Discussion:
Umberto's Pendulum
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J Seymour MacNicely
2007-06-02 10:45:22 UTC
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At last it has come to hand: they were giving it away FREE at the
Friendly Bookstore downtown, with the front cover torn off. So, I
thought, well, I could actually bend at the waist enough to pick that
up. At my age an expense of energy like that is worth about a dollar.
Would I spend it?

Yes! And I'm so glad I did.

Now, previously I had got about a third of the way into *The Name of
the Rose* before to my distaste, a fine beginning soon turned into
something Eco, from the looks of it, just had to get off his desk in
the form of a Jesuit James Bond thriller, for sake of a few lira in
his pocket, and thereby gain the freedom to finance something new to
pick up from where inspiration ran out.

Foucault's Pendulum, so far, looks like it came roaring back.

I begin with a question to anyone familiar enough with physics to
answer this question: What exactly is this bit about Foucault's
pendulum proving, ideally speaking, that any "dimensionless point in
space" from which such a pendulum is suspended is somehow, as I take
it, a proof of Aristotle's metaphysics of the "unmoved mover"?

He seems to be saying that if this pendulum were not--despite
resistance and gravity--to some degree fixed upon what is essentially
an unmoving, dimensionless point, it could not rotate just as it does
in order to demonstrate the motions of the earth.

In other words, it is not earth motion causing the pendulum to rotate
in its swing, but quite to the contrary it is the fact of that point
of suspension being close enough to the ideal of the 'dimensionless'
that it functions as the 'immobile' such that the earth must be seen
to rotate around that point--but not only the earth, indeed the entire
universe?

In short, the earth motion is not doing it, the dimensionless
immobility is the thing that makes Foucault's Pendulum do what it
does, simply to demonstrate that motion.
--
Mackie
http://whosenose.blogspot.com
http://doo-dads.blogspot.com/
http://www.mackiemesser.zoomshare.com/0.html
http://vignettes-mackie.blogspot.com/
Jonah Thomas
2007-06-02 12:30:10 UTC
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Post by J Seymour MacNicely
Now, previously I had got about a third of the way into *The Name of
the Rose* before to my distaste, a fine beginning soon turned into
something Eco, from the looks of it, just had to get off his desk in
the form of a Jesuit James Bond thriller, for sake of a few lira in
his pocket, and thereby gain the freedom to finance something new to
pick up from where inspiration ran out.
I found when I forgave the author his detective story and his pomo
stuff, it was fun. Worth reading all the way to the end. But you have to
forgive him first.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
Foucault's Pendulum, so far, looks like it came roaring back.
I read the first couple of pages and felt like, am I going to have to
forgive *this* the whole way through? I put it down and haven't
regretted the choice, though I can imagine it might be worth it someday.
It was the same way for me with Ayn Rand. When I was 15 I read to the
very end of _Atlas Shrugged_, and then I picked up _The Fountainhead_
and when I saw where it was heading I just put it down again. And _Lord
of the Rings_, if Tolkien had written another one like that I would
probably have just skipped it.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
I begin with a question to anyone familiar enough with physics to
answer this question: What exactly is this bit about Foucault's
pendulum proving, ideally speaking, that any "dimensionless point in
space" from which such a pendulum is suspended is somehow, as I take
it, a proof of Aristotle's metaphysics of the "unmoved mover"?
It demonstrates something from physics. The philosophical
take-home-message you chose to get from that is your choice. If you've
had some physical illusion, something that isn't so, that it challenges,
then that's likely to be the message. But no one can predict what
message that will be unless they know what false belief you started out
with.

Here's one possible interpretation. Newton's laws say that things will
keep moving at the same speed in the same direction unless some outside
force acts on them. In one sense this is just the definition of a force
-- it's anything that keeps something from continuing to move at the
same speed in the same direction. But there's an *idea* behind it which
is more than the operational definition. (And ideas that take more in
than the operational definition puts out, are potentially misleading.)
If you measure the location or the velocity of something moving in a
straight line, it's completely arbitrary where you measure from or the
speed that your reference location itself is moving. This is not just
true, it's something that physicists have consciously chosen. When they
were faced with a situation in which it looked like it might not be
true, they chose with relativity to distort the way they measured space
and time to *make* it true.

But rotations are different. It's true that something will keep rotating
along the same axis at the same speed unless it's acted on by some force
-- and this defines rotational force. And it's true that the angle you
choose to measure the axis of rotation against is arbitrary. But the
speed of rotation is not arbitrary unless you're ready to suppose the
whole universe is rotating around that particular axis. Imasgine one
particular straight line through space, and imagine the whole universe
rotating around that line. Now another and another and another. *More*
arbitrary than imagining the whole universe traveling in some direction.
And a much bigger effect on the physics. Things distant from the line
revolving at great speed around that axis, and it takes a force to keep
them from moving in a straight line....

The math works either way, but imagining the whole universe rotating
with a force to counteract the effects of that rotation is more
complicated than supposing the universe isn't rotating about your
particular axis. Speed of rotation isn't as arbitrary as velocity.

