Log24

Friday, October 11, 2019

Quest

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:45 AM

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

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

Other approaches —

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

Story Driven

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 22, 2019

Charles Jencks’s Grand Unified Theory

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

"The stars and galaxies seem static, eternal, or moving slowly
in deterministic patterns, becoming the background stage
on which we move. But if we could speed up the sequence,
we would see how dramatic and unpredictable this background
really is — an actor, director, script and stage all at once.
Moreover, it is a unified universe, a single unfolding event
of which we are an embedded part, a narrative of highly
dangerous and fine-tuned events, something more like
a detective thriller with many crimes and last-minute escapes
than the impersonal account of astronomy textbooks.
We are only just beginning to decipher the plot and figure out
the Cosmic Code, as Heinz Pagels puts it."

— Charles Jencks, The Architecture of the Jumping Universe :
A Polemic
  (How Complexity Science is Changing Architecture
and Culture), Academy Editions, 1995, rev. ed. 1997

"A Grand Unified Theory (GUT) is a model in particle physics…."
Wikipedia

"Under the GUT symmetry operation these field components
transform into one another. The reason quantum particles 
appear to have different properties in nature is that the unifying
symmetry is broken. The various gluons, quarks and leptons
are analogous to the facets of a cut diamond, which appear
differently according to the way the diamond is held but in
fact are all manifestations of the same underlying object."

— Heinz Pagels, Perfect Symmetry , Bantam paperback, 1986, p. 284

See also the recent post Multifaceted Narrative.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Geometry of Interstices

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 10:18 PM

Finite Galois geometry with the underlying field the simplest one possible —
namely, the two-element field GF(2) — is a geometry of  interstices :

For some less precise remarks, see the tags Interstice and Interality.

The rationalist motto "sincerity, order, logic and clarity" was quoted
by Charles Jencks in the previous post.

This  post was suggested by some remarks from Queensland that
seem to exemplify these qualities —

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Geometry of the 4×4 Square: The Kummer Configuration

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

From the series of posts tagged Kummerhenge

A Wikipedia article relating the above 4×4 square to the work of Kummer —

A somewhat more interesting aspect of the geometry of the 4×4 square
is its relationship to the 4×6 grid underlying the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R. T. Curtis.  Hudson's 1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface
deals with the Kummer properties above and also foreshadows, without
explicitly describing, the finite-geometry properties of the 4×4 square as
a finite affine 4-space — properties that are of use in studying the Mathieu
group M24  with the aid of the MOG.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Symmetry at Hiroshima

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:43 AM

A search this morning for articles mentioning the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis within the last year yielded an abstract for two talks given
at Hiroshima on March 8 and 9, 2018

http://www.math.sci.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/
branched/files/2018/abstract/Aitchison.txt

Iain AITCHISON

Title:

Construction of highly symmetric Riemann surfaces, related manifolds, and some exceptional objects, I, II

Abstract:

Since antiquity, some mathematical objects have played a special role, underpinning new mathematics as understanding deepened. Perhaps archetypal are the Platonic polyhedra, subsequently related to Platonic idealism, and the contentious notion of existence of mathematical reality independent of human consciousness.

Exceptional or unique objects are often associated with symmetry – manifest or hidden. In topology and geometry, we have natural base points for the moduli spaces of closed genus 2 and 3 surfaces (arising from the 2-fold branched cover of the sphere over the 6 vertices of the octahedron, and Klein's quartic curve, respectively), and Bring's genus 4 curve arises in Klein's description of the solution of polynomial equations of degree greater than 4, as well as in the construction of the Horrocks-Mumford bundle. Poincare's homology 3-sphere, and Kummer's surface in real dimension 4 also play special roles.

In other areas: we have the exceptional Lie algebras such as E8; the sporadic finite simple groups; the division algebras: Golay's binary and ternary codes; the Steiner triple systems S(5,6,12) and S(5,8,24); the Leech lattice; the outer automorphisms of the symmetric group S6; the triality map in dimension 8; and so on. We also note such as: the 27 lines on a cubic, the 28 bitangents of a quartic curve, the 120 tritangents of a sextic curve, and so on, related to Galois' exceptional finite groups PSL2(p) (for p= 5,7,11), and various other so-called `Arnol'd Trinities'.

Motivated originally by the `Eightfold Way' sculpture at MSRI in Berkeley, we discuss inter-relationships between a selection of these objects, illustrating connections arising via highly symmetric Riemann surface patterns. These are constructed starting with a labeled polygon and an involution on its label set.

Necessarily, in two lectures, we will neither delve deeply into, nor describe in full, contexts within which exceptional objects arise. We will, however, give sufficient definition and detail to illustrate essential inter-connectedness of those exceptional objects considered.

Our starting point will be simplistic, arising from ancient Greek ideas underlying atomism, and Plato's concepts of space. There will be some overlap with a previous talk on this material, but we will illustrate with some different examples, and from a different philosophical perspective.

Some new results arising from this work will also be given, such as an alternative graphic-illustrated MOG (Miracle Octad Generator) for the Steiner system S(5,8,24), and an alternative to Singerman – Jones' genus 70 Riemann surface previously proposed as a completion of an Arnol'd Trinity. Our alternative candidate also completes a Trinity whose two other elements are Thurston's highly symmetric 6- and 8-component links, the latter related by Thurston to Klein's quartic curve.

See also yesterday morning's post, "Character."

Update: For a followup, see the next  Log24 post.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Denkraum

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

http://www.log24.com/log/pix18/180914-Warburg_Denkraum-Google-result.jpg

I Ching Geometry search result

Underlying the I Ching  structure  is the finite affine space
of six dimensions over the Galois field with two elements.

In this field,  "1 + 1 = 0,"  as noted here Wednesday.

See also other posts now tagged  Interstice.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix18/180914-Warburg-Wikipedia.jpg

Friday, January 5, 2018

Types of Ambiguity

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:56 AM

From "The Principle of Sufficient Reason," by George David Birkhoff
in "Three Public Lectures on Scientific Subjects,"
delivered at the Rice Institute, March 6, 7, and 8, 1940 —

From the same lecture —

Up to the present point my aim has been to consider a variety of applications of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, without attempting any precise formulation of the Principle itself. With these applications in mind I will venture to formulate the Principle and a related Heuristic Conjecture in quasi-mathematical form as follows:

PRINCIPLE OF SUFFICIENT REASON. If there appears in any theory T a set of ambiguously  determined ( i e . symmetrically entering) variables, then these variables can themselves be determined only to the extent allowed by the corresponding group G. Consequently any problem concerning these variables which has a uniquely determined solution, must itself be formulated so as to be unchanged by the operations of the group G ( i e . must involve the variables symmetrically).

HEURISTIC CONJECTURE. The final form of any scientific theory T is: (1) based on a few simple postulates; and (2) contains an extensive ambiguity, associated symmetry, and underlying group G, in such wise that, if the language and laws of the theory of groups be taken for granted, the whole theory T appears as nearly self-evident in virtue of the above Principle.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Heuristic Conjecture, as just formulated, have the advantage of not involving excessively subjective ideas, while at the same time retaining the essential kernel of the matter.

In my opinion it is essentially this principle and this conjecture which are destined always to operate as the basic criteria for the scientist in extending our knowledge and understanding of the world.

It is also my belief that, in so far as there is anything definite in the realm of Metaphysics, it will consist in further applications of the same general type. This general conclusion may be given the following suggestive symbolic form:

Image-- Birkhoff diagram relating Galois's theory of ambiguity to metaphysics

While the skillful metaphysical use of the Principle must always be regarded as of dubious logical status, nevertheless I believe it will remain the most important weapon of the philosopher.

Related remarks by a founding member of the Metaphysical Club:

See also the previous post, "Seven Types of Interality."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

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

The above title was suggested by a film trailer quoted here Saturday

" Jeremy Irons' dry Alfred Pennyworth:
'One misses the days when one's biggest concerns
were exploding wind-up penguins.' "

"Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition" describes, among other books,
an edition of the I Ching  published on December 1, 2015.

Excerpt from this journal on that date

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Verhexung

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM 

(Continued)

"The positional meaning of a symbol derives from
its relationship to other symbols in a totality, a Gestalt,
whose elements acquire their significance from the
system as a whole."

— Victor Turner, The Forest of Symbols , Ithaca, NY,
Cornell University Press, 1967, p. 51, quoted by
Beth Barrie in "Victor Turner."

(Turner pioneered the use of the term "symbology,"
a term later applied by Dan Brown to a fictional
scholarly pursuit at Harvard.)

. . . .

Related material —

IMAGE by Cullinane- 'Solomon's Cube' with 64 identical, but variously oriented, subcubes, and six partitions of these 64 subcubes

The I Ching's underlying group has 1,290,157,424,640 permutations.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Step Two

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

"I think you should be more explicit here in step two.

— Caption to a cartoon by Sidney Harris,
American Scientist , November-December 1977

"If any perfection is indicated in the work
it is recognized by the artist as truly miraculous
so he feels that he can take no credit for its
sudden appearance."

Agnes Martin, 1973, "On the Perfection Underlying Life"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nested Projective Structures

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 PM

Two views of nested sequences of projective structures —

From this journal in April 2013:

From the arXiv in September 2014

Saniga's reference [6] is to a paper submitted to the arXiv in May 2014. 

My own note of April 30, 2013, concludes with an historical reference
that indicates the mathematics underlying both my own and Saniga's
remarks —

The exercises at the end of Ch. II in Veblen and Young's 
Projective Geometry, Vol. I  (Ginn, 1910). For instance:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Changes

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

Despite a remark at ichingpsychics.com, the I Ching's underlying group actually has 1,290,157,424,640 permutations.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Kummer Lattice

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

The previous post quoted Tom Wolfe on Chomsky's use of
the word "array." 

An example of particular interest is the 4×4  array
(whether of dots or of unit squares) —

      .

Some context for the 4×4 array —

The following definition indicates that the 4×4 array, when
suitably coordinatized, underlies the Kummer lattice .

Further background on the Kummer lattice:

Alice Garbagnati and Alessandra Sarti, 
"Kummer Surfaces and K3 surfaces
with $(Z/2Z)^4$ symplectic action." 
To appear in Rocky Mountain J. Math.

The above article is written from the viewpoint of traditional
algebraic geometry. For a less traditional view of the underlying
affine 4-space from finite  geometry, see the website
Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Some further context

"To our knowledge, the relation of the Golay code
to the Kummer lattice is a new observation."

— Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
"The overarching finite symmetry group of
Kummer surfaces in the Mathieu group M24 
"

As noted earlier, Taormina and Wendland seem not to be aware of
R. W. H. T. Hudson's use of the (uncoordinatized*) 4×4 array in his
1905 book Kummer's Quartic Surface.  The array was coordinatized,
i.e. given a "vector space structure," by Cullinane eight years prior to
the cited remarks of Curtis.

* Update of Sept. 14: "Uncoordinatized," but parametrized  by 0 and
the 15 two-subsets of a six-set. See the post of Sept. 13.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cube

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:28 PM

From this journal —

See (for instance) Sacred Order, July 18, 2006 —

The finite Galois affine space with 64 points

From a novel published July 26, 2016, and reviewed
in yesterday's (print) New York Times Book Review —

The doors open slowly. I step into a hangar. From the rafters high above, lights blaze down, illuminating a twelve-foot cube the color of gunmetal. My pulse rate kicks up. I can’t believe what I’m looking at. Leighton must sense my awe, because he says, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” It is exquisitely beautiful. At first, I think the hum inside the hangar is coming from the lights, but it can’t be. It’s so deep I can feel it at the base of my spine, like the ultralow-frequency vibration of a massive engine. I drift toward the box, mesmerized.

— Crouch, Blake. Dark Matter: A Novel
(Kindle Locations 2004-2010).
Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition. 

See also Log24 on the publication date of Dark Matter .

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Symmetry

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

A note related to the diamond theorem and to the site
Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube —

The last link in the previous post leads to a post of last October whose
final link leads, in turn, to a 2009 post titled Summa Mythologica .

Webpage demonstrating symmetries of 'Solomon's Cube'

Some may view the above web page as illustrating the
Glasperlenspiel  passage quoted here in Summa Mythologica 

“"I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate
in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually
was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of
symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples,
experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery
and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge.
Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every
transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical
or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment,
if seen with a truly meditative mind, nothing but a direct route
into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation
between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth,
between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.”

A less poetic meditation on the above web page* —

"I saw that in the alternation between front and back,
between top and bottom, between left and right,
symmetry is forever being created."

Update of Sept. 5, 2016 — See also a related remark
by Lévi-Strauss in 1955: "…three different readings
become possible: left to right, top to bottom, front 
to back."

* For the underlying mathematics, see a June 21, 1983, research note

Monday, April 25, 2016

Seven Seals

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

 An old version of the Wikipedia article "Group theory"
(pictured in the previous post) —

"More poetically "

From Hermann Weyl's 1952 classic Symmetry

"Galois' ideas, which for several decades remained
a book with seven seals  but later exerted a more
and more profound influence upon the whole
development of mathematics, are contained in
a farewell letter written to a friend on the eve of
his death, which he met in a silly duel at the age of
twenty-one. This letter, if judged by the novelty and
profundity of ideas it contains, is perhaps the most
substantial piece of writing in the whole literature
of mankind."

The seven seals from the previous post, with some context —

These models of projective points are drawn from the underlying
structure described (in the 4×4 case) as part of the proof of the
Cullinane diamond theorem .

Monday, February 1, 2016

Religious Note

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

See also the previous post.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:45 PM

(Continued from November 13)

The work of Ron Shaw in this area, ca. 1994-1995, does not
display explicitly the correspondence between anticommutativity
in the set of Dirac matrices and skewness in a line complex of
PG(3,2), the projective 3-space over the 2-element Galois field.

Here is an explicit picture —

Anticommuting Dirac matrices as spreads of projective lines

References:  

Arfken, George B., Mathematical Methods for Physicists , Third Edition,
Academic Press, 1985, pages 213-214

Cullinane, Steven H., Notes on Groups and Geometry, 1978-1986

Shaw, Ron, "Finite Geometry, Dirac Groups, and the Table of
Real Clifford Algebras," undated article at ResearchGate.net

Update of November 23:

See my post of Nov. 23 on publications by E. M. Bruins
in 1949 and 1959 on Dirac matrices and line geometry,
and on another author who gives some historical background
going back to Eddington.

