Log24

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gravedigger’s Handbook

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

In memory of Jimmy Breslin, who reportedly died today at 88 —

From "Dimensions," (Log24, Feb. 15, 2015) —

IMAGE- 'When Death tells a story, you really have to listen.'

Black monolith in death-and-rebirth sequence from '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"Hello  darkness,  my  old  friend.
I’ve  come  to  talk  with  you  again."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hope of Heaven, Oslo Style

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 PM

The previous post deals with the theory, now becoming widely known,
that the musical "Grease" is really about Sandy's dying dream of heaven.

Another such dream in Oslo, described by the Vigeland Museum —

The Monolith

"The Monolith was carved from one single granite block, hence the name (mono: one, litho: stone). Whereas the melancholy theme in the fountain is the eternal life cycle, the column gives room to a totally different interpretation: Man's longing and yearning for the spiritual and divine. Is the column to be understood as man's resurrection? The people are drawn towards heaven, not only characterised by sadness and controlled despair, but also delight and hope, next to a feeling of togetherness, carefully holding one another tight in this strange sense of salvation."

I prefer a different monolith.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Deep Beauty

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:04 PM

(Continued.)  Click each image for its source.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Another Opening, Another Show

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

Ben Brantley in tonight's online review of a show that
reportedly opened off-Broadway on Dec. 10, 2015 —

" 'Mattress' has its charms, but they do wear thin. "

See also The New York Times  on Martin Gardner Nov. 30:

A companion image from this  journal
on the "Mattress" opening date —

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

Midrash:
Vonnegut Asterisk

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Strange Myths

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Peter Schjeldahl in the current (Dec. 14) New Yorker :

The phrase “outsider art” was coined in 1972 by a
British art historian, Roger Cardinal, to translate
the sense of “art brut ,” which Dubuffet had
considered rendering as art “raw,” “uncouth,” “crude,”
or “in the rough.” But the term misses the full thrust
of Dubuffet’s elevation of “people uncontaminated
by artistic culture,” as he called them. He aspired not
to make outsiders respectable but to destroy the
complacency of insiders. He disqualified even tribal
and folk artists, and spirited amateurs like Henri
Rousseau, for being captive to one tradition or another.
Art brut  must be sui generis, from the hands and minds
of “unique, hypersensitive men, maniacs, visionaries,
builders of strange myths.”

The literary  art of Fritz Leiber and Stephen King seems to
fit this definition.

Somewhat less brut — the literary art of Plato.

A non-literary illustration:

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

  Time as "a moving
   image of eternity.”
       — Plato   

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Eternity (Not by Calvin Klein*)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:18 AM

The two symbols on the monolith

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

may, if one likes, be interpreted 
as standing for Damnation Morning 
and for the Windmill of Time.

* "Award-winning fashion icon."
Harvard Graduate School of Design

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On Logic and Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Black monolith with text from The New Yorker of Nov. 30-- DeLillo on devil worship in 'Midnight in Dostoevsky'

See as well All Souls' Day and November 16.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Mirror of Understanding

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 PM

From The Snow Queen , by Hans Christian Andersen —

SEVENTH STORY. What Took Place in the Palace of the Snow Queen, and What Happened Afterward

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent! Mirth never reigned there; there was never even a little bear-ball, with the storm for music, while the polar bears went on their hindlegs and showed off their steps. Never a little tea-party of white young lady foxes; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen. The northern-lights shone with such precision that one could tell exactly when they were at their highest or lowest degree of brightness. In the middle of the empty, endless hall of snow, was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen when she was at home; and then she said she was sitting in the Mirror of Understanding, and that this was the only one and the best thing in the world.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them; just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this. He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted–that word was "eternity"; and the Snow Queen had said, "If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates." But he could not find it out.

"I am going now to warm lands," said the Snow Queen. "I must have a look down into the black caldrons." It was the volcanoes Vesuvius and Etna that she meant. "I will just give them a coating of white, for that is as it ought to be; besides, it is good for the oranges and the grapes." And then away she flew, and Kay sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long, and looked at the blocks of ice, and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked. There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death. ….

Related material:

This journal on March 25, 2013:

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Orange Mass

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:08 PM

"Blue Eyes took his Sunday painting seriously."

In memory of Jackie Collins, a post on Sinatra's favorite color.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fade to… Orange?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:05 PM

"One heart will wear a valentine." — Sinatra

Figure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

'In the Phaedrus, Plato speaks of the soul in a figure.'

           — "The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words"

For some backstory, click or touch the dark passage above.

See also Monolith  (August 23, 2014).

Friday, July 3, 2015

High White Noon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

(Continued)

Two items for cultural anthropologists,
each from April 28, 2015 —

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Seven Years Ago

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:19 AM
 

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

For further details, click on
      the black monolith.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dimensions

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:30 PM

IMAGE- 'When Death tells a story, you really have to listen.'

Black monolith in death-and-rebirth sequence from '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"Hello  darkness,  my  old  friend.
I’ve  come  to  talk  with  you  again."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Notes Toward an Unreliable Narrator

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

Related material from this  journal (Sept. 6, 2013) —

"Oblivion is not to be hired: The greater part must be
content to be as though they had not been, to be found
in the Register of God, not in the record of man."

— Sir Thomas Browne

See also the post Monolith  of August 23, 2014, as well as
the history of Farkas Hall  at Harvard and posts with that tag.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tonic

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Related posts:
New Key and The Well-Tempered Monolith.

Hold the gin.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Monolith

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:16 PM
 

  

Unity 

Roman numeral I
as well as capital I

 (Not  signifying nothing.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Gioconda Smile

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From Log24  on Feb. 26, 2008 —

Black monolith, 1x4x9

“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
and they die there.”

The Return of the Author,
by Eugen Simion:

On Sartre’s Les Mots –

“Writing helps him find his own place within this vast comedy. He does not take to writing seriously yet, but he is eager to write books in order to escape the comedy he has been compelled to take part in.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Well-Tempered Monolith

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

IMAGE- The Cullinane frequency matrix

"My God, it's full of numbers!"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Brightness at Noon

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

The two symbols on the monolith from yesterday

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

— may, if one likes, be interpreted as standing for
Damnation Morning and for the Windmill of Time
(alternately, as motifs for a ukara cloth).

The above explanation may help those confused by
knight's-move discourse like that described by
Jemima in The Eiger Sanction .

Art Wars:

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 AM

Monolith for Maggie, continued from yesterday

"The young woman counted—
'Otu, abua, ato, ano, ise, isii, asaa'—
using what remained to her of
the secret language…."

