Sunday, May 20, 2018

Frontiers of Pachydermy

Quantum theory takes this subjectivity  to a strange extreme:
 There is no elephant,
 only blind men.
-- George Johnson, Fire in the Mind (1995), p. 140

For more about our bulky friends the elephants, click here!

       Here come the Elephants



That epigram, pried from its context, has a pleasingly Minimalist ring, rather like “Garfield minus Garfield”, though in our case  what is missing  is any elephant.

As for the sense in context:  The elephant represents a sought-for deterministic objective value for some quantized parameter (such as position, velocity, polarization).  The blind-men are the scientiss or their measuring-instruments.  To their dismay, they discover that no such value exists:  the elephant is absent.

The Beasts: a post-Benthamite assessment

[The Sage of Houndsditch, updated]

The question about animals is not, “Can they reason?”,
but  Can they handle algebraic geometry?”

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Hilbertian take on the riddle of Agency

“Who put the bomp in the bomp ba-bomp ba-bomp?
Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?”

Wir müssen wissen!  Wir werden wissen!!

The Bright Side of the Trump Administration

“Ein Festspiel für die Götter”

(Extracts from the ringside comments of the gods:  )

Then Ares, ‘neath his brow of wrath,
strikes in:  “Such heap of savory meat
as on the field of fight  shall fall
shall glut my hunger  utterly.”

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Wit’s Soul: Brevity

Die Kürze des Witzes wäre also  wie die des Traumes,  eine notwendige Begleiterscheinung  der  in beiden vorkommenden  Verdichtungen.
-- Dr. S. Freud, Der Witz und seine Beziehung zm Unbewussten (1905 ff)

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Puzzler

As you ponder your personal relation to Appearance and Reality,
ask yourself  this simple yet probing question:

Am I in a German  book ??”

Saturday, April 28, 2018


(Saturday morning,  late-lying abed,
 head full of cobwebs…)

Logy  like a   pot of  honey
slowly  seek  release

from        layer upon   layer
of  dream-drenched   sleep …

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Women & Wisps

who, when
she danced,

left a stab of perfume    in the air,

like a white azalea

-- Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca  (1938)


the smoke of her cigarette   whirling back over her shoulder
like a sweet-smelling  scarf    in the wind

-- William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley (1946)