Some more-recent related material from the Slovak school of
finite geometry and quantum theory —

Saniga, 'Finite Projective Spaces, Geometric Spreads of Lines and Multi-Qubits,' excerpt

The matrices underlying the Saniga paper are those of Pauli, not
those of Dirac, but these two sorts of matrices are closely related.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Space Program

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:26 PM

A quote that appeared here on April 14, 2013

"I know what 'nothing' means." — Joan Didion

Dirac on the 4×4 matrices of an underlying nothingness —

"Corresponding to the four rows and columns,
the wave function ψ  must contain a variable
that takes on four values, in order that the matrices
shall be capable of being multiplied into it." 

— P. A. M. Dirac, Principles of Quantum Mechanics,
     Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 1958,
     page 257

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Transitions

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:48 PM

Two transitions from last Monday, Oct. 26, 2015,
according to the online New York Times  today —

Leo P. Kadanoff, a physicist who provided critical insights into the transformations of matter from one state to another, died last Monday in Chicago. He was 78.

The cause was respiratory failure, said the University of Chicago, where he was a professor from 1978 until his retirement in 2003.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he received the National Medal of Science in 1999.

“He won basically every prize except the Nobel Prize, and many people thought he should have won the Nobel,” said Emil Martinec, a physics professor at the University of Chicago who directs the university’s Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics.

Dr. Kadanoff’s biggest scientific contribution came in the 1960s as scientists were trying to understand phase transitions, when matter changes from one form to another.

A Cornell chemist, Benjamin Widom, had come up with mathematical relationships that described behavior associated with second-order phase transitions, which include the boiling of water to steam at a particular temperature and pressure. But Dr. Widom did not have an underlying physical explanation for why these relationships existed.

Willis Carto, a reclusive behind-the-scenes wizard of the far-right fringe of American politics who used lobbying and publishing to denigrate Jews and other minorities and galvanize the movement to deny the Holocaust, died last Monday at his home in Virginia. He was 89.

His death was announced by The American Free Press, a newspaper he helped found.

Mr. Carto raised funds to finance a right-wing military dictatorship in the United States, campaigned to persuade blacks to voluntarily return to Africa and, most influentially, started newsletters, a journal and conferences of academics and others to deny the scale, and even the existence, of the Holocaust.

The Anti-Defamation League called him “one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists” and “the mastermind of the hate network.”

His associates included neo-Nazis, Christian vigilantes, John Birch Society members and Ku Klux Klansmen, and his extreme views alienated mainstream conservatives. After William F. Buckley sued Mr. Carto for libel and won in 1985, Mr. Buckley said Mr. Carto epitomized “the fever swamps of the crazed right.’’

Related remarks:

Posts tagged "Steam," the post "On Ice-Breaking" from Oct. 27,
the post "Expanding the Seagram Spielraum" from Oct. 26, and
a 2008 article on the subject of the obituary at right above.

"Integrity, Craftsmanship, Tradition"

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rings of August

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

For the title, see posts from August 2007 tagged Gyges.

Related theological remarks:

Boolean  spaces (old) vs. Galois  spaces  (new) in 
"The Quality Without a Name"
(a post from August 26, 2015) and the

Related literature:  A search for Borogoves in this journal will yield
remarks on the 1943 tale underlying the above film.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Discrete Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:24 AM

(A review)

Galois space:

Image-- examples from Galois affine geometry

Counting symmetries of  Galois space:
IMAGE - The Diamond Theorem

The reason for these graphic symmetries in affine Galois space —

symmetries of the underlying projective Galois space:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Savior for Atheists…

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:26 PM

Continued from June 17, 2013
(
John Baez as a savior for atheists):

As an atheists-savior, I prefer Galois

The geometry underlying a figure that John Baez
posted four days ago, "A Hypercube of Bits," is
Galois  geometry —

See The Galois Tesseract and an earlier
figure from Log24 on May 21, 2007:

IMAGE- Tesseract from Log24 on May 21, 2007

For the genesis of the figure,
see The Geometry of Logic.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Art as a Tool

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:35 PM

Two news items on art as a tool:

Two Log24 posts related to the 3×3 grid, the underlying structure for China’s
ancient Lo Shu “magic” square:

Finally, leftist art theorist Rosalind Krauss in this journal
on Anti-Christmas, 2010:

Which is the tool here, the grid or Krauss?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Symplectic Structure

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

(Continued)

The fictional zero theorem  of Terry Gilliam's current film
by that name should not be confused with the zero system
underlying the diamond theorem.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sensibility

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:26 AM

Structured gray matter:

Graphic symmetries of Galois space:
IMAGE - The Diamond Theorem

The reason for these graphic symmetries in affine  Galois space —

symmetries of the underlying projective  Galois space:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sense

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:09 PM

“A simple grid structure makes both evolutionary and developmental sense.”

— Van Wedeen, MD, of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at
Massachusetts General Hospital, Science Daily , March 29, 2012

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Physics and Theology

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

The titles of the previous three posts refer to
Hermann Weyl’s 1918 book Raum, Zeit, Materie
(Space, Time, Matter).

This suggests a look at a poetically parallel 1950 title —
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe —
and at its underlying philosophy:

I am among “those who do not know that this great myth became Fact.”
I do, however, note that some other odd things have become fact.
Those who wish more on this topic may consult:

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Diamond-Theorem Correlation

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

Click image for a larger, clearer version.

IMAGE- The symplectic correlation underlying Rosenhain and Göpel tetrads

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paradigm Shift:

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:01 AM
 

Continuous Euclidean space to discrete Galois space*

Euclidean space:

Point, line, square, cube, tesseract

From a page by Bryan Clair

Counting symmetries in Euclidean space:

Galois space:

Image-- examples from Galois affine geometry

Counting symmetries of  Galois space:
IMAGE - The Diamond Theorem

The reason for these graphic symmetries in affine Galois space —

symmetries of the underlying projective Galois space:

* For related remarks, see posts of May 26-28, 2012.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Galois Matrices

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

The webpage Galois.us, on Galois matrices , has been created as
a starting point for remarks on the algebra  (as opposed to the geometry)
underlying the rings of matrices mentioned in AMS abstract 79T-A37,
Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring.”

See also related historical remarks by Weyl and by Atiyah.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Waiting for Ogdoad

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

Continued from October 30 (Devil's Night), 2013.

“In a sense, we would see that change
arises from the structure of the object.”

— Theoretical physicist quoted in a
Simons Foundation article of Sept. 17, 2013

This suggests a review of mathematics and the
"Classic of Change ," the I Ching .

The physicist quoted above was discussing a rather
complicated object. His words apply to a much simpler
object, an embodiment of the eight trigrams underlying
the I Ching  as the corners of a cube.

The Eightfold Cube and its Inner Structure

See also

(Click for clearer image.)

The Cullinane image above illustrates the seven points of
the Fano plane as seven of the eight I Ching  trigrams and as
seven natural ways of slicing the cube.

For a different approach to the mathematics of cube slices,
related to Gauss's composition law for binary quadratic forms,
see the Bhargava cube  in a post of April 9, 2012.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moonshine

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Unexpected connections between areas of mathematics
previously thought to be unrelated are sometimes referred
to as "moonshine."  An example—  the apparent connections
between parts of complex analysis and groups related to the 
large Mathieu group M24. Some recent work on such apparent
connections, by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland, among
others (for instance, Miranda C.N. Cheng and John F.R. Duncan),
involves structures related to Kummer surfaces .
In a classic book, Kummer's Quartic Surface  (1905),
R.W.H.T. Hudson pictured a set of 140 structures, the 80
Rosenhain tetrads and the 60 Göpel tetrads, as 4-element
subsets of a 16-element 4×4 array.  It turns out that these
140 structures are the planes of the finite affine geometry
AG(4,2) of four dimensions over the two-element Galois field.
(See Diamond Theory in 1937.) 

A Google search documents the moonshine
relating Rosenhain's and Göpel's 19th-century work
in complex analysis to M24  via the book of Hudson and
the geometry of the 4×4 square.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

“The Stone” Today Suggests…

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:31 PM

A girl's best friend?

The Philosopher's Gaze , by David Michael Levin,
U. of California Press, 1999, in III.5, "The Field of Vision," pp. 174-175—

The post-metaphysical question—question for a post-metaphysical phenomenology—is therefore: Can the perceptual field, the ground of perception, be released  from our historical compulsion to represent it in a way that accommodates our will to power and its need to totalize and reify the presencing of being? In other words: Can the ground be experienced as  ground? Can its hermeneutical way of presencing, i.e., as a dynamic interplay of concealment and unconcealment, be given appropriate  respect in the receptivity of a perception that lets itself  be appropriated by  the ground and accordingly lets  the phenomenon of the ground be  what and how it is? Can the coming-to-pass of the ontological difference that is constitutive of all the local figure-ground differences taking place in our perceptual field be made visible hermeneutically, and thus without violence to its withdrawal into concealment? But the question concerning the constellation of figure and ground cannot be separated from the question concerning the structure of subject and object. Hence the possibility of a movement beyond metaphysics must also think the historical possibility of breaking out of this structure into the spacing of the ontological difference: différance , the primordial, sensuous, ekstatic écart . As Heidegger states it in his Parmenides lectures, it is a question of "the way historical man belongs within the bestowal of being (Zufügung des Seins ), i.e., the way this order entitles him to acknowledge being and to be the only being among all beings to see  the open" (PE* 150, PG** 223. Italics added). We might also say that it is a question of our response-ability, our capacity as beings gifted with vision, to measure up to the responsibility for perceptual responsiveness laid down for us in the "primordial de-cision" (Entscheid ) of the ontological difference (ibid.). To recognize the operation of the ontological difference taking place in the figure-ground difference of the perceptual Gestalt  is to recognize the ontological difference as the primordial Riß , the primordial Ur-teil  underlying all our perceptual syntheses and judgments—and recognize, moreover, that this rift, this  division, decision, and scission, an ekstatic écart  underlying and gathering all our so-called acts of perception, is also the only "norm" (ἀρχή ) by which our condition, our essential deciding and becoming as the ones who are gifted with sight, can ultimately be judged.

* PE: Parmenides  of Heidegger in English— Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992

** PG: Parmenides  of Heidegger in German— Gesamtausgabe , vol. 54— Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1992

Examples of "the primordial Riß " as ἀρχή  —

For an explanation in terms of mathematics rather than philosophy,
see the diamond theorem. For more on the Riß  as ἀρχή , see
Function Decomposition Over a Finite Field.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Big Rock

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

From the LA Times  online obituaries today:

Michael Feran Baigent was born in Nelson, New Zealand,
in 1948. After graduating from New Zealand's University
of Canterbury with a degree in psychology, he worked as a
photographer and magazine editor in Australia, New
Zealand and Spain before taking up research for a
documentary called "The Shadow of the Templars."

From 1998 he lectured on and led tours of the temples and
tombs in Egypt, and from 2001 he was editor of the
magazine "Freemasonry Today."

Elliott Reid

Longtime film, TV actor with a comic touch

Elliott "Ted" Reid, 93, a longtime character actor in films
and on television, stage and radio who played opposite
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the classic comedy
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," died Friday [June 21, 2013]
in Studio City, said his nephew Roger R. Jackson.

From a post last Saturday, June 22, and the earlier
​post last Friday, June 21, that preceded it:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lexicon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the final pages of the new novel
Lexicon , by Max Barry: 

"… a fundamental language
of the human mind— 
the tongue in which the human animal 
speaks to itself at the basest level. 
The machine language, in essence…."

"… the questions raised by 
this underlying lexicon
What are its words? 
How many are there? ….
Can we learn to speak them?
What does it sound like 
when who we are is expressed
in its most fundamental form? 
Something to think about."

       R. Lowell

See also, in this journal, Big Rock.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stevens and the Rock

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

Passage quoted in A Philosopher's Stone (April 4, 2013)—

This passage from Heidegger suggested the lexicon excerpt on
to hypokeimenon  (the underlying) in yesterday's post Lexicon.

A related passage:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lexicon

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

From the final pages of the new novel
Lexicon , by Max Barry:

“… a fundamental language
of the human mind—
the tongue in which the human animal
speaks to itself at the basest level.
The machine language, in essence….”

“… the questions raised by
this underlying lexicon.
What are its words?
How many are there? ….
Can we learn to speak them?
What does it sound like
when who we are is expressed
in its most fundamental form?
Something to think about.”

       R. Lowell

Related material:

IMAGE- Hypokeimenon in Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon

“… the clocks were striking thirteen.” — 1984

Friday, April 26, 2013

Symmetry

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

Anne Taormina on Mathieu Moonshine —

IMAGE- Anne Taormina on 'Mathieu Moonshine' and the 'super overarching symmetry group'

This is, of course, the same group (of order 322,560) underlying the Diamond 16 Puzzle.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rosenhain and Göpel Revisited

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Some historical background for today's note on the geometry
underlying the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG):

IMAGE- Bateman in 1906 on Rosenhain and Göpel tetrads

The above incidence diagram recalls those in today's previous post
on the MOG, which is used to construct the large Mathieu group M24.

For some related material that is more up-to-date, search the Web
for Mathieu + Kummer .

Monday, April 8, 2013

Magic for Jews

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

A commenter on Saturday's "Seize the Dia" has
suggested a look at the work of one Mark Collins.

Here is such a look (click to enlarge):

I find attempts to associate pure mathematics with the words
"magic" or "mystic" rather nauseating. (H. F. Baker's work
on Pascal's mystic hexagram  is no exception; Baker was
stuck with Pascal's obnoxious adjective, but had no truck
with any mystic aspects of the hexagram.)

The remarks above by Clifford Pickover on Collins, Dürer, and
binary representations may interest some non-mathematicians,
who should not  be encouraged to waste their time on this topic.

For the mathematics underlying the binary representation of
Dürer's square, see, for instance, my 1984 article "Binary
Coordinate Systems
."

Those without the background to understand that article
may enjoy, instead of Pickover's abortive attempts above at
mathematical vulgarization, his impressively awful 2009 novel
Jews in Hyperspace .

Pickover's 2002 book on magic squares was, unfortunately,
published by the formerly reputable Princeton University Press.

Related material from today's Daily Princetonian :

See also Nash + Princeton in this journal.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pascal via Curtis

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:17 AM

Click image for some background.

IMAGE- The Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of R.T. Curtis

Shown above is a rearranged version of the
Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of R. T. Curtis
("A new combinatorial approach to M24,"
Math. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 79 (1976), 25-42.)

The 8-subcell rectangles in the left part of the figure may be
viewed as illustrating (if the top left subcell is disregarded)
the thirty-five 3-subsets of a 7-set.

Such a view relates, as the remarks below show, the
MOG's underlying Galois geometry, that of PG(3,2), to
the hexagrammum mysticum  of Pascal.

On Danzer's 354 Configuration:

IMAGE- Branko Grünbaum on Danzer's configuration
 

"Combinatorially, Danzer’s configuration can be interpreted
as defined by all 3-sets and all 4-sets that can be formed
by the elements of a 7-element set; each 'point' is represented
by one of the 3-sets, and it is incident with those lines
(represented by 4-sets) that contain the 3-set."

