Log24

Friday, February 15, 2019

New Services

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:41 AM

From today's online Boston Globe

Byline: 'GLOBE STAFF AND NEW SERVICES' 

See also Wechsler + Siri in this  journal and a post from
the date of Dr. Gunderson's death, January 11, 2019 —

Monday, October 15, 2018

History at Bellevue

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:38 PM

The previous post, "Tesserae for a Tesseract," contains the following
passage from a 1987 review of a book about Finnegans Wake

"Basically, Mr. Bishop sees the text from above
and as a whole — less as a sequential story than
as a box of pied type or tesserae for a mosaic,
materials for a pattern to be made."

A set of 16 of the Wechsler cubes below are tesserae that 
may be used to make patterns in the Galois tesseract.

Another Bellevue story —

“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare
from which I am trying to awake.”

— James Joyce, Ulysses

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WISC RISC

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:15 PM

WISC = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

RISCReduced Instruction Set Computer   or
             Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Cognitions

See related material in earlier WISC RISC posts.

See also . . .

"Many parents ask us about the Block Design section
on the WISC and hope to purchase blocks and exercises
like those used on the WISC test. We explain that doing that
has the potential to invalidate their child's test results.
These Froebel Color Cubes will give you a tool to work with
your child on the skills tested for in the Block Design section
of the WISC in an ethical and appropriate way. These same
skills are applicable to any test of non-verbal reasoning like  
the NNAT, Raven's or non-verbal sections of the CogAT or OLSAT. "

An online marketing webpage

For a webpage that is perhaps un ethical and in appropriate,
see Block Designs in Art and Mathematics.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mad Men vs. Math Men

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:36 PM

Video starring the CEO of Cambridge Analytica —

Alexander Nix, 'From Mad Men to Math Men,' Hamburg Messe, 'Online Marketing Rockstars' speech, 2017

Related material from John Rust, now the director of the
Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge —

My own sympathies are with the Mad Men.

See also Rust in the previous post, Cambridge Psychometrics.
He is known for the UK version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale
for Children.

Cambridge Psychometrics*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

* Not to be confused with Cambridge Analytica.

  See also Wechsler in this journal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

More

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:34 PM

Search results suggested by the previous post :

See also Wechsler in this journal.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Test Patterns

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

 Raven’s Progressive Matrices  intelligence test—
IMAGE- Raven's Progressive Matrices problem based on triangular half- and quarter-diamonds

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale  test—  

Related art —  (Click images for further details.)

Patterns suggesting those of the Raven test:

Patterns suggesting those of the Wechsler test:

The latter patterns were derived from the former.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Narratives

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Or: The Confessions of Nat Tate

“A convincing lie is, in its own way, a tiny, perfect narrative.”
— William Boyd, “A Short History of the Short Story” (2006)

“A novel written in the first-person singular has certain powerful
narrative advantages, especially when it takes the form of a ‘confession.'”
— William Boyd, “Memoir of a Plagiarist” (1994)

IMAGE- 'Siri Hustvedt Interview: Fakes and Fiction'

IMAGE- 'Siri Hustvedt Interview: Fakes and Fiction'

From a Log24 post yesterday —

For Little Man Tate —

IMAGE- Wechsler block-design cubes and related WAIS-R manual

Related material — Wechsler in this journal and an earlier Siri Hustvedt
art novel, from 2003 —

Mark and Lucille, Bill and Violet, Al and Regina, etc., etc., etc. —

IMAGE- Siri Hustvedt on the name 'Wechsler' in 'What I Loved'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blockheads continues

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

For Little Man Tate —

Related material — Wechsler in this journal.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Good Question

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

Amy Adams in the new film “Her” —

“You’re dating an OS?  What is that like?”

— Question quoted in a Hollywood Reporter
story on the film’s second trailer

From the same story, by Philiana Ng —

” The trailer is set to Arcade Fire’s
mid-tempo ballad ‘Supersymmetry.’ “

Parts of an answer for Amy —

Nov. 26, 2012, as well as

July 19, 2008,

Dec. 18, 2013,

Dec. 24, 2013, and

Dec. 27, 2013.

The Hollywood Reporter  story is from Dec. 3, 2013.
See also that date in this  journal.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art History

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

Quoted in the March 13 post Blackboard Jungle:

"Every morning you take your machete into the jungle
and explore and make observations, and every day
you fall more in love with the richness and splendor
of the place."

— Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician's Lament

More from Lockhart's jungle—

Mathematical objects, even if initially inspired by some aspect of reality (e.g., piles of rocks, the disc of the moon), are still nothing more than figments of our imagination.

Not only that, but they are created by us and are endowed by us with certain characteristics; that is, they are what we ask them to be….

… in Mathematical Reality, because it is an imaginary place, I actually can have pretty much whatever I want….

The point is that there is no reality to any of this, so there are no rules or restrictions other than the ones we care to impose…. Make up anything you want, so long as it isn’t boring. Of course this is a matter of taste, and tastes change and evolve. Welcome to art history!

— Lockhart, Paul (2009-04-01). A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form  (pp. 100-104). Bellevue Literary Press. Kindle Edition. 

Related material in this journal: Bellevue and Wechsler.

See also Gombrich in this journal and in the following:

Related material (Click for some background.) —

From a novel by Chinua Achebe

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nonlyric Stupidity

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:35 PM

Or: Being There

(A sequel to last night's Lyric Intelligence )

IMAGE- Book reviews page of William Deresiewicz, showing reviews titled 'Be Here Now' and ''I Was There.''

William Deresiewicz reviews Kurt Vonnegut's 1952 novel Player Piano :

The novel’s prescience is chilling. Six years before the left-wing English
sociologist Michael Young published The Rise of the Meritocracy ,
a dystopian satire that coined that now-ubiquitous final word,
Vonnegut was already there.

Related material:

Intelligence Test , Gombrich,  and, more generally, Stupidity.

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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Design Cubes

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

Continued from April 2, 2012.

Some predecessors of the Cullinane design cubes of 1984
that lack the Cullinane cubes' symmetry properties

Kohs cubes (see 1920 article)
Wechsler cubes (see Wechsler in this journal), and
Horowitz  cubes (see links below).

Horowitz Design Cubes Package

Horowitz Design Cubes (1971)

1973 Horowitz Design Cubes Patent

Horowitz Biography

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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Diamond Speech

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 AM

IMAGE- Resignation of Robert Diamond as Barclays CEO

"And when I think about the values
that are important to me today,
I think first about meritocracy."

Robert Diamond, Colby College '73, now
Chair of the Colby College Board of Trustees, in a
commencement address on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Other remarks on that Sunday —

Related material from Colby—

IMAGE- Colby College page on mathematician Fernando Q. Gouvea

See also an MAA report on Gouvea from June 6, 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Intelligence Test

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:00 PM

This journal on June 18, 2008

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110724-Hustvedt-WechslerCubes.jpg

The Wechsler Cubes story continues with a paper from December 2009…

"Learning effects were assessed for the block design (BD) task,
on the basis of variation in 2 stimulus parameters:
perceptual cohesiveness (PC) and set size uncertainty (U)." —

(Click image for some background.)

The real intelligence test is, of course, the one Wechsler flunked—
investigating the properties of designs made with sixteen
of his cubes instead of nine.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lottery Royale

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:30 PM

Continuing this afternoon's meditation on Hollywood
endings, recall the ending of the 1966 David Niven
version of Casino Royale

"Eventually, Jimmy's atomic pill explodes, destroying Casino Royale
along with everyone inside…. Sir James and all of his agents then
appear in heaven, with angel wings and harps and Jimmy Bond is
shown descending into the fires of hell." — Wikipedia

This evening's NY Lottery numbers are 169 and 1243.

An occurence of 169 in this journal on June 18, 2008

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110724-Hustvedt-WechslerCubes.jpg

  As for 1243, see Post  1243 and a recent obituary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Absolute Ambition

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

"It's my absolute ambition that you are touched to the core of your being with the content…."

— Julie Taymor on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark  (Playbill video, undated)

Another ambitious comic-book promotion —

"What Logicomix  does that few works in any medium do is to make intellectual passion palpable. That is its greatest strength. And it’s here that its form becomes its substance."

— Judith Roitman, review (pdf, 3.7 MB) of Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth , in …

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101119-AMSnoticesSm.jpg

 The December 2010 AMS Notices  cover has excerpts from Logicomix.

Related material:

"In the classical grammarians’ sense of the power of form over 'content' and style over 'substance,' he originated the phrase, 'the medium is the message.'"

