A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics-1/17 Quanta Magazine, By Natalie Walchover; Physicists have discovered a jewel-shaped geometric object that challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental constituents of nature.
Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. “This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work. The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like “amplituhedron,” which yields an equivalent one-term expression.
“The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling,” said Jacob Bourjaily, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University and one of the researchers who developed the new idea. “You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before.”
The new geometric version of quantum field theory could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity.
“Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.”
Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time. And unitarity holds that the probabilities of all possible outcomes of a quantum mechanical interaction must add up to one. The concepts are the central pillars of quantum field theory in its original form, but in certain situations involving gravity, both break down, suggesting neither is a fundamental aspect of nature.
In keeping with this idea, the new geometric approach to particle interactions removes locality and unitarity from its starting assumptions. The amplituhedron is not built out of space-time and probabilities; these properties merely arise as consequences of the jewel’s geometry. The usual picture of space and time, and particles moving around in them, is a construct.
“It’s a better formulation that makes you think about everything in a completely different way,” said David Skinner, a theoretical physicist at Cambridge University. The amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity. But Arkani-Hamed and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does. Its properties would make it clear why particles appear to exist, and why they appear to move in three dimensions of space and to change over time.
Because “we know that ultimately, we need to find a theory that doesn’t have” unitarity and locality, Bourjaily said, “it’s a starting point to ultimately describing a quantum theory of gravity.” ...
Did you know this existed? This is amazing! Believe it or not, there is music in Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mantle! How is that? This is the incredible discovery of a mathematical accountant. “The Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos gives me the mission of studying the image by applying the only science that had not been done before in image studies, Mathematics,” Mexico resident and mathematical accountant Fernando Ojeda said. Previous studies, already astonishing “Previous studies made to the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, I reasoned the following: if the stars of the mantle are the constellations of the sky at the time of its impregnation, the dress represents proportionally the main hills and volcanoes of the orography of Mexico, if the whole image keeps the golden ratio, then it has perfect symmetry, therefore it has music,” Fernando Ojeda said.
“[The mathematician] Pythagoras pointed out that where there is perfect symmetry there is music.” “As their positions were different” he continues, “I considered that each star, according to its position, and each flower center, according to its position, was a certain musical note “. He placed the image inside the drawing of a golden rectangle. A music expert then superimposed the drawing of a piano and documented the notes expressed by each point of the flowers and stars. ...
Here’s the music from Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mantle:
Here’s symphonic piece inspired by Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mantle:
Gandhara Scroll-12/13Library of Congress, Summary: "The ancient kingdom of Gandhara (today's Afghanistan and Pakistan) is the source of the oldest Buddhist manuscripts in the world, as well as the oldest manuscripts from South Asia in existence. Acquired in 2003, the Library's Gandhara scroll roughly dates between the first century BCE and first century CE. Its language is Gandhari, a derivative of Sanskrit, and the script is called Kharoshthi. Scholars have informally called this scroll the Bahubuddha Sutra, or 'The Many Buddhas Sutra,' because it resembles a text with a similar name in Sanskrit. The scroll discusses the lives of fifteen buddhas. The text is narrated by Shakyamuni Buddha who gives very short biographies of thirteen buddhas who came before him, followed by his birth and emergence as Shakyamuni Buddha, and ending with the prediction of the future buddha, Maitreya. The biographies contain other information, such as how long each buddha lived, how each predicted the eventual appearance of Shakyamuni Buddha, what social class the buddha was born into, and how long his teachings endured"-- Provided by Library of Congress Asian Division staff.
Contains information on the parallel lives of fifteen buddhas: Di¯pan?kara, Sarva¯bhibhu¯, Padmottara, Atyuccaga¯min, Yas´ottara, S´a¯kyamuni [I], Tis?ya, Vipas´yin, S´ikhin, Vis´vabhu¯, Krakucchanda, Kona¯kamuni, Ka¯s´yapa, S´a¯kyamuni [II] (also known as Siddhartha Gautama), and Maitreya. The scroll gives the buddhas' predictions of S´a¯kyamuni's future coming as the Buddha; his four courses of training under the other buddhas; their lifespans; eons in which they lived; social class into which they were born; their assemblies of disciples; and duration of their teachings. ...
Thinking Outside the ‘Pico Box’-12/13 New York Review, by Anthony Grafton -- A new book cuts through generations of misguided commentary on the most famous speech of the Renaissance.
