Sunday, September 30, 2007

ordinary 26

"Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
like David, they devise their own accompaniment."
From the first reading (Amos)

Friday, September 28, 2007

on the continued decay of the sciences

Mere days after the fall of calculus, it appears that Evolution may be on the ropes, though at least this occurred 40 years ago and not 400. There was a great mathematician, Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, whose main contributions were to the fields of combinatorics and formal language theory; he is credited with the codification of grammars, along with Chomsky, which is called the Chomsky-Schützenberger Heirarchy. While this is very interesting, and how I stumbled upon him, it is his rather staunch attacks on current neo-Darwinism that were most interesting. Apparently he proved that the current notions of evolution, e.g. that held by the smug Dawkins, is a mathematical impossibility that has been foisted up with laughable sophistry. Seeing as his specialty is combinatorics it seems highly likely that his mathematical abilities are far greater than Dawkins, who I find lacking even in the area of biology at times. And yet again I'm left to wonder why academia sees fit to not mention the fact that evolution, as it is currently formulated, is false.

Here is a very interesting interview with Schützenberger before his death in 1996, in which he states:

"Speaking ironically, I might say that all we can hear at the present time is the great anthropic hymnal, with even a number of mathematically sophisticated scholars keeping time as the great hymn is intoned by tapping their feet. The rest of us should, of course, practice a certain suspension of judgment."

Also one of the oddest obituary I've read, all the math makes it seem so strange: here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

on the gleeful demise of the calculus

(from a history of adding machines)

Is Calculus broken? If so, how long have we known? This was how I arrived at Berkeley's argument against Newton and his dubious Calculus, to be honest I've always been suspicious. Data Mining->Decision Trees->Neural Networks->Bayesian Networks->Thomas Bayes->Bayes Argument in Defense of Newton->George Berkeley->Berkeley's The Analyst. It was a long and winding road. Why haven't I ever heard of this after years of Calculus? Did the Ivory Tower not see fit to tell me that a very influential philosopher wrote and entire work against Calculus?

"A Point may be the limit of a Line: A Line may be the limit of a Surface: A Moment may terminate Time. But how can we conceive a Velocity by the help of such Limits? It necessarily implies both Time and Space, and cannot be conceived without them."

Yeah! ...... Anyways, what follows is funny:

Nationality: Irish

Group Alliances:
"Brutal" British Empiricists
"Infamous" Idealists
Catholic Church

AKA: Shark-ley Berkeley
No Holds Barred-keley
Da Bishop
George "You're Berking Up the Wrong Tree" Berkeley

Powers: God on his side (not a unique power among Moderns), ninja stealth skills

Weaknesses: eye-closing defense is vulnerable to Samuel Johnson's™ Rock-Kicking® attack.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"everything dies, baby that's a fact"

I've developed a belief, though somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that everything should be destroyed. This most likely stems from my delight in the Buddha's fire sermon. However there's always hope, one man can save a nation, I try to keep the sotierology christological. For instance Sweden is saved by Ingmar Bergman, China by Wong Kar Wai, and as for Finland....can Christ even help them?

So I come to the real topic at hand, why my current desolate surroundings aren't burning; for which I have The Boss himself to thank, for his grand album: Nebraska. Here's a video for the fantastic Atlantic City:

"but maybe everything that dies someday comes back"

The title track which recounts Starkweather's murder rampage ends with the haunting lines:
"They want to know why I did what I did.
Sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

O.T. 25

"Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;"
from the first reading (Amos)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams"

Umberto Eco eating Airline Food, Frank Stockton

Those not acquainted with Mr. Eco should become acquainted. I stumbled, somehow, on his very interesting analysis of Microsoft vs. Mac, which he concludes that Mac is Catholic and DOS protestant. Never have I liked Mac, but now I find myself oddly wanting to have one...