When something is in free fall, then as far as linear movement is
concerned you can treat it like it's motionless. It's completely
arbitrary whether you assume it's moving or assume that everything else
is moving compared to it. You can do whichever makes the math come out
simpler for your particular problem. But not rotation. Rotational forces
can cancel out if they're along the same axis or on different axes that
meet at the same center. Otherwise they don't. In general they don't.
Rotations are more complicated than linear motion.

Foucault's pendulum displays this. Easy to imagine when it's at the
north pole. The pendulum just keeps swinging and the earth turns under
it. What force would we imagine to make the pendulum turn, instead of
supposing that we're turning? Then as you move the pendulum south it is
revolving around the earth's axis, but not around the earth's center.
Finally at the equator it no longer rotates. It does other more subtle
things, because it is being acted on by the earth's gravity and also the
earth's rotation, and they interact.
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-02 16:09:14 UTC
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Post by Jonah Thomas
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
Now, previously I had got about a third of the way into *The Name of
the Rose* before to my distaste, a fine beginning soon turned into
something Eco, from the looks of it, just had to get off his desk in
the form of a Jesuit James Bond thriller, for sake of a few lira in
his pocket, and thereby gain the freedom to finance something new to
pick up from where inspiration ran out.
I found when I forgave the author his detective story and his pomo
stuff, it was fun. Worth reading all the way to the end. But you have to
forgive him first.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
Foucault's Pendulum, so far, looks like it came roaring back.
I read the first couple of pages and felt like, am I going to have to
forgive *this* the whole way through? I put it down and haven't
regretted the choice, though I can imagine it might be worth it someday.
It was the same way for me with Ayn Rand. When I was 15 I read to the
very end of _Atlas Shrugged_, and then I picked up _The Fountainhead_
and when I saw where it was heading I just put it down again. And _Lord
of the Rings_, if Tolkien had written another one like that I would
probably have just skipped it.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
I begin with a question to anyone familiar enough with physics to
answer this question: What exactly is this bit about Foucault's
pendulum proving, ideally speaking, that any "dimensionless point in
space" from which such a pendulum is suspended is somehow, as I take
it, a proof of Aristotle's metaphysics of the "unmoved mover"?
It demonstrates something from physics. The philosophical
take-home-message you chose to get from that is your choice. If you've
had some physical illusion, something that isn't so, that it challenges,
then that's likely to be the message. But no one can predict what
message that will be unless they know what false belief you started out
with.
Here's one possible interpretation. Newton's laws say that things will
keep moving at the same speed in the same direction unless some outside
force acts on them. In one sense this is just the definition of a force
-- it's anything that keeps something from continuing to move at the
same speed in the same direction. But there's an *idea* behind it which
is more than the operational definition. (And ideas that take more in
than the operational definition puts out, are potentially misleading.)
If you measure the location or the velocity of something moving in a
straight line, it's completely arbitrary where you measure from or the
speed that your reference location itself is moving. This is not just
true, it's something that physicists have consciously chosen. When they
were faced with a situation in which it looked like it might not be
true, they chose with relativity to distort the way they measured space
and time to *make* it true.
But rotations are different. It's true that something will keep rotating
along the same axis at the same speed unless it's acted on by some force
-- and this defines rotational force. And it's true that the angle you
choose to measure the axis of rotation against is arbitrary. But the
speed of rotation is not arbitrary unless you're ready to suppose the
whole universe is rotating around that particular axis. Imasgine one
particular straight line through space, and imagine the whole universe
rotating around that line. Now another and another and another. *More*
arbitrary than imagining the whole universe traveling in some direction.
And a much bigger effect on the physics. Things distant from the line
revolving at great speed around that axis, and it takes a force to keep
them from moving in a straight line....
The math works either way, but imagining the whole universe rotating
with a force to counteract the effects of that rotation is more
complicated than supposing the universe isn't rotating about your
particular axis. Speed of rotation isn't as arbitrary as velocity.
When something is in free fall, then as far as linear movement is
concerned you can treat it like it's motionless. It's completely
arbitrary whether you assume it's moving or assume that everything else
is moving compared to it. You can do whichever makes the math come out
simpler for your particular problem. But not rotation. Rotational forces
can cancel out if they're along the same axis or on different axes that
meet at the same center. Otherwise they don't. In general they don't.
Rotations are more complicated than linear motion.
Foucault's pendulum displays this. Easy to imagine when it's at the
north pole. The pendulum just keeps swinging and the earth turns under
it. What force would we imagine to make the pendulum turn, instead of
supposing that we're turning? Then as you move the pendulum south it is
revolving around the earth's axis, but not around the earth's center.
Finally at the equator it no longer rotates. It does other more subtle
things, because it is being acted on by the earth's gravity and also the
earth's rotation, and they interact.
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red herring. He
is much more interested in Michel Foucault than Leon Foucault.


Francis A. Miniter
Dirk Van de moortel
2007-06-02 16:30:13 UTC
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[snip]
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than
Leon Foucault.
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.

Dirk Vdm
Richard Tobin
2007-06-02 21:34:08 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than
Leon Foucault.
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
I thought it was quite fun on the whole.

