Monday, December 31, 2007 12:25 PM
Alms for Oblivion:
"Her wallet's filled with pictures,
She gets 'em one by one."
-- "Sweet Little Sixteen,"
by Chuck Berry
(Chess Records, January 1958)
Sunday, December 30, 2007 1:00 PM
Culture Wars continued...
SUMMERS: When the country needs men up there who know and have courage as it never did before, he's just gonna decorate a chair and get himself honored.
DARRELL: Oh, but he'll vote! Sure. Just like his colleague tells him to.
DIZ: "Yes, sir," like a Christmas tiger. He'll nod his head and vote...
DIZ: You're not a Senator! You're an honorary stooge! You ought to be shown up!
The Tigers of Princeton
Goldberg might prefer,
Friday, December 28, 2007 7:11 AM
Good Friday 2006 continued...
From The Harbus, the Harvard Business School independent weekly, a 4/28/03 interview with the late Steven Florio:
HARBUS: It seems you attribute the ability to 'invest in quality' and to say 'we're going this direction because it's going to help us be the best' directly to being a private company.
SF: For the 10 years I've been CEO, that has been the marching order I've given to my staff, to all the Editors and Publishers, and quite frankly the order that has been given to me by Newhouse. Now, this doesn't mean that I don't get memos from him saying 'I noticed that we spent an additional $100,000 last year on Christmas parties, can you please cut this back?'. He's not a guy who's just standing on top of the building throwing off $100 bills. He wants the company run efficiently.
On the other hand, if I say to him we really ought to take a hard look at this idea called 'Teen Vogue', he'll smile, as he did, and say 'The rest of the industry is cutting back, and you want to do a $50 million launch?'.
And I said 'It's time. It is time for this magazine, it is time for line extension, and we should do it'. I have a management meeting once a week, which he [Newhouse] attends more often than not, where I presented the new magazine idea to the whole management team, which is only 6 or 7 people. I looked at him and said 'We're doing it', and he said 'Go ahead, it's a great idea'.
Thursday, December 27, 2007 8:22 AM
ART WARS continued...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007 12:00 PM
"Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever" (Mt 6.13b; compare 1 Chr 29.11-13)....
This traditional epilogue to the Lord's prayer protects the petition for the coming of the kingdom from being understood as an exorcism, which we derive from the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish, which belonged at the time to the synagogical liturgy.
-- World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas evening paired 173 with the beastly
number 0666. The latter number suggests that perhaps being "understood as an exorcism"
might not, in this case, be such a bad thing. What, therefore, might
"173" have to do with exorcism? A search in the context of the
"language games" yields a reference to Wittgenstein's
Zettel, section 173:
From Charles L. Creegan, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard:
games give general guidelines of the application of language. Wittgenstein suggests that there are innumerably many language- games: innumerably many kinds of use of the components of language.24 The grammar of the language- game influences the possible relations of words, and things, within that game. But the players may modify the rules gradually. Some utterances within a given language- game are applications; others are 'grammatical remarks' or definitions of what is or should be possible. (Hence Wittgenstein's remark, 'Theology as grammar'25 - the grammar of religion.)
The idea of the 'form of life' is a reminder about even more basic phenomena. It is clearly bound up with the idea of language. (Language and 'form of life' are explicitly connected in four of the five passages from the Investigations in which the term 'form of life' appears.) Just as grammar is subject to change through language-
uses, so 'form of life' is subject to change through changes in language. (The Copernican revolution is a paradigm case of this.) Nevertheless, 'form of life' expresses a deeper level of 'agreement.' It is the level of 'what has to be accepted, the given.'26 This is an agreement prior to agreement in opinions and decisions. Not everything can be doubted or judged at once.
This suggests that 'form of life' does not denote static phenomena of fixed scope. Rather, it serves to remind us of the general need for context in our activity of meaning. But the context of our meaning is a constantly changing mosaic involving both broad strokes and fine-The more commonly understood point of the 'Private Language Argument' - concerning the root of meaning in something public - comes into play here. But it is important to show just what public phenomenon Wittgenstein has in mind. He remarks: 'Only in the stream of thought and life do words have meaning.'27
- Investigations, sec. 23.
- Investigations, sec. 373; compare Zettel, sec. 717.
- Investigations, p. 226e.
- Zettel, sec. 173. The thought is expressed many times in similar words.
