From the journal of Steven H. Cullinane...
2007 September 01-15
Saturday, September 15, 2007 8:00 PM
Dance for Clarinet and Drums:
Post Your Syllabi
Professors should post their
course syllabi before move-in,
not after class has started
The Harvard Crimson
Published On Friday, September 14, 2007 12:54 AM
"Classes start in three days, and that means it’s time to... examine
course syllabi-- that is if you can find them...." More
The Holy Spook
Prof. Coleman Silk introducing
freshmen to academic values
The Course Begins:
Larry Summers, former president
of Harvard, was recently invited,
then disinvited, to speak at a
politically correct UC campus.
A Guest Lecturer Speaks:
Illustration of the Theme:
"This is so pathetic. I used to write long
disquisitions on the ethical dimensions of behavior like this, but
years of it can make a girl get very tired. And that's because this
tiresome, and boring, and wrong, and pathetic, and so
very indicative of the derailed character of academic life. It's more
important to keep punishing Summers for a comment he made years ago--
and apologized for many times over, and essentially lost the presidency
of Harvard over-- than it is just to move on and let free exchange
happen on campuses. I doubt Summers would have devoted his time before
the Regents to theorizing gender (not that I would personally care much
if he did-- I was not so mortally wounded by his observations as others
were), and he is a brilliant man with much of value to bring to a visit
with the Regents. But what does that matter when the opportunity to mob
a politically incorrect academic presents itself?" --Erin
on Sept. 15, 2007
Clarinetist Ken Peplowski
plays "Cry Me a River"
as Nicole Kidman focuses
the students' attention.
A sample Holy Spook,
Kurt Vonnegut, was introduced
by Peplowski on the birthday
this year of Pope Benedict XVI.
of Harvard president Summers
"Do they still call it
the licorice stick?"
-- Kurt Vonnegut
Midnight Drums for Larry
Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:57 AM
Credit Where Credit Is Due:
"Scorsese, 64, a native New Yorker, thought of being
a priest and went to the seminary after high school. But he changed his
mind and built a catalogue of great films, many of which are considered
the best of their time." -- Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2007
Columbus Day, 2005
Click on image to enlarge.
Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:02 AM
Battlefield Geometry continued:
The New York Times,
Thursday, September 13, 2007--
Hasen, Artist Inspired
by Maps, Dies at 85
Burt Hasen, a New York painter who drew inspiration from his
experience working with maps as a military technician during World War
II, died on Friday [September 7, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 85 and lived
in Lower Manhattan....
During the war he served in the Air Force in the Pacific, where his
duties involved close study of aerial maps, an activity that lastingly
influenced his work. His densely worked canvases often had an overhead
perspective....Toward the end of his life, many of his seemingly
abstract paintings were based directly, and in detail, on maps....
In 2006 Mr. Hasen, his wife and the other tenants of a
five-story building at 7 Dutch Street near the South Street Seaport
made news when they organized against their landlord’s attempt to evict them from the
rent-regulated lofts they had occupied for more than 30 years. They
subsequently had their leases renewed.
"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
-- Gravity's Rainbow
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 5:01 PM
ART WARS continued:
I learned yesterday from Jonathan Westphal
, a professor of philosophy at
Idaho State University, that he and a colleague, Jim Hardy, have
devised another geometric approach to logic: a system of arrow diagrams
that illustrate classical propositional logic. The diagrams
resemble those used to illustrate Euclidean vector spaces, and Westphal
and Hardy call their approach "a vector system," although it does not
involve what a mathematician would regard as a vector space.
Journal of Logic and Computation
15(5) (October, 2005), pp. 751-765.
(2) the quilt pattern
below (click for
the source) --
(3) yesterday's entry
"Christ! what are
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:07 AM
Jomini Meets Rommel:
"The general, who wrote the Army's book on
counterinsurgency, said he and his staff were 'trying to do the
battlefield geometry right now' as he prepared his troop-level
-- Steven R. Hurst, The
Associated Press, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007
"'... we are in the process of doing the battlefield geometry to
determine the way ahead.'"
-- Charles M. Sennott, Boston Globe, Friday,
Sept. 7, 2007
"Based on these considerations, and having worked the battlefield
geometry ... I have recommended a drawdown of the surge forces
-- United States Army, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007
Log24 entries of
June 11 and 12, 2005
"In the desert you can
remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one
for to give you no pain."
Monday, September 10, 2007 11:07 AM
Beauty Bare: A Poem
of Truth --
"I'm a gun for hire,
I'm a saint, I'm a liar,
because there are no facts,
there is no truth,
just data to be manipulated."