In 1995 he and Cardinal Martini held a little back an forth in the local Italian newspaper, Eco the side of the non-believer (though lapsed Catholic in the vein of Joyce) and Martini as the believer. It has since been translated, and is a very interesting and mutually respectful dialogue. Eco makes many grand points about how religion shows the humanist nature of mankind, and that secular humanist morality is developed not from a sense of the absolute, which is where Catholicism draws it, but rather from the recognition of the other (which I would argue is the same thing, for what in the other is it that deems that they have worth, to which I would answer the spark of divinity within). If more secular humanist were as erudite and respectful as Eco perhaps we would come to see that , dare I say, we (Catholics) have more in common with the Eco-type secularist than we do the evangelical Christians... You can read parts of the book online via the goodness of Google, here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

St. Matthew feasts atoningly

Yom Kippur, Maurycy Gottlieb

This day is rumbling:
It's my namesake's feast, and the High Holiday's are in full swing with the advent of Yom Kippur.
So bust out your Shofar and start atoning......

Matthew and the Angel, Simone Cantarini da Pesaro

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

mallarméan love revisted

"must sleep now, must forget the blasphemy and blame,
spread on thirsty sands; and as I love to do
open my mouth to the wines potent star!
Both of you, farewell; I'm going to see the shadow you become"

l'apres-midi d'un faune

My love for Mallarmé knows no bounds. Not so unlike today, the late nineteenth century literary establishment was very fearful of what they could not clearly "understand", and so when being attacked by the established critics of his day, even Proust apparently slide him some barbs, he replied "My one response to aggression is to retort that some contemporaries don't know how to read---except newspapers, that is."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday 24 Ordinary

The Prodigal Son, John Collier

"He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
from the gospel (Luke)

An Angel Approaches God, John Collier

Saturday, September 15, 2007

alphabeautiful mathemagical

I had never heard of the Phantom Tollbooth until rather recently, so I proceeded to get a copy and am enjoying it very much. Here's a very nice bit from the first half of the book:

"We're not interested in making sense; it's not our job ," scolded the first.
"Besides," explained the second, "one word is as good as another--so why not use them all?"
"Then you don't have to choose which one is right," advised the third.
"Besides," said the fourth," if one is right then ten are ten times as right."
"for as long as they mean what they mean to mean we don't care if they make sense or nonsense."

It has been adapted into a stage musical by the author, for example here. Also it has been adapted into a film by the man who made the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and here is a rather cool poster from when it was in theaters, hopefully I'll be able to find a copy somewhere:

Friday, September 14, 2007

motu proprio proper

Today is the day the Motu Proprio takes effect.
Long Live The Dead Language!
Put on a favorite lacy veil and Ave Maria until your fingertips bleed. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is my timing that flawed?

I have been listening to Susanna and The Magical Orchestra lately, whose album is all covers. One of the best on it is Love Will Tear Us Apart, originally by The Joy Division in 1980.

Original Joy Division Video

Susanna and The Magical Orchestra Version:

also apropos to this song is this picture from a subway in NY.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

23-15:::pale blue dust

Very cool Carl Sagan Video

"Who can know God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.
For the corruptible body burdens the soul
and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?"
from the first reading(Wisdom)

"our planet is a lonely speck in the cosmic dark...."
--Carl Sagan(from the above clip)


Also, Happy Birthday Father!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nativity of the Theotokos

Nativity of Mary, Sr. Thérèse Michel

Here is a link to a little commentary on both the feast and the above art. In this article they quote Cardinal Suenens, who explained the feast as follows:

"The Feast of the Nativity of Mary has 2 aspects:
- the first shows us Heaven's view: it enables us to enter into God's plan for the salvation of the world;
- the second shows what happens on earth: it has the freshness of dawn and of a first morning. [beginning of salvation]"

Friday, September 07, 2007

delightful light

The following are photo illustrations by Autumn Whitehurst.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

commies invading toilets

At work this is the poster that decorates our lovely bathroom. I find it rather funny.

Monday, September 03, 2007

i see a darkness

The very strange and wonderful work of Natalie Shau:

Released Time

dreaming girl

Love is Blind

Sunday, September 02, 2007


"Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins."
from the first reading (Sirach)

"You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them."
from the second reading (Hebrews)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Even Computers Pray

Interesting tidbit: the largest supercomputer in Europe is housed in an old chapel in Spain. Perhaps it is being used to try and discover G-d's name :)

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