Learned men in the Renaissance loved oratory as deeply as politicians did in the nineteenth century, and they practiced it with skill and dedication. They wrote speeches to open church councils, to advertise university courses, and to praise everything from ancient disciplines they hoped to revive to great teachers who had just died. Working from scraps of evidence, they composed the lost speeches of historical figures, such as the emperor Heliogabalus’s oration to the prostitutes of Rome. They wrote satirical eulogies of flies and dogs, gout and debt, beer and drunkenness. In the most famous of these, The Praise of Folly, Erasmus brought a personified Folly onstage to praise herself, as she explained why human society could not exist without the illusions she spread. Sometimes, they had the chance to present their creations to an audience: Lorenzo Valla, for example, recited his oration in praise of Thomas Aquinas on the saint’s feast day, at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, one of the churches of the great philosopher’s Dominican order. It was not well received, perhaps because Valla made no secret of his view that the Fathers of the Church were more eloquent and useful than scholastics like Aquinas.
But the most famous speech of the Renaissance, the one that thousands of modern students read every year, was never recited, and the debate that it was intended to open never took place. In 1486 a young philosopher named Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), famed for his memory, his polyglot learning, and his daring, decided to hold a public disputation in Rome. Participants would argue about nine hundred theses that Pico had crafted, derived from dozens of authors in as many disciplines. Before the games began, he planned to deliver a long speech that would lay out his intellectual program. ...
Watch These Westerns Before Wokeness Cancels Them-1/7 Reverse Spins, by William House. I once read an article maybe 20 years ago about Russian Jews escaping the Bolsheviks in the early 1900's. Some of them settled in New Jersey. They got into the film making business where it was already thriving thanks to the likes of Thomas Edison and others. As a reaction to communism that they witnessed first hand, they focused on what they considered was good and noble in their new country. They chose to make Westerns. This medium could best express those ideals.
The way things are going, it is only a matter of time before Wokeness and the Cancel Culture targets Westerns.
Here then are the Westerns you should watch before Netflix, TNT and Amazon Prime make them disappear: ... More
Swami Vivekananda on the platform of the Parliament of Religions September 1893. On the platform (left to right) Virchand Gandhi, Anagarika Dharmapala, Swami Vivekananda, G. Bonet Maury and Nikola Tesla.
World Parliament of Religions (893)1/18 B.U. edu
The 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, held on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago, was the largest and most spectacular event among many other congresses in the World’s Columbian Exposition. The Exposition itself was a large trade fair that was to celebrate the quadricentennial of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The organizing process of the Parliament began after Charles Carroll Bonney, a layman in the Swedenborgian church and the president of the World's Congress Auxiliary, appointed John Henry Barrows to administer the General Committee on the Congress of Religion, which eventually was called the World's Parliament of Religions. Under Barrows' leadership, the Parliament was expected to be “the most important, commanding, and influential, as surely it will be the most phenomenal fact of the Columbian Exposition” (in Ziolkowski 1993, 5). The committee consisted of sixteen persons from different religious backgrounds. Although most of them were from Christian mainline denominations, we could find distinguished names such as E.G. Hirsch (Jewish rabbi from New York), Jenkin Llyod-Jones (Unitarian), and P.A. Feehan (Catholic bishop).
In June 1891, more than three thousand copies of the Preliminary Address was sent out to the world, informing the plan of the 1893 Parliament and inviting religious leaders from all over the world to attend to it. The responses were varied and well documented in Barrows' two-volume report books (1893a, 18-61). The enthusiastic responses came from those like Max Müller, a champion in the field of comparative studies of religion. Although he deeply regretted failing to attend the Parliament, he expressed his hope that the Parliament would increase interest in the studies of religions. He also said that the Parliament “stands unique, stands unprecedented in the whole history of the world” (in Seager 1993, 154). Some other positive responses demonstrated particular interests, for instance, to show the supremacy of one religion over others or to clarify misconceptions about their religious traditions (Braybrooke 1980, 2). ...
In 1893, the city of Chicago hosted the World Columbian Exposition, an early world's fair. So many people were coming to Chicago from all over the world that many smaller conferences, called Congresses and Parliaments, were scheduled to take advantage of this unprecedented gathering. One of these was the World's Parliament of Religions, an initiative of the Swedenborgian layman (and judge) Charles Carroll Bonney. The Parliament of Religions was by far the largest of the congresses held in conjunction with the Exposition. John Henry Barrows, a clergyman, was appointed as the first chairman of the General Committee of the 1893 Parliament by Charles Bonney.