— Opening sentence of the prologue to The Choir Boats,
a 2009 novel by Daniel A. Rabuzzi

The piano link in today's previous post suggests a review
of a post from Feb. 11, 2008. That post suggests in turn
a passage from the Trevanian classic The Eiger Sanction
that says, in part…

"Often it was unnecessary to finish a sentence…."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Monolith for Maggie…

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

  Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

And for Deborah Mills

  Related material: The Cloth.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day of the Monolith

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 AM

IMAGE- Black monolith, proportions 4x9

See Monolith in this journal.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Uploading

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:01 PM

(Continued)

"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs

From a commercial test-prep firm in New York City—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111231-TeachingBlockDesign.jpg

From the date of the above uploading—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110708-ClarkeSm.jpg

After 759

m759 @ 8:48 AM
 

Childhood's End

From a New Year's Day, 2012, weblog post in New Zealand

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111231-Pyramid-759.jpg

From Arthur C. Clarke, an early version of his 2001  monolith

"So they left a sentinel, one of millions they have scattered
throughout the Universe, watching over all worlds with the
promise of life. It was a beacon that down the ages has been
patiently signaling the fact that no one had discovered it.
Perhaps you understand now why that crystal pyramid was set…."

The numerical  (not crystal) pyramid above is related to a sort of
mathematical  block design known as a Steiner system.

For its relationship to the graphic  block design shown above,
see the webpages Block Designs and The Diamond Theorem
as well as The Galois Tesseract and R. T. Curtis's classic paper
"A New Combinatorial Approach to M24," which contains the following
version of the above numerical pyramid—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111231-LeechTable.jpg

For graphic  block designs, I prefer the blocks (and the parents)
of Grand Rapids to those of New York City.

For the barbed tail  of Clarke's "Angel" story, see the New Zealand post
of New Year's Day mentioned above.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unified Theories

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From David Weinberger's book

Small Pieces Loosely Joined

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111203-WeinbergerMonolith.jpg

As Weinbergers go, I prefer Eliot.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111203-WeinbergerTheory.jpg

Then there is my own theory of "small pieces loosely joined."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Monolith Epiphany

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Continued from March 7, 2011

" One for my baby, and one more… "

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110412-IconicArt.jpg

See also this morning's previous posts "Unique Figure" and "One of a Kind."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bedeviled

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

From tonight's online New York Times

John McCracken, Sculptor of Geometric Forms, Dies at 76

McCracken died in Manhattan on Friday, April 8.

From Christopher Knight in tonight's online LA Times

… the works embody perceptual and philosophical conundrums. The colored planks stand on the floor like sculptures….

McCracken was bedeviled by Stanley Kubrick's famously obscure science-fiction epic, "2001: A Space Odyssey," with its iconic image of an ancient monolith floating in outer space. The 1968 blockbuster was released two years after the artist made his first plank.

"At the time, some people thought I had designed the monolith or that it had been derived from my work," he told art critic Frances Colpitt of the coincidence in a 1998 interview.

Two photos of McCracken's 1967 Black Plank  seem relevant—

November 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-McCrackenPlank1967400w.jpg

December 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-McCracken-NatGallery-NothingToSeeHere-400w.jpg

Material that an artist might view as related, if only synchronistically—

Two posts in this journal on the dates the photos were taken—
The Embedding on November 28 and Dry Bones on December 28.

The photos are of an exhibition titled "There is nothing to see here" at the
National Gallery of Art, October 30, 2010-April 24, 2011 —

Click to enlarge.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-NothingToSee-400w.jpg

For related nihilism from the National Gallery, see "Pictures of Nothing" in this journal.

Some less nihilistic illustrations—

The Meno  Embedding

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

A photo by one of the artists whose work is displayed above beside McCracken's—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-Sugimoto-AndoChurch.jpg

"Accentuate the Positive."
 — Clint Eastwood

Monday, March 7, 2011

Point Taken

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Recommended— An essay (part 1 of 5 parts) in today's New York TImes—

THE ULTIMATUM

I don’t want to die in
a language I can’t understand.
— Jorge Luis Borges

Comment 71

"I agree with one of the earlier commenters that this is a piece of fine literary work. And in response to some of those who have wondered 'WHAT IS THE POINT?!' of this essay, I would like to say: Must literature always answer that question for us (and as quickly and efficiently as possible)?"

For an excellent survey of the essay's historical context, see The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article

"The Incommensurability of Scientific Theories,"
First published Wed., Feb. 25, 2009,
by Eric Oberheim and Paul Hoyningen-Huene.

Related material from this journal—

Paradigms, Paradigms Lost, and a search for "mere geometry." This last includes remarks contrasting Euclid's definition of a point ("that which has no parts") with a later notion useful in finite geometry.

See also (in the spirit of The Abacus Conundrum )…

The Monolith Epiphany

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110307-Monolith.jpg

(Note the Borges epigraph above.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Philosophers’ Keystone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:02 AM

(Background— Yesterday's Quarter to Three,
A Manifold Showing, Class of 64, and Child's Play.)

Image-- Notes on Lowry's arrival in Mexico on the ship 'Pennsylvania'

Image-- PA Lottery Saturday, July 10, 2010-- Midday 017, Evening 673

Hermeneutics

Fans of Gregory Chaitin and Harry Potter
may consult Writings for Yom Kippur
for the meaning of yesterday's evening 673.

(See also Lowry and Cabbala.)

Fans of Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner,
and the Dark Lady may consult Prime Suspect
for the meaning of yesterday's midday 17.

For some more serious background, see Dante—

"….mirando il punto 
a cui tutti li tempi son presenti
"

– Dante, Paradiso, XVII, 17-18

The symbol    is used throughout the entire book
in place of such phrases as ‘Q.E.D.’  or
‘This completes the proof of the theorem’
to signal the end of a proof.”

Measure Theory, by Paul R. Halmos, Van Nostrand, 1950      

           
Halmos died on the date of Yom Kippur —  
October 2, 2006.            

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roll Over, He Said

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:56 AM

Part I–
Ironic Symbols

From St. Andrew’s Day, 2009:

Childhood's End-- Overlords as 'ironic symbols of the Devil'

Also on that date:

Supreme Court rejects Ford’s
appeal in rollover case

The New York Times this morning:

Roll over to learn more

NY Times obits, Dec. 17, 2009, with Ford Motors ads that say, 'Roll over to learn more'

Click image to enlarge.

Part II–

Mad Men (logo for TV show)

Also from
St. Andrew’s Day, 2009:

Black monolith with text from The New Yorker of Nov. 30-- DeLillo on devil worship

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091217-NYTobits.jpg

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ironic Symbols

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Found on Google today:

Childhood's End-- Overlords as 'ironic symbols of the Devil'

Related material:

Black monolith with text from The New Yorker of Nov. 30-- DeLillo on devil worship in 'Midnight in Dostoevsky'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Levi-Strauss Died…

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:09 PM

… on Friday, October 30, 2009 ………
(known to some as “Devil’s Night”)………
according to The New York Timeshttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091103-NYT-LeviStrauss.jpg

A search in this journal for “Levi-Strauss” yields various entries, the most recent being “Autistic Enchantment” (Sept. 3, 2009).