— Joseph P. Duggan on Marshall McLuhan at The University Bookman

See also, in this  journal, The Medium is the Message, Wechsler, and Blockheads .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Annals of Rhetoric

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

Tangled Up In Red

CHANGE
 FEW CAN BELIEVE IN

See Siri Hustvedt on the name "Wechsler"
and see the tag "permutahedron" in this journal.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday October 5, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:00 AM
Continued from Saturday— 

Pieces missing from Wechsler block design test and from IZZI puzzle

Context
for the 16:

Block Designs
and Art

Context
for the 70:

Symmetry
and Counting

  “Kunst ist nicht einfach.
— Sondheim in translation
 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday October 3, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:31 AM

Missing Pieces:  Conceptual art by Cullinane and Bochner

Related material:

Frame Tales, as well as
The Sacred Day of Kali,
this morning's
 New York Times obituaries,
and
Mental Health Month, 2003:

Wechsler blocks (illustrating the 'Blockheads' theme)

WAIS blocks

IZZI puzzle
IZZI puzzle

Michael Douglas in 'The Game'

Sondheim: 'Putting It Together'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday July 22, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:48 AM
Alphabet vs. Goddess

Continued…

Roy Lichtenstein girl and Hand of God pointing to the letter B

… from June 11, 2008.

“Just as both tragedy and comedy can be written by using the same letters of the alphabet, the vast variety of events in this world can be realized by the same atoms through their different arrangements and movements. Geometry and kinematics, which were made possible by the void, proved to be still more important in some way than pure being.”

— Werner Heisenberg in
  Physics and Philosophy

Werner, Kimberly;
Kimberly, Werner.

Wechsler cubes, with 'Certainty,' by Kimberly Brooks

Happy Feast of
St. Mary Magdalene.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday August 22, 2008

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

Tentative movie title:
Blockheads

Kohs Block Design Test

The Kohs Block Design
Intelligence Test

Samuel Calmin Kohs, the designer (but not the originator) of the above intelligence test, would likely disapprove of the "Aryan Youth types" mentioned in passing by a film reviewer in today's New York Times. (See below.) The Aryan Youth would also likely disapprove of Dr. Kohs.

Related material from
Notes on Finite Geometry:

Kohs Block Design figure illustrating the four-color decomposition theorem

Other related material:

1.  Wechsler Cubes (intelligence testing cubes derived from the Kohs cubes shown above). See…

Harvard psychiatry and…
The Montessori Method;
The Crimson Passion;
The Lottery Covenant.

2.  Wechsler Cubes of a different sort (Log24, May 25, 2008)

3.  Manohla Dargis in today's New York Times:

"… 'Momma’s Man' is a touchingly true film, part weepie, part comedy, about the agonies of navigating that slippery slope called adulthood. It was written and directed by Azazel Jacobs, a native New Yorker who has set his modestly scaled movie with a heart the size of the Ritz in the same downtown warren where he was raised. Being a child of the avant-garde as well as an A student, he cast his parents, the filmmaker Ken Jacobs and the artist Flo Jacobs, as the puzzled progenitors of his centerpiece, a wayward son of bohemia….

In American movies, growing up tends to be a job for either Aryan Youth types or the oddballs and outsiders…."

4.  The bohemian who named his son Azazel:

"… I think that the deeper opportunity, the greater opportunity film can offer us is as an exercise of the mind. But an exercise, I hate to use the word, I won't say 'soul,' I won't say 'soul' and I won't say 'spirit,' but that it can really put our deepest psychological existence through stuff. It can be a powerful exercise. It can make us think, but I don't mean think about this and think about that. The very, very process of powerful thinking, in a way that it can afford, is I think very, very valuable. I basically think that the mind is not complete yet, that we are working on creating the mind. Okay. And that the higher function of art for me is its contribution to the making of mind."

Interview with Ken Jacobs, UC Berkeley, October 1999

5.  For Dargis's "Aryan Youth types"–

From a Manohla Dargis
New York Times film review
of April 4, 2007
   (Spy Wednesday) —

Scene from Paul Verhoeven's film 'Black Book'

See also, from August 1, 2008
(anniversary of Hitler's
opening the 1936 Olympics) —

For Sarah Silverman

and the 9/9/03 entry 

Olympic Style.