— Branko Grünbaum, "Musings on an Example of Danzer's,"
European Journal of Combinatorics , 29 (2008),
pp. 1910–1918 (online March 11, 2008)

"Danzer's configuration is deeply rooted in
Pascal's Hexagrammum Mysticum ."

— Marko Boben, Gábor Gévay, and Tomaž Pisanski,
"Danzer's Configuration Revisited," arXiv.org, Jan. 6, 2013

For an approach to such configurations that differs from
those of Grünbaum, Boben, Gévay, and Pisanski, see

Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry.

Grünbaum has written little about Galois geometry.
Pisanski has recently touched on the subject;
see Configurations in this journal (Feb. 19, 2013).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Philosopher’s Stone

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 PM

"Core" (in the original, Kern ) is perhaps
not the best translation of hypokeimenon :

IMAGE- Hypokeimenon in Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon

See also Heidegger's original German:

Related material: In this journal, "underlie" and "underlying."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Raven Light

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:40 AM

"…a fundamental cognitive ability known as 'fluid' intelligence: the capacity to solve novel problems, to learn, to reason, to see connections and to get to the bottom of things. …

…matrices are considered the gold standard of fluid-intelligence tests. Anyone who has taken an intelligence test has seen matrices like those used in the Raven’s: three rows, with three graphic items in each row, made up of squares, circles, dots or the like. Do the squares get larger as they move from left to right? Do the circles inside the squares fill in, changing from white to gray to black, as they go downward? One of the nine items is missing from the matrix, and the challenge is to find the underlying patterns— up, down and across— from six possible choices. Initially the solutions are readily apparent to most people, but they get progressively harder to discern. By the end of the test, most test takers are baffled."

— Dan Hurley, "Can You Make Yourself Smarter?," NY Times , April 18, 2012

See also "Raven Steals the Light" in this  journal.

Related material:

Plan 9 from MIT and, perhaps exemplifying crystallized  rather than fluid  intelligence, Black Diamond.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review of Leonardo Article

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

Review of an often-cited Leonardo  article that is
now available for purchase online

The Tiling Patterns of Sebastien Truchet 
and the Topology of Structural Hierarchy

Authors: Cyril Stanley Smith and Pauline Boucher

Source: Leonardo , Vol. 20, No. 4,
20th Anniversary Special Issue:
Art of the Future: The Future of Art (1987),
pp. 373-385

Published by: The MIT Press

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1578535 .

Smith and Boucher give a well-illustrated account of
the early history of Truchet tiles, but their further remarks
on the mathematics underlying patterns made with
these tiles (see the diamond theorem* of 1976) are
worthless.

For instance

Excerpt from pages 383-384—

"A detailed analysis of Truchet's
patterns touches upon the most fundamental
questions of the relation between
mathematical formalism and the structure
of the material world. Separations
between regions differing in density
require that nothing  be as important as
something  and that large and small cells of
both must coexist. The aggregation of
unitary choice of directional distinction
at interfaces lies at the root of all being
and becoming."

* This result is about Truchet-tile patterns, but the
    underlying mathematics was first discovered by
    investigating superimposed patterns of half-circles .
    See Half-Circle Patterns at finitegeometry.org.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Adam in Eden

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

(Continued)

"… we have taken the first steps
in decoding the uniquely human
fascination with visual patterns…."

W. Tecumseh Fitch et al. ,  July 2012

Fitch cites the following as a reference:

IMAGE- Washburn and Crowe, 'Symmetries of Culture' (1988)

Washburn and Crowe discuss symmetries in general, but
not the Galois geometry underlying patterns like some of
those shown on their book's cover.

Deep Structure

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:18 AM

The concept of "deep structure," once a popular meme,
has long been abandoned by Chomskians.

It still applies, however, to the 1976 mathematics, diamond theory  ,
underlying the formal patterns discussed in a Royal Society paper
this year.

A review of deep structure, from the Wikipedia article Cartesian linguistics

[Numbers in parentheses refer to pages in the original 1966 Harper edition of Chomsky's book Cartesian Linguistics .]

Deep structure vs. surface structure

"Pursuing the fundamental distinction between body and mind, Cartesian linguistics characteristically assumes that language has two aspects" (32). These are namely the sound/character of a linguistic sign and its significance (32). Semantic interpretation or phonetic interpretation may not be identical in Cartesian linguistics (32). Deep structures are often only represented in the mind (a mirror of thought), as opposed to surface structures, which are not.

Deep structures vary less between languages than surface structures. For instance, the transformational operations to derive surface forms of Latin and French may obscure common features of their deep structures (39). Chomsky proposes, "In many respects, it seems to me quite accurate, then, to regard the theory of transformational generative grammar, as it is developing in current work, as essentially a modern and more explicit version of the Port-Royal theory" (39).

Summary of Port Royal Grammar

The Port Royal Grammar is an often cited reference in Cartesian Linguistics  and is considered by Chomsky to be a more than suitable example of Cartesian linguistic philosophy. "A sentence has an inner mental aspect (a deep structure that conveys its meaning) and an outer, physical aspect as a sound sequence"***** This theory of deep and surface structures, developed in Port Royal linguistics, meets the formal requirements of language theory. Chomsky describes it in modern terms as "a base system that generates deep structures and a transformational system that maps these into surface structures", essentially a form of transformational grammar akin to modern studies (42).

The corresponding concepts from diamond theory are

"Deep structure"— The line diagrams indicating the underlying
structure of varying patterns

"A base system that generates deep structures"—
Group actions on square arrays for instance, on the 4×4 square

"A transformational system"— The decomposition theorem 
that maps deep structure into surface structure (and vice-versa)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Defining the Contest…

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 5:48 AM

Chomsky vs. Santa

From a New Yorker  weblog yesterday—

"Happy Birthday, Noam Chomsky." by Gary Marcus—

"… two titans facing off, with Chomsky, as ever,
defining the contest"

"Chomsky sees himself, correctly, as continuing
a conversation that goes back to Plato, especially
the Meno dialogue, in which a slave boy is
revealed by Socrates to know truths about
geometry that he hadn’t realized he knew."

See Meno Diamond in this journal. For instance, from 
the Feast of Saint Nicholas (Dec. 6th) this year—

The Meno Embedding

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

For related truths about geometry, see the diamond theorem.

For a related contest of language theory vs. geometry,
see pattern theory (Sept. 11, 16, and 17, 2012).

See esp. the Sept. 11 post,  on a Royal Society paper from July 2012
claiming that

"With the results presented here, we have taken the first steps
in decoding the uniquely human  fascination with visual patterns,
what Gombrich* termed our ‘sense of order.’ "

The sorts of patterns discussed in the 2012 paper —

IMAGE- Diamond Theory patterns found in a 2012 Royal Society paper

"First steps"?  The mathematics underlying such patterns
was presented 35 years earlier, in Diamond Theory.

* See Gombrich-Douat in this journal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Arte Programmata*

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:30 PM

The 1976 monograph "Diamond Theory" was an example
of "programmed art" in the sense established by, for
instance, Karl Gerstner. The images were produced 
according to strict rules, and were in this sense 
"programmed," but were drawn by hand.

Now an actual computer program has been written,
based on the Diamond Theory excerpts published
in the Feb. 1977 issue of Computer Graphics and Art
(Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 5-7), that produces copies of some of
these images (and a few malformed images not  in
Diamond Theory).

See Isaac Gierard's program at GitHub

https://github.com/matthewepler/ReCode_Project/
blob/dda7b23c5ad505340b468d9bd707fd284e6c48bf/
isaac_gierard/StevenHCullinane_DiamondTheory/
StevenHCullinane_DiamondTheory.pde

As the suffix indicates, this program is in the
Processing Development Environment language.

It produces the following sketch:

IMAGE- Sketch programmed by Isaac Gierard to mimic some of the images of 'Diamond Theory' (© 1976 by Steven H. Cullinane).

The rationale for selecting and arranging these particular images is not clear,
and some of the images suffer from defects (exercise: which ones?), but the 
overall effect of the sketch is pleasing.

For some background for the program, see The ReCode Project.

It is good to learn that the Processing language is well-adapted to making the 
images in such sketches. The overall structure of the sketch gives, however,
no clue to the underlying theory  in "Diamond Theory."

For some related remarks, see Theory (Sept. 30, 2012).

* For the title, see Darko Fritz, "Notions of the Program in 1960s Art."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Symmetry and Hierarchy

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

A followup to Intelligence Test (April 2, 2012).

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
B  (2012) 367, 2007–2022
(theme issue of July 19, 2012

 
Gesche Westphal-Fitch [1], Ludwig Huber [2],
Juan Carlos Gómez [3], and W. Tecumseh Fitch [1]
 
[1]  Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna,
      Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
 
[2]  Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna,
      Medical University of Vienna and University of Vienna,
      Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
 
[3]  School of Psychology, St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews,
      South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9JP, UK
 
Excerpt (added in an update on Dec. 8, 2012) —
 
 
Conclusion —
 
"…  We believe that applying the theoretical
framework of formal language theory to two-dimensional
patterns offers a rich new perspective on the
human capacity for producing regular, hierarchically
organized structures. Such visual patterns may actually
prove more flexible than music or language for probing
the full extent of human pattern processing abilities.
      With the results presented here, we have taken the
first steps in decoding the uniquely human fascination
with visual patterns, what Gombrich termed our
‘sense of order’.
      Although the patterns we studied are most similar
to tilings or mosaics, they are examples of a much
broader type of abstract plane pattern, a type found
in virtually all of the world’s cultures [4]. Given that
such abstract visual patterns seem to represent
human universals, they have received astonishingly
little attention from psychologists. This neglect is particularly
unfortunate given their democratic nature,
their popular appeal and the ease with which they
can be generated and analysed in the laboratory.
With the current research, we hope to spark renewed
scientific interest in these ‘unregarded arts’, which
we believe have much to teach us about the nature of
the human mind."
 
[4]  Washburn, D. K. & Crowe, D. W.,1988
      Symmetries of Culture
      Theory and Practice of Plane Pattern Analysis
.
      Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.
 
Commentary —
 
For hierarchy , see my assessment of Gombrich.
For culture , see T. S. Eliot and Russell Kirk on Eliot.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wittgenstein’s Kindergarten

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

A web search for the author Cameron McEwen  mentioned
in today's noon post was unsuccessful, but it did yield an
essay, quite possibly by a different  Cameron McEwen, on

The Digital Wittgenstein:

"The fundamental difference between analog
and digital systems may be understood as
underlying philosophical discourse since the Greeks."

The University of Bergen identifies the Wittgenstein 
McEwen as associated with InteLex  of Charlottesville.

The title of this post may serve to point out an analogy*
between the InteLex McEwen's analog-digital contrast
and the Euclidean-Galois contrast discussed previously
in this journal.

The latter contrast is exemplified in Pilate Goes to Kindergarten.

* An analogy, as it were, between  analogies.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Douat Facsimile

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:14 PM

Title of a treatise by Dominique Douat

"Méthode pour faire une infinité de desseins différens avec des carreaux mi-partis de deux couleurs par une ligne diagonale : ou observations du Père Dominique Doüat Religieux Carmes de la Province de Toulouse sur un mémoire inséré dans l'Histoire de l'Académie Royale des Sciences de Paris l'année 1704, présenté par le Révérend Père Sébastien Truchet religieux du même ordre, Académicien honoraire  " (Paris, 1722)

"The earliest (and perhaps the rarest) treatise on the theory of design"

— E. H. Gombrich, 1979, in The Sense of Order

A facsimile version (excerpts, 108 pp., Feb. 5, 2010) of this treatise is available from

http://jacques-andre.fr/ed/ in a 23.1 MB pdf.

Sample page—

For a treatise on the finite geometry underlying such designs (based on a monograph I wrote in 1976, before I had heard of Douat or his predecessor Truchet), see Diamond Theory.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting with the Program

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:28 AM

Stanley Fish in The New York Times  yesterday evening—

IMAGE- Stanley Fish, 'The Old Order Changeth,' Boxing Day, 2011

From the MLA program Fish discussed—

IMAGE- MLA session, 'Defining Form,' chaired by Colleen Rosenfeld of Pomona College

Above: An MLA session, "Defining Form," led
by Colleen Rosenfeld of Pomona College

An example from Pomona College in 1968—

IMAGE- Triangular models of small affine and projective finite geometries

The same underlying geometries (i.e., "form") may be modeled with
a square figure and a cubical figure rather than with the triangular
figures of 1968 shown above.

See Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Those who prefer a literary approach to form may enjoy the recent post As Is.
(For some context, see Game of Shadows.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stevens for Christmas Eve

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

A search for Wallace Stevens ebooks
today at Alibris yielded 24 results.

I selected one to order—

Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes .

From that book—

(Click to enlarge)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111224-Perlis-500w.jpg

Stevens's phrase "diamond globe" in this context suggests an image search
on permutahedron + stone + log24 .

For the results of that search (2 MB), click here.

Some background for the phrase used in the search—

See a photo by Mike Zabrocki from June 4, 2011.

See also a Log24 image and a generalization of the underlying structure.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Innermost Kernel (continued*)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A search on the word "innermost" in a PDF copy of a book
by Suzanne Gieser on Jung and Pauli yields no definite meaning
for the book's title, The Innermost Kernel  (Springer, 2005).

The author does, however, devote a section (pp. 36-41) to the
influence of Schopenhauer on Jung and Pauli, and that section at least
suggests that the historical  origin of her title is in Schopenhauer's
reformulation of Kant's "Ding an sich."

The Innermost Kernel , p. 37—

"… an expression of an underlying invisible world,
the one that forms the innermost essence of reality,
the thing-in-itself. This is the will, a blind existence
that forms an omnipresent entity beyond time, space
and individuality." *

* Arthur Schopenhauer, "Über die Vierfache Wurzel
  des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde" (1813),
  Kleinere Schriften, SämtlicheWerke III 
  (Stuttgart, 1962), 805–806.

* See also Mann on Schopenhauer and an "innermost kernel."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy Space

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:35 AM

A chess set previously mentioned in this journal—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111120-ChessSet-419x1180.jpg

These chessmen appeared in the weblog Minimalissimo 
on Sept. 20, 2010. In Log24 on that date, the issue was
not so much the chessmen as the underlying board.
See "The Unfolding." See also the following from
the Occupy Space  gallery in Limerick today—

C A V E S – Anthony Murphy Solo Exhibition
 
Opening 7 pm Thursday 1st Dec
Exhibition 2nd – 22nd Dec 2011

Plato's allegory of the cave describes prisoners, inhabiting the cave since childhood, immobile, facing an interior wall. A large fire burns behind the prisoners, and as people pass this fire their shadows are cast upon the cave's wall, and these shadows of the activity being played out behind the prisoner become the only version of reality that the prisoner knows.