Related material:

Today’s New York Times on autism
(A Powerful Identity, a Vanishing Diagnosis)
and Log24 on enchantment.

An instance of the latter (from Feb. 15, 2008):

Door

Black monolith, 1x4x9

Step:

“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
and they die there.”

Lyricist Ray Evans,
who died at 92
one year ago today

Associated Press –
Feb. 15, 2008
Today in History
Thought for Today:

“Like all dreamers I confuse
disenchantment with truth.”
— Jean-Paul Sartre

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/091103-Cartoon.jpg

Postscript of Nov. 3, 2009:
For more confusion, see
the works of Claude Levi-Strauss.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif But according to The Telegraph, Levi-Strauss
died on Saturday, Oct. 31, All Hallows’ Eve.
According to Le Monde, he may have died
even later, on Sunday, Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday October 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Wakes


This morning’s New York Times
reports the deaths of Nuremberg interrogator Richard W. Sonnenfeldt and of avant-garde novelist and Beckett scholar Raymond Federman.

Symbols from this journal on the dates of their deaths:

For Sonnenfeldt, who died
 on Friday, Oct. 9,
a symbol from that date:

The 3x3 grid as religious symbol


For connotations of the symbol appropriate to the name Sonnenfeldt, see the link to A Sunrise for Sunrise in the entry of Saturday, Oct. 10.

For Federman, who died
 on Tuesday, Oct. 6,
a symbol from that date:

Black monolith

A quotation that appeared here on Wednesday, Oct. 7, seems relevant to Federman:

But I am a worker, a tombstone mason, anxious to pleace averyburies and jully glad when Christmas comes his once ayear. You are a poorjoist, unctuous to polise nopebobbies….

— James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday October 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM
A Halmos
for Gelfand:

Black monolith

See also
The Unity
 of Mathematics
.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday July 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:00 AM
Damnation Morning
continued

“The tigers of wrath are wiser
    than the horses of instruction.”

Blake

“… the moment is not
properly an atom of time
 but an atom of eternity.
 It is the first reflection
 of eternity in time, its first
attempt, as it were, at
       stopping time….”
 
Kierkegaard

Symmetry Axes
of the Square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(Damnation Morning)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Image of an atom from the cover of the novel 'Stallion Gate'

A Monolith
for Kierkegaard:


Images of time and eternity in memory of Michelangelo


Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

Rubén Darío

Related material:

The deaths of
 Ernest Hemingway
on the morning of
Sunday, July 2, 1961,
and of Alexis Arguello
on the morning of
Wednesday, July 1, 2009.
See also philosophy professor
Clancy Martin in the
London Review of Books
(issue dated July 9, 2009)
 on AA members as losers
“the ‘last men,’ the nihilists,
 the hopeless ones.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Bright Star and Dark Lady

on July 26, 2003

“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

The same story on
May 11, 2005

 with a different
dark lady:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090407-SnowWhiteQueen.jpg

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday March 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:07 PM

Transit Authority

In memory of
Stanley Kubrick
(overlooked in
yesterday's memorial)

"For believers the day of death, and even more the day of martyrdom, is not the end of all; rather, it is the 'transit' towards immortal life. It is the day of definitive birth, in Latin, dies natalis.

Bowman's end in '2001'

"'Wherever you come near
the human race, there's layers
and layers of nonsense,'
says the Stage Manager in
Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town.'"

Today's sermon
    from Frank Rich

The Eye in the Pyramid

The Seventh Symbol from 'Stargate'

The monolith at the beginning of '2001'

For more layers, see
James A. Michener's
The Source.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday February 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
From April 28, 2008:

Religious Art

The black monolith of
Kubrick's 2001 is, in
its way, an example
of religious art.

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

One artistic shortcoming
(or strength– it is, after
all, monolithic) of
that artifact is its
resistance to being
analyzed as a whole
consisting of parts, as
in a Joycean epiphany.

The following
figure does
allow such
  an epiphany.

A 2x4 array of squares

One approach to
 the epiphany:

"Transformations play
  a major role in
  modern mathematics."
– A biography of
Felix Christian Klein

See 4/28/08 for examples
of such transformations.

 
Related material:

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, pp. 117-118:

"… his point of origin is external nature, the fount to which we come seeking inspiration for our fictions. We come, many of Stevens's poems suggest, as initiates, ritualistically celebrating the place through which we will travel to achieve fictive shape. Stevens's 'real' is a bountiful place, continually giving forth life, continually changing. It is fertile enough to meet any imagination, as florid and as multifaceted as the tropical flora about which the poet often writes. It therefore naturally lends itself to rituals of spring rebirth, summer fruition, and fall harvest. But in Stevens's fictive world, these rituals are symbols: they acknowledge the real and thereby enable the initiate to pass beyond it into the realms of his fictions.

Two counter rituals help to explain the function of celebration as Stevens envisions it. The first occurs in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer. A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination. For in 'Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction' he tells us that

... the first idea was not to shape the clouds
In imitation. The clouds preceded us.      

There was a muddy centre before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.      

From this the poem springs: that we live in a place
That is not our own and, much more, not ourselves
And hard it is in spite of blazoned days.      

We are the mimics.

                                (Collected Poems, 383-84)

Believing that they are the life and not the mimics thereof, the world and not its fiction-forming imitators, these young men cannot find the savage transparence for which they are looking. In its place they find the pediment, a scowling rock that, far from being life's source, is symbol of the human delusion that there exists a 'form alone,' apart from 'chains of circumstance.'

A far more productive ritual occurs in 'Sunday Morning.'…."

For transformations of a more
specifically religious nature,
see the remarks on
Richard Strauss,
"Death and Transfiguration,"
(Tod und Verklärung, Opus 24)

in Mathematics and Metaphor
on July 31, 2008, and the entries
of August 3, 2008, related to the
 death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday September 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:25 PM
Annals of Propaganda: Cabaret and Goebbels, Arthur Szyk and German Authority
Related material:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aesthetics for Jesuits

Joke

The Guardian, July 26,
on a work by the
late playwright
 George Tabori:

“… inspired satire, laced with Jewish and Christian polemics, sparkling wit and dazzlingly simple effects. For Golgotha a stagehand brings on three crosses. ‘Just two,’ says Jay. ‘The boy is bringing his own.’ Tabori often claimed that the joke was the most perfect literary form.”

Update at noon,
Sept. 9, 2008:

Tabori, a Jew from Hungary
and former screenwriter
(“No Exit“), died at 93
on July 23, 2007.