The Parliament of Religions opened on 11 September 1893 at the World's Congress Auxiliary Building which is now The Art Institute of Chicago, and ran from 11 to 27 September, making it the first organized interfaith gathering. Today it is recognized as the occasion of the birth of formal interreligious dialogue worldwide, with representatives of a wide variety of religions and new religious movements, including:
• The Jain preacher Virchand Gandhi was invited as a representative of Jainism. Virchand talked about the doctrines of Jainism- code of conduct, way of life and cosmology in such an eloquent and coherent manner that Buffalo Courier, an American newspaper reported, "of all Eastern scholars, it was this youth whose lectures on Jain Faith and Conduct was listened to with the greatest interest and attention."
• The Buddhist preacher Anagarika Dharmapala was invited as a representative of "Southern Buddhism", the term applied at that time to the Theravada.
• Soyen Shaku, the "First American Ancestor" of Zen, made the trip.
• An essay by the Japanese Pure Land master Kiyozawa Manshi, "Skeleton of the philosophy of religion" was read in his absence.
• Swami Vivekananda, an Indian monk, represented Hinduism as a delegate, introducing Hinduism at the opening session of the Parliament on 11 September. Though initially nervous, he bowed to Saraswati, then began his speech with salutation, "Sisters and brothers of America!". To these words he got a standing ovation from a crowd of thousands, which lasted for two minutes. When silence was restored he began his address. He greeted the youngest of the nations on behalf of "the most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance!"
• Christianity was represented by G. Bonet Maury who was a Protestant historian invited by Swami Vivekananda
• Septimus J. Hanna read an address written by the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.
• Islam was represented by Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb, an Anglo-American convert to Islam and the former US ambassador to the Philippines.
• Rev. Henry Jessup addressing the World Parliament of Religions was the first to publicly discuss the Bahá'í Faith in the United States (it had previously been known in Europe). Since then Bahá'ís have become active participants.
• Theism or the Brahmo Samaj was represented by Pratap Chandra Majumdar.
• The Theosophical Society was represented by the Vice-President of the society, William Quan Judge and by activist Annie Besant.
• Other New religious movements of the time, such as Spiritualism, were also represented.
On How to Live-12/13 City Journal, Ancient philosophy is a guide to a meaningful existence. Elayne Allen December 11, 2020 Arts and CultureThe Social Order Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living, by Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn (University of Notre Dame Press, 482 pp., $39)
Public spaces are cluttered with sloganeering from political causes; ads for luxurious products attempt to seduce us; self-help and soft spiritualties like neo-astrology and therapeutic versions of Christianity supply superficial comfort. This cacophony pulsates across the Internet, a flood of content that can overwhelm the capacity for coherent thought. Meantime, higher education provides little guidance to escape what many see as a growing crisis of meaning. At the same time, public conversation bursts with advice. We’re inundated with suggestions about how to enhance life with the latest tech products; how to curate an online image; how to pin down the perfect exercise routine and clean diet; how to be politically literate; and so on. Still, amid the competing guides on how to live, there’s little reflection on why we live. In her new book, Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living, historian Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn offers a clear-eyed diagnosis of what she considers today’s culture of therapy. “We live in an era of the aphorism and the several-step program promising to fix everything imaginable,” she writes. But without a deeper vision of what life is about, we are subject to a tyranny of selfhood. Lasch-Quinn explains, “With no vision of the good, we are lost and bereft. All our projects become self-serving.” ...
Among the ancient movements Lasch-Quinn surveys, Platonism, she believes, has remained the most relevant. Its core tenet is that goodness is a reality both immanent and transcendent. It sees the world as flawed but essentially good and locates the sacred both within and outside ordinary existence. For the Platonist, signs of divine presence can be found in “worldly” phenomena. For example, when encountering human genius, Lasch-Quinn writes, “we are paralyzed, suspended in the moment, as when we encounter one of the earth’s great wonders. It is the human person at his or her best, humankind operating an ethereal realm of staggering mystery.” Such striking phenomena, according to Lasch-Quinn, facilitate “entrance into a world of our experience and ability that seems to defy reality, the limits of everyday life.”