Doonesbury,
August 21-22, 2008:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix08A/080821-22-db16color.gif
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday June 18, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:00 PM
CHANGE
 FEW CAN BELIEVE IN

What I Loved, a novel by Siri Hustvedt (New York, Macmillan, 2003), contains a paragraph on the marriage of a fictional artist named Wechsler

Page 67 —

“… Bill and Violet were married. The wedding was held in the Bowery loft on June 16th, the same day Joyce’s Jewish Ulysses had wandered around Dublin. A few minutes before the exchange of vows, I noted that Violet’s last name, Blom, was only an o away from Bloom, and that meaningless link led me to reflect on Bill’s name, Wechsler, which carries the German root for change, changing, and making change. Blooming and changing, I thought.”

For Hustvedt’s discussion of Wechsler’s art– sculptured cubes, which she calls “tightly orchestrated semantic bombs” (p. 169)– see Log24, May 25, 2008.

Related material:

Wechsler cubes

(after David Wechsler,
1896-1981, chief
psychologist at Bellevue)

Wechsler blocks for psychological testing

These cubes are used to
make 3×3 patterns for
psychological testing.

Related 3×3 patterns appear
in “nine-patch” quilt blocks
and in the following–

Don Park at docuverse.com, Jan. 19, 2007:

“How to draw an Identicon

Designs from a web page on Identicons

A 9-block is a small quilt using only 3 types of patches, out of 16 available, in 9 positions. Using the identicon code, 3 patches are selected: one for center position, one for 4 sides, and one for 4 corners.

Positions and Rotations

For center position, only a symmetric patch is selected (patch 1, 5, 9, and 16). For corner and side positions, patch is rotated by 90 degree moving clock-wise starting from top-left position and top position respectively.”

    

From a weblog by Scott Sherrill-Mix:

“… Don Park came up with the original idea for representing users with geometric shapes….”

Claire | 20-Dec-07 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

“This reminds me of a flash demo by Jarred Tarbell
http://www.levitated.net/daily/lev9block.html

ScottS-M | 21-Dec-07 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    

Jared Tarbell at levitated.net, May 15, 2002:

“The nine block is a common design pattern among quilters. Its construction methods and primitive building shapes are simple, yet produce millions of interesting variations.

Designs from a web page by Jared Tarbell
Figure A. Four 9 block patterns,
arbitrarily assembled, show the
grid composition of the block.

Each block is composed of 9 squares, arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. Each square is composed of one of 16 primitive shapes. Shapes are arranged such that the block is radially symmetric. Color is modified and assigned arbitrarily to each new block.

The basic building blocks of the nine block are limited to 16 unique geometric shapes. Each shape is allowed to rotate in 90 degree increments. Only 4 shapes are allowed in the center position to maintain radial symmetry.

Designs from a web page by Jared Tarbell

Figure B. The 16 possible shapes allowed
for each grid space. The 4 shapes allowed
in the center have bold numbers.”

   
Such designs become of mathematical interest when their size is increased slightly, from square arrays of nine blocks to square arrays of sixteen.  See Block Designs in Art and Mathematics.

(This entry was suggested by examples of 4×4 Identicons in use at Secret Blogging Seminar.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

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

 "Confusion is nothing new."
— Song lyric, Cyndi Lauper  

Part I:
Magister Ludi

Hermann Hesse's 1943 The Glass Bead Game (Picador paperback, Dec. 6, 2002, pp. 139-140)–

"For the present, the Master showed him a bulky memorandum, a proposal he had received from an organist– one of the innumerable proposals which the directorate of the Game regularly had to examine. Usually these were suggestions for the admission of new material to the Archives. One man, for example, had made a meticulous study of the history of the madrigal and discovered in the development of the style a curved that he had expressed both musically and mathematically, so that it could be included in the vocabulary of the Game. Another had examined the rhythmic structure of Julius Caesar's Latin and discovered the most striking congruences with the results of well-known studies of the intervals in Byzantine hymns. Or again some fanatic had once more unearthed some new cabala hidden in the musical notation of the fifteenth century. Then there were the tempestuous letters from abstruse experimenters who could arrive at the most astounding conclusions from, say, a comparison of the horoscopes of Goethe and Spinoza; such letters often included pretty and seemingly enlightening geometric drawings in several colors."