C A V E S  is an exhibition of three large scale works, each designed to immerse the viewer, and then to confront the audience with a question regarding how far they, as privileged viewers of the shadows and reflections being played out upon the walls, are willing to allow themselves to believe what they know to be a false reality.

The works are based on explorations of simple 2D shapes; regular polygons are exploded to create fractured pattern, or layered upon one another until intricate forms emerge, upon which the projections can begin to draw out a third dimension.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sermon–

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

The Space Case

"A generation lost in space"

— Don McLean, "American Pie"

Last night's post discussed Jim Dodge's fictional vision of a "spherical diamond" related to physics.

For some background, see Poetry and Physics (April 25, 2011).

That post quotes a July 2008 New Yorker  article

By Benjamin Wallace-Wells, contributing editor at Rolling Stone
and sometime writer on space

“There’s a dream that underlying the physical universe is some beautiful mathematical structure, and that the job of physics is to discover that,” Smolin told me later. “The dream is in bad shape,” he added. “And it’s a dream that most of us are like recovering alcoholics from.” Lisi’s talk, he said, “was like being offered a drink.”

Or a toke.

"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be"

— Billy Joel, "Piano Man"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Galois vs. Rubik

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

(Continued from Abel Prize, August 26)

IMAGE- Elementary Galois Geometry over GF(3)

The situation is rather different when the
underlying Galois field has two rather than
three elements… See Galois Geometry.

Image-- Sugar cube in coffee, from 'Bleu'

The coffee scene from "Bleu"

Related material from this journal:

The Dream of
the Expanded Field

Image-- 4x4 square and 4x4x4 cube

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.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Accentuate the Positive

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

An image that may be viewed as
a cube with a "+" on each face—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110711-EightfoldCube.gif

The eightfold cube

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110711-CubeHypostases.gif

Underlying structure

For the Pope and others on St. Benedict's Day
who prefer narrative to mathematics—

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anomalies

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

More British nihilism

Perfect Symmetry  (Oct. 2008) and Perfect Symmetry  single (Dec. 2008)—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-Keane-PerfectSymmetry225.jpg    http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-Keane-PerfectSymmetry-Gray225.jpg

Related science…

Heinz Pagels in Perfect Symmetry  (paperback, 1985), p. xvii—

The penultimate chapter of this third part of the book—
as far as speculation is concerned— describes some

recent mathematical models for the very origin of the
universe—how the fabric of space, time and matter can
be
created out of absolutely nothing. What could have more
perfect symmetry than absolute nothingness? For the first
time in history, scientists have constructed mathematical
models that account for the very creation of the universe
out
of nothing.

On Grand Unified Theories (GUT's) of physics (ibid., 284)

In spite of the fact that GUTs leave deep puzzles unsolved,
they have gone a long way toward unifying the various
quantum particles. For example, many people are disturbed
by the large numbers of gluons, quarks and leptons. Part of
the appeal of the GUT idea is that this proliferation of
quantum particles is really superficial and that all the gluons
as well at the quarks and leptons may be simply viewed as
components of a few fundamental unifying fields. Under the
GUT symmetry operation these field components transform
into one another. The reason quantum particles appear to
have different properties in nature is that the unifying
symmetry is broken. The various gluons, quarks and leptons
are analogous to the facets of a cut diamond, which appear
differently according to the way the diamond is held but in
fact are all manifestations of the same underlying object.

Related art— Puzzle and Particles…

The Diamond 16 Puzzle (compare with Keane art above)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-Diamond16Puzzle.jpg

—and The Standard Model of particle theory—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110517-StandardModel.jpg

The fact that both the puzzle and the particles appear
within a 4×4 array is of course completely coincidental.

See also a more literary approach— "The Still Point and the Wheel"—

"Anomalies must be expected along the conceptual frontier between the temporal and the eternal."
The Death of Adam , by Marilynne Robinson, Houghton Mifflin, 1998, essay on Marguerite de Navarre

Monday, April 25, 2011

Poetry and Physics

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

One approach to the storied philosophers' stone, that of Jim Dodge in Stone Junction , was sketched in yesterday's Easter post. Dodge described a mystical "spherical diamond." The symmetries of the sphere form what is called in mathematics a Lie group . The "spherical" of Dodge therefore suggests a review of the Lie group Ein Garrett Lisi's poetic theory of everything.

A check of the Wikipedia article on Lisi's theory yields…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110425-WikipediaE8.jpg

       Diamond and E8 at Wikipedia

Related material — Eas "a diamond with thousands of facets"—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110425-Kostant.jpg

Also from the New Yorker  article

“There’s a dream that underlying the physical universe is some beautiful mathematical structure, and that the job of physics is to discover that,” Smolin told me later. “The dream is in bad shape,” he added. “And it’s a dream that most of us are like recovering alcoholics from.” Lisi’s talk, he said, “was like being offered a drink.”

A simpler theory of everything was offered by Plato. See, in the Timaeus , the Platonic solids—

Platonic solids' symmetry groups

Figure from this journal on August 19th, 2008.
See also July 19th, 2008.

It’s all in Plato, all in Plato:
bless me, what do  they
teach them at these schools!”
— C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Abstract Power

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

Two characters named "Black" and "White" debate religion and the afterlife in the Cormac McCarthy play "The Sunset Limited."

The play opened in Chicago in a Steppenwolf Theatre production on May 18, 2006.

A New York Times  theater review from All Hallows' Eve, 2006—

"…there is an abstract power in the mysteriousness of Mr. McCarthy’s
vision’s allowing for a multitude of interpretations." –Jason Zinoman

The current New Yorker  (Feb.14) has a note
by Lillian Ross on the same play— "Two-Man Show: O Death"

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110209-TwoManShow.gif

Some purely visual black-and-white variations that are less dramatic, but have their own "abstract power"—

A book cover pictured here last November to contrast with
"the sound and fury of the rarified Manhattan art world"—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101027-LangerSymbolicLogic.jpg

and a web page with multiple interpretations of the book cover's pattern—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110209-SymFrameBWPage.gif

A synchronicity— The first version of "Symmetry Framed" was done
on May 18, 2006— the day "The Sunset Limited" opened.

Another synchronicity relates the mathematics underlying
such patterns to the Halloween date of the above review.
See "To Announce a Faith," from October 31, 2006.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Insane Symmetry

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Continued from yesterday's Church Diamond and from Dec. 17's Fare Thee Well —

The San Francisco Examiner  last year
on New Year's Eve —
 
Entertainment

Discover the modern art of Amish quilts

By: Leslie Katz 12/31/09 1:00 AM

Arts editor

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-AmishQuilt.jpg

Quilts made by Amish women in Pennsylvania,
such as this traditional center diamond,
reveal the makers’ keen sense of color and design.

Household handicrafts and heirlooms made by American women seen as precursors to modern art is one underlying thesis of “Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown,” a provocative exhibit on view at the de Young Museum through June.

Curated by Jill D’Alessandro of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the show features about 50 full-size and crib quilts made between 1880 and 1940 in Pennsylvania and the Midwest during what experts consider the apex of Amish quilt-making production.

Faith and Stephen Brown, Bay Area residents who began collecting quilts in the 1970s after seeing one in a shop window in Chicago and being bowled over by its bold design, say their continued passion for the quilts as art is in part because they’re so reminiscent of paintings by modern masters like Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Sol LeWitt and Ellsworth Kelly — but the fabric masterpieces came first.

“A happy visual coincidence” is how the Browns and D’Alessandro define the connection, pointing to the brilliance in color theory, sophisticated palettes and complex geometry that characterize both the quilts and paintings.

“There’s an insane symmetry  to these quilts,” says D’Alessandro….

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner .

The festive nature of the date of the above item, New Year's Eve, suggests Stephen King's

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

and also a (mis)quotation from a photographer's weblog— 

"Art, being bartender, is never drunk."

— Quotation from Peter Viereck misattributed to Randall Jarrell in
   Art as Bartender and the Golden Gate.

By a different photographer —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-ShiningJack.jpg

See also…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-NurserySchool.jpg

We may imagine the bartender above played by Louis Sullivan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

V Day for Natalie

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

This morning's post mentioned the new film "Black Swan," starring Natalie Portman, that opens December 3.

Portman also starred in the 2006 film "V for Vendetta," based very loosely on today's date— November 5, Guy Fawkes Day.

Some background on Alan Moore, the creator of the graphic novel underlying that film—

1. The New York Times , March 12, 2006
2. Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore
3. This journal on March 24, 2009

Also from March 24, 2009—  An image for what Thomas Pynchon, in this morning's post, called "the watchful scavengers of Epiphany."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Diamond Theorem in Norway

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

IMAGE- The 2x2 case of the diamond theorem as illustrated by Josefine Lyche, Oct. 2010

Click on above image for artist's page.

Click here for exhibit page.

Click here for underlying geometry.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Diamond Theory and Magic Squares

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:19 PM

"A world of made
is not a world of born— pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence."

— e. e. cummings, 1944

For one such specimen, see The Matrix of Abraham
a 5×5 square that is hypermagical… indeed, diabolical.

Related material on the algebra and geometry underlying some smaller structures
that have also, unfortunately, become associated with the word "magic"—

  1. Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube
  2. Clifford Pickover on a 4×4 square
  3. Christopher J. Henrich on the geometry of 4×4 magic squares
    (without any mention of  [1] above or related work dating back to 1976)

" … listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go"

— e. e. cummings

Happy birthday, e. e.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where Credit Is Due…

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

The Dick Medal

Review of the film "Knowing" from 2009—

Nicolas Cage's character, an astrophysicist, looks at a chart (written 50 years earlier by a child) with a colleague and points out a chronologically correct prediction of the date and number of dead in world wide tragedies over the last fifty years, and his colleague's response is "Systems that find meaning in numbers are a dime a dozen. Why? Because people see what they want to see." Well that would be a pretty neat trick. You could build a career on that in a Vegas showroom.

Summary of the film "Next"

Film Title:  Next
Based on the 1954 short story
"The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick

Release Date:
April 27, 2007

About the Film:
Nicolas Cage stars as Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician with a secret gift that is both a blessing and a curse: He has the uncanny ability to tell you what happens next.

Related material from this journal on the release date of "Next"— April 27, 2007


Production Credits:

Thanks to the
Pennsylvania Lottery for
  today’s suggestion of links 
to the dates 9/15 and 6/06–

PA lottery April 27, 2007: Midday 915, Evening 606

– and to
Hermann Weyl
for the illustration
from 6/06 (D-Day)
underlying the
following “gold medal”
from 9/15, 2006:

Medal of 9/15/06

"It’s almost enough to make you think that time present and time past might both be present in time future. As someone may have said."

— David Orr, "The Age of Citation"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home from Home continued

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

Or— Childhood's Rear End

This post was suggested by…

  1. Today's New York Times
    "For many artists Electric Lady has become a home away from home…. For Jimmy Page the personal imprimaturs of Hendrix and Mr. Kramer made all the difference when Led Zeppelin mixed parts of 'Houses of the Holy' there in 1972."
  2. The album cover pictures for "Houses of the Holy"
  3. Boleskine House, home to Aleister Crowley and (occasionally) to Jimmy Page.

Related material:

The Zeppelin album cover, featuring rear views of nude children, was shot at the Giant's Causeway.

From a page at led-zeppelin.org—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100826-Causeway.jpg

See also Richard Rorty on Heidegger

Safranski, the author of ''Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy,'' never steps back and pronounces judgment on Heidegger, but something can be inferred from the German title of his book: ''Ein Meister aus Deutschland'' (''A Master From Germany''). Heidegger was, undeniably, a master, and was very German indeed. But Safranski's spine-chilling allusion is to Paul Celan's best-known poem, ''Death Fugue.'' In Michael Hamburger's translation, its last lines are:

death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on us he grants us a grave in the air
he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith.

No one familiar with Heidegger's work can read Celan's poem without recalling Heidegger's famous dictum: ''Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells.'' Nobody who makes this association can reread the poem without having the images of Hitler and Heidegger — two men who played with serpents and daydreamed — blend into each other. Heidegger's books will be read for centuries to come, but the smell of smoke from the crematories — the ''grave in the air'' — will linger on their pages.

Heidegger is the antithesis of the sort of philosopher (John Stuart Mill, William James, Isaiah Berlin) who assumes that nothing ultimately matters except human happiness. For him, human suffering is irrelevant: philosophy is far above such banalities. He saw the history of the West not in terms of increasing freedom or of decreasing misery, but as a poem. ''Being's poem,'' he once wrote, ''just begun, is man.''

For Heidegger, history is a sequence of ''words of Being'' — the words of the great philosophers who gave successive historical epochs their self-image, and thereby built successive ''houses of Being.'' The history of the West, which Heidegger also called the history of Being, is a narrative of the changes in human beings' image of themselves, their sense of what ultimately matters. The philosopher's task, he said, is to ''preserve the force of the most elementary words'' — to prevent the words of the great, houses-of-Being-building thinkers of the past from being banalized.

Related musical meditations—

Shine On (Saturday, April 21, 2007), Shine On, Part II, and Built (Sunday, April 22, 2007).

Related pictorial meditations—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100826-CameronBlog.jpg

The Giant's Causeway at Peter J. Cameron's weblog

and the cover illustration for Diamond Theory (1976)—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100826-CoverArt.jpg

The connection between these two images is the following from Cameron's weblog today

… as we saw, there are two different Latin squares of order 4;
one, but not the other, can be extended to a complete set
of 3 MOLS [mutually orthogonal Latin squares].

The underlying structures of the square pictures in the Diamond Theory cover are those of the two different Latin squares of order 4 mentioned by Cameron.

Connection with childhood—

The children's book A Wind in the Door, by Madeleine L'Engle. See math16.com. L'Engle's fantasies about children differ from those of Arthur C. Clarke and Led Zeppelin.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plato’s Logos

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

“The present study is closely connected with a lecture* given by Prof. Ernst Cassirer at the Warburg Library whose subject was ‘The Idea of the Beautiful in Plato’s Dialogues’…. My investigation traces the historical destiny of the same concept….”

* See Cassirer’s Eidos und Eidolon : Das Problem des Schönen und der Kunst in Platons Dialogen, in Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg II, 1922/23 (pp. 1–27). Berlin and Leipzig, B.G. Teubner, 1924.