-- Richard
--
"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters
in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.
Dirk Van de moortel
2007-06-02 21:45:27 UTC
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Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than
Leon Foucault.
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
I thought it was quite fun on the whole.
Perhaps it got better after page 21 then ;-)

Dirk Vdm
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-02 23:24:16 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than
Leon Foucault.
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
I thought it was quite fun on the whole.
Perhaps it got better after page 21 then ;-)
Dirk Vdm
Actually, I enjoyed it right from the first line, no, right from the quote at
the head of the first chapter. That it was written in Hebrew said to me, "So,
you want a challenge?" Of course, I got a translation at some point.

But that first line is a riot: "That is when I saw the Pendulum." What "that"?
There is no referand, and Eco is signaling word play reminiscent of Joyce's
Finnegans Wake, which begins with the end of the sentence that finishes the
book. By the time you are half way down the page, you know you are dealing with
a madman who is obsessed with numerology, a subject of much interest in Kabbalah
and Gnosticism, not to mention a subject dealt with by Carl Jung in his studies
of the unconscious.

A little later on page 17 is one of my favorite lines: "So many things run
through your mind when you're hiding alone inside a periscope." Of course,
everyone knows that. Haven't all of us had that experience?

In short, Eco is having fun. He does use this fun to attack the madness
underlying conspiracy theorists: the deep paranoia that drives it from
observation of minor coincidences to unshakable conclusions of wrongdoing among
the powerful.

Read this book for fun and it will make more sense. Later, if you want, examine
details.


Francis A. Miniter
Dirk Van de moortel
2007-06-03 09:01:49 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than
Leon Foucault.
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
I thought it was quite fun on the whole.
Perhaps it got better after page 21 then ;-)
Dirk Vdm
Actually, I enjoyed it right from the first line, no, right from the quote at the head of the first chapter. That it was written
in Hebrew said to me, "So, you want a challenge?" Of course, I got a translation at some point.
But that first line is a riot: "That is when I saw the Pendulum." What "that"? There is no referand, and Eco is signaling word
play reminiscent of Joyce's Finnegans Wake, which begins with the end of the sentence that finishes the book. By the time you are
half way down the page, you know you are dealing with a madman who is obsessed with numerology, a subject of much interest in
Kabbalah and Gnosticism, not to mention a subject dealt with by Carl Jung in his studies of the unconscious.
Yes... Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Jung...
AFAIC, those must be the very worst mankind has to offer.
A little later on page 17 is one of my favorite lines: "So many things run through your mind when you're hiding alone inside a
periscope." Of course, everyone knows that. Haven't all of us had that experience?
Sure.
Twice daily.
In short, Eco is having fun. He does use this fun to attack the madness underlying conspiracy theorists: the deep paranoia that
drives it from observation of minor coincidences to unshakable conclusions of wrongdoing among the powerful.
Read this book for fun and it will make more sense. Later, if you want, examine details.
There are many novels I read for fun, and I even read physics
textbooks for fun, but, for me, Eco does not belong in either
category. Let's call it a matter of taste then :-)

Cheers,
Dirk Vdm
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-05 21:29:28 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
It is a fantastic read, to anyone interested in the mentality of learned
people at a time when science wasn't completely out of the middle ages.
With the elite class having (perhaps too much) time on their hands they
indulged the same stuff their forebears did, without any awareness of
where modern science was headed. The elite class was _not_ modern.
Plenty of posers of course, and those desperate to gain immortality or
cosmic power. In the book there is plenty of comic relief, with many
digs at people who take themselves too seriously and end up doing
ridiculous things.

Think of it as a cultural novel with lots of cute twists, and perhaps
you can enjoy it.
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
Dirk Van de moortel
2007-06-06 09:47:15 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
I think the only damn Eco gave about, was to find a vehicle suited
to show off with his immensly vast European history scholarship.
That was the impression I had after having waded through the first
20 pages of his book. Horror of horrors.
It is a fantastic read, to anyone interested in the mentality of learned
people at a time when science wasn't completely out of the middle ages.
With the elite class having (perhaps too much) time on their hands they
indulged the same stuff their forebears did, without any awareness of
where modern science was headed. The elite class was _not_ modern.
Plenty of posers of course, and those desperate to gain immortality or
cosmic power. In the book there is plenty of comic relief, with many
digs at people who take themselves too seriously and end up doing
ridiculous things.
Think of it as a cultural novel with lots of cute twists, and perhaps
you can enjoy it.
Well, perhaps you are right, but I really can't help being painfully
allergic to people who manage to brag with their breathtakingly
profound erudition at a rate of 7.4 times per page.
If I have to miss a fantastic read this way, then let it be so, since
there's another 2 meters high pile of fantastics reads waiting for me :-)

But thanks for the attempt & Cheers,
Dirk Vdm
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-07 18:46:55 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by Bruce Scott TOK
Think of it as a cultural novel with lots of cute twists, and perhaps
you can enjoy it.
Well, perhaps you are right, but I really can't help being painfully
allergic to people who manage to brag with their breathtakingly
profound erudition at a rate of 7.4 times per page.
You were put off, but didn't have to be...
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
If I have to miss a fantastic read this way, then let it be so, since
there's another 2 meters high pile of fantastics reads waiting for me :-)
Well, it was a good story with a lot of intricate detail, well enough
that each piece of the detail held another story you got a good glimmer
of.

Not for everyone I suppose.
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
SteveT
2007-06-07 10:25:42 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
It is a fantastic read, to anyone interested in the mentality of learned
people at a time when science wasn't completely out of the middle ages.
With the elite class having (perhaps too much) time on their hands they
indulged the same stuff their forebears did, without any awareness of
where modern science was headed. The elite class was _not_ modern.
Plenty of posers of course, and those desperate to gain immortality or
cosmic power. In the book there is plenty of comic relief, with many
digs at people who take themselves too seriously and end up doing
ridiculous things.
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.

ColinM
Dirk Van de moortel
2007-06-07 15:53:52 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Bruce Scott TOK
It is a fantastic read, to anyone interested in the mentality of learned
people at a time when science wasn't completely out of the middle ages.
With the elite class having (perhaps too much) time on their hands they
indulged the same stuff their forebears did, without any awareness of
where modern science was headed. The elite class was _not_ modern.
Plenty of posers of course, and those desperate to gain immortality or
cosmic power. In the book there is plenty of comic relief, with many
digs at people who take themselves too seriously and end up doing
ridiculous things.
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)

Dirk Vdm
SteveT
2007-06-07 16:25:47 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
It is difficult to get started, you just have to go through the first
few chapters on the basis that it will all make sense in the end.
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-07 17:47:54 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
It is difficult to get started, you just have to go through the first
few chapters on the basis that it will all make sense in the end.
Just read the first few chapters at high speeed as if you were listening to an
interesting madman. Someone like the protagonist in the movie "Buffalo 66" or
"London".


Francis A. Miniter
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-07 19:04:34 UTC
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Steve wrote:

[Dirk wrote:]
Post by SteveT
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
It is difficult to get started, you just have to go through the first
few chapters on the basis that it will all make sense in the end.
Many of the best books I ever read are like that!
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
Richard Tobin
2007-06-07 21:24:03 UTC
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Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by SteveT
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.

-- Richard
--
"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters
in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.
SteveT
2007-06-08 06:21:59 UTC
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Post by Richard Tobin
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
This is a hoax, originally perpetrated by a French con-man called
Pierre Plantard in the 1950s. The authors of "Holy Blood" seem to have
taken it seriously, & have tried to sue Dan Brown for plagiarism. "The
Da Vinci Code" might be a more entertaining read, but the whole thing
is a load of bollocks with no real history behind it whatsoever.

ColinM
Richard Tobin
2007-06-08 11:58:39 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Richard Tobin
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
This is a hoax
Of course it's a hoax, but it's a really good hoax and an important
book. Apart from the novels it has spawned, including Foucault's
Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code, most bookshops have whole sections
devoted to supposedly-factual conspiracy-theory books that would not
exist without it.

For details of the hoax see "The Treasure of Rennes-Le-Chateau: A
Mystery Solved" by Bill Putnam and John Wood.

-- Richard
--
"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters
in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.
SteveT
2007-06-08 13:38:03 UTC
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Post by Richard Tobin
Of course it's a hoax, but it's a really good hoax and an important
book. Apart from the novels it has spawned, including Foucault's
Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code, most bookshops have whole sections
devoted to supposedly-factual conspiracy-theory books that would not
exist without it.
I think there is a difference. Brown does depend entirely upon the
Magdeline hoax, but I don't think that is true for Eco. He does use
the thing, but its not really part of the "plan" at the core of the
plot. If he had replaced the Magdeline bit with some other silly thing
then I think the book would still have worked. And there is no
shortage of silly things that would be have been suitable.

ColinM
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-08 18:23:19 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Richard Tobin
Of course it's a hoax, but it's a really good hoax and an important
book. Apart from the novels it has spawned, including Foucault's
Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code, most bookshops have whole sections
devoted to supposedly-factual conspiracy-theory books that would not
exist without it.
I think there is a difference. Brown does depend entirely upon the
Magdeline hoax, but I don't think that is true for Eco. He does use
the thing, but its not really part of the "plan" at the core of the
plot. If he had replaced the Magdeline bit with some other silly thing
then I think the book would still have worked. And there is no
shortage of silly things that would be have been suitable.
ColinM
I agree. It is the whole mindset that Eco is attacking. He only once (I think)
refers to Aleister Crowley, "the most evil man in the world". In the absence of
the Mageline stuff, he could easily have expanded the Crowley materials. And
there are many others.


Francis A. Miniter
Bug-Eyed Churl
2007-06-14 04:35:21 UTC
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I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.



D.
--
"I still wave at the dots on the shore..."
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(C) 2007 by 'TheDavid^TM' | David, P.O. Box 21403, Louisville, KY 40221
erilar
2007-06-14 21:30:55 UTC
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Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
--
Mary, biblioholic

bib-li-o-hol-ism : the habitual longing to purchase, read, store,
admire, and consume books in excess.

http://www.airstreamcomm.net/~erilarlo
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-14 22:29:13 UTC
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Post by erilar
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
Choking to death laughing!!!!

Brown makes a really big deal about there being glasses of wine on the table,
having one of the characters say this is a big anomaly introduced by da Vinci
into the representation of the Last Supper. Well, it seems that Brown didn't
even bother to look at other, earlier Last Suppers. If he had, for instance,
looked at the one by Ghirlandaio done about 12 years earlier, he would have seen
a very similar table arrangement with the same type of short glasses used by da
Vinci.


Francis A. Miniter
erilar
2007-06-15 16:55:03 UTC
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
Post by erilar
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
Choking to death laughing!!!!
Brown makes a really big deal about there being glasses of wine on the table,
having one of the characters say this is a big anomaly introduced by da Vinci
into the representation of the Last Supper. Well, it seems that Brown didn't
even bother to look at other, earlier Last Suppers. If he had, for instance,
looked at the one by Ghirlandaio done about 12 years earlier, he would have seen
a very similar table arrangement with the same type of short glasses used by da
Vinci.
Do you suppose he thinks wine is a recent "invention"??
--
Mary, biblioholic

bib-li-o-hol-ism : the habitual longing to purchase, read, store,
admire, and consume books in excess.

http://www.airstreamcomm.net/~erilarlo
bob
2007-06-16 03:52:05 UTC
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On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:55:03 -0500, erilar
Post by erilar
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Post by erilar
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
Choking to death laughing!!!!
Brown makes a really big deal about there being glasses of wine on the table,
having one of the characters say this is a big anomaly introduced by da Vinci
into the representation of the Last Supper. Well, it seems that Brown didn't
even bother to look at other, earlier Last Suppers. If he had, for instance,
looked at the one by Ghirlandaio done about 12 years earlier, he would have seen
a very similar table arrangement with the same type of short glasses used by da
Vinci.
Do you suppose he thinks wine is a recent "invention"??
You guys are really silly.
bob
2007-06-16 03:50:38 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 18:29:13 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Post by erilar
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
Choking to death laughing!!!!
Brown makes a really big deal about there being glasses of wine on the table,
having one of the characters say this is a big anomaly introduced by da Vinci
into the representation of the Last Supper. Well, it seems that Brown didn't
even bother to look at other, earlier Last Suppers. If he had, for instance,
looked at the one by Ghirlandaio done about 12 years earlier, he would have seen
a very similar table arrangement with the same type of short glasses used by da
Vinci.
heh heh heh

Whatever.

Brown wrote a bestseller that made even more money as a movie. Scoff
all you'd like. He's chuckling to this day most likely.

bob
- and he's 20 million richer at least
bob
2007-06-16 03:48:25 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 16:30:55 -0500, erilar
Post by erilar
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Brown couldn't write anything else, most likely.
'I conseille yow the beste, I wol nat lye,
That bothe of colere and of malencolye
Ye purge yow; and for ye shal nat tarie,
Though in this toun is noon apothecarie,
I shal myself to herbes techen yow,
That shul been for youre hele and for youre prow.
And in oure yeerd tho herbes shal I fynde,
The whiche han of hir propretee by kynde
To purge yow bynethe and eek above. '
bob
2007-06-16 03:43:18 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 04:35:21 -0000, "Bug-Eyed Churl"
Post by Bug-Eyed Churl
I still don't get why the clues in _The DaVinci Code_ were in Modern English.
Prescience?
Richard Tobin
2007-06-08 19:23:06 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Richard Tobin
Of course it's a hoax, but it's a really good hoax and an important
book. Apart from the novels it has spawned, including Foucault's
Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code, most bookshops have whole sections
devoted to supposedly-factual conspiracy-theory books that would not
exist without it.
I think there is a difference.
Of course. The Da Vinci Code is a fictionalisation of HBHG, while
Foucault's Pendulum is (in part) about conspiracy theories and the
people who believe in them.

-- Richard
--
"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters
in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-09 01:11:34 UTC
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Post by SteveT
Post by Richard Tobin
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
This is a hoax, originally perpetrated by a French con-man called
Pierre Plantard in the 1950s. The authors of "Holy Blood" seem to have
taken it seriously, & have tried to sue Dan Brown for plagiarism. "The
Da Vinci Code" might be a more entertaining read, but the whole thing
is a load of bollocks with no real history behind it whatsoever.
Problem is, Dan Brown isn't a good writer. His stuff sells mainly
because people can read it via soundbites and it carries a lot of
TV-style cliches, which people are used to. I don't watch lots of
police shows, and am bored when "every second time you turned a page it
seems like there was another gun in someone's face".

Eco's stuff, and even Baigent's very different stuff, is at a rather
different level of civilisation than that.

With Baigent I didn't care if it was a hoax and if he took it
seriously. He writes well and if you take his stuff as a story then it
is quite good.
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
SteveT
2007-06-09 10:38:28 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
Problem is, Dan Brown isn't a good writer. His stuff sells mainly
because people can read it via soundbites and it carries a lot of
TV-style cliches, which people are used to.
I did read the Da Vinci book. Its what I'd call a "page-turner", the
kind of thing you can read on a long journey or something. And there
is some skill in this type of writing, its just not considered to be
"literature" by the learned types who judge these things - & maybe
don't travel so much.
Post by Bruce Scott TOK
Eco's stuff, and even Baigent's very different stuff, is at a rather
different level of civilisation than that.
There are a number of good writers who end up producing quite serious
books about Atlantis, the Great Pyramid, UFOs, the Knights Templar,
Freemasons, Mary Magdalene etc. Colin Wilson is a good example. He
wrote good stuff until some American publisher paid him a large sum to
write "The Occult", & since then that kind of crap has been his
"market". Sadly, IMHO, Baigent has fallen into this category too.

Sorry to go on.

ColinM
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-09 14:46:30 UTC
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[travel]
I never read on planes :-)
There are a number of good writers who end up producing quite serious
books about Atlantis, the Great Pyramid, UFOs, the Knights Templar,
Freemasons, Mary Magdalene etc. Colin Wilson is a good example. He
wrote good stuff until some American publisher paid him a large sum to
write "The Occult", & since then that kind of crap has been his
"market". Sadly, IMHO, Baigent has fallen into this category too.
I got that impression about Baigent while browsing on Amazon, but imho
The Jesus Papers was quite OK. He does a good job explaining the
mentality of people from mystical cultures. I also found his
description of the "grey market" believable. Some people are rather
more patient than "us moderns".
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
SteveT
2007-06-10 10:50:07 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
I got that impression about Baigent while browsing on Amazon, but imho
The Jesus Papers was quite OK. He does a good job explaining the
mentality of people from mystical cultures. I also found his
description of the "grey market" believable. Some people are rather
more patient than "us moderns".
Yes, but... its the job of a good writer (or lawyer) to present their
stuff in a sympathetic kind of way. And how would most people, with
just a general education, tell the difference between the real deal &
a load of crap? And when it comes to something like the historical
Jesus even the scholars disagree. I don't know the answer, but I do
tend to be very skeptical.

ColinM
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-10 16:48:23 UTC
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Colin M wrote:

[Jesus Papers]
Post by SteveT
Yes, but... its the job of a good writer (or lawyer) to present their
stuff in a sympathetic kind of way. And how would most people, with
just a general education, tell the difference between the real deal &
a load of crap? And when it comes to something like the historical
Jesus even the scholars disagree. I don't know the answer, but I do
tend to be very skeptical.
Of course skepticism is called for. But the writing is good (not
piecemeal, not cliche, doesn't look cut/paste Microsoft Word-like, etc),
and you get a clear picture of the mentality of the people involved.
"The truth" is not important to me as I read these... I want to indulge
a story and have it written in such a way that I can immerse into these
people's world view. I think Baigent's writing makes this possible and
it is why I put it well above most efforts to "convince" people of
something.

When I read this stuff I don't care what skepticism is supposed to
think, nor in any "debating" about the topic. I don't believe the stuff
whole heartedly either, but merely choose to indulge it. Most writing
in this genre isn't good enough for any but "true believers". It is
possible to enjoy the better of Baigent's stuff without being a true
believer, and this is imho its strength.
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
Peter
2007-06-17 19:43:29 UTC
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Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by SteveT
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
That was rubbish. Is Imberto in the same category?
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-17 20:43:50 UTC
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Post by Peter
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by SteveT
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
That was rubbish. Is Imberto in the same category?
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-17 21:34:05 UTC
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Somewhere, somehow my words got deleted. Let me try again, below.
Post by Peter
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Dirk Van de moortel
Post by SteveT
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Well, maybe I should stack it on top of the pile for a retry :-)
If you haven't already, read "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" first.
That was rubbish. Is Imberto in the same category?
I have not read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", but from what I have heard about it
and from what I know of Umberto Eco, having read most of his published works,
there is no comparison. Eco is an intelligent, extremely well-read medievalist
and philosopher. In part he is concerned about how humans use and misuse signs
and symbols, and how psychological links replace logical links in the thought
process, so that a seemingly perfectly rational person can be swept up into the
paranoia of conspiracy theory or the alleged mysteries of secret societies.


Francis A. Miniter
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-07 18:50:37 UTC
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[I wrote:]
Post by Bruce Scott TOK
It is a fantastic read, to anyone interested in the mentality of learned
people at a time when science wasn't completely out of the middle ages.
With the elite class having (perhaps too much) time on their hands they
indulged the same stuff their forebears did, without any awareness of
where modern science was headed. The elite class was _not_ modern.
Plenty of posers of course, and those desperate to gain immortality or
cosmic power. In the book there is plenty of comic relief, with many
digs at people who take themselves too seriously and end up doing
ridiculous things.
I liked the way that Eco didn't invent anything except the plot. Its
like a guidebook to the silliest ideas of the last millennium.
Indeed, but you got an idea of why people believed them, and why even if
not they induged them. That stuff used to be the core of intellectual
pursuit in Europe. Science took centuries to displace it, and at quite
different speeds for different people. What the subtext of the book
taught me is the way such stuff persists at holding onto the intellect
of people who should know better. Its content is absurd, but its
historical importance is undeniable.

(add to that the conspiracy theories about secret brotherhoods, and the
storytelling just got better)
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
SteveT
2007-06-07 19:54:05 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
Indeed, but you got an idea of why people believed them, and why even if
not they induged them. That stuff used to be the core of intellectual
pursuit in Europe. Science took centuries to displace it, and at quite
different speeds for different people. What the subtext of the book
taught me is the way such stuff persists at holding onto the intellect
of people who should know better. Its content is absurd, but its
historical importance is undeniable.
(add to that the conspiracy theories about secret brotherhoods, and the
storytelling just got better)
Have you read any Norman Cohn?

ColinM
Bruce Scott TOK
2007-06-09 01:13:04 UTC
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Colin M wrote:

|> Have you read any Norman Cohn?

No but on your tip I'll look him up!
--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/
SteveT
2007-06-09 10:48:54 UTC
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Post by Bruce Scott TOK
|> Have you read any Norman Cohn?
No but on your tip I'll look him up!
"The Pursuit of the Millennium".

ColinM
Riptide
2007-06-15 01:31:59 UTC
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Subject corrected.

m, click...clack
bob
2007-06-16 16:53:03 UTC
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Post by Riptide
Subject corrected.
m, click...clack
There can only be one!
Stratum
2007-06-02 16:31:20 UTC
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than Leon Foucault.
But there is the business at the Arts & Metiers.
Stratum
2007-06-02 16:48:25 UTC
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Post by Stratum
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Eco didn't give a damn about the math or the physics. It is a red
herring. He is much more interested in Michel Foucault than Leon Foucault.
But there is the business at the Arts & Metiers.
And I should add that when I read _The Name of the Rose_,
and William of *Baskerville*, a detective monk (but no
relation to the one in San Francisco with obsessive
compulsive disorder) enters the scene, I laughed out loud.

Eco does have a fine, thoroughly disorganized Byzantine
mind. He could improve on Lucille Ball's scripts which
almost never made me laugh until Gilda Radner fixed
them up.
J Seymour MacNicely
2007-06-03 08:17:42 UTC
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Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-04 03:32:32 UTC
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I thought that before even getting started with replies to some of
these posts, that a few things Eco himself has had to say on this
topic ought be addressed, first.
In an interview with Umberto Eco . . .
--
From http://www.hindu.com/2005/10/23/stories/2005102305241000.htm
"And then I have a secret. Did you know what will happen if you
eliminate the empty spaces from the universe, eliminate the empty
spaces in all the atoms? The universe will become as big as my fist.
"Similarly, we have a lot of empty spaces in our lives. I call them
interstices. Say you are coming over to my place. You are in an
elevator and while you are coming up, I am waiting for you. This is an
interstice, an empty space. I work in empty spaces. While waiting for
your elevator to come up from the first to the third floor, I have
already written an article!" (Laughs).
--
And from an article written by the author, himself . . .
"In the same vein my last novel is entitled Foucault's Pendulum
because the pendulum I am speaking of was invented by Léon Foucault.
If it were invented by Franklin the title would have been Franklin's
Pendulum. This time I was aware from the very beginning that somebody
could have smelled an allusion to Michel Foucault: my characters are
obsessed by analogies and Foucault wrote on the paradigm of
similarity. As an empirical author I was not so happy of such a
possible connection. It sounds as a joke and not a clever one,
indeed."
http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_author.html
In the opinion of one citizen critic at Amazon, "The complete subtext
of this book includes the underlying theme of 'conspiracy theory.' The
reason that's important is that Eco believes one of those things which
give rise to 'conspiracy theories' is 'unlimited-semiosis'. Eco faults
Michel Foucault and his excesses such as is embodied in
'deconstructionalism' as an example of one of the dangers of
'unlimited semiosis.'" http://tinyurl.com/2fctkk
--
Mackie
http://whosenose.blogspot.com
http://doo-dads.blogspot.com/
http://www.mackiemesser.zoomshare.com/0.html
http://vignettes-mackie.blogspot.com/
I think that Eco may be as unreliable a narrator as Casaubon is in "Pendulum".
I have in mind his "Postscript to The Name of the Rose", in which he says (p. 3):

"The idea of calling my book _The Name of the Rose_ came to me virtually by
chance, and I liked it because the role is a symbolic figure so rich in meanings
that by now it has hardly any meaning left: Dante's mystic rose, and go lovely
rose, the Wars of the Rosees, rost thou art sick, too many rings around Rosie, a
rose by any other name, a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose, the Rosicrucians.
The title rightly disoriented the reader, who was unable to choose just one
interpretation; and even if he were to catch the possible nominalist readings of
the concluding verse, he would come to them only at the end, having previously
made God only knows what other choices. A title must muddle the reader's ideas,
not regiment them."

