Happenings – Apr 10

As I begin this draft, it’s Friday evening, and I’m tired.

I took some time off from real work this week, and I managed to look at logic, orbits, and color. In particular, I was fairly productive, answering some of my questions in orbits and color. (I ended up with more questions in logic.)

I have quantified at least one of the nonlinearities in color theory: my monitor, specifically the gamma correction curve(s). This was one of the two remaining topics I wanted to discuss… and I think I will try to put it in the context of everything else we’ve done (!). We’ll see. Maybe I should do it as a stand-alone calculation.

(The other color topic — still unsolved — was to construct an everywhere non-negative spectrum in the case where the fundamental (constructed from an XYZ) was negative over some wavelengths.)

Not surprisingly, as I keep reading about color, I keep thinking of more things to do. I finally broke down and ordered Fairchild’s “Color Appearance Models”, and a few other books that looked interesting. (The other expensive one was Kuehni & Schwarz’ “Color Ordered: a Survey of Color Systems from Antiquity to the Present”… and I ordered three books by Faber Birren — which may turn out to be more expensive per page though not in total cost!)

I’ve done enough work on orbits that I can already see a couple of posts worth writing.

As for logic, it seems to be breaking down into a few more, but shorter, posts than I had thought. But then, my original outline shows that I thought the whole thing would fit into two posts. Ha!

Hmm. I was so caught up in those three subjects that I completely forgot about my current FFT calculations.

My kid (my inner child, not my offspring) managed to look into another book on patterns — “The Symmetries of Things” by Conway, Burgiel, and Goodman-Strauss — and I really owe you some more “books added” posts on topology and geometry. (FYI, it’s another magnificent book, both visually and mathematically.)

As I sit here the evening before, it looks like I have more blog posts to write than mathematics to do this weekend — but that doesn’t always go as I expect. All it takes is one little “interesting”.

I’m not sure who said it, although my guess would be Isaac Asimov: something to the effect that, the most significant phrase in science is not “Eureka! I found it!”, but rather the quiet, “That’s odd.”

There is nothing on my list of small projects that screams, “talk about me” today, so I won’t struggle to find something to talk about.

I’ve gotten absolutely nowhere with any of the books on the small desk (“try to work on these”) or on the small table (“casual reading” or “specific questions”). On the other hand, I haven’t changed those two piles of books in the past week.

As I finish this post at noon Saturday, my kid has looked at a couple of things this morning. “The Mathematics of Projectiles in Sport”, by De Mestre — and I’ve decided that rather than pick up something from the small desk, I’m going to play with high school physics, the simplest model of projectile motion, where the only force is constant gravity. (I have played with this once, I think, since high school or early college — 10 years ago when I was first learning Mathematica®.)

The kid also began to read “Classics of Mathematics” edited by Calinger. Let me close with a quotation from Alfred North Whitehead:

Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings.


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