In endorsing Platonism, Lasch-Quinn suggests an idea about life at once hopeful and arresting. Art and life, in their ideal forms, are images of one another, she maintains. At its greatest, art “becomes a world, an existence, a presence, almost a living being.” Artistic masterpieces “are capacious enough to contain the full range of possible approaches to our quandaries, our archipelago of sensibilities, and put them into conversation with one another.” They “lead us into the world of others” yet also help us to “develop a life-saving inwardness.” And human life can itself be a kind of artistic endeavor. In cultivating a rich, contemplative inner life and forging relationships built on love, Lasch-Quinn believes, our lives can reflect a silent beauty characteristic of great art.
But an idea counter to Platonic thought has taken hold of our imaginations: that the quest for power and unquenchable self-seeking are the world’s primary operating forces. All that appears good and innocent, in this view, is a mere mask for domination. If this is true, Lasch-Quinn notes, then accumulating comforts might be the best that we can do. What’s missing is a sense of wholeness, an organizing idea like Platonism that accounts for the fullness, complexity, and broken beauty of reality. Instead, everything becomes a matter of restless self-seeking. ...
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The Founding Economists: Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin-12/25 The Lehrman Institute,
The Secretaries and their Critics
Alexander Hamilton’s image has long appeared on the $10 bill. Albert Gallatin’s image appeared on briefly on the $500 bill during the Civil War before quickly disappearing from America’s currency. Although his 13-year stint as secretary of the Treasury was the longest in the nation’s history, Gallatin generally has disappeared from public view as well. (Editor's note: Not in Montana. Here we have the Gallatin Range and the Gallatin River both coming out of Yellowstone.) Gallatin doesn’t generate much historical notice – even from biographers of his rival Hamilton. In recounting Gallatin’s role in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, distinguished historian Ron Chernow dismissed Gallatin: “A tall, skinny man with a narrow face and hooked nose, Gallatin was a notoriously slovenly character.”1
Gallatin was worse abused by Abigail Adams who described him as “that specious, subtle, spare Cassius, that imported foreigner.”2 If the second First Lady had her way, Gallatin would have been deported under the Alien and Sedition Acts – which some thought had been designed specially to get rid of the troublesome Swiss-American. As for Hamilton, Abigail complained “that man would become a second Bonaparty if he was possessed of equal power!"3 She wrote her husband in late 1796: “I have often said to you, H. is a man ambitious as Julius Caesar. A subtle intriguer, his abilities would make him dangerous if he was to espouse a wrong side. His thirst for fame is insatiable. I have ever kept my Eye upon him.”4 After news of Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds became public in 1797, Abigail wrote her husband: “Oh, I have read his heart in his wicked eyes. The very devil is in them. They are lasciviousness itself.”5
Alexander Hamilton was indeed ambitious. Albert Gallatin professed not to be. “Ambition, love of power, I never felt it,” Gallatin wrote to his wife. Hamilton was born to military command. Gallatin shied from it. Gallatin said of the brief experience he had leading some militia in the American Revolution: “As I never met the enemy, I have not the slightest claim to military service.”6 In 1781, Hamilton personally led the charge on British defenses at Yorktown that effectively ended the Revolutionary War. Hamilton’s experience in the Revolution with militia was more extensive and less favorable; he developed a lifelong prejudice in favor of a standing army.
John Adams, never a Hamilton fan, called him the “bastard brat of a Scots peddler.” On another occasion, President Adams said: “I remember the young bastard when he entered the army.”7 Even after Hamilton’s death, Adams wrote: “Although I read with tranquility and suffered to pass without animadversion in silent contempt the base insinuations of vanity and a hundred lies besides published in a pamphlet against me by an insolent coxcomb who rarely dined in good company, where there was good wine, without getting silly and vaporing about his administration like a young girl about her brilliants and trinkets, yet I lose all patience when I think of a bastard brat of a Scottish pedlar daring to threaten to undeceive the world in their judgment of Washington by writing an history of his battles and campaigns. This creature was in a delirium of ambition; he had been blown up with vanity by the tories, had fixed his eyes on the highest station in American, and he hated every man, young or old, who stood in his way or could in any manner eclipse his laurels or rival his pretensions.”8 ...
