Sunday, July 20, 2014


Aren't symbols amazing things? One can make an abstracted thing (a gesture, or a sound, or a mark) and indicate to a watching, listening, or reading soul at some remove what is going on in one's own soul! That other soul can perhaps then act on what they learn by these symbols! Another interesting feature of symbols is their sensitivity to context. When The Lord through Moses ordered the Passover meal in preparation for the Exodus, He had them write on their doors
the first letter of the word
which signifies “living”, from which was Eve's name; but to their neighbors the slaves of the gods of Egypt, this “life” was written in the blood of lambs, and looked like death. A “sign which shall be contradicted”, if you will.

So (I am told) some bloodthirsty folk in another end of the crescent have taken to abbreviating “Nazarene” on houses they suspect of holding devotees of ... you know. And sorrows follow, gloriosa in conspectu Domini...

We could outdo them in symbols, of course.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Irrationally contented in this vale of tears

I enjoyed one of my not-too-significant, probably-unimportant, nonetheless-delightful little mathy revelations a couple days ago, which followed on “remembering”, as Plato/Socrates would call it, that natural constructions tend to be functorial; and the result was
\[ \Sigma \varphi = \Sigma \vartheta \vee \vartheta\star\Omega\Sigma\vartheta \]... and now I must apologize, for mathematician is usually working at the top of a large wobbly stack of definitions and usually can't even see the one two or three layers down...
  • A Cateogory, as the mathematician intends it, has a collection of objects, and possibly a collection of relations between pairs of objects, and an operation of composing adjacent relations between three objects, and... stuff. For instance, you might have the family of human languages for objects, with translating dictionaries as relations between them. If you have a french-english dictionary and an english-italian dictionary, you might attempt to compose them into an experimental french-italian dictionary, and this might have suprising consequences!
  • Functors are the natural relations between categories that give you a “category of categories”; A functor connects objects of one category to objects of the other, as well as connecting relations between objects to relations between respective connected objects --- but because of the echoing clearly heard in “category of categories”, there are furthermore relations between functors with the same origin and same landing ...
  • A construction “being functorial” is an informal way of saying: we first thought of it in terms of the objects of some category, and then realized it related to the relations between the objects as well; more echoing... we like echoes.
And that's what happened through Friday; a construction I usually think of only in terms of objects (homotopical figures), I recognized anew was also realized on relations between them (continuous maps).

Anyways, these weird socratic-recollections congealed into something mathematically-writable after I joined an impromptu schola for to sing a Requiem Mass for Fr. Kenneth Walker — it seems he once attended school with some of my neighbors, before I or they moved in to town. It was a beautiful sorrow, and a beautiful evening, and a remarkably uncongested ride home with the choirmaster's wife as the full moon was rising.

All you out there, keep well; I hope to be back again next Sunday, too.

All honour to Mother Mary, and all Glory and Praise to God the Holy Trinity be; animae omnium fidelium defunctorum, misericordiae Domini, requiescant in pace.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Adventures II

For the Desk of J. Herriot, VD.

This one is all-narrative. Almost entirely unrelated, so far as I know, except for me.

On the way out from the grocery, I met (as you do) a little dog tied to one of those movable polished steel advert holders they keep near the door so that you're primed for the "deals" inside... a very loud but nonetheless friendly little dog. I said "hello" and smiled, and off I went.

I had almost got to my bike to tie up the prizes of the night and travois them home, when: CRASH! And after looking back to the door I'd just left, after some seconds incomprehension, it dawned upon us waiting for whatever that said little excitable dog had pulled over that advert frame, the automatic door had obligingly opened and let him out, and the little dog was either barking at or trying to run away from that scary loud heavy shiny thing that seemed to be holding him.

One of us tried to untie the leash and right the frame, while I apparently crouched down and tried to soothe the dog. Great job I did, he wriggled himself out of his harness and went on yapping! He wasn't in any mood to run far, though; wandering confused for a bit, he suffered himself to be picked up, and I was happy to return him to whoever claimed responsibility for the fellow. Said master was at least as glad to see him, and proceeded to tie him to a more-secure post of modest description (fixed to the pavement), quite outside the boxbuilding.

And we (presumably) all went safely home. But it occurs to me now I may have forgotten to return my shopping cart. Still, a happy ending!

one of the smaller creatures