And from an earlier chapter of Creegan:
The 'possibility of religion' manifested itself in considerable reading of religious works, and this in a person who chose his reading matter very carefully. Drury's recollections include conversations about Thomas à Kempis, Samuel Johnson's Prayers, Karl Barth, and, many times, the New Testament, which Wittgenstein had clearly read often and thought about.25 Wittgenstein had also thought about what it would mean to be a Christian. Some time during the 1930s, he remarked to Drury: 'There is a sense in which you and I are both Christians.'26 In this context it is certainly worth noting that he had for a time said the Lord's Prayer each day.27Wittgenstein's last words were: 'Tell them I've had a wonderful life!'28
- Drury (1981) 'Conversations with Wittgenstein,' in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections, pp. 112ff.
- Drury, 'Conversations,' p. 130.
- Drury, 'Some notes,' p. 109.
- Reported by Mrs. Bevan, the wife of the doctor in whose house Wittgenstein was staying. Malcolm, Memoir, p. 81.
For more on the Christmas evening
number of the beast, see Dec. 3:
"Santa's Polar Opposite?" --
"Did he who made the Lamb
Monday, December 24, 2007 9:00 AM
A Christmas Production:
Tagline:The drama. The passion. The intrigue... And the rehearsals haven't even started.
Plot Summary:Out of work actor Joe volunteers to help try and save his sister's local church for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet...
"... were it not that
I have bad dreams."
The New York Times online
obituaries of December 22,
"Bad Dreams" album
(see Log24, July 12, 2004),
"Devil Music," a composition
by H. S. M. Coxeter,
King of Infinite Space.
Those desiring more literary depth
may consult the G. K. Chesterton
play "Magic" for which Coxeter
wrote his "Devil Music" and
the Ingmar Bergman film
"The Magician" said to have
been inspired by Chesterton.
Sunday, December 23, 2007 9:00 AM
Saturday, December 22, 2007 8:00 AM
Saturday, December 22, 2007 7:59 AM
Mathematics and Narrative
A Story for Aaron
"It has been said that the unexamined life isn't worth living. Nachman wasn't against examining his life, but then what was a life? ....
Friday, December 21, 2007 1:00 PM
Mr. Holland's Week, continued:
Friday, December 21, 2007 9:29 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:00 AM
Man and His Cymbals
"Explosive, complex, full and dark. The first cymbal with VIBRATO. Nothing else comes close!
Serpent Cymbals enters the special effects cymbal market with a stunning new cymbal boasting a radical new sound and design. 'This cymbal sounds like a cross between a china cymbal, crash cymbal, gong and thunder sheet with a stick of dynamite tossed in for fun'...."
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:00 AM
The myth of the hero is the most common and the best known myth in the world... classical mythology... Greece and Rome... Middle Ages... Far East... contemporary primitive tribes. It also appears in dreams... obvious dramatic... profound... importance. P. 101
... structurally very similar... universal pattern... over and over again... a tale of... miraculous... humble birth... early proof of superhuman strength... rapid rise to prominence... triumphant struggle with the forces of evil... fallibility to the sin of pride (hybris)... and his fall through betrayal or a "heroic" sacrifice that ends in his death. P. 101
... another important characteristic... provides a clue... the early weakness... is balanced by... strong "tutelary" figures... who enable him to perform the superhuman tasks that he cannot accomplish unaided. Theseus had Poseidon... Perseus had Athena... Achilles had Cheiron... the wise centaur, as his tutor. P. 101
And Stan Carlisle had
Dr. Lilith Ritter:
Sunday, December 16, 2007 1:09 PM
conceive images as static is to forget that they are numens that
Charles Olson, a later poet in this tradition, said: 'One
must immediately and directly lead to a further perception... always,
always one perception must must must move instanter, on another.' 80
Remember Lavater and his insistence on instantaneity for reading the
facial image. This is a kind of movement that is not narrational,
the Imagists had no place for narrative. 'Indeed the great poems
come after the Imagist period-- Eliot’s The Waste Land and Four
Quartets; Pound’s Cantos; Williams’s Paterson--
contain no defining narrative.' 81 The
kind of movement Olson urges is an inward deepening of the image, an
in-sighting of the superimposed levels of significance within it. 82
This is the very mode that Jung suggested for grasping dreams-- not as
a sequence in time, but as revolving around a nodal complex. If
dreams, then why not the dreamers. We too are not only a sequence
time, a process of individuation. We are also each an image of
* Imagist Poetry (Peter Jones, ed.) London: Penguin, 1972
** The contrast between image simultaneity and narrative succession, and the different psychological effects of the two modes, is developed by Patricia Berry, "An Approach to the Dream," Spring 1974 (N. Y./Zürich: Spring Publ.), pp. 63, 68-71
'complex' and Pound's definition of Image and Lavater's 'whole heap of
images, thoughts, sensations, all at once' are all remarkably
Pound calls an Image, 'that which presents an intellectual and
emotional complex in an instant of time'... 'the Image is more than an
Idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed
energy'... 'a Vortex, from which and through which, and into which,
ideas are constantly rushing.' 79 Thus the movement,
the dynamics, are within the complex and not only between complexes,
as tensions of opposites told about in narrational sequences, stories
that require arbitrary syntactical connectives which are unnecessary
for reading an image where all is given at once."