Merlin, Mystic Master of Warrior Princes, and the Lost Art of Mentorship-12/13 Joseph Campbell foundation, BY JOHN BUCHER, Geoffrey of Monmouth penned a story in The Life of Merlin (Vita Merlini) that was of interest to Joseph Campbell as he explored the mysteries and motifs in Arthurian tales and the Grail Legend. He writes that Geoffrey’s work is modeled on the concept of the Druid priest, but with certain specific characters of Arthur’s time involved. Campbell writes in Romance of the Grail, “Just as the brahmin in the Hindu caste system is priest-magician to the ksatriya, or warrior, so, too, is Merlin the magician and mystic master of the warrior princes.” (132) Merlin’s story begins similarly to that of many other mystics with a virgin birth. Merlin’s mother was said to have conceived him of a devil, so he had no earthly father. Perhaps, most interestingly, Merlin had the ability to appear as either a boy or a wise old man. Certainly, either appearance had its advantages and particular uses. As a boy, Merlin could gain the upper hand against those who underestimated his astonishingly mature abilities. As an old man, he could surprise those that assumed his feebleness. His chosen form mirrored the necessities of the situation. Throughout the story, Merlin constructs and crafts realities meant to attain a certain end. He arranges Arthur’s conception and birth and builds the framework on which the entire sword and the stone episode, as well as the Grail quest, hangs. However, despite the significance of these acts, he is remembered most significantly as the Mystic Master of Warrior Princes — in the parlance of our time, a mentor.
Albert Gallatin had in his personal library
"The Key to the Hermetic Sanctum.'
From the Founding Fathers to Fulcanelli: Revelations from a French-American Alchemical Manuscript-12/25 Rubedo Press, The Key to the Hermetic Sanctum (La Clef du Cabinet Hermétique) presents the first English translation of an extremely rare French alchemical manuscript that recently surfaced in the New York Public Library’s Archives and Manuscripts Division. The history of the manuscript ties it directly to the Gallatin family, with intriguing links to the mysterious Parisian alchemist, Fulcanelli. COMPOSED in Middle French and preserved in an eighteenth-century manuscript, The Key to the Hermetic Sanctum presents itself with a singular purpose: to unlock the symbolic philosophy of the Emerald Tablet in order to provide the foundations of alchemical practice. Previously unknown apart from some captivating citations from a Parisian alchemist named Fulcanelli, this mysterious work recently surfaced among the manuscripts of the Gallatins, a family of Swiss provenance who rose to prominence among the founding fathers of the United States of America. Specifically, the manuscript originated from the personal collection of Albert H. Gallatin (1839–1902), a professor of chemistry, geology, and mineralogy who devoted himself to the study of ancient languages in order to study alchemical texts. Translated into English for the very first time, The Key to the Hermetic Sanctum (La Clef du Cabinet Hermétique) appears here in a dual-language edition featuring a carefully prepared edition of the French text alongside a clear English translation. This copiously annotated volume comes with an introduction exploring the figure of Gallatin and his possible connections to Fulcanelli—one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic alchemists—together with a historical appendix distinguishing this text from other works known under similar names. As a whole, this volume proves of singular interest to historians of science, scholars of religion, and practitioners of the royal art. Albert H. Gallatin was the great grandson of Abraham Alfonse Albert de Gallatin (1761–1849), a Swiss emigré to the United States who achieved considerable political eminence among the founding fathers, serving as Secretary of the Treasury under two U.S. Presidents: James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.  In 1831, de Gallatin founded the New York University, where his alchemically-inclined grandson would later teach. In 1863—at the age of 24—Albert H. Gallatin joined the faculty of Norwich University in Vermont, but mysteriously resigned a year later. Relocating to New York, he taught analytical chemistry at the Cooper Institute, before attaining a position at New York University. The curious French manuscript that he owned, which bears the inscription “Albert H. Gallatin, Paris 1869”, suggests that he also spent time in Europe thereafter. A century and a half later, however, his manuscript would be listed in the catalogue of the New York Public Library’s Archive and Manuscripts Division. As the editors note in their Introduction to the translation: “The Gallatin family originally migrated from Switzerland, so it is reasonable to assume that our Gallatin was brought up speaking several different languages. In the New York Public Library, there is a list of books that formerly belonged to our Gallatin, among which are many alchemical titles in English, French, German, and Latin. From certain private letters that we have obtained copies of, we also know that Gallatin had a vivid interest, from an early age, in alchemical texts”.  According to one letter that the editors cite, Gallatin even studied Arabic in order gain deeper access to the medieval alchemical manuscripts of Andalusia: ...