Part II:
A Bulky Memorandum

From Siri Hustvedt, author of Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005)– What I Loved: A Novel (Picador paperback, March 1, 2004, page 168)–

A description of the work of Bill Wechsler, a fictional artist:

"Bill worked long hours on a series of autonomous pieces about numbers. Like O's Journey, the works took place inside glass cubes, but these were twice as large– about two feet square. He drew his inspiration from sources as varied as the Cabbala, physics, baseball box scores, and stock market reports. He painted, cut, sculpted, distorted, and broke the numerical signs in each work until they became unrecognizable. He included figures, objects, books, windows, and always the written word for the number. It was rambunctious art, thick with allusion– to voids, blanks, holes, to monotheism and the individual, the the dialectic and yin-yang, to the Trinity, the three fates, and three wishes, to the golden rectangle, to seven heavens, the seven lower orders of the sephiroth, the nine Muses, the nine circles of Hell, the nine worlds of Norse mythology, but also to popular references like A Better Marriage in Five Easy Lessons and Thinner Thighs in Seven Days. Twelve-step programs were referred to in both cube one and cube two. A miniature copy of a book called The Six Mistakes Parents Make Most Often lay at the bottom of cube six. Puns appeared, usually well disguised– one, won; two, too, and Tuesday; four, for, forth; ate, eight. Bill was partial to rhymes as well, both in images and words. In cube nine, the geometric figure for a line had been painted on one glass wall. In cube three, a tiny man wearing the black-and-white prison garb of cartoons and dragging a leg iron has

— End of page 168 —

opened the door to his cell. The hidden rhyme is "free." Looking closely through the walls of the cube, one can see the parallel rhyme in another language: the German word drei is scratched into one glass wall. Lying at the bottom of the same box is a tiny black-and-white photograph cut from a book that shows the entrance to Auschwitz: ARBEIT MACHT FREI. With every number, the arbitrary dance of associations worked togethere to create a tiny mental landscape that ranged in tone from wish-fulfillment dream to nightmare. Although dense, the effect of the cubes wasn't visually disorienting. Each object, painting, drawing, bit of text, or sculpted figure found its rightful place under the glass according to the necessary, if mad, logic of numerical, pictorial, and verbal connection– and the colors of each were startling. Every number had been given a thematic hue. Bill had been interested in Goethe's color wheel and in Alfred Jensen's use of it in his thick, hallucinatory paintings of numbers. He had assigned each number a color. Like Goethe, he included black and white, although he didn't bother with the poet's meanings. Zero and one were white. Two was blue. Three was red, four was yellow, and he mixed colors: pale blue for five, purples in six, oranges in seven, greens in eight, and blacks and grays in nine. Although other colors and omnipresent newsprint always intruded on the basic scheme, the myriad shades of a single color dominated each cube.

The number pieces were the work of a man at the top of his form. An organic extension of everything Bill had done before, these knots of symbols had an explosive effect. The longer I looked at them, the more the miniature constructions seemed on the brink of bursting from internal pressure. They were tightly orchestrated semantic bombs through which Bill laid bare the arbitrary roots of meaning itself– that peculiar social contract generated by little squiggles, dashes, lines, and loops on a page."

Part III:
Wechsler Cubes

(named not for
Bill Wechsler, the
fictional artist above,
but for the non-fictional
   David Wechsler) —

From 2002:

Above: Dr. Harrison Pope, Harvard professor of psychiatry, demonstrates the use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale "block design" subtest.


Part IV:
A Magic Gallery
 
Log24, March 4, 2004
 

ZZ
WW

Figures from the
Kaleidoscope Puzzle
of Steven H. Cullinane:


Poem by Eugen Jost:
Zahlen und Zeichen,
Wörter und Worte

Mit Zeichen und Zahlen
vermessen wir Himmel und Erde
schwarz
auf weiss
schaffen wir neue Welten
oder gar Universen


 Numbers and Names,
Wording and Words


With numbers and names
we measure heaven and earth
black
on white
we create new worlds
and universes


English translation
by Catherine Schelbert



A related poem:

Alphabets
by Hermann Hesse

From time to time
we take our pen in hand
and scribble symbols
on a blank white sheet
Their meaning is
at everyone's command;
it is a game whose rules
are nice and neat.