Black monolith, 4x9

For related material on
another Jew from Hungary
click on the black monolith
(also known as
the Halmos tombstone).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday May 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM
Sydney Pollack dies-- NY Times online front page

From Bloomberg.com:

Great Directors

“After his return to acting in ‘Tootsie,’ Pollack took movie roles under directors Robert Altman in ‘The Player’ (1992), Woody Allen in ‘Husbands and Wives’ (1992) and Stanley Kubrick in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999). He said he chose roles in part to study other great directors.”
 

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday April 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Religious Art

The black monolith of
Kubrick's 2001 is, in
its way, an example
of religious art.

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

One artistic shortcoming
(or strength– it is, after
all, monolithic) of
that artifact is its
resistance to being
analyzed as a whole
consisting of parts, as
in a Joycean epiphany.

The following
figure does
allow such
  an epiphany.

A 2x4 array of squares

One approach to
 the epiphany:

"Transformations play
  a major role in
  modern mathematics."
– A biography of
Felix Christian Klein

The above 2×4 array
(2 columns, 4 rows)
 furnishes an example of
a transformation acting
on the parts of
an organized whole:

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

For other transformations
acting on the eight parts,
hence on the 35 partitions, see
"Geometry of the 4×4 Square,"
as well as Peter J. Cameron's
"The Klein Quadric
and Triality" (pdf),
and (for added context)
"The Klein Correspondence,
Penrose Space-Time, and
a Finite Model
."

For a related structure–
  not rectangle but cube– 
see Epiphany 2008.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday February 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Sitcom

LA Times obits 2/26/08: Dead sitcom writer, dead guru, dead jesuit

Baer died Friday, Feb. 22.

Some thoughts from
the preceding Friday,
the birthday of actor
Kevin “You’re Next
 McCarthy:

 
Black monolith, 1x4x9

“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
 and they die there.”

The Return of the Author,
 by Eugen Simion:

On Sartre’s Les Mots

“Writing helps him find his own place within this vast comedy. He does not take to writing seriously yet, but he is eager to write books in order to escape the comedy he has been compelled to take part in.”

Related material:

The obituary of Burghardt
and The Four Last Things.

“Hell is other people.”
Jean-Paul Sartre,   
No Exit

With a laugh track.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday February 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Philosophers Ponder

“Philosophers ponder
the idea of identity:
what it is to give
something a name
on Monday
and have it respond
to that name
   on Friday….”

— Bernard Holland in
   The New York Times
  
Monday, May 20, 1996

Associated Press,
Today in History,
Monday, Feb. 18, 2008:

On this date:

In 1564,
artist Michelangelo
died in Rome.

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

Non ha l’ottimo artista in se alcun concetto,
Ch’un marmo solo in se non circoscriva
Col suo soverchio; e solo a quello arriva
La man che ubbidisce all’intelletto.
(The best artist has in himself no concept
in a single block of marble not contained;
only the hand obeying mind will find it.)
— Michelangelo, as quoted
by Erwin Panofsky in

Idea: A Concept
in Art Theory

Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte

— Rubén Darío

Related material:
Yesterday’s entry
and Anthony Lane
in this week’s
New Yorker:

“… the whole of ‘Jumper’ comes across as vastly incurious about the cultures at its command. When David takes Millie (Rachel Bilson), a school friend from Michigan, for a dirty day out in Rome, she stands in awe before the Colosseum. ‘This place is amazing,’ she declares. ‘It’s so cool.’ I wasn’t expecting Ernst Gombrich….”

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday February 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:10 AM
Door

Black monolith, 1x4x9
 
Step:

“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
 and they die there.”

Lyricist Ray Evans,
who died at 92
   one year ago today

Associated Press –
Today in History
Thought for Today:

“Like all dreamers I confuse
 disenchantment with truth.”
–Jean-Paul Sartre

The Return of the Author, by Eugen Simion:

On Sartre’s Les Mots

“Writing helps him find his own place within this vast comedy. He does not take to writing seriously yet, but he is eager to write books in order to escape the comedy he has been compelled to take part in.

The craft of writing appeared to me as an adult activity, so ponderously serious, so trifling, and, at bottom, so lacking in interest that I didn’t doubt for a moment that it was in store for me. I said to myself both ‘that’s all it is’ and ‘I am gifted.’ Like all dreamers, I confused disenchantment with truth.”

This is given in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) as

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

Also from the AP’s
Today in History

Today’s Birthdays:
Actor Kevin McCarthy is 94.

Related material:

Hopkins at Heaven’s Gate
  (In context: October 2007)–

Anthony Hopkins at Dolly's Little Diner in Slipstream

“Dolly’s Little Diner–
Home from Home”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday February 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM
New York Times today–
Plot Would Thicken, if the
Writers Remembered It

Gala Premiere:

FOUR FOR
HEAVEN’S GATE

PA Lottery Monolith (Feb. 13, 2008)

“My God, it’s
full of numbers!”

Roger Ebert:

“This movie is….
the most scandalous
cinematic waste I have
 ever seen, and remember,
I’ve seen Paint Your Wagon.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday February 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Monolith

“A shape of some kind
for something that
  has no shape.”

The black monolith from '2001'

— Roy Scheider
  in “2010”

For further details,
 click on the monolith.

See also the Keystone State’s
lottery numbers for Sunday–
Grammy night and the
date of Scheider’s death:

PA  Lottery Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008: Mid-day 234, Evening 617

These numbers suggest
the following links.

For further details related
to death and religion, see
a version of the cheer
“1234, who are we for?”

For further details related
to Grammy night, see
6/17, 2007:

A selection from the
  Stephen King Hymnal

Alicia Keys and Scatman Crothers - 'If you could read my mind, love...'

“… it’s going to be
accomplished in steps,
this establishment
of the Talented in
  the scheme of things.”

— Anne McCaffrey, 
Radcliffe ’47,
To Ride Pegasus

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday November 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Long Story

From today’s online NY Times:
Obituaries in the News
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: [Wednesday]
November 28, 2007
Filed at 11:10 p.m. ET

Gennie DeWeese

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Gennie DeWeese, an artist known for her landscape paintings and woodblock prints whose works are displayed at museums across the Northwest, died Monday [November 26, 2007]. She was 86.

DeWeese died at her studio south of Bozeman. Dahl Funeral Chapel confirmed her death.

Her first oil painting was of her dog, done when she was 12 years old.

In 1995, DeWeese received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Montana State University, and she received the Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts.