"She was dazzled by light and shade, by the confusing duplication of reflections and of frames. All coming from too many directions for the mind to take account of. The various images bounced against each other until she felt a desperate vertigo...."If such complexity can be suggested by Hexagram 48, The Well, alone, consider the effect of the "cluster of fused ideas... endowed with energy" that is the entire 64-hexagram I Ching.
Friday, December 14, 2007 9:00 AM
That was why the Quality that Phaedrus had arrived at in the classroom had seemed so close to Plato’s Good. Plato’s Good was taken from the rhetoricians. Phaedrus searched, but could find no previous cosmologists who had talked about the Good. That was from the Sophists. The difference was that Plato’s Good was a fixed and eternal and unmoving Idea, whereas for the rhetoricians it was not an Idea at all. The Good was not a form of reality. It was reality itself, ever changing, ultimately unknowable in any kind of fixed, rigid way."
Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:09 AM
Mathematics and Narrative continued:
"... a spectacular seventh-century figure of the Hindu goddess Durga, whose hip-slung pose and voluptuous torso, as plush and taut as ripe fruit, combine the naturalism and idealism of the very finest Indian work." --The New York Times
"The Wu Li Masters know
that physicists are doing more than 'discovering the endless diversity
of nature.' They are dancing with Kali [or Durga],
the Divine Mother of Hindu mythology." --Gary Zukav, Harvard '64
"I think transformation becomes the main word in my life, transformation.
Because you don't want to just put a mirror in front of people and say, here, look at yourself. What do you see?
You want to have a skewed mirror. You want a mirror that says, you didn't know you could see the back of your head. You didn't know that you could... almost cubistic, see all aspects at the same time.
what that does for human beings is it allows them to step out of their
lives and to revisit it and maybe find something different about it." --Julie Taymor
The previous two entries and
readings for the Feast of
the Triumph of the Cross
in 2006 and in 2003.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:00 AM
On one occasion, Mr. Whitney took Mr. Solzhenitsyn to
-- Margalit Fox
Yesterday's entry on
Solzhenitsyn and The Golden Compass
and the following illustrations...
in the Park with Death,
a Log24 entry commemorating
--and from Log24 on the date
of Whitney's death,
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007--
Harry Stack Sullivan
The horses may refer to
the Phaedrus of Plato.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 8:00 AM
Annals of Alethiometry:
Friday, December 7, 2007 12:00 PM
New geometry page:Reflection Groups in Finite Geometry
Friday, December 7, 2007 6:20 AM
New geometry page:A Reflection Group of Order 168
Wednesday, December 5, 2007 6:19 PM
Harvard DeathZeph Stewart, 86, a classics professor and former Lowell House master at Harvard, died, according to today's online Crimson, on Saturday.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007 6:19 AM
Final Arrangements, continued:
Monday, December 3, 2007 9:00 AM
Santa's Polar Opposite?
Sunday, December 2, 2007 9:00 AM
Down to Earth:
"This is a remarkable synthesis of the best current thinking on ego psychology as well as a many-faceted picture of what Robert White would call 'lives in progress.' It makes on its own not only a highly innovative contribution to ego psychology but an equally original and impressive contribution to longitudinal research. A remarkable and many-faceted work."
-- The late George W.
of Harvard University
December 1, 2007
Boston Blotter: More on Harvard Student Found Dead
--John Edwards, the Harvard sophomore whose body was found yesterday at Harvard Medical School,* committed suicide. People who knew him, such as a professor and his roommate are mystified. Eva Wolchover lists Edwards' many accomplishments. He was a top science student (and that's saying something around here), a stem cell researcher, and a guitar player.
A Facebook group named "In
Memory of John Edwards" has already been established.
* Other reports say the body was found at about 11 PM
on Thursday, Nov. 29-- the presumed date of Edwards's death.
Edwards was said to have conducted stem cell research at Brigham and
Women's Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
Saturday, December 1, 2007 2:45 AM
Plato's Horses:Rhetoric, 1; Dialectic, 0.