But if a savage
or a moon-man came
and found a page,
a furrowed runic field,
and curiously studied
lines and frame:
How strange would be
the world that they revealed.
a magic gallery of oddities.
He would see A and B
as man and beast,
as moving tongues or
arms or legs or eyes,
now slow, now rushing,
all constraint released,
like prints of ravens'
feet upon the snow.
He'd hop about with them,
fly to and fro,
and see a thousand worlds
of might-have-been
hidden within the black
and frozen symbols,
beneath the ornate strokes,
the thick and thin.
He'd see the way love burns
and anguish trembles,
He'd wonder, laugh,
shake with fear and weep
because beyond this cipher's
cross-barred keep
he'd see the world
in all its aimless passion,
diminished, dwarfed, and
spellbound in the symbols,
and rigorously marching
prisoner-fashion.
He'd think: each sign
all others so resembles
that love of life and death,
or lust and anguish,
are simply twins whom
no one can distinguish…
until at last the savage
with a sound
of mortal terror
lights and stirs a fire,
chants and beats his brow
against the ground
and consecrates the writing
to his pyre.
Perhaps before his
consciousness is drowned
in slumber there will come
to him some sense
of how this world
of magic fraudulence,
this horror utterly
behind endurance,
has vanished as if
it had never been.
He'll sigh, and smile,
and feel all right again.

— Hermann Hesse (1943),
"Buchstaben," from
Das Glasperlenspiel,
translated by
Richard and Clara Winston

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday September 17, 2004

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

God is in…
The Details

From an entry for Aug. 19, 2003 on
conciseness, simplicity, and objectivity:

Above: Dr. Harrison Pope, Harvard professor of psychiatry, demonstrates the use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale "block design" subtest.

Another Harvard psychiatrist, Armand Nicholi, is in the news lately with his book The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life.

Pope

Nicholi

Old
Testament
Logos

New
Testament
Logos

For the meaning of the Old-Testament logos above, see the remarks of Plato on the immortality of the soul at

Cut-the-Knot.org.

For the meaning of the New-Testament logos above, see the remarks of R. P. Langlands at

The Institute for Advanced Study.

On Harvard and psychiatry: see

The Crimson Passion:
A Drama at Mardi Gras

(February 24, 2004)

This is a reductio ad absurdum of the Harvard philosophy so eloquently described by Alston Chase in his study of Harvard and the making of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.  Kaczynski's time at Harvard overlapped slightly with mine, so I may have seen him in Cambridge at some point.  Chase writes that at Harvard, the Unabomber "absorbed the message of positivism, which demanded value-neutral reasoning and preached that (as Kaczynski would later express it in his journal) 'there is no logical justification for morality.'" I was less impressed by Harvard positivism, although I did benefit from a course in symbolic logic from Quine.  At that time– the early 60's– little remained at Harvard of what Robert Stone has called "our secret culture," that of the founding Puritans– exemplified by Cotton and Increase Mather.

From Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise:

"Our secret culture is as frivolous as a willow on a tombstone.  It's a wonderful thing– or it was.  It was strong and dreadful, it was majestic and ruthless.  It was a stranger to pity.  And it's not for sale, ladies and gentlemen."

Some traces of that culture:

A web page
in Australia:

A contemporary
Boston author:

Click on pictures for details.

A more appealing view of faith was offered by PBS on Wednesday night, the beginning of this year's High Holy Days:

Armand Nicholi: But how can you believe something that you don't think is true, I mean, certainly, an intelligent person can't embrace something that they don't think is true — that there's something about us that would object to that.

Jeremy Fraiberg: Well, the answer is, they probably do believe it's true.

Armand Nicholi: But how do they get there? See, that's why both Freud and Lewis was very interested in that one basic question. Is there an intelligence beyond the universe? And how do we answer that question? And how do we arrive at the answer of that question?

Michael Shermer: Well, in a way this is an empirical question, right? Either there is or there isn't.

Armand Nicholi: Exactly.

Michael Shermer: And either we can figure it out or we can't, and therefore, you just take the leap of faith or you don't.

Armand Nicholi: Yeah, now how can we figure it out?

Winifred Gallagher: I think something that was perhaps not as common in their day as is common now — this idea that we're acting as if belief and unbelief were two really radically black and white different things, and I think for most people, there's a very — it's a very fuzzy line, so that —

Margaret Klenck: It's always a struggle.

Winifred Gallagher: Rather than — I think there's some days I believe, and some days I don't believe so much, or maybe some days I don't believe at all.