Robert M. Pirsig in
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
(April 1974) —

“The rhetoricians of ancient Greece were the first teachers in the history of the Western world. Plato vilified them in all his works to grind an axe of his own and since what we know about them is almost entirely from Plato they’re unique in that they’ve stood condemned throughout history without ever having their side of the story told. The Church of Reason that I talked about was founded on their graves. It’s supported today by their graves. And when you dig deep into its foundations you come across ghosts.”

I look at my watch. It’s after two. “It’s a long story,” I say.

“You should write all this down,” Gennie says.

Quod erat
demonstrandum.

Star and Diamond: A Tombstone for Plato

For more information,
click on the black monolith.

Related material:

In the Details
and
Deep Beauty.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday September 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:25 AM
PA Lottery
Monolith

PA Lottery Sept. 21, 2007: Mid-day 809, Evening 912

Click on image
 for soundtrack.

See also
8/09, 9/12.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday July 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:26 AM
Midnight in the Garden
of Good and Evil

continued from
Midsummer Night

“The voodoo priestess looked across the table at her wealthy client, a man on trial for murder: ‘Now, you know how dead time works. Dead time lasts for one hour– from half an hour before midnight to half an hour after midnight. The half-hour before midnight is for doin’ good. The half-hour after midnight is for doin’ evil….'”


— Glenna Whitley, “Voodoo Justice,”
The New York Times, March 20, 1994


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

In Other Game News:

“In June, bloggers speculated that the Xbox 360 return problem was getting so severe that the company was running out of ‘coffins,’ or special return-shipping boxes Microsoft provides to gamers with dead consoles. ‘We’ll make sure we have plenty of boxes to go back and forth,’ Bach said in an interview.”

The picture of
“Coxeter Exhuming Geometry”
suggests the following
illustration, based
in part on
 Plato’s poem to Aster:

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

Related material:

Thursday’s last entry

and

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050310-hex.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sex and Art
in a
Chinese Poem

The proportions of
the above rectangle
may suggest to some
a coffin; they are
meant to suggest
a monolith.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday May 12, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Artistic Vision

Last night's entry "A Midrash for Hollywood" discussed a possible interpretation of yesterday's Pennsylvania Lottery numbers– mid-day 384, evening 952.

In memory of a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter who died yesterday, here is another interpretation of those numbers.

First, though, it seems appropriate to quote again the anonymous source from "Heaven, Hell, and Hollywood" on screenwriters– "You can be replaced by some Ping Pong balls and a dictionary."  An example was given illustrating this saying.  Here is another example:

Yesterday's PA lottery numbers in the dictionary–

Webster's New World Dictionary,
College Edition, 1960–

Page 384: "Defender of the Faith"

Related Log24 entries:
"To Announce a Faith," Halloween 2006,
and earlier Log24 entries from
that year's Halloween season

Page 952: "monolith"

Related Log24 entries:
"Shema, Israel," and "Punch Line"
(with the four entries that preceded it).

It may not be entirely irrelevant that a headline in last night's entry– "Lonesome No More!"– was linked to a discussion of Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick, that a film version of that novel starred Jerry Lewis, and that yesterday afternoon's entry quoted a vision of "an Ingmar Bergman script as directed by Jerry Lewis."

See also April 7, 2003:

April is Math Awareness Month.
This year's theme is "mathematics and art."

"Art isn't easy."
— Stephen Sondheim    

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday October 10, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Mate in
Two Seconds


From Oct. 14 last year:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051014-Tick.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From Oct. 13 last year
(Yom Kippur):

A Poem for Pinter

Oct. 13, 2005

The Guardian on Harold Pinter, winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Literature:

"Earlier this year, he announced his decision to retire from playwriting in favour of poetry,"

Michael Muskal in today's Los Angeles Times:

"Pinter, 75, is known for his sparse and thin style as well as his etched characters whose crystal patter cuts through the mood like diamond drill bits."

Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise (See Jan. 25):

"'That old Jew gave me this here.'  Egan looked at the diamond….  'It's worth a whole lot of money– you can tell that just by looking– but it means something, I think.  It's got a meaning, like.'

'Let's see,' Egan said, 'what would it mean?'  He took hold of Pablo's hand cupping the stone and held his own hand under it.  '"The jewel is in the lotus," perhaps that's what it means.  The eternal in the temporal….'"

Notes on Modal Logic:
 

"Modal logic was originally developed to investigate logic under the modes of necessary and possible truth.  The words 'necessary' and 'possible' are called modal connectives, or modalities.  A modality is a word that when applied to a statement indicates when, where, how, or under what circumstances the statement may be true.  In terms of notation, it is common to use a box [] for the modality 'necessary' and a diamond <> for the modality 'possible.'"

A Poem for Pinter

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051013-Waka.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Commentary:

"Waka" also means Japanese poem or Maori canoe.  (For instance, this Japanese poem and this Maori canoe.)

For a meditation on "bang splat," see Sept. 25-29.

For the meaning of "tick tick," see Emily Dickinson on "degreeless noon."

"Hash," of course, signifies "checkmate."  (See previous three entries.)

For language more suited to
the year's most holy day, see
this year's Yom Kippur entry,
from October 2.

That was also the day of the
Amish school killings in
Pennsylvania and the day that
mathematician Paul Halmos died.

For more on the former, see
Death in Two Seconds.

For more on the latter, see
The Halmos Tombstone.

4x9 black monolith
 

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Wednesday October 4, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:15 AM
Paul R. Halmos died
on Yom Kippur, 2006

“Prof. Paul Halmos died of pneumonia early in the morning of October 2, 2006. He was 90 years old. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Halmos. An obituary may be found at the website of the Mathematical Association of America….”

Halmos’s home page
at Santa Clara University

For a memorial of sorts, see
Lovely, Dark and Deep

Update of 8 PM Oct. 4 —

From Google Book Search:
 
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061004-Halmos.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This is the source of the
“Halmos tombstone” symbol,
which has been described in a
different form at Wikipedia:

“The tombstone, or halmos–
symbol ∎ (Unicode U+220E)–
is used in mathematics to denote
the end of a proof.” 

This Unicode character is rendered
as an empty square in Explorer
and as a black square in Firefox.

Related material:

The Unity of Mathematics
and
Monolith

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday February 16, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Monolith
In memory of
Rabbi Yehuda Chitrik, storyteller

From James A. Michener‘s The Source:

“Trouble started in a quarter that neither Uriel nor Zadok could have foreseen.  For many generations the wiser men of Zadok’s clan had worshipped El-Shaddai with the understanding that whereas Canaanites and Egyptians could see their gods directly, El-Shaddai was invisible and inhabited no specific place.  Unequivocally the Hebrew patriarchs had preached this concept and the sager men of the clans accepted it, but to the average Hebrew who was not a philosopher the theory of a god who lived nowhere, who did not even exist in corporeal form, was not easy to comprehend.  Such people were willing to agree with Zadok that their god did not live on this mountain– the one directly ahead– but they suspected that he did live on some mountain nearby, and when they said this they pictured an elderly man with a white beard who lived in a proper tent and whom they might one day see and touch.  If questioned, they would have said that they expected El-Shaddai to look much like their father Zadok, but with a longer beard, a stronger voice, and more penetrating eyes.