— Erwin Panofsky, Idea: A Concept in Art Theory, foreword to the first German edition, Hamburg, March 1924

On a figure from Plato’s Meno

IMAGE- Plato's diamond and finite geometry

The above figures illustrate Husserl’s phrase  “eidetic variation”
a phrase based on Plato’s use of eidos, a word
closely related to the word “idea” in Panofsky’s title.

For remarks by Cassirer on the theory of groups, a part of
mathematics underlying the above diamond variations, see
his “The Concept of Group and the Theory of Perception.”

Sketch of some further remarks—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100626-Theories.jpg

The Waterfield question in the sketch above
is from his edition of Plato’s Theaetetus
(Penguin Classics, 1987).

The “design theory” referred to in the sketch
is that of graphic  design, which includes the design
of commercial logos. The Greek  word logos
has more to do with mathematics and theology.

“If there is one thread of warning that runs
through this dialogue, from beginning to end,
it is that verbal formulations as such are
shot through with ambiguity.”

— Rosemary Desjardins, The Rational Enterprise:
Logos in Plato’s Theaetetus
, SUNY Press, 1990

Related material—

(Click to enlarge.)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100626-CrossOnSocratesSm.gif

Monday, June 14, 2010

Birkhoff on the Galois “Theory of Ambiguity”

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

The Principle of Sufficient Reason

by George David Birkhoff

from "Three Public Lectures on Scientific Subjects,"
delivered at the Rice Institute, March 6, 7, and 8, 1940

EXCERPT 1—

My primary purpose will be to show how a properly formulated
Principle of Sufficient Reason plays a fundamental
role in scientific thought and, furthermore, is to be regarded
as of the greatest suggestiveness from the philosophic point
of view.2

In the preceding lecture I pointed out that three branches
of philosophy, namely Logic, Aesthetics, and Ethics, fall
more and more under the sway of mathematical methods.
Today I would make a similar claim that the other great
branch of philosophy, Metaphysics, in so far as it possesses
a substantial core, is likely to undergo a similar fate. My
basis for this claim will be that metaphysical reasoning always
relies on the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and that
the true meaning of this Principle is to be found in the
Theory of Ambiguity” and in the associated mathematical
“Theory of Groups.”

If I were a Leibnizian mystic, believing in his “preestablished
harmony,” and the “best possible world” so
satirized by Voltaire in “Candide,” I would say that the
metaphysical importance of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
and the cognate Theory of Groups arises from the fact that
God thinks multi-dimensionally3 whereas men can only
think in linear syllogistic series, and the Theory of Groups is

2 As far as I am aware, only Scholastic Philosophy has fully recognized and ex-
ploited this principle as one of basic importance for philosophic thought

3 That is, uses multi-dimensional symbols beyond our grasp.
______________________________________________________________________

the appropriate instrument of thought to remedy our deficiency
in this respect.

The founder of the Theory of Groups was the mathematician
Evariste Galois. At the end of a long letter written in
1832 on the eve of a fatal duel, to his friend Auguste
Chevalier, the youthful Galois said in summarizing his
mathematical work,4 “You know, my dear Auguste, that
these subjects are not the only ones which I have explored.
My chief meditations for a considerable time have been
directed towards the application to transcendental Analysis
of the theory of ambiguity. . . . But I have not the time, and
my ideas are not yet well developed in this field, which is
immense.” This passage shows how in Galois’s mind the
Theory of Groups and the Theory of Ambiguity were
interrelated.5

Unfortunately later students of the Theory of Groups
have all too frequently forgotten that, philosophically
speaking, the subject remains neither more nor less than the
Theory of Ambiguity. In the limits of this lecture it is only
possible to elucidate by an elementary example the idea of a
group and of the associated ambiguity.

Consider a uniform square tile which is placed over a
marked equal square on a table. Evidently it is then impossible
to determine without further inspection which one
of four positions the tile occupies. In fact, if we designate
its vertices in order by A, B, C, D, and mark the corresponding
positions on the table, the four possibilities are for the
corners A, B, C, D of the tile to appear respectively in the
positions A, B, C, D;  B, C, D, A;  C, D, A, B; and D, A, B, C.
These are obtained respectively from the first position by a

4 My translation.
5 It is of interest to recall that Leibniz was interested in ambiguity to the extent
of using a special notation v (Latin, vel ) for “or.” Thus the ambiguously defined
roots 1, 5 of x2-6x+5=0 would be written x = l v 5 by him.
______________________________________________________________________

null rotation ( I ), by a rotation through 90° (R), by a rotation
through 180° (S), and by a rotation through 270° (T).
Furthermore the combination of any two of these rotations
in succession gives another such rotation. Thus a rotation R
through 90° followed by a rotation S through 180° is equivalent
to a single rotation T through 270°, Le., RS = T. Consequently,
the "group" of four operations I, R, S, T has
the "multiplication table" shown here:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100614-BirkhoffTable.jpg
This table fully characterizes the group, and shows the exact
nature of the underlying ambiguity of position.
More generally, any collection of operations such that
the resultant of any two performed in succession is one of
them, while there is always some operation which undoes
what any operation does, forms a "group."
__________________________________________________

EXCERPT 2—

Up to the present point my aim has been to consider a
variety of applications of the Principle of Sufficient Reason,
without attempting any precise formulation of the Principle
itself. With these applications in mind I will venture to
formulate the Principle and a related Heuristic Conjecture
in quasi-mathematical form as follows:

PRINCIPLE OF SUFFICIENT REASON. If there appears
in any theory T a set of ambiguously determined ( i e .
symmetrically entering) variables, then these variables can themselves
be determined only to the extent allowed by the corresponding
group G. Consequently any problem concerning these variables
which has a uniquely determined solution, must itself be
formulated so as to be unchanged by the operations of the group
G ( i e . must involve the variables symmetrically).

HEURISTIC CONJECTURE. The final form of any
scientific theory T is: (1) based on a few simple postulates; and
(2) contains an extensive ambiguity, associated symmetry, and
underlying group G, in such wise that, if the language and laws
of the theory of groups be taken for granted, the whole theory T
appears as nearly self-evident in virtue of the above Principle.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Heuristic Conjecture,
as just formulated, have the advantage of not involving
excessively subjective ideas, while at the same time
retaining the essential kernel of the matter.

In my opinion it is essentially this principle and this
conjecture which are destined always to operate as the basic
criteria for the scientist in extending our knowledge and
understanding of the world.

It is also my belief that, in so far as there is anything
definite in the realm of Metaphysics, it will consist in further
applications of the same general type. This general conclu-
sion may be given the following suggestive symbolic form:

Image-- Birkhoff diagram relating Galois's theory of ambiguity to metaphysics

While the skillful metaphysical use of the Principle must
always be regarded as of dubious logical status, nevertheless
I believe it will remain the most important weapon of the
philosopher.

___________________________________________________________________________

A more recent lecture on the same subject —

"From Leibniz to Quantum World:
Symmetries, Principle of Sufficient Reason
and Ambiguity in the Sense of Galois
"

by Jean-Pierre Ramis (Johann Bernoulli Lecture at U. of Groningen, March 2005)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Requiem for a Force–

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:30 PM

Where Three Worlds Meet

Venn diagram of three sets

From an obituary for David Brown, who died at 93 on Monday–

"David Brown was a force in the entertainment, literary and journalism worlds," Frank A. Bennack, Jr., vice chairman and chief executive officer of Hearst Corporation, said in a statement Tuesday. —Polly Anderson of the Associated Press

Mark Kramer, "Breakable Rules for Literary Journalists," Section 8–

"Readers are likely to care about how a situation came about and what happens next when they are experiencing it with the characters. Successful literary journalists never forget to be entertaining. The graver the writer's intentions, and the more earnest and crucial the message or analysis behind the story, the more readers ought to be kept engaged. Style and structure knit story and idea alluringly.

If the author does all this storytelling and digressing and industrious structure-building adroitly, readers come to feel they are heading somewhere with purpose, that the job of reading has a worthy destination. The sorts of somewheres that literary journalists reach tend to marry eternal meanings and everyday scenes. Richard Preston's 'The Mountains of Pi,' for instance, links the awkward daily lives of two shy Russian emigre mathematicians to their obscure intergalactic search for hints of underlying order in a chaotic universe."

Hints:

Logic is all about the entertaining of possibilities.”

— Colin McGinn, Mindsight: Image, Dream, Meaning, Harvard U. Press, 2004

"According to the Buddha, scholars speak in sixteen ways of the state of the soul after death…. While I hesitate to disagree with the Compassionate One, I think there are more than sixteen possibilities described here…."

Peter J. Cameron today

"That's entertainment!"

Jack Haley Jr.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lesson No. One

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:01 AM

 

“Zhu Xi maintained that all things are brought into being by the union of two universal aspects of reality: qi, sometimes translated as vital (or physical, material) force; and li, sometimes translated as rational principle (or law).” —Wikipedia

 

“Drop off the key, Lee” — Paul Simon

The 3x3 Grid

Reference frame (Click for details.)

According to Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi],

The word 'Li'

“Li” is “the principle or coherence or order or pattern underlying the cosmos.”

– Smith, Bol, Adler, and Wyatt, Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching,
Princeton University Press, 1990

Related material:

Dynasty and

Lesson Number One.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday June 22, 2009

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

Text

Today’s birthday:
Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson in 'Heaven's Gate'

Heaven’s Gate

One year ago today
George Carlin died.

Online Etymology Dictionary

1369, “wording of anything written,” from O.Fr. texte, O.N.Fr. tixte (12c.), from M.L. textus “the Scriptures, text, treatise,” in L.L. “written account, content, characters used in a document,” from L. textus “style or texture of a work,” lit. “thing woven,” from pp. stem of texere “to weave,” from PIE base *tek- “make” (see texture).

“An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns– but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth.” [Robert Bringhurst, “The Elements of Typographic Style”]

Text-book is from 1779.

The 4x4 square grid

“Discuss the geometry
underlying the above picture.”
Log24, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday June 11, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

Geometry for Jews

(continued from Michelangelo's birthday, 2003)

The 4x4 square grid

"Discuss the geometry underlying the above picture."

Log24, March 6, 2003

Abstraction and the Holocaust  (Mark Godfrey, Yale University Press, 2007) describes one approach to such a discussion: Bochner "took a photograph of a new arrangement of blocks, cut it up, reprinted it as a negative, and arranged the four corners in every possible configuration using the serial principles of rotation and reversal to make Sixteen Isomorphs (Negative) of 1967, which he later illustrated alongside works by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse in his Artforum article 'The Serial Attitude.' [December 1967, pp. 28-33]" Bochner's picture of "every possible configuration"–

Bochner's 'Sixteen Isomorphs' (or: 'Eight Isomorphs Short of a Load')

Compare with the 24 figures in Frame Tales
(Log24, Nov. 10, 2008) and in Theme and Variations.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday June 4, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
Steps
continued from
October 16, 2008
 

New collection release:
Pattern in Islamic Art
from David Wade

October 16, 2008

David Wade has partnered with ARTstor to distribute approximately 1,500 images of Islamic art, now available in the Digital Library. These images illustrate patterns and designs found throughout the Islamic world, from the Middle East and Europe to Central and South Asia. They depict works Wade photographed during his travels, as well as drawings and diagrams produced for publication. Reflective of Wade's particular interest in symmetry and geometry, these images analyze and break down common patterns into their basic elements, thereby revealing the underlying principles of order and balance in Islamic art. Islamic artists and craftsmen employed these intricate patterns to adorn all types of surfaces, such as stone, brick, plaster, ceramic, glass, metal, wood, and textiles. The collection contains examples of ornamentation from monumental architecture to the decorative arts.

To view the David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art collection: go to the ARTstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click "David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art;" or enter the Keyword Search: patterninislamicart.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art collection page.

 
The above prose illustrates
the institutional mind at work.

Those who actually try to view
the Wade collection will
encounter the following warning:

To access the images in the ARTstor Digital Library you need to be affiliated with a participating institution (university, college, museum, public library or K-12 school).
You say
"go to the ARTstor Digital Library,"
I say
"theatlantic.com/doc/200305/lewis."
 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday April 4, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:01 PM
Steiner Systems

 
"Music, mathematics, and chess are in vital respects dynamic acts of location. Symbolic counters are arranged in significant rows. Solutions, be they of a discord, of an algebraic equation, or of a positional impasse, are achieved by a regrouping, by a sequential reordering of individual units and unit-clusters (notes, integers, rooks or pawns). The child-master, like his adult counterpart, is able to visualize in an instantaneous yet preternaturally confident way how the thing should look several moves hence. He sees the logical, the necessary harmonic and melodic argument as it arises out of an initial key relation or the preliminary fragments of a theme. He knows the order, the appropriate dimension, of the sum or geometric figure before he has performed the intervening steps. He announces mate in six because the victorious end position, the maximally efficient configuration of his pieces on the board, lies somehow 'out there' in graphic, inexplicably clear sight of his mind…."

"… in some autistic enchantment,http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif pure as one of Bach's inverted canons or Euler's formula for polyhedra."

— George Steiner, "A Death of Kings," in The New Yorker, issue dated Sept. 7, 1968

Related material:

A correspondence underlying
the Steiner system S(5,8,24)–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090404-MOGCurtis.gif

The Steiner here is
 Jakob, not George.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif See "Pope to Pray on
   Autism Sunday 2009."
    See also Log24 on that
  Sunday– February 8:

Memorial sermon for John von Neumann, who died on Feb. 8,  1957

 

Saturday April 4, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
Annual Tribute to
The Eight

Katherine Neville's 'The Eight,' edition with knight on cover, on her April 4 birthday

Other knight figures:

Knight figures in finite geometry (Singer 7-cycles in the 3-space over GF(2) by Cullinane, 1985, and Curtis, 1987)

The knight logo at the SpringerLink site

Click on the SpringerLink
knight for a free copy
(pdf, 1.2 mb) of
the following paper
dealing with the geometry
underlying the R.T. Curtis
knight figures above:

Springer description of 1970 paper on Mathieu-group geometry by Wilbur Jonsson of McGill U.

Context:

Literature and Chess and
Sporadic Group References

Details:

 

Adapted (for HTML) from the opening paragraphs of the above paper, W. Jonsson's 1970 "On the Mathieu Groups M22, M23, M24…"–

"[A]… uniqueness proof is offered here based upon a detailed knowledge of the geometric aspects of the elementary abelian group of order 16 together with a knowledge of the geometries associated with certain subgroups of its automorphism group. This construction was motivated by a question posed by D.R. Hughes and by the discussion Edge [5] (see also Conwell [4]) gives of certain isomorphisms between classical groups, namely

PGL(4,2)~PSL(4,2)~SL(4,2)~A8,
PSp(4,2)~Sp(4,2)~S6,

where A8 is the alternating group on eight symbols, S6 the symmetric group on six symbols, Sp(4,2) and PSp(4,2) the symplectic and projective symplectic groups in four variables over the field GF(2) of two elements, [and] PGL, PSL and SL are the projective linear, projective special linear and special linear groups (see for example [7], Kapitel II).