-- The Garden of Allah
The data in more poetic form:
The Prime Cut Gospel
Happy Birthday, Benedict XVI
The remarks yesterday
of Harvard president
Drew G. Faust
to incoming freshmen.
the incoming class
to explore Harvard’s
'Think of it as
a treasure room
of hidden objects
-- Today's Crimson
For a less Faustian approach,
see the Harvard-educated
philosopher Charles Hartshorne
at The Harvard Square Library
and the words of another
approaches a subject from
two different directions,
there is bound to be
an interesting theorem
expressing their relation."
Saturday, September 8, 2007 7:11 PM
May 25, 2007:
"Let's give 'em
somethin' to talk about,
A little mystery to figure out"
-- Scarlett Johansson singing on
Saturday Night Live, April 21, 2007
Today's previous entry
and the following:
Saturday, September 8, 2007 2:02 PM
Requiem for a Storyteller:
The Intensest Rendezvous
"There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling....
Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling,
Do not forget what flowers
The great boar trampled down in ivy time.
Her brow was creamy as the crested wave,
Her sea-blue eyes were wild
But nothing promised that is not performed. "
-- Robert Graves,
Juan at the Winter Solstice
The Devil and Wallace Stevens
"In a letter to Harriet Monroe, written December 23, 1926, Stevens
refers to the Sapphic fragment that invokes the genius of evening:
'Evening star that bringest back all that lightsome Dawn hath scattered
afar, thou bringest the sheep, thou bringest the goat, thou bringest
the child home to the mother.' Christmas, writes Stevens, 'is like
Sappho's evening: it brings us all home to the fold.' (Letters of
-- "The Archangel of Evening," Chapter 5 of Wallace Stevens: The
, by Barbara M. Fisher
, The University Press of Virginia,
1990, pages 72-73
"Evening. Evening of this day. Evening of the
century. Evening of my own life....
At Christmastime my parents held open house on Sunday evenings, and a
dozen or more people gathered around the piano, and the apartment was
full of music, and theology was sung into my heart."
-- Madeleine L'Engle, Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation
From the date of
Some enchanted evening...
Friday, September 7, 2007 2:02 PM
Philosophy Wars continued:
The New York Times online,
Friday, Sept. 7, 2007:
"Madeleine L’Engle, who in writing more than 60
books, including childhood fables, religious meditations and science
fiction, weaved emotional tapestries transcending genre and generation,
died Thursday [Sept. 6, 2007] in Connecticut. She was 88.
Her death, of natural causes, was announced today by her publisher,
Farrar, Straus and Giroux."
Log24 entries of
"That is how we travel."
-- A Wrinkle in Time,
-- and of
(with update of
"There is such a thing
as a tesseract."
-- A Wrinkle in Time
Thursday, September 6, 2007 11:00 AM
Sunday, September 2, 2007 5:11 PM
Annals of Quantum Geometry
Re: This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week
On Spekkens’ toy system and finite geometry
- In “Week 251” (May 5,
2007), John wrote:
“Since Spekkens’ toy system resembles a qubit, he calls it a “toy bit”.
He goes on to study systems of several toy bits - and the charming
combinatorial geometry I just described gets even more interesting.
Alas, I don’t really understand it well: I feel there must be some
mathematically elegant way to describe it all, but I don’t know what it
is…. All this is fascinating. It would be nice to find the mathematical
structure that underlies this toy theory, much as the category of
Hilbert spaces underlies honest quantum mechanics.”
- In the n-Category Cafe ( May 12, 2007, 12:26 AM, ) Matt Leifer wrote:
“It’s crucial to Spekkens’ constructions, and particularly to the
analog of superposition, that the state-space is discrete. Finding a
good mathematical formalism for his theory (I suspect finite fields may
be the way to go) and placing it within a comprehensive framework for
generalized theories would be very interesting.”
- In the n-category Cafe ( May 12, 2007, 6:25 AM) John Baez wrote:
“Spekkens and I spent an afternoon trying to think about his theory as
quantum mechanics over some finite field, but failed — we almost came
close to proving it couldnt’ work.”
On finite geometry:
The actions of permutations on a 4
× 4 square in Spekkens’ paper (quant-ph/0401052),
and Leifer’s suggestion of the need for a “generalized framework,”
suggest that finite geometry might supply such a framework. The
geometry in the webpage John cited is that of the affine
4-space over the two-element field.
Sept. 5, 2007
See also arXiv:0707.0074v1
[quant-ph], June 30, 2007:
A fully epistemic model for a local hidden variable emulation of
by Michael Skotiniotis, Aidan Roy,
C. Sanders, Institute for Quantum Information Science, University
of Calgary. Abstract: "In this article we consider an augmentation of
Spekkens’ toy model for the epistemic view of quantum states ...."
Hypercube from the Skotiniotis paper: