Friday, October 03, 2008

Claymation Station

Readers following my more esoteric threads through these blogs may recall Karl Menger, dimension theorist, and his proposed "geometry of lumps" in a famous anthology about Einstein's ideas.

In ToonTown we call that "claymation geometry" in that points, lines and planes are distinguished by ratios, not dimension number. Points are pointy, lines more like sticks, planes like rolled dough.

This is the naïve way we might think about it as children, until disabused of such "foolish notions" by dyed in the wool Euclideans, who want us to worship their "abstractions" (Euclidean points can't be seen by the naked eye, don't reflect photons or participate in the same world as photons).

But we're OK with saying cartoon worlds aren't "the real world" either (obviously). We just don't go out of our way to buy those same axioms, much as Bucky didn't in Synergetics, yet still managed to sound coherent to those of us taking the time to decipher his thinking.

In our "geometry of lumps" points, lines and planes (none of them infinite) are like computerized primitives, say in VPython or POV-Ray, and they're reminiscent of arrowheads in terms of the tetrahedron being the topologically simplest wireframe enclosure, setting off inside from outside, like clay does.

Followup to the veep debate: I thought both candidates really put their hearts into it and the questions were well aimed. I watched from a reclining position on the upper floor of Back Stage, scootched up against a pool table, looking almost vertically at the flatscreen TV. By the time Ron and I got to The Bagdad, the main theater was already packed, no newcomers allowed. Jody met us under the marquee.

Tara and Rose had front row seats, with pizza and everything.