The symplectic group PSp(4,2) is the group of collineations of the three dimensional projective space PG(3,2) over GF(2) which commute with a fixed null polarity tau…."

References

4. Conwell, George M.: The three space PG(3,2) and its group. Ann. of Math. (2) 11, 60-76 (1910).

5. Edge, W.L.: The geometry of the linear fractional group LF(4,2). Proc. London Math. Soc. (3) 4, 317-342 (1954).

7. Huppert, B.: Endliche Gruppen I. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1967.

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.
 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday July 19, 2008

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

(continued from yesterday)

Bertram Kostant, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at MIT, on an object discussed in this week’s New Yorker:

A word about E(8). In my opinion, and shared by others, E(8) is the most magnificent ‘object’ in all of mathematics. It is like a diamond with thousands of facets. Each facet offering a different view of its unbelievable intricate internal structure.”

Hermann Weyl on the hard core of objectivity:

“Perhaps the philosophically most relevant feature of modern science is the emergence of abstract symbolic structures as the hard core of objectivity behind– as Eddington puts it– the colorful tale of the subjective storyteller mind.” (Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science, Princeton, 1949, p. 237)


Steven H. Cullinane on the symmetries of a 4×4 array of points:

A Structure-Endowed Entity

“A guiding principle in modern mathematics is this lesson: Whenever you have to do with a structure-endowed entity S, try to determine its group of automorphisms, the group of those element-wise transformations which leave all structural relations undisturbed.  You can expect to gain a deep insight into the constitution of S in this way.”

— Hermann Weyl in Symmetry

Let us apply Weyl’s lesson to the following “structure-endowed entity.”

4x4 array of dots

What is the order of the resulting group of automorphisms?

The above group of
automorphisms plays
a role in what Weyl,
following Eddington,
  called a “colorful tale”–

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

This puzzle shows
that the 4×4 array can
also be viewed in
thousands of ways.

“You can make 322,560
pairs of patterns. Each
 pair pictures a different
symmetry of the underlying
16-point space.”

— Steven H. Cullinane,
July 17, 2008

For other parts of the tale,
see Ashay Dharwadker,
the Four-Color Theorem,
and Usenet Postings
.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday June 15, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:00 PM
A Study in
Art Education

Rudolf Arnheim, a student of Gestalt psychology (which, an obituary notes, emphasizes "the perception of forms as organized wholes") was the first Professor of the Psychology of Art at Harvard.  He died at 102 on Saturday, June 9, 2007.

The conclusion of yesterday's New York Times obituary of Arnheim:

"… in The New York Times Book Review in 1986, Celia McGee called Professor Arnheim 'the best kind of romantic,' adding, 'His wisdom, his patient explanations and lyrical enthusiasm are those of a teacher.'"

A related quotation:

"And you are teaching them a thing or two about yourself. They are learning that you are the living embodiment of two timeless characterizations of a teacher: 'I say what I mean, and I mean what I say' and 'We are going to keep doing this until we get it right.'"

Tools for Teaching

Here, yet again, is an illustration that has often appeared in Log24– notably, on the date of Arnheim's death:
 

The 3x3 square

Related quotations:

"We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn't merely sensational, that doesn't get its message across in 10 seconds, that isn't falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media. For no spiritually authentic art can beat mass media at their own game."

Robert Hughes, speech of June 2, 2004

"Whether the 3×3 square grid is fast art or slow art, truly or falsely iconic, perhaps depends upon the eye of the beholder."

Log24, June 5, 2004

If the beholder is Rudolf Arnheim, whom we may now suppose to be viewing the above figure in the afterlife, the 3×3 square is apparently slow art.  Consider the following review of his 1982 book The Power of the Center:

"Arnheim deals with the significance of two kinds of visual organization, the concentric arrangement (as exemplified in a bull's-eye target) and the grid (as exemplified in a Cartesian coordinate system)….

It is proposed that the two structures of grid and target are the symbolic vehicles par excellence for two metaphysical/psychological stances.  The concentric configuration is the visual/structural equivalent of an egocentric view of the world.  The self is the center, and all distances exist in relation to the focal spectator.  The concentric arrangement is a hermetic, impregnable pattern suited to conveying the idea of unity and other-worldly completeness.  By contrast, the grid structure has no clear center, and suggests an infinite, featureless extension…. Taking these two ideal types of structural scaffold and their symbolic potential (cosmic, egocentric vs. terrestrial, uncentered) as given, Arnheim reveals how their underlying presence organizes works of art."

— Review of Rudolf Arnheim's The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts (Univ. of Calif. Press, 1982). Review by David A. Pariser, Studies in Art Education, Vol. 24, No. 3 (1983), pp. 210-213

Arnheim himself says in this book (pp. viii-ix) that "With all its virtues, the framework of verticals and horizontals has one grave defect.  It has no center, and therefore it has no way of defining any particular location.  Taken by itself, it is an endless expanse in which no one place can be distinguished from the next.  This renders it incomplete for any mathematical, scientific, and artistic purpose.  For his geometrical analysis, Descartes had to impose a center, the point where a pair of coordinates [sic] crossed.  In doing so he borrowed from the other spatial system, the centric and cosmic one."

Students of art theory should, having read the above passages, discuss in what way the 3×3 square embodies both "ideal types of structural scaffold and their symbolic potential."

We may imagine such a discussion in an afterlife art class– in, perhaps, Purgatory rather than Heaven– that now includes Arnheim as well as Ernst Gombrich and Kirk Varnedoe.

Such a class would be one prerequisite for a more advanced course– Finite geometry of the square and cube.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 PM
Production Credits:

Thanks to the
Pennsylvania Lottery for
  today's suggestion of links 
to the dates 9/15 and 6/06–

PA lottery April 27, 2007: Midday 915, Evening 606

— and to
Hermann Weyl
for the illustration
from 6/06 (D-Day)
underlying the
following "gold medal"
from 9/15, 2006:

Medal of 9/15/06
.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wednesday October 25, 2006

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

Conceit
at Harvard

conceit (See definition.)
“c.1374, from conceiven (see conceive). An Eng. formation based on deceit and receipt. Sense evolved from ‘something formed in the mind,’ to ‘fanciful or witty notion’ (1513), to ‘vanity’ (1605)….”

Online Eytmology Dictionary

“… there is some virtue in tracking cultural trends in terms of their relation to the classic Trinitarian framework of Christian thought.”

Description of lectures to be given Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week (on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively, and their relationship to “cultural trends”) at Harvard’s Memorial Church

I prefer more-classic trinitarian frameworks– for example,

the classic Pythagorean
trinity of 4, 3, and 5


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061025-Pyth2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

and the structural trinity
underlying
classic quilt patterns:

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

Click on pictures for further details.

These mathematical trinities are
conceits in the sense of concepts
or notions; examples of the third
kind of conceit are easily
found, especially at Harvard.

For a possible corrective to
examples of the third kind,
see
To Measure the Changes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday October 21, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:23 AM
Reflections on Symmetry
(continued from July 18, 2004)

An application of the finite geometry underlying the diamond theorem:

Qubits in phase space: Wigner function approach to quantum error correction and the mean king problem,” by Juan Pablo Paz, Augusto Jose Roncaglia, and Marcos Saraceno (arXiv:quant-ph/0410117 v2 4 Nov 2004) (pdf)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday October 19, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM
King of Infinite Space
 
  (continued from Sept. 5):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061019-Coxeter.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Thanks to Peter Woit’s weblog
for a link to the above illustration.

This picture of
“Coxeter Exhuming Geometry”
suggests the following comparison:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061019-Tombstones.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For the second tombstone,
see this morning’s entry,
Birth, Death, and Symmetry.

Further details on the geometry
underlying the second tombstone:

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

The above is from
Variable Resolution 4–k Meshes:
Concepts and Applications
(pdf),
by Luiz Velho and Jonas Gomes.

See also Symmetry Framed
and The Garden of Cyrus.

 “That corpse you planted
          last year in your garden,
  Has it begun to sprout?
          Will it bloom this year? 
  Or has the sudden frost
          disturbed its bed?”

— T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Saturday April 8, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Story

There is one story
   and one story only
That will prove
   worth your telling….

— Robert Graves,
  “To Juan at the Winter Solstice”

   “To many, mathematicians have come to resemble an esoteric sect, whose members alone have access to secret otherworldly mysteries.
    All of us who came to Mykonos believed that this is an unfortunate situation. Mathematics is an inseparable part of human culture, and should be viewed and treated as such. Our underlying assumption was that mathematical reasoning had something important in common with that quintessential human activity – story-telling. But what this means, and what kind of connections can be drawn between the two, remained to be sorted out.”

— Amir Alexander on
last summer’s Mykonos meeting

Flashback to
Harrison Ford’s birthday
a year earlier:


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040714-Lottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“He’s a Mad Scientist and
I’m his Beautiful Daughter.”
— Deety in Heinlein’s
The Number of the Beast.

“If you have ever loved a book
so much that you began to
believe that it continued on
in its own world
even after you put it down,
this book could be for you.”
— Jodi Russell, review of
Number of the Beast

These last two quotations
are from

Story Theory and
the Number of the Beast
,

by Steven H. Cullinane on
December 21, 2001.

Related material:

See Lucky(?) Numbers,
yesterday’s Pennsylvania lottery,
and  the previous entry.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday December 19, 2005

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

From last night:

“There is an
underlying timelessness
in the basic conversation
that is mathematics
.”
Barry Mazur (pdf)

From today’s New York Times:

“The authors of the etiquette book The Art of Civilized Conversation say that conversation’s versatility makes it ‘the Swiss Army knife of social skills.'”

Then there is
the broken beer bottle
school of etiquette:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051219-Bar1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Monday December 19, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:45 AM
 "There is an
underlying timelessness
in the basic conversation
that is mathematics
."
Barry Mazur (pdf)

It's Quarter to Three
(continued):

 
"I could tell you a lot
but you gotta be
 true to your code."
— Sinatra

Today is the birthday of Helmut Wielandt (Dec. 19, 1910 – Feb. 14, 2001).

From MacTutor:

"In his speech accepting membership of the Heidelberg Academy in 1960 he said:-

It is to one of Schur's seminars that I owe the stimulus to work with permutation groups, my first research area. At that time the theory had nearly died out. It had developed last century, but at about the turn of the century had been so completely superseded by the more generally applicable theory of abstract groups that by 1930 even important results were practically forgotten – to my mind unjustly."

Permutation groups are still not without interest.  See today's updates (Notes [01] and [02]) to Pattern Groups.

 

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Saturday August 6, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
For André Weil on
the seventh anniversary
of his death:

 A Miniature
Rosetta Stone

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

In a 1940 letter to his sister Simone,  André Weil discussed a sort of “Rosetta stone,” or trilingual text of three analogous parts: classical analysis on the complex field, algebraic geometry over finite fields, and the theory of number fields.  

John Baez discussed (Sept. 6, 2003) the analogies of Weil, and he himself furnished another such Rosetta stone on a much smaller scale:

“… a 24-element group called the ‘binary tetrahedral group,’ a 24-element group called ‘SL(2,Z/3),’ and the vertices of a regular polytope in 4 dimensions called the ’24-cell.’ The most important fact is that these are all the same thing!”

For further details, see Wikipedia on the 24-cell, on special linear groups, and on Hurwitz quaternions,

The group SL(2,Z/3), also known as “SL(2,3),” is of course derived from the general linear group GL(2,3).  For the relationship of this group to the quaternions, see the Log24 entry for August 4 (the birthdate of the discoverer of quaternions, Sir William Rowan Hamilton).

The 3×3 square shown above may, as my August 4 entry indicates, be used to picture the quaternions and, more generally, the 48-element group GL(2,3).  It may therefore be regarded as the structure underlying the miniature Rosetta stone described by Baez.

“The typical example of a finite group is GL(n,q), the general linear group of n dimensions over the field with q elements. The student who is introduced to the subject with other examples is being completely misled.”

 — J. L. Alperin, book review,
    Bulletin (New Series) of the American
    Mathematical Society 10 (1984), 121

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tuesday May 24, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
Final Arrangements, continued:

Two Poles

From today’s New York Times:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050524-NYT.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From erraticimpact.com on Paul Ricoeur:

“Ricoeur reserves his greatest admiration for
the narratologist Algirdas-Julien Greimas.
[See below.]
Ricoeur also explores the relationship
between the philosophical and religious
domains, attempting to reconcile
the two poles in his thought.”

From today’s NYT obituary of Sol Stetin:

“Mr. Stetin, who emigrated from Poland at the age of 10 and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, was fond of saying he got his education in the labor movement.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050524-JP2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


“… it is not in isolation that the rhetorical power of such oppositions resides, but in their articulation in relation to other oppositions. In Aristotle’s Physics the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were said to be opposed in pairs. For more than two thousand years oppositional patterns based on these four elements were widely accepted as the fundamental structure underlying surface reality….


The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the ‘logical square’ of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully….”

Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners

Related material:

Poetry’s Bones and
Theme and Variations.

Other readings on polarity:

Log24, May 24, 2003, and
from July 26, 2003:

Bright Star and Dark Lady

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star

Amen.

Dark Lady

Monday, May 2, 2005

Monday May 2, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
A Dance Results

 

Roger Kimball on Rosalind Krauss's
The Optical Unconscious:

"Professor Krauss even uses many of the same decorations with which she festooned earlier volumes. Bataille’s photograph of a big toe, for example, which I like to think of as her mascot, reappears. As does her favorite doodle, a little graph known as a 'Klein Group' or 'L Schema' whose sides and diagonals sport arrows pointing to corners labeled with various opposing pairs: e.g., 'ground' and 'not ground,' 'figure' and 'not figure.' Professor Krauss seems to believe that this device, lifted from the pages of structuralist theory, illuminates any number of deep mysteries: the nature of modernism, to begin with, but also the essence of gender relations, self-consciousness, perception, vision, castration anxiety, and other pressing conundrums that, as it happens, she has trouble distinguishing from the nature of modernism. Altogether, the doodle is a handy thing to have around. One is not surprised that Professor Krauss reproduces it many times in her new book."
 

From Drid Williams,
The Semiotics of Human Action,
Ritual, and Dance:

A Klein four-group in the context of dance

This is closely related to
Beckett's "Quad" figure

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

A Jungian on this six-line figure:

"They are the same six lines
that exist in the I Ching….
Now observe the square more closely:
four of the lines are of equal length,
the other two are longer….
For this reason symmetry
cannot be statically produced
and a dance results."
 
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
Number and Time (1970)

and to the Greimas "semiotic square":

"People have believed in the fundamental character of binary oppositions since at least classical times. For instance, in his Metaphysics Aristotle advanced as primary oppositions: form/matter, natural/unnatural, active/passive, whole/part, unity/variety, before/after and being/not-being.*  But it is not in isolation that the rhetorical power of such oppositions resides, but in their articulation in relation to other oppositions. In Aristotle's Physics the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were said to be opposed in pairs. For more than two thousand years oppositional patterns based on these four elements were widely accepted as the fundamental structure underlying surface reality….

The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the 'logical square' of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully…."

 

Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners.

* Compare Chandler's list of Aristotle's primary oppositions with Aristotle's list (also in the  Metaphysics) of Pythagorean oppositions (see Midrash Jazz Quartet).
 

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sunday February 20, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:20 PM

Relativity Blues

Today, February 20, is the 19th anniversary of my note The Relativity Problem in Finite Geometry.  Here is some related material.

In 1931, the Christian writer Charles Williams grappled with the theology of time, space, free will, and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (anticipating by many years the discussion of this topic by physicists beginning in the 1950's).

(Some pure mathematics — untainted by physics or theology — that is nevertheless related, if only by poetic analogy, to Williams's 1931 novel, Many Dimensions, is discussed in the above-mentioned note and in a generalization, Solomon's Cube.)

On the back cover of Williams's 1931 novel, the current publisher, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, makes the following statement:

"Replete with rich religious imagery, Many Dimensions explores the relation between predestination and free will as it depicts different human responses to redemptive transcendence."

One possible response to such statements was recently provided in some detail by a Princeton philosophy professor.  See On Bullshit, by Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press, 2005.

A more thoughtful response would take into account the following:

1. The arguments presented in favor of philosopher John Calvin, who discussed predestination, in The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought, by Marilynne Robinson

2. The physics underlying Einstein's remarks on free will, God, and dice
 
3. The physics underlying Rebecca Goldstein's novel Properties of Light and Paul Preuss's novels  Secret Passages and Broken Symmetries

4. The physics underlying the recent so-called "free will theorem" of John Conway and Simon Kochen of Princeton University

5. The recent novel Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, which deals not with philosophy, but with lives influenced by philosophy — indirectly, by the philosophy of the aforementioned John Calvin.

From a review of Gilead by Jane Vandenburgh:  

"In The Death of Adam, Robinson shows Jean Cauvin to be the foremost prophet of humanism whose Protestant teachings against the hierarchies of the Roman church set in motion the intellectual movements that promoted widespread literacy among the middle and lower classes, led to both the American and French revolutions, and not only freed African slaves in the United States but brought about suffrage for women. It's odd then that through our culture's reverse historicism, the term 'Calvinism' has come to mean 'moralistic repression.'"

For more on what the Calvinist publishing firm Eerdmans calls "redemptive transcendence," see various July 2003 Log24.net entries.  If these entries include a fair amount of what Princeton philosophers call bullshit, let the Princeton philosophers meditate on the summary of Harvard philosophy quoted here on November 5 of last year, as well as the remarks of November 5, 2003,  and those of November 5, 2002.

From Many Dimensions (Eerdmans paperback, 1963, page 53):

"Lord Arglay had a suspicion that the Stone would be purely logical.  Yes, he thought, but what, in that sense, were the rules of its pure logic?"

A recent answer:

Modal Theology

"We symbolize logical necessity
with the box (box.gif (75 bytes))
and logical possibility
with the diamond (diamond.gif (82 bytes))."

Keith Allen Korcz,
(Log24.net, 1/25/05)

And what do we           
   symbolize by  The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Modal-diamondbox.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. ?

"The possibilia that exist,
and out of which
the Universe arose,
are located in
     a necessary being…."

Michael Sudduth,
Notes on
God, Chance, and Necessity
by Keith Ward,
Regius Professor of Divinity
at Christ Church College, Oxford
(the home of Lewis Carroll)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Sunday August 15, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 PM

The Line

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ch. 6 (italics are mine):

“A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance.”

The Sophist, by Plato:

STRANGER – We are far from having exhausted the more exact thinkers who treat of being and not-being. But let us be content to leave them, and proceed to view those who speak less precisely; and we shall find as the result of all, that the nature of being is quite as difficult to comprehend as that of not-being.

THEAETETUS – Then now we will go to the others.

STRANGER – There appears to be a sort of war of Giants and Gods going on amongst them; they are fighting with one another about the nature of essence.

THEAETETUS – How is that?

STRANGER – Some of them are dragging down all things from heaven and from the unseen to earth, and they literally grasp in their hands rocks and oaks; of these they lay hold, and obstinately maintain, that the things only which can be touched or handled have being or essence, because they define being and body as one, and if any one else says that what is not a body exists they altogether despise him, and will hear of nothing but body.

THEAETETUS – I have often met with such men, and terrible fellows they are.

STRANGER – And that is the reason why their opponents cautiously defend themselves from above, out of an unseen world, mightily contending that true essence consists of certain intelligible and incorporeal ideas; the bodies of the materialists, which by them are maintained to be the very truth, they break up into little bits by their arguments, and affirm them to be, not essence, but generation and motion. Between the two armies, Theaetetus, there is always an endless conflict raging concerning these matters.

THEAETETUS – True.

— Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ch. 18:

“The wave of crystallization rolled ahead. He was seeing two worlds, simultaneously. On the intellectual side, the square side, he saw now that Quality was a cleavage term. What every intellectual analyst looks for. You take your analytic knife, put the point directly on the term Quality and just tap, not hard, gently, and the whole world splits, cleaves, right in two…

The Line,
by S. H. Cullinane

hip and square, classic and romantic, technological and humanistic…and the split is clean. There’s no mess. No slop. No little items that could be one way or the other. Not just a skilled break but a very lucky break. Sometimes the best analysts, working with the most obvious lines of cleavage, can tap and get nothing but a pile of trash. And yet here was Quality; a tiny, almost unnoticeable fault line; a line of illogic in our concept of the universe; and you tapped it, and the whole universe came apart, so neatly it was almost unbelievable. He wished Kant were alive. Kant would have appreciated it. That master diamond cutter. He would see. Hold Quality undefined. That was the secret.”

What Pirsig means by “quality” is close to what Yagoda means, in the previous entry, by “style.”

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Thursday August 5, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:06 PM

In the beginning
was…
the recursion?

"Words are events."
— The Walter J. Ong Project,
    quoted in Log24 on Aug. 25, 2003 

"Words are events."
— The Walter J. Ong Project,
    quoted in the Heckler & Coch weblog
    on July 17, 2004 as part of a section
    titled "Recursive, Wide, and Loopy"

Walter J. Ong was a Jesuit.  The Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, is celebrated on July 31 each year.

"Recursive, Wide, and Loopy 2", a Heckler & Coch entry dated July 31, 2004, leads to the following:

MSNBC, Jan. 15, 2004:

How humans got
the gift of gab
:

Why do other primates
lag behind in language?
 

"New research may help scientists dissect just what it is about the human brain that endows us with language.

Researchers have found that tamarin monkeys have some distinctly languagelike abilities but that they can’t quite master the more complex rules of human grammar. The findings appear in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the non-profit science society.

 The grammatical toolkit

'A relatively open question concerning language evolution is, "What aspects of the language faculty are shared with other animals, and what aspects are unique to humans?" ' said study author Marc Hauser of Harvard University.

To investigate, Hauser and W. Tecumseh Fitch of the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, devised tests for cotton-top tamarin monkeys and human volunteers. Tamarins have been evolving separately from humans for approximately 40 million years –suggesting that any shared machinery in human and tamarin brains is old enough to be relatively common among primates.

Instead of trying to teach the monkeys real words, Hauser and Fitch generated strings of one-syllable words that followed various grammatical rules.

According to linguistics expert Noam Chomsky, the simplest type of grammar is a 'finite state grammar' or 'FSG,' which dictates which types of words go near each other in a sentence. In English, for example, an adjective like 'fast' must go directly in front of 'car,' the noun it's describing.

Building on previous experiments, Hauser and Fitch recorded word-strings that obeyed a specific FSG, in which any syllable spoken by a female voice was automatically followed by one from a male voice.

Audio: Listen to an FSG word-string.
(Requires Windows Media Player.)

After listening to a series of word-strings, the monkeys were able to distinguish between those that followed this rule and others that didn't. Human test subjects could tell the difference as well, implying that tamarins and humans may share at least some components of what Hauser called 'the universal toolkit underlying all languages.'

Mastering this type of grammar represents the ability to compute some simple statistics, something human infants accomplish early on as they learn to speak. This ability may not be specific to language, however.

'Either the same mechanism or some approximation of it is used in mathematics, vision, music and other activities,' Hauser said.

Upping the Complexity

The grammatical rules of real languages govern more than just the placement of neighboring words, as anyone who had to diagram sentences in English class may remember all too well.

One of the more complex types of grammar is known as a 'phrase structure grammar,' or PSG. These grammars involve relationships between words that aren't next to each other in a sentence and thus allow for a more complex range of expression. The 'if … then' construction is an example of a PSG.

The researchers generated a second set of word-strings that followed a PSG in which a pairing of syllables spoken by a female and a male could be embedded within another pairing. This grammar produces structures like [female [female, male] male].

Audio: Listen to a PSG word-string.
(Requires Windows Media Player)

After playing these recordings repeatedly to the monkeys, the researchers found that the animals didn't seem to notice the difference between word strings that obeyed the PSG and other strings that did not. In contrast, the human volunteers did notice the difference."

— Kathleen Wren

"The grammar or syntax of human language is certainly unique. Like an onion or Russian doll, it is recursive: One instance of an item is embedded in another instance of the same item. Recursion makes it possible for the words in a sentence to be widely separated and yet dependent on one another. 'If-then' is a classic example…. Are animals capable of such recursion? Fitch and Hauser have reported that tamarin monkeys are not capable of recursion. Although the monkeys learned a nonrecursive grammar, they failed to learn a grammar that is recursive. Humans readily learn both."

— David Premack (Science 2004 303:318, quoted in ScienceWeek)

These citations by Heckler & Coch show that inability to understand complex language is not limited to monkeys.

The examples given by Wren in the audio samples are of alternating female (Hi) and male (Lo) voices, thus —

FSG:  Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo

PSG:  Hi Hi Hi Lo Lo Lo

As these examples show, neither monkeys nor humans heard the sound of parentheses (or square brackets) as Wren describes them:

"structures like [female [female, male] male]."

There of course is, in ordinary language (which does not include the monologues of Victor Borge), no such thing as the sound of parentheses.

Thus the research of Hauser and Fitch is not only invalid, but ridiculous.

This point is driven strongly home by the following two articles:

Greg Kochanski, Research Fellow,
 Oxford University Phonetics Lab
:

Is a Phrase Structure Grammar
the Important Difference
between Humans and Monkeys?
,

and

Mark Liberman, Professor,
University of Pennsylvania

Departments of Linguistics
and of Computer Science,
and co-director of the
Institute for Research
in Cognitive Science,
in his

Language Log,
January 17, 2004:

Hi Lo Hi Lo,
it's off to
formal language theory
we go
.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Thursday May 27, 2004

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

Ineluctable

On the poetry of Geoffrey Hill:

"… why read him? Because of the things he writes about—war and peace and sacrifice, and the search for meaning and the truths of the heart, and for that haunting sense that, in spite of war and terror and the indifferences that make up our daily hells, there really is some grander reality, some ineluctable presence we keep touching. There remains in Hill the daunting possibility that it may actually all cohere in the end, or at least enough of it to keep us searching for more.

There is a hard edge to Hill, a strong Calvinist streak in him, and an intelligence that reminds one of Milton….."

— Paul Mariani, review in America of Geoffrey Hill's The Orchards of Syon

"Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one." 

"A very short space of time through very short times of space…. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand?"

James Joyce, Ulysses, Proteus chapter

"Time has been unfolded into space."

James O. Coplien, Bell Labs

"Pattern and symmetry are closely related."

James O. Coplien on Symmetry Breaking

"… as the critic S. L. Goldberg puts it, 'the chapter explores the Protean transformations of matter in time . . . apprehensible only in the condition of flux . . . as object . . . and Stephen himself, as subject. In the one aspect Stephen is seeking the principles of change and the underlying substance of sensory experience; in the other, he is seeking his self among its temporal manifestations'….

— Goldberg, S.L. 'Homer and the Nightmare of History.' Modern Critical Views: James Joyce. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. 21-38."

from the Choate site of David M. Loeb

In summary:

 

James Joyce
Joyce

Aleph,
alpha:
nought,
nought,
one
:

See also Time Fold.

(By the way, Jorn Barger seems
to have emerged from seclusion.)

 

Friday, February 20, 2004

Friday February 20, 2004

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

The Da Vinci Code
and
Symbology at Harvard

The protagonist of the recent bestseller The Da Vinci Code is Robert Langdon, "a professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University."  A prominent part in the novel is played by the well-known Catholic organization Opus Dei.  Less well known (indeed, like Langdon, nonexistent) is the academic discipline of "symbology."  (For related disciplines that do exist, click here.) What might a course in this subject at Harvard be like?

Harvard Crimson, April 10, 2003:

While Opus Dei members said that they do not refer to their practices of recruitment as "fishing," the Work’s founder does describe the process of what he calls "winning new apostles" with an aquatic metaphor.

Point #978 of The Way invokes a passage in the New Testament in which Jesus tells Peter that he will make him a "fisher of men." The point reads:

" ‘Follow me, and I will make you into fishers of men.’ Not without reason does our Lord use these words: men—like fish—have to be caught by the head. What evangelical depth there is in the ‘intellectual apostolate!’ ”

IMAGE- Escher, 'Fishes and Scales'

IMAGE- Cullinane, 'Invariance'

Exercise for Symbology 101:

Describe the symmetry
in each of the pictures above.
Show that the second picture
retains its underlying structural
symmetry under a group of
322,560 transformations.

Having reviewed yesterday's notes
on Gombrich, Gadamer, and Panofsky,
discuss the astrological meaning of
the above symbols in light of
today's date, February 20.

Extra credit:

Relate the above astrological
symbolism to the four-diamond
symbol in Jung's Aion.

Happy metaphors!

Robert Langdon

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Thursday November 6, 2003

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

Legacy Codes:

The Most Violent Poem

Lore of the Manhattan Project:

From The Trinity Site

“I imagined Oppenheimer saying aloud,
‘Batter my heart, three person’d God,”
unexpectedly recalling John Donne’s ‘Holy Sonnet [14],’
and then he knew, ‘ “Trinity” will do.’
Memory has its reasons.