Doug Holladay: Some hours.

Winifred Gallagher: It's a, it's a process. And I think for me the big developmental step in my spiritual life was that — in some way that I can't understand or explain that God is right here right now all the time, everywhere.

Armand Nicholi: How do you experience that?

Winifred Gallagher: I experience it through a glass darkly, I experience it in little bursts. I think my understanding of it is that it's, it's always true, and sometimes I can see it and sometimes I can't. Or sometimes I remember that it's true, and then everything is in Technicolor. And then most of the time it's not, and I have to go on faith until the next time I can perhaps see it again. I think of a divine reality, an ultimate reality, uh, would be my definition of God.

Winifred
Gallagher

Sangaku

Gallagher seemed to be the only participant in the PBS discussion that came close to the Montessori ideals of conciseness, simplicity, and objectivity.  Dr. Montessori intended these as ideals for teachers, but they seem also to be excellent religious values.  Just as the willow-tombstone seems suited to Geoffrey Hill's style, the Pythagorean sangaku pictured above seems appropriate to the admirable Gallagher.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Tuesday August 19, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:23 PM

Intelligence Test

From my August 31, 2002, entry quoting Dr. Maria Montessori on conciseness, simplicity, and objectivity:

Above: Dr. Harrison Pope, Harvard professor of psychiatry, demonstrates the use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale "block design" subtest.

Another Harvard psychiatrist, Armand Nicholi, is in the news lately with his book The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life

 

Pope

Nicholi

Old
Testament
Logos

New
Testament
Logos

For the meaning of the Old-Testament logos above, see the remarks of Plato on the immortality of the soul at

Cut-the-Knot.org.

For the meaning of the New-Testament logos above, see the remarks of R. P. Langlands at

The Institute for Advanced Study.

For the meaning of life, see

The Gospel According to Jill St. John,

whose birthday is today.

"Some sources credit her with an I.Q. of 162."
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Tuesday May 20, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:23 PM

Mental Health Month:
The Lottery Covenant

Here are the evening lottery numbers for Pennsylvania, the Keystone state, drawn on Monday, May 19, 2003:

401 and 1993.

This, by the sort of logic beloved of theologians, suggests we find out the significance of the divine date 4/01/1993.

It turns out that April 1, 1993, was the date of the New York opening of the Stephen Sondheim retrospective “Putting It Together.”

For material related to puzzles, games, Sondheim, and Mental Health Month, see

Notes on
Literary and Philosophical Puzzles

The figures below illustrate some recurrent themes in these notes.

WAIS blocks


IZZI puzzle


Michael Douglas
in “The Game”


Putting It
Together

“Not games. Puzzles. Big difference. That’s a whole other matter. All art — symphonies, architecture, novels — it’s all puzzles. The fitting together of notes, the fitting together of words have by their very nature a puzzle aspect. It’s the creation of form out of chaos. And I believe in form.”

— Stephen Sondheim, in Stephen Schiff,
    “Deconstructing Sondheim,” 
    The New Yorker, March 8, 1993, p. 76
 

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Saturday August 31, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:36 AM
Today’s birthday: Dr. Maria Montessori

THE MONTESSORI METHOD: CHAPTER VI

HOW LESSONS SHOULD BE GIVEN

“Let all thy words be counted.”
Dante, Inf., canto X.

CONCISENESS, SIMPLICITY, OBJECTIVITY.

…Dante gives excellent advice to teachers when he says, “Let thy words be counted.” The more carefully we cut away useless words, the more perfect will become the lesson….

Another characteristic quality of the lesson… is its simplicity. It must be stripped of all that is not absolute truth…. The carefully chosen words must be the most simple it is possible to find, and must refer to the truth.

The third quality of the lesson is its objectivity. The lesson must be presented in such a way that the personality of the teacher shall disappear. There shall remain in evidence only the object to which she wishes to call the attention of the child….

Above: Dr. Harrison Pope, Harvard professor of psychiatry, demonstrates the use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale “block design” subtest.

Mathematicians mean something different by the phrase “block design.”

A University of London site on mathematical design theory includes a link to my diamond theory site, which discusses the mathematics of the sorts of visual designs that Professor Pope is demonstrating. For an introduction to the subject that is, I hope, concise, simple, and objective, see my diamond 16 puzzle.

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