Now, as these simpler-minded Hebrews settled down outside the walls of Makor, they began to see Canaanite processions leave the main gate and climb the mountain to the north, seeking the high place where Baal lived, and they witnessed the joy which men experienced when visiting their god, and the Hebrews began in subtle ways and easy steps to evolve the idea that Baal, who obviously lived in a mountain, and El-Shaddai, who was reported to do so, must have much in common.  Furtively at first, and then openly, they began to climb the footpath to the place of Baal, where they found a monolith rising from the highest point of rock.  Here was a tangible thing they could comprehend, and after much searching along the face of the mountain, a group of Hebrew men found a straight rock of size equal to the one accorded Baal, and with much effort they dragged it one starless night to the mountain top, where they installed it not far from the home of Baal….”

Rabbi Chitrik died on
Valentine’s Day, 2006,
having had a heart attack
on Feb. 8, 2006–

The image “http://www.log24.com/log06/saved/060216-Madonna.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Grammy Night.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060207-Monolith.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above monolith is perhaps more
closely related to El-Shaddai than to
Madonna, Grammy Night, and Baal.
It reflects my own interests
(Mathematics and Narrative)
and those of Martin Buber
(Jews on Fiction):
 

“Among Buber’s early philosophical influences were Kant’s Prolegomena, which he read at the age of fourteen, and Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.  Whereas Kant had a calming influence on the young mind troubled by the aporia of infinite versus finite time, Nietzsche’s doctrine of ‘the eternal recurrence of the same’ constituted a powerful negative seduction.  By the time Buber graduated from Gymnasium he felt he had overcome this seduction, but Nietzsche’s prophetic tone and aphoristic style are evident in Buber’s subsequent writings.”

 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060216-RabbiChitrik1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Rabbi Chitrik

Monday, June 27, 2005

Monday June 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Into the Dark

O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant
….
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury.
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of
    darkness on darkness….

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

“I’m well past eighty now and fairly certain I won’t see ninety but I’d like more of a choice than Hell or Paradise when I leave. Now that we know the Bible was created by a vote of Emperor Constantine’s clergy, wouldn’t we all be better off if other options were offered? Or is the fear of what happens after death the glue that holds Religion together? I hope not because I believe better of God.

As a Deist, I have no fear or doubts of the way that life ends. I can bravely face the reality of ceasing to exist because the God of my heart comforts me by promising to provide a dark, starless night of nothingness when my visit is over.”

Paul Winchell (pdf) (See previous entry.)

Paul Winchell was born at the winter solstice — the longest night — December 21, 1922.

For another view of the longest night, see the five Log24 entries ending on the day after the longest night of 2003.   Summary of those entries:

After the Long Night

“My God, it’s full of stars!”

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Saturday June 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Religious Symbolism
at Midnight:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050625-Star.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

Star Wars 6/13/05,
Dark City 6/14/05,
and De Arco, as well
as the following 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

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tuesday May 24, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Tuesday April 5, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM
At Eight 

In Memoriam

For further details, click
on the black monolith.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wednesday March 31, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 AM

To Be

A Jesuit cites Quine:

“To be is to be the value of a variable.”

— Willard Van Orman Quine, cited by Joseph T. Clark, S. J., in Conventional Logic and Modern Logic: A Prelude to Transition,  Woodstock, MD: Woodstock College Press, 1952, to which Quine contributed a preface.

Quine died in 2000 on Xmas Day.

From a July 26, 2003, entry,
The Transcendent Signified,
on an essay by mathematician
Michael Harris:

Kubrick’s
monolith

Harris’s
slab

From a December 10, 2003, entry:

Putting Descartes Before Dehors

      

“Descartes déclare que c’est en moi, non hors de moi, en moi, non dans le monde, que je pourrais voir si quelque chose existe hors de moi.”

ATRIUM, Philosophie

For further details, see ART WARS.

The above material may be regarded as commemorating the March 31 birth of René Descartes and death of H. S. M. Coxeter.

For further details, see

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wednesday March 17, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM

William H. Pickering,

Dec. 24, 1910 – March 15, 2004


For details,
click on the
black monolith.

At
Heaven’s
Gate

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Thursday January 8, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:23 PM

Natasha's Dance

"… at the still point, there the dance is…."

"… to apprehend
 The point of intersection of the timeless
 With time, is an occupation for the saint…. "

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

It seems, according to Eliot's criterion, that the late author John Gregory Dunne may be a saint.

Pursuing further information on the modular group, a topic on which I did a web page Dec. 30, 2003, the date of Dunne's death, I came across a review of Apostol's work on that subject (i.e., the modular group, not Dunne's death, although there is a connection).  The review:

"A clean, elegant,
absolutely lovely text…"

Searching further at Amazon for a newer edition of the Apostol text, I entered the search phrase "Apostol modular functions" and got a list that included the following as number four:

Natasha's Dance:
A Cultural History of Russia
,

which, by coincidence, includes all three words of the search.

For a connection — purely subjective and coincidental, of course — with Dunne's death, see The Dark Lady (Jan. 1, 2004), which concerns another Natasha… the actress Natalie Wood, the subject of an essay ("Star!") by Dunne in the current issue of the New York Review of Books.

The Review's archives offer another essay, on science and religion, that includes the following relevant questions:

"Have the gates of death
been opened unto thee?
Or hast thou seen the doors
of the shadow of death?"

From my December 31 entry:

In memory of
John Gregory Dunne,
who died on
Dec. 30, 2003
:

For further details, click
on the black monolith.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Wednesday December 31, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM

In memory of
John Gregory Dunne,
who died on
Dec. 30, 2003
:

For further details, click
on the black monolith.

See, too, last year's entries
for Dec. 30 and 31:

"… he might add under his breath,
like the professor in The Last Battle
who has passed on to the next life,
'It's all in Plato, all in Plato:
bless me, what do they teach them
at these schools!' "

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Sunday October 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:17 AM

ART WARS for

Trotsky’s Birthday

Part I:
Symbols

From my entry of July 26, 2003, in memory
of Marathon Man director John Schlesinger:

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

For the meaning of the above symbols, see
Kubrick’s 1x4x9 monolith in 2001,
the Halmos tombstone in Measure Theory,
and the Fritz Leiber Changewar stories.

No se puede vivir sin amar.