‘Batter my heart’ — I remember these words.
I first heard them on a fall day at Duke University in 1963.
Inside a classroom twelve of us were
seated around a long seminar table
listening to Reynolds Price recite this holy sonnet….

I remember Reynolds saying, slowly, carefully,
‘This is the most violent poem in the English language.’ ”

Related Entertainment

Today’s birthday:
director Mike Nichols

From a dead Righteous Brother:

“If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand.”

Bobby Hatfield, found dead
in his hotel room at
7 PM EST Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003,
before a concert scheduled at
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
.

From a review of The Matrix Revolutions:

“You’d have to be totally blind at the end
to miss the Christian symbolism….
Trinity gets a glimpse of heaven…. And in the end…
God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds.”

Moral of the
Entertainment:

According to Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi],

“Li” is
“the principle or coherence
or order or pattern
underlying the cosmos.”

— Smith, Bol, Adler, and Wyatt,
Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching,
Princeton University Press, 1990

Related Non-Entertainment

Symmetry and a Trinity
(for the dotting-the-eye symbol above)

Introduction to Harmonic Analysis
(for musical and historical background)

Mathematical Proofs
(for the spirit of Western Michigan
University, Kalamazoo)

Moral of the
Non-Entertainment:

“Many kinds of entity
become easier to handle
by decomposing them into
components belonging to spaces
invariant under specified symmetries.”

The importance of
mathematical conceptualisation

by David Corfield,
Department of History and
Philosophy of Science,
University of Cambridge

See, too,
Symmetry of Walsh Functions and
Geometry of the I Ching.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Sunday August 17, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:21 PM

Diamond theory is the theory of affine groups over GF(2) acting on small square and cubic arrays. In the simplest case, the symmetric group of degree 4 acts on a two-colored diamond figure like that in Plato's Meno dialogue, yielding 24 distinct patterns, each of which has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry .

This symmetry invariance can be generalized to (at least) a group of order approximately 1.3 trillion acting on a 4x4x4 array of cubes.

The theory has applications to finite geometry and to the construction of the large Witt design underlying the Mathieu group of degree 24.

Further Reading:

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Thursday March 6, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:35 AM

ART WARS:

Geometry for Jews

Today is Michelangelo's birthday.

Those who prefer the Sistine Chapel to the Rothko Chapel may invite their Jewish friends to answer the following essay question:

Discuss the geometry underlying the above picture.  How is this geometry related to the work of Jewish artist Sol LeWitt? How is it related to the work of Aryan artist Ernst Witt?  How is it related to the Griess "Monster" sporadic simple group whose elements number 

808 017 424 794 512 875 886 459 904 961 710 757 005 754 368 000 000 000?

Some background:

Friday, January 31, 2003

Friday January 31, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:20 PM

Irish Fourplay

"…something I once heard Charles M. Schulz say, 'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.'"

 — William F. House

"Forewarned is four-armed."

— Folk saying

 

The painting at left is by Mary B. Kelly, a 1958 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Kelly is an expert on portrayals of Goddess figures in art

Today in Australia is February First, the feast of St. Bridget.  As several websites note, St. Bridget is a combination of Christian saint and Goddess figure… rather like St. Sara (patron saint of Gypsies, also known as Kali) or like Sara Pezzini in the classic TV series "Witchblade."

"Aww… Irish foreplay."

— Sara Pezzini in Witchblade, Episode 6

"Mighty in the gift of purity
She was pleasing unto the Bridegroom on high."

Song of St. Bridget

"Brace yourself, Bridget."

— Definition of Irish foreplay

 

Saint Bridget's Cross:

Four people can form this cross by joining hands as shown.  Of course, a Goddess like Kali (shown above) or Sara Pezzini could do it all by herself.

 

For futher details, see The Swastika Goddess,  the history of Jews and the Roman Catholic Church, and the history of Irish neutrality in World War II.

Postscript  of 11 PM

The Goddess Bridget in Literature

The Goddess Bridget (or Brigid) is incarnated in two classic works of American literature —

  • The American patriot and Communist Party supporter Dashiell Hammett gave an unflattering portrayal of Brigid (O'Shaughnessy) in The Maltese Falcon.  For a Jungian analysis of the relationship between Sam Spade and Brigid, see the perceptive remarks of Ryan Benedetti:

"In Jungian terms, Brigid becomes a projection of Spade's anima, a contrasexual replica of his own face as expressed in someone of the opposite sex.

Spade wears a variety of masks in his work. Masking allows him to get underneath the scam most clients lay on him. He is closer to the darker side of his unconscious than any of the other characters in the book, and he is so, because of his role as shamus. His function in his society is to expose all of the underlying darkness of the human psyche."

One way of looking at animus and anima is through the following archetypes:

A diamond and its dual "whirl" figure —
or a "jewel-box and its mate"

  • Mark Twain, in Life on the Mississippi, describes the way Goddess Bridget (again, O'Shaughnessy) arranged the conveyance of her late husband to the next world:

 "D'ye mane to soy that Bridget O'Shaughnessy bought the mate to that joo-ul box to ship that dhrunken divil to Purgatory in?"

"Yes, madam."

"Then Pat shall go to heaven in the twin to it, if it takes the last rap the O'Flaherties can raise!"

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?
 

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Saturday December 7, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:30 PM

ART WARS:

Shall we read?

From Contact, by Carl Sagan:

  “You mean you could decode a picture hiding in pi
and it would be a mess of Hebrew letters?”
  “Sure.  Big black letters, carved in stone.”
  He looked at her quizzically.
  “Forgive me, Eleanor, but don’t you think
you’re being a mite too… indirect? 
You don’t belong to a silent order of Buddhist nuns. 
Why don’t you just tell your
story?”

From The Nation – Thailand
Sat Dec 7 19:36:00 EST 2002:

New Jataka books
blend ethics and art

Published on Dec 8, 2002

“The Ten Jataka, or 10 incarnations of the Lord Buddha before his enlightenment, are among the most fascinating religious stories….

His Majesty the King wrote a marvellous book on the second incarnation of the Lord Buddha…. It has become a classic, with the underlying aim of encouraging Thais to pursue the virtue of perseverance.

For her master’s degree at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Arts, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn wrote a dissertation related to the Ten Jataka of the Buddha. Now with the 4th Cycle Birthday of Princess Sirindhorn approaching on April 2, 2003, a group of artists, led by prominent painter Theeraphan Lorpaiboon, has produced a 10-volume set, the “Ten Jataka of Virtues”, as a gift to the Princess.

Once launched on December 25, the “Ten Jataka of Virtues” will rival any masterpiece produced in book form….”

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

Friday, December 6, 2002

Friday December 6, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Great Simplicity

Frank Tall

Iaido

 

Daisetsu

 

 

Today

is the day that Daisetsu Suzuki attained satori,
according to the Zen Calendar.  “Daisetsu” is
said to mean “Great Simplicity.”

For those who prefer Harry Potter and
Diagon Alley, here is another calendar:


To Have and Have Not

Those who prefer traditional Western religions may like a site on the Trinity that contains this:

“Zen metaphysics is perhaps most succinctly set forth in the words ‘not-two.”  But even when he uses this expression, Suzuki is quick to assert that it implies no monism.  Not-two, it is claimed, is not the same as one.*  But when Suzuki discusses the relationship of Zen with Western mysticism, it is more difficult to escape the obvious monistic implications of his thinking.  Consider the following:

We are possessed of the habit of looking at Reality by dividing it into two… It is all due to the human habit of splitting one solid Reality into two, and the result is that my ‘have’ is no ‘have’ and my ‘have not’ is no ‘have not.’  While we are actually passing, we insist that the gap is impassable.**”

*See: Daisetz T. Suzuki, ‘Basic Thoughts Underlying  Eastern Ethical and Social Practice’ in Philosophy and Culture  East and West: East-West Philosophy in Practical Perspective, ed. Charles A. Moore (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1968), p. 429

** Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Mysticism Christian and Buddhist (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1957, Unwin paperback, 1979), p. 57.


Personally, I am reminded by Suzuki’s satori on this date that today is the eve of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  I am also reminded by the rather intolerant tract on the Trinity quoted above that the first atomic bomb was exploded in the New Mexico desert at a test site named Trinity.  Of course, sometimes intolerance is justified.

Concluding unscientific postscript:

On the same day in 1896 that D. T. Suzuki attained satori,
lyricist Ira Gershwin was born.

Dies irae, dies illa.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Sunday September 15, 2002

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

Evariste Galois and 
The Rock That Changed Things

An article in the current New York Review of Books (dated Sept. 26) on Ursula K. Le Guin prompted me to search the Web this evening for information on a short story of hers I remembered liking.  I found the following in the journal of mathematician Peter Berman:

  • A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, Ursula K. Le Guin, 1994:
    A book of short stories. Good, entertaining. I especially liked “The Rock That Changed Things.” This story is set in a highly stratified society, one split between elite and enslaved populations. In this community, the most important art form is a type of mosaic made from rocks, whose patterns are read and interpreted by scholars from the elite group. The main character is a slave woman who discovers new patterns in the mosaics. The story is slightly over-the-top but elegant all the same.

I agree that the story is elegant (from a mathematician, a high compliment), so searched Berman’s pages further, finding this:

A table of parallels

between The French Mathematician (a novel about Galois) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

My own version of the Philosopher’s Stone (the phrase used instead of “Sorcerer’s Stone” in the British editions of Harry Potter) appears in my profile picture at top left; see also the picture of Plato’s diamond figure in my main math website.  The mathematics of finite (or “Galois”) fields plays a role in the underlying theory of this figure’s hidden symmetries.  Since the perception of color plays a large role in the Le Guin story and since my version of Plato’s diamond is obtained by coloring Plato’s version, this particular “rock that changes things” might, I hope, inspire Berman to extend his table to include Le Guin’s tale as well.

Even the mosaic theme is appropriate, this being the holiest of the Mosaic holy days.

Dr. Berman, G’mar Chatimah Tova.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Saturday July 20, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:13 PM
 

ABSTRACT: Finite projective geometry explains the surprising symmetry properties of some simple graphic designs– found, for instance, in quilts. Links are provided for applications to sporadic simple groups (via the "Miracle Octad Generator" of R. T. Curtis), to the connection between orthogonal Latin squares and projective spreads, and to symmetry of Walsh functions.
We regard the four-diamond figure D above as a 4×4 array of two-color diagonally-divided square tiles.

Let G be the group of 322,560 permutations of these 16 tiles generated by arbitrarily mixing random permutations of rows and of columns with random permutations of the four 2×2 quadrants.

THEOREM: Every G-image of D (as at right, below) has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry.

Example:


For an animated version, click here.

Remarks:

Some of the patterns resulting from the action of G on D have been known for thousands of years. (See Jablan, Symmetry and Ornament, Ch. 2.6.) It is perhaps surprising that the patterns' interrelationships and symmetries can be explained fully only by using mathematics discovered just recently (relative to the patterns' age)– in particular, the theory of automorphism groups of finite geometries.

Using this theory, we can summarize the patterns' properties by saying that G is isomorphic to the affine group A on the linear 4-space over GF(2) and that the 35 structures of the 840 = 35 x 24 G-images of D are isomorphic to the 35 lines in the 3-dimensional projective space over GF(2).

This can be seen by viewing the 35 structures as three-sets of line diagrams, based on the three partitions of the four-set of square two-color tiles into two two-sets, and indicating the locations of these two-sets of tiles within the 4×4 patterns. The lines of the line diagrams may be added in a binary fashion (i.e., 1+1=0). Each three-set of line diagrams sums to zero– i.e., each diagram in a three-set is the binary sum of the other two diagrams in the set. Thus, the 35 three-sets of line diagrams correspond to the 35 three-point lines of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2).

For example, here are the line diagrams for the figures above:

Shown below are the 15 possible line diagrams resulting from row/column/quadrant permutations. These 15 diagrams may, as noted above, be regarded as the 15 points of the projective 3-space PG(3,2).


The symmetry of the line diagrams accounts for the symmetry of the two-color patterns. (A proof shows that a 2nx2n two-color triangular half-squares pattern with such line diagrams must have a 2×2 center with a symmetry, and that this symmetry must be shared by the entire pattern.)

Among the 35 structures of the 840 4×4 arrays of tiles, orthogonality (in the sense of Latin-square orthogonality) corresponds to skewness of lines in the finite projective space PG(3,2). This was stated by the author in a 1978 note. (The note apparently had little effect. A quarter-century later, P. Govaerts, D. Jungnickel, L. Storme, and J. A. Thas wrote that skew (i.e., nonintersecting) lines in a projective space seem "at first sight not at all related" to orthogonal Latin squares.)

We can define sums and products so that the G-images of D generate an ideal (1024 patterns characterized by all horizontal or vertical "cuts" being uninterrupted) of a ring of 4096 symmetric patterns. There is an infinite family of such "diamond" rings, isomorphic to rings of matrices over GF(4).

The proof uses a decomposition technique for functions into a finite field that might be of more general use.

The underlying geometry of the 4×4 patterns is closely related to the Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis– used in the construction of the Steiner system S(5,8,24)– and hence is also related to the Leech lattice, which, as Walter Feit has remarked, "is a blown up version of S(5,8,24)."

For a movable JavaScript version of these 4×4 patterns, see The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

The above is an expanded version of Abstract 79T-A37, "Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring," by Steven H. Cullinane, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979, pages A-193, 194.

For a discussion of other cases of the theorem, click here.

Related pages:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

Diamond Theory in 1937:
A Brief Historical Note

Notes on Finite Geometry

Geometry of the 4×4 Square

Binary Coordinate Systems

The 35 Lines of PG(3,2)

Map Systems:
Function Decomposition over a Finite Field

The Diamond Theorem–
The 2×2, the 2x2x2, the 4×4, and the 4x4x4 Cases

Diamond Theory

Latin-Square Geometry

Walsh Functions

Inscapes

The Diamond Theory of Truth

Geometry of the I Ching

Solomon's Cube and The Eightfold Way

Crystal and Dragon in Diamond Theory

The Form, the Pattern

The Grid of Time

Block Designs

Finite Relativity

Theme and Variations

Models of Finite Geometries

Quilt Geometry

Pattern Groups

The Fano Plane Revisualized,
or the Eightfold Cube

The Miracle Octad Generator

Kaleidoscope

Visualizing GL(2,p)

Jung's Imago

Author's home page

AMS Mathematics Subject Classification:

20B25 (Group theory and generalizations :: Permutation groups :: Finite automorphism groups of algebraic, geometric, or combinatorial structures)

05B25 (Combinatorics :: Designs and configurations :: Finite geometries)

51E20 (Geometry :: Finite geometry and special incidence structures :: Combinatorial structures in finite projective spaces)




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