All well and good. But Eco is probably (one of) the foremost medievalists of
our time. And he cannot but know of two important works, especially since they
bracket the time period of the novel. The first is the 13th century epic,
satirical poem "The Romance of the Rose" by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de
Meung, which playfully confounds the search for God with sexual satisfaction,
the rose having a female sexual symbolism, with Jean de Meung's contribution
being both more philsophic and misogynistic. The second is the feminist
response of Christine de Pizan (1402) in what is known as the 'Querelle du Roman
de Rose'. Its title is "Dit de la Rose" which can be translated variously as
the Word of the Rose or the Name of the Rose.

So, does any of that have anything to do with Eco's novel? I suggest it does.
There is one burning erotic scene in the novel, between Adso and the
significantly unnamed girl, and it occurs, also significantly, at just about the
mid-point or heart of the narration. And the erotic energy that erupts in Adso
is thereafter irrevocably intertwined with his religious energy, to the point of
his taking up this narration in old age.

Eco knew exactly what he was doing in naming the novel. He simply chose not to
give the deep answer in the "Postscript". After all, what good are answers if
you do not have to work for them.


Francis A. Miniter
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-02 16:06:30 UTC
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Post by J Seymour MacNicely
At last it has come to hand: they were giving it away FREE at the
Friendly Bookstore downtown, with the front cover torn off. So, I
thought, well, I could actually bend at the waist enough to pick that
up. At my age an expense of energy like that is worth about a dollar.
Would I spend it?
Yes! And I'm so glad I did.
Now, previously I had got about a third of the way into *The Name of
the Rose* before to my distaste, a fine beginning soon turned into
something Eco, from the looks of it, just had to get off his desk in
the form of a Jesuit James Bond thriller,
First of all, no Jesuits in the book. Second, you have missed one of the finest
works of the 20th century. For a few thoughts on one aspect of the book see my
three part article at: http://www.mountainlilypress.com/framesetromance.html


for sake of a few lira in
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
his pocket, and thereby gain the freedom to finance something new to
pick up from where inspiration ran out.
Foucault's Pendulum, so far, looks like it came roaring back.
I begin with a question to anyone familiar enough with physics to
answer this question: What exactly is this bit about Foucault's
pendulum proving, ideally speaking, that any "dimensionless point in
space" from which such a pendulum is suspended is somehow, as I take
it, a proof of Aristotle's metaphysics of the "unmoved mover"?
No, just the opposite. There is no fixed point in the heavens and Eco knows it.
(Take a look at the treatment of that issue in his next book "The Island of
the Day Before".) Even from earth, the only apparent fixed point is the north
star, but the pendulum will not point to it unless it is set up at the North
Pole, which this one (being in Paris) was not. So Eco is having his narrator
tell us a lie. With that he is cueing the careful reader to at least one fact -
that the narrator is unreliable.

Also, you seem to be unaware that there were two important Foucaults: the 19th
century one who invented this pendulum, Leon Foucault, who also invented the
gyroscope; the other is the 30th century Michel Foucault, who wrote about power
and knowledge, knowledge and discourse, madness and civilization, the sort of
things you find in this very novel. So, Eco as usual, is playing with words,
even in the title.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
He seems to be saying
Never confuse an author with one of his characters.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
that if this pendulum were not--despite
resistance and gravity--
Leave gravity out of it, that is an absolute necessity. I think you mean to say
"leaving friction aside".
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
to some degree fixed upon what is essentially
an unmoving, dimensionless point,
But it is not. The narrator has it wrong way around. As the earth rotates, the
dome of the Conservatory points to many different parts of the universe, and as
the earth's axis tilts day by day, it does not even retrace those points from
day to day. ECO IS STARTING WITH A RED HERRING!
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
it could not rotate just as it does
in order to demonstrate the motions of the earth.
In other words, it is not earth motion causing the pendulum to rotate
in its swing, but quite to the contrary it is the fact of that point
of suspension being close enough to the ideal of the 'dimensionless'
that it functions as the 'immobile' such that the earth must be seen
to rotate around that point--but not only the earth, indeed the entire
universe?
See above.

That comment reminds me of an interview a few years back between a ditzy
interviewer and an astronomer. The astronomer mentioned that the Hubble
Telescope gave us far clearer pictures of the universe than anything that had
come before. To that the interviewer asked, "Is that because it is so close to
the starts?"
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
In short, the earth motion is not doing it, the dimensionless
immobility is the thing that makes Foucault's Pendulum do what it
does, simply to demonstrate that motion.
No.

Focus more on Michel Foucault.


Francis A. Miniter
J Seymour MacNicely
2007-06-05 08:20:52 UTC
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
No, just the opposite. There is no fixed point in the heavens and Eco knows it.
"I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work,
there, Lou."

Not time for much, am leaving for a week or two in the mountains,
but . . .

The 'fixed point' as described by the narrator is not 'in the
heavens'. It is too fine a point to be located anywhere in the
empirically known universe. The point is "dimensionless"--or i.e., for
all practical purposes it tends to behave as though it were, such that
Eco, not only the narrator is saying, "Think 'Coriolis Effect' and of