Part II:
Sunday in the Park with Death

  To Leon from Diego —
Details of a mural,
A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon
in Alameda Park,
Fresco, 1947-48,
Alameda Hotel, Mexico City:

Three’s a Crowd:

Symbol:


Monday, September 8, 2003

Monday September 8, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:24 AM

ART WARS Sept. 1, 2003:

Sir Terry Frost Dies

A noted English abstract painter died at 87 on Monday, September 1.  From a memorial essay on Sir Terry Frost, born in 1915, in The Daily Telegraph: 

“He was educated at Leamington Spa Central School where he edited the art magazine, but left at 15 to work….” His first jobs included, the Telegraph says, painting “the red, white and blue targets on to fighter planes.”

The “target” the Telegraph refers to
is known as the Royal Air Force Roundel.

It may indeed have functioned as a target, but it was originally intended only as a distinctive identifying mark.

Some of Frost’s later work may be viewed at the British Government Art Collection.  For some of Frost’s work more closely related to his early “target” theme, see the Badcock’s Gallery site.

An example:

 

For related religious
and cinematic material, see

Pilate, Truth, and Friday the Thirteenth,

a meditation for Good Friday of 2001,

A Matter of Life and Death,

a meditation for Friday the Thirteenth
of September, 2002,

and

The Unity of Mathematics,

from the day Frost died, which concludes
with links related to the religious symbol of

2001:

Monolithic Form
and
ART WARS.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Thursday September 4, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:42 AM

Monolith

“Music can name the unnameable
and communicate the unknowable.”

— Quotation attributed to Leonard Bernstein

“Finally we get to Kubrick’s ultimate trick….  His secret is in plain sight…. The film is the monolith. In a secret that seems to never have been seen by anyone: the monolith in the film has the same exact dimensions as the movie screen on which 2001 was projected.”

—  Alchemical Kubrick 2001, by Jay Weidner 

My entry of Saturday, August 30,
included the following illustration:

My entry of Monday, September 1,
concluded with the black monolith.

“There is little doubt that the black monolith
in 2001 is the Philosopher’s Stone.”

—  Alchemical Kubrick 2001, by Jay Weidner 

 The philosopher Donald Davidson
died on Saturday, August 30.

The New York Times says that as an undergraduate, Davidson “persuaded Harvard to let him put on ‘The Birds’ by Aristophanes and played the lead, Peisthetairos, which meant memorizing 700 lines of Greek. His friend and classmate Leonard Bernstein, with whom he played four-handed piano, wrote an original score for the production.”

Perhaps they are still making music together.

Monday, September 1, 2003

Monday September 1, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:33 PM

The Unity of Mathematics,

or “Shema, Israel”

A conference to honor the 90th birthday (Sept. 2) of Israel Gelfand is currently underway in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The following note from 2001 gives one view of the conference’s title topic, “The Unity of Mathematics.”

Reciprocity in 2001

by Steven H. Cullinane
(May 30, 2001)

From 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, New American Library, 1968:

The glimmering rectangular shape that had once seemed no more than a slab of crystal still floated before him….  It encapsulated yet unfathomed secrets of space and time, but some at least he now understood and was able to command.

How obvious — how necessary — was that mathematical ratio of its sides, the quadratic sequence 1: 4: 9!  And how naive to have imagined that the series ended at this point, in only three dimensions!

— Chapter 46, “Transformation”

From a review of Himmelfarb, by Michael Krüger, New York, George Braziller, 1994:

As a diffident, unsure young man, an inexperienced ethnologist, Richard was unable to travel through the Amazonian jungles unaided. His professor at Leipzig, a Nazi Party member (a bigot and a fool), suggested he recruit an experienced guide and companion, but warned him against collaborating with any Communists or Jews, since the objectivity of research would inevitably be tainted by such contact. Unfortunately, the only potential associate Richard can find in Sao Paulo is a man called Leo Himmelfarb, both a Communist (who fought in the Spanish Civil War) and a self-exiled Jew from Galicia, but someone who knows the forests intimately and can speak several of the native dialects.

“… Leo followed the principle of taking and giving, of learning and teaching, of listening and storytelling, in a word: of reciprocity, which I could not even imitate.”

… E. M. Forster famously advised his readers, “Only connect.” “Reciprocity” would be Michael Kruger’s succinct philosophy, with all that the word implies.

— William Boyd, New York Times Book Review, October 30, 1994

Reciprocity and Euler

Applying the above philosophy of reciprocity to the Arthur C. Clarke sequence

1, 4, 9, ….

we obtain the rather more interesting sequence
1/1, 1/4, 1/9, …..

This leads to the following problem (adapted from the St. Andrews biography of Euler):

Perhaps the result that brought Euler the most fame in his young days was his solution of what had become known as the Basel problem. This was to find a closed form for the sum of the infinite series

1/1 + 1/4 + 1/9 + 1/16 + 1/25 + …

— a problem which had defeated many of the top mathematicians including Jacob Bernoulli, Johann Bernoulli and Daniel Bernoulli. The problem had also been studied unsuccessfully by Leibniz, Stirling, de Moivre and others. Euler showed in 1735 that the series sums to (pi squared)/6. He generalized this series, now called zeta(2), to zeta functions of even numbers larger than two.

Related Reading

For four different proofs of Euler’s result, see the inexpensive paperback classic by Konrad Knopp, Theory and Application of Infinite Series (Dover Publications).

Related Websites

Evaluating Zeta(2), by Robin Chapman (PDF article) Fourteen proofs!

Zeta Functions for Undergraduates

The Riemann Zeta Function

Reciprocity Laws
Reciprocity Laws II

The Langlands Program

Recent Progress on the Langlands Conjectures

For more on
the theme of unity,
see

Monolithic Form
and
ART WARS.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Saturday July 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 PM

The Transcendent
Signified

“God is both the transcendent signifier
and transcendent signified.”

— Caryn Broitman,
Deconstruction and the Bible

“Central to deconstructive theory is the notion that there is no ‘transcendent signified,’ or ‘logos,’ that ultimately grounds ‘meaning’ in language….”

— Henry P. Mills,
The Significance of Language,
Footnote 2

“It is said that the students of medieval Paris came to blows in the streets over the question of universals. The stakes are high, for at issue is our whole conception of our ability to describe the world truly or falsely, and the objectivity of any opinions we frame to ourselves. It is arguable that this is always the deepest, most profound problem of philosophy. It structures Plato’s (realist) reaction to the sophists (nominalists). What is often called ‘postmodernism’ is really just nominalism, colourfully presented as the doctrine that there is nothing except texts. It is the variety of nominalism represented in many modern humanities, paralysing appeals to reason and truth.”

Simon Blackburn, Think,
Oxford University Press, 1999, page 268

The question of universals is still being debated in Paris.  See my July 25 entry,

A Logocentric Meditation.

