A Wealth of
Algebraic Structure

A 4x4 array (part of chessboard)

A 1987 article by R. T. Curtis on the geometry of his Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) as it relates to the geometry of the 4×4 square is now available online ($20):

Further elementary techniques using the miracle octad generator
, by R. T. Curtis. Abstract:

“In this paper we describe various techniques, some of which are already used by devotees of the art, which relate certain maximal subgroups of the Mathieu group M24, as seen in the MOG, to matrix groups over finite fields. We hope to bring out the wealth of algebraic structure* underlying the device and to enable the reader to move freely between these matrices and permutations. Perhaps the MOG was mis-named as simply an ‘octad generator’; in this paper we intend to show that it is in reality a natural diagram of the binary Golay code.”

 

(Received July 20 1987)

Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Series 2) (1989), 32: 345-353, doi:10.1017/S0013091500004600.

(Published online by Cambridge University Press 19 Dec 2008.)

In the above article, Curtis explains how two-thirds of his 4×6 MOG array may be viewed as the 4×4 model of the four-dimensional affine space over GF(2).  (His earlier 1974 paper (below) defining the MOG discussed the 4×4 structure in a purely combinatorial, not geometric, way.)

For further details, see The Miracle Octad Generator as well as Geometry of the 4×4 Square and Curtis’s original 1974 article, which is now also available online ($20):

A new combinatorial approach to M24, by R. T. Curtis. Abstract:

“In this paper, we define M24 from scratch as the subgroup of S24 preserving a Steiner system S(5, 8, 24). The Steiner system is produced and proved to be unique and the group emerges naturally with many of its properties apparent.”

 

(Received June 15 1974)

Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (1976), 79: 25-42, doi:10.1017/S0305004100052075.

(Published online by Cambridge University Press 24 Oct 2008.)

* For instance:

Algebraic structure in the 4x4 square, by Cullinane (1985) and Curtis (1987)

Click for details.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday February 28, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Elements
of Geometry

The title of Euclid’s Elements is, in Greek, Stoicheia.

From Lectures on the Science of Language,
by Max Muller, fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890, pp. 88-90 –

Stoicheia

“The question is, why were the elements, or the component primary parts of things, called stoicheia by the Greeks? It is a word which has had a long history, and has passed from Greece to almost every part of the civilized world, and deserves, therefore, some attention at the hand of the etymological genealogist.

Stoichos, from which stoicheion, means a row or file, like stix and stiches in Homer. The suffix eios is the same as the Latin eius, and expresses what belongs to or has the quality of something. Therefore, as stoichos means a row, stoicheion would be what belongs to or constitutes a row….

Hence stoichos presupposes a root stich, and this root would account in Greek for the following derivations:–

  1. stix, gen. stichos, a row, a line of soldiers
  2. stichos, a row, a line; distich, a couplet
  3. steichoestichon, to march in order, step by step; to mount
  4. stoichos, a row, a file; stoichein, to march in a line

In German, the same root yields steigen, to step, to mount, and in Sanskrit we find stigh, to mount….

Stoicheia are the degrees or steps from one end to the other, the constituent parts of a whole, forming a complete series, whether as hours, or letters, or numbers, or parts of speech, or physical elements, provided always that such elements are held together by a systematic order.”

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday January 22, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM
A Brief Alternate Version of

The Diamond Age:
Or, a Young Lady’s
Illustrated Primer

Piper Laurie is 75.

For Piper Laurie
on her birthday
(again):

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

— Lewis Carroll,
Through the Looking Glass
Chapter XII (“Which Dreamed It?”)

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.”

— Walter Tevis, The Hustler

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday July 29, 2006

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

Big Rock

Thanks to Ars Mathematicaa link to everything2.com:

“In mathematics, a big rock is a result which is vastly more powerful than is needed to solve the problem being considered. Often it has a difficult, technical proof whose methods are not related to those of the field in which it is applied. You say ‘I’m going to hit this problem with a big rock.’ Sard’s theorem is a good example of a big rock.”

Another example:

Properties of the Monster Group of R. L. Griess, Jr., may be investigated with the aid of the Miracle Octad Generator, or MOG, of R. T. Curtis.  See the MOG on the cover of a book by Griess about some of the 20 sporadic groups involved in the Monster:

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

The MOG, in turn, illustrates (via Abstract 79T-A37, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979) the fact that the group of automorphisms of the affine space of four dimensions over the two-element field is also the natural group of automorphisms of an arbitrary 4×4 array.

This affine group, of order 322,560, is also the natural group of automorphisms of a family of graphic designs similar to those on traditional American quilts.  (See the diamond theorem.)

This top-down approach to the diamond theorem may serve as an illustration of the “big rock” in mathematics.

For a somewhat simpler, bottom-up, approach to the theorem, see Theme and Variations.

For related literary material, see Mathematics and Narrative and The Diamond as Big as the Monster.

“The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth.”

Wallace Stevens,
“Credences of Summer”

 

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Sunday May 7, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Bagombo Snuff Box
 
(in memory of
Burt Kerr Todd)


“Well, it may be the devil
or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to
serve somebody.”

— “Bob Dylan”
(pseudonym of Robert Zimmerman),
quoted by “Bob Stewart”
on July 18, 2005

“Bob Stewart” may or may not be the same person as “crankbuster,” author of the “Rectangular Array Theorem” or “RAT.”  This “theorem” is intended as a parody of the “Miracle Octad Generator,” or “MOG,” of R. T. Curtis.  (See the Usenet group sci.math, “Steven Cullinane is a Crank,” July 2005, messages 51-60.)

“Crankbuster” has registered at Math Forum as a teacher in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).   For a tall tale involving Ceylon, see the short story “Bagombo Snuff Box” in the book of the same title by Kurt Vonnegut, who has at times embodied– like Martin Gardner and “crankbuster“– “der Geist, der stets verneint.”

Here is my own version (given the alleged Ceylon background of “crankbuster”) of a Bagombo snuff box:

Related material:

Log24 entries of
April 16-30, 2005,

and the 5 Log24 entries
ending on Friday,
April 28, 2006.

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