Thursday, February 23, 2017

Remembering Magnus

Magnus Wenninger was 91 when I first met him, still doing stairs plenty, very spry.  He gladly gave David Koski and I the tour of his beloved campus, sharing about his life and world.  He was a priest, or monk as he sometimes called himself, always humble.

DK got to go back to that campus for the recent memorial service, following the rituals of his Catholic sect. David went with Tom Ruen, who had worked on the Wikipedia entry for Magnus, having been a fan for many years.

Father Wenninger made paper polyhedrons, designed other geometric objects (such as sculptures) and is often cited in the literature for has basic "how to" publications.

David called me earlier today to share how impressed he was by the service, by the caliber of the campus and the teachers who work there.

A bunch of us have been celebrating Magnus on Facebook, which has niches for geometry buffs for sure.  David and I are both in the "tetravolumes" camp, meaning we've been influenced by a specific branch of 1900s thought.

Tracing ethnicity through the spread of memes, more than through the spread of genes, is fairly commonplace in anthropology.  Getting the "meme" meme anchored in the first place, as a placeholder in cybernetics (super to memetics) didn't happen overnight.

David and I will say "IVM" and "super RT" (for a Rhombic Triacontahedron of a specific relative size) in ordinary conversation, much as when doctors engage in shoptalk relating to some pathology and/or anatomy.  Magnus was an initiate in such a partially overlapping namespace.

I'll continue to learn about Magnus Wenninger as his life gets reflected in the lives of others, and back to me, as we continue moving forward in time.

Much more becomes known in retrospect, whereas "right now" is always the eternal mystery.