That entry discusses an essay on
mathematics and postmodern thought
by Michael Harris,
professor of mathematics
at l’Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot.

A different essay by Harris has a discussion that gets to the heart of this matter: whether pi exists as a platonic idea apart from any human definitions.  Harris notes that “one might recall that the theorem that pi is transcendental can be stated as follows: the homomorphism Q[X] –> R taking X to pi is injective.  In other words, pi can be identified algebraically with X, the variable par excellence.”

Harris illustrates this with
an X in a rectangle:

For the complete passage, click here.

If we rotate the Harris X by 90 degrees, we get a representation of the Christian Logos that seems closely related to the God-symbol of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  On the left below, we have a (1x)4×9 black monolith, representing God, and on the right below, we have the Harris slab, with X representing (as in “Xmas,” or the Chi-rho page of the Book of Kells) Christ… who is, in theological terms, also “the variable par excellence.”

Kubrick’s
monolith

Harris’s
slab

For a more serious discussion of deconstruction and Christian theology, see

Walker Percy’s Semiotic.

Saturday July 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:29 AM

Funeral March

John Schlesinger dead at 77;
‘Midnight Cowboy’ director

 
Anthony Breznican
Associated Press
Jul. 26, 2003 12:00 AM

LOS ANGELES – Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who daringly brought gay characters into mainstream cinema with Midnight Cowboy and tapped into nightmares with the teeth-drilling torture of Marathon Man, died Friday at 77.

The British-born filmmaker…. died about 5:30 a.m….

Schlesinger also directed The Day of the Locust, based on a novel by Nathanael West.

See Heaven, Hell, and Hollywood and

Dogma Part II: Amores Perros.

From the latter:

“Then you know your body’s sent,
Don’t care if you don’t pay rent,
Sky is high and so am I,
If you’re a viper — a vi-paah.”

The Day of the Locust,
    by Nathanael West (1939),
    New Directions paperback,
    1969, page 162

This song may be downloaded at

Pot Culture, 1910-1960.

That same site begins with a traditional Mexican song…

La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
 ya no puede caminar,
 porque no quiere,
 porque le falta
 marihuana que fumar.
” 

(“The cockroach, the cockroach,
 can’t walk anymore,
 because he doesn’t want to,
 because he has no
 marihuana to smoke.”)

This suggests an appropriate funeral march for John Schlesinger:

“Ya murió la cucaracha, ya la llevan a enterrar…”La Cucaracha

Those attending Schlesinger’s wake, as opposed to his funeral, may wish to perform other numbers from the Pot Culture page, which offers a variety of “viper” songs.

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

For the meaning of the above symbols, see
Kubrick’s 1x4x9 monolith in 2001,
the Halmos tombstone in Measure Theory,
and the Fritz Leiber Changewar stories.

No se puede vivir sin amar.

Concluding Unscientific Postscript:

Oh, yes… the question of
Heaven or Hell for John Schlesinger… 

Recall that he also directed the delightful
Cold Comfort Farm and see
last year’s entry for this date.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Saturday April 19, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Harrowing

In memory of the many who have died on April 19, most notably Octavio Paz.

“There is a suggestion of Christ descending into the abyss for the harrowing of Hell.  But it is the Consul whom we think of here, rather than of Christ.”

— Introduction to Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel Under the Volcano, by Stephen Spender

“Hey, big Spender, spend a little time
with me.” — Song lyric

For a somewhat deeper meditation on time, see Architecture of Eternity.

See also Literature of the Descent into Hell

“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

Amen.

Concluding Unscientific Postscripts:

“Once upon a time…” — Anonymous

It’s quarter to three…” — Sinatra

Saturday, April 5, 2003

Saturday April 5, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:49 AM

Art Wars:
Mathematics and the
Emperor’s New Art

From Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column of June 9, 2002: 

“The shape of the government is not as important as the policy of the government. If he makes the policy aggressive and pre-emptive, the president can conduct the war on terror from the National Gallery of Art.”

NY Times, April 5, 2003:
U.S. Tanks Move Into Center of Baghdad
See also today’s
op-ed piece
by Patton’s grandson.

Meanwhile, at the Washington Post, another example of great determination and strength of character:

Donald Coxeter Dies: Leader in Geometry

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 5, 2003

“Donald Coxeter, 96, a mathematician who was one of the 20th century’s foremost specialists in geometry and a man of great determination and strength of character as well, died March 31 at his home in Toronto.”

From another Coxeter obituary:

In the Second World War, Coxeter was asked by the American government to work in Washington as a code-breaker. He accepted, but then backed out, partly because of his pacifist views and partly for aesthetic reasons: “The work didn’t really appeal to me,” he explained; “it was a different sort of mathematics.”

For a differing account of how geometry is related to code-breaking, see the “Singer 7-cycle” link in yesterday’s entry, “The Eight,” of 3:33 PM.  This leads to a site titled

An Introduction to the
Applications of Geometry in Cryptography
.

“Now I have precisely the right instrument, at precisely the right moment of history, in exactly the right place.”

 — “Patton,”
the film

Quod erat
demonstrandum
.


Added Sunday, April 6, 2003, 3:17 PM:

The New York Times Magazine of April 6
continues this Art Wars theme.


                 (Cover typography revised)

The military nature of our Art Wars theme appears in the Times’s choice of words for its cover headline: “The Greatest Generation.” (This headline appears in the paper, but not the Internet, version.)

Some remarks in today’s Times Magazine article seem especially relevant to my journal entry for Michelangelo’s birthday, March 6.

“…Conceptualism — suddenly art could be nothing more than an idea….

LeWitt moved between his syntax of geometric sculptures and mental propositions for images: concepts he wrote on paper that could be realized by him or someone else or not at all.  Physical things are perishable.  Ideas need not be.”

— Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times, April 6, 2003

Compare this with a mathematician’s aesthetics:

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns.  If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.”

— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology (1940), reprinted 1969, Cambridge U. Press, p. 84 

It seems clear from these two quotations that the real conceptual art is mathematics and that Kimmelman is peddling the emperor’s new clothes.

Friday, March 7, 2003

Friday March 7, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Lovely, Dark and Deep

On this date in 1923, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," by Robert Frost, was published.  On this date in 1999, director Stanley Kubrick died.  On this date in 1872, Piet Mondrian was born.

"….mirando il punto
a cui tutti li tempi son presenti"

— Dante, Paradiso, XVII, 17-18 

Chez Mondrian
Kertész, Paris, 1926 

6:23 PM Friday, March 7:

From Measure Theory, by Paul R. Halmos, Van Nostrand, 1950:

"The symbol is used throughout the entire book in place of such phrases as 'Q.E.D.' or 'This completes the proof of the theorem' to signal the end of a proof."
 

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