Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"I agree that two times two makes four is an excellent thing; but if we are dispensing praise, then two times to makes five is sometimes a most charming little thing as well."
[Fyodor Dostoyevsky, tr. M. Ginsburg]
Click on the image to view at full size.
Monday, June 29, 2009
"I'll tell you a fairy tale," said Margarita, and put her hand on top of the boy's close-cropped head, "Once upon a time there was a lady. She had no children and no happiness either. At first she cried for a long time, but then she became wicked..." Margarita fell silent, and took her hand away--the boy was sleeping."
[Mikhail Bulgakov, tr. Burgin & O'Connor]
Click on image to view at full size.
"A light-emitting diode (LED)... is an electronic light source. The LED was first invented in Russia in the 1920s, and introduced in America as a practical electronic component in 1962. Oleg Vladimirovich Losev was a radio technician who noticed that diodes used in radio receivers emitted light when current was passed through them. In 1927, he published details in a Russian journal of the first ever LED...."
[wikipedia s.v. "LED"]
Click on image to view at full size.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
In digital computer graphics "metaballs" are n-dimensional implicit surfaces. Instead of a defined object such as a sphere or a cube or a cylinder, metaballs behave as fields which will react with other metaballs, positive and negative. Two positive metaballs, for example, display surfaces which attract one another as they get closer, eventually coalescing into one object. A negative metaball, on the other hand, though invisible, will be seen to repel and deform the surface of a positive metaball.
Many computer graphics programs now have metaball modeling, rendering, and animation. The metaballs are often called by different names. All metaballs begin as spheres, with the surface marked as a threshold value. By deforming the spheres and manipulating the values of the positive and negative metaballs interacting with one another, one can render a theoretically limitless number of shapes, including even the inside of a cube, a cylinder, or a flat surface. When the metaball collections are carefully planned and animated, many stiking new virtual events may be displayed.
A metaball disc, for example,will react with other metaballs of the same construction in interesting ways.
Another unusual trait of metaballs is that in those progams which allow texturing, the texturing of the various metaballs, both positive and negative, will react with the texturing of other metaballs with which they are in contact.
This allows effectively unlimited mixes and variations of textures even in those programs in which texture mixing is not otherwise possible.
By careful structuring of positive and negative metaball shapes and the mixing of textures, one opens new worlds of visual representation. Strictly speaking, what is visualized is a representation of mathematical events, though many of them seem to have analogues at the microscopic or submicroscopic level in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and biology.
The commonplace is to describe metaballs and metaball modeling as "organic", as if there were something more organic about implicit and interactive surfaces than there is about the defined surfaces of a cube or pyramid or sphere, which are considered geometric. There is no question that there is a seemingly organic aspect at the macroscopic level.
Another way to characterize metaball stuctures and behavior, however, is to see them as analogues of the fields posited, though never actually seen directly, with electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and even in relativistic physics and astronomy.
[copyright eac 07-09]
N.B: All of the above images are in Animated .GIF, the only animation file type universal to all browsers. Each is part of the series, "Cheerios", which was displayed at another site from 2007 onwards but which has now been taken down due to a change in software.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Zhdanov: You are overly fascinated by shadows, Comrade. And the beard, the beard--so much head-raising to show off the beard.
Eisenstein: I confess to the shadows. Is this an ideological failing, Comrade?
Zhdanov: No. It distracts from the action, that's all. Too much psychologism.
Eisenstein: I see. But the beard and the head-raising--do they have to go too, Comrade?
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Rather than a metaphysics, it was a physics of love....For the troubadours, love enters through the senses, "It wounds in two places, the ear and the eye."
[Octavio Paz tr. Phillips & Gardner]
N.B.: Another one of the Readymades, posted at another site some years ago.
Friday, June 19, 2009
MICHAEL ANGELO: All roads lead to Rome.
BENVENUTO: And all lead out of it.
MICHAEL ANGELO: There is a charm,
A certain something in the atmosphere,
That all men feel, and no man can describe.
[Henry Wadworth Longfellow]
N.B.: This is a slightly smaller version of a larger original that appeared several years ago at another site as part of the Readymade Series.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Symbols, as far as one knows, do not fill themselves with their own intentions.
To say with meaning, “Everything is in flux”, as Heraclitus did anciently, is to say, among other things, that one is in flux too, and that even the meaning imparted to the sentence, “Everything is in flux”, is—in flux. In that case, is not everything not in flux as well?
Prophet Of Humanitas
Among the chimpanzees there appeared a prophet, arrow-eyed and with Florentine fingers. He signed: “Brothers and sisters, Humanitas is written so”—then wrote the following character in the air forwards and backwards, so that the congregation could read it from both points of view, his and their own:
There were grunts of approval among the chimpanzees, many mimicking the character in the air, some signing the strokes forwards, some backwards, some backwards and forwards as if that were the complete form of the character. There was a long round of applause. The prophet of the chimpanzees then added—signing gingerly with mordant fingers—“But a caveat”. There was silence. “It only counts”, continued the prophet, “When you have the upper hand and the humanity you recognize is someone else’s.”
One illumination is becoming conscious of one’s own masks, including the mask of thinking oneself conscious.
Logic is not the application of logic, just as physics is not applied physics. Unless the rules of logic themselves are constantly in flux, then what is true about the future, as Aristotle saw, is that in the future the future will remain quite as conditional as it is in past or present. What this means put as simply as possible is that what was not going to happen the day after tomorrow yesterday is not going to happen tomorrow today.
As Kant saw, the prime duality in regard to the physical world is not what is and what is not, nor changing and unchanging, nor up and down, nor even here and there, but left and right.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"It is not true, though it it sometimes suggested, that epic theatre (which is not simply undramatic theatre, as is also sometimes suggested) proclaims the slogan: 'Reason this side, Emotion (feeling) that.' It by no means renounces emotion, least of all the sense of justice, the urge to freedom, and righteous anger; it is so far from renouncing these that it does not even assume their presence, but tries to arouse or reinforce them. The 'attitude of criticism' which it tries to waken in its audience cannot be passionate enough for it."
[Bertolt Brecht tr. J. Willett]