[NetBehaviour] symmetry - science, art and nature
neil at furtherfield.org
Sat Apr 21 15:45:47 CEST 2007
God symmetry wasn't discussed, although the subject of religion came up
when they talked about the Alhambra, saying that as pictures of animals
or anything with a soul were not allowed to be depicted, they used
geometric symmetry to express the infinite complexity of god
I found some interesting historical references lookin at quadratic
equations in wikipedia [
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadratic_equation ] which noted Turkish
and Indian mathematicians solving these equations, notable Brahmagupta
in the 7th century, who first discovered the negative solutions (ie the
square root of 4 is 2 or it's symmetric -2) he also popularised the
concept of the number 0
In terms of art, the discussion also raised the issue of artists and
their use of symmetry and also disrupting it. poetry has always had an
innate symmetry to me in phrasing and rhythm -
"Traditional meaning of symmetry
The meaning of this term went through a fabulous transformation during
its use for dozens of centuries. The proper translation of the Greek
term symmetria – (from the prefix syn [common] and the noun metros
[measure]) – is 'common measure'. The Greeks interpreted this word, as
the harmony of the different parts of an object, the good proportions
between its constituent parts. Later this meaning was transferred to
e.g., the rhythm of poems, of music, the cosmos ('well-ordered system
of the universe as contrast of chaos'). Therefore the Latin and the
modern European languages used its translations like harmony,
proportion until the Renaissance. In wider sense, balance, equilibrium
belonged also to this family of synonyms. Some way symmetry was always
related to beauty, truth and good. (These relative meanings determined
its application in the arts, the sciences, and the ethics,
respectively.) Symmetry was not only related to such positive values,
it became even a symbol of seeking for perfection."
[ http://symmetry.hu/definition.html ]
This program came at a perfect moment for me as i was re-working the
maths i'd used in the spirograp[h]d interface for Pall Thayer's PANSE [
http://220.127.116.11/panse/gallery.php ] - the complex set of sliders
aren't that easy to see in terms of a physical spirograph set and i
wanted to work out how to create the patterns by choosing outer ring
size, disc size and pen position - alot simpler to conceptualise.
last night i listened to the program again, and inadvertantly left a
Philip Glass track [ In The Upper Room: Dance IX ] playing, the
resulting mix was pure serendepity
On 21 Apr 2007, at 11:06, @-_q @@ wrote:
> neil, thanks a lot...
> years ago, i wrote a short storie, sinister,
> in spanish siniestra
> which can be the name of a woman, a property of a sort of darkness, or
> it can refer to left sides too...
> that woman had a problem, a progresive sickness... her left side was
> melting down, sort of melting down...
> the idea shocked me so much that i made a drawing of a nude women sat
> on a elegant armchair with her right side like a beautiful woman and
> with her left side like a mess mass hunged at her right side of the
> this was funny, but there is more...
> i've already share with you that i suffer dislexy, even typing, not
> only writing... i change b and p
> i'm really interested on the differences between our 2 cerebral
> marchall mc luhan worked with it, and each hemisphere have a property.
> but the funny thing is that the capacity of language or motion or
> making music is not placed simetric in our brain... or i have not the
> right information...
> did the speakers talk about god or a similar entity?
> did they lucubrate about god symmetry?
> as far as i've read (the 3 books and other religious text), god is not
> worry about symetry, but he "created" a symmetric nature.
> as far as i remember, no kabala writer wrote about the symmetric
> event... sufi poetry or bagavad ghita...
> ... may be sacred music (christian, jew, sufi or hinduist...)
> did gilles deleuze talked about symmetrics in the rizoma?
> i did not find it.
> i think we have french members in NetB that can know about it.
> i mean, there may be members in NetB who know more about what i've
> commented... if i'm wrong in any hypothesis, please, tell me, even if
> i talk from the wrong point of view... the wrong place to watch at it.
> in my creative work, i always break symmetry because i feel my brain
> when it stands in front of asymmetries: i feel physically how it works
> one of the things i'm doing is working at the input of sound: i record
> my voice from left speaker to right speaker and so on, and that makes
> a sort of brain massage... try it...
> what my brain feels in front of symmetries is... relief !
> and, for instances, drawing symmetric mandalas smooth me down
> isn't it funny?
> neil jenkins escribió:
>> tricky to transpose, but here goes..
>> early neolithic sculptures in regular forms, cognitive recognition of
>> symmmetric forms (by animals/humans and artists), cuniform,
>> babylonian maths and greek geometry, methods for solving (and working
>> out) quadratic and cubic equations (respectively) - (method and conic
>> sections), algebra in place of derived solution tables, mathematical
>> transformations and group theory (*no transformation is part of the
>> subset of symmetrical transformations, or 'operations' - nothing is
>> something.. ), the alhambra, bell ringing, the lack of a solution for
>> quintic equations and 'atoms' of symmetry - shapes divided by shapes,
>> indivisible symmetries
>> phew.. i won't start on the last 20 minutes and misquote einstein :)
>> On 19 Apr 2007, at 23:22, @-_q @@ wrote:
>>> neil, if you go,
>>> could you write just a little bit of what you heard there?
>>> neil jenkins escribió:
>>>> Today we will be discussing symmetry, from the most perfect forms
>>>> in nature, like the snowflake and the butterfly, to our perceptions
>>>> of beauty in the human face. There's symmetry too in most of the
>>>> laws that govern our physical world.
>>>> The Greek philosopher Aristotle described symmetry as one of the
>>>> greatest forms of beauty to be found in the mathematical sciences,
>>>> while the French poet Paul Valery went further, declaring; “The
>>>> universe is built on a plan, the profound symmetry of which is
>>>> somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect”.
>>>> The story of symmetry tracks an extraordinary shift from its role
>>>> as an aesthetic model - found in the tiles in the Alhambra and
>>>> Bach's compositions - to becoming a key tool to understanding how
>>>> the physical world works. It provides a major breakthrough in
>>>> mathematics with the development of group theory in the 19th
>>>> century. And it is the unexpected breakdown of symmetry at
>>>> sub-atomic level that is so tantalising for contemporary quantum
>>>> So why is symmetry so prevalent and appealing in both art and
>>>> nature? How does symmetry enable us to grapple with monstrous
>>>> numbers? And how might symmetry contribute to the elusive Theory of
>>>> Fay Dowker, Reader in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College,
>>>> Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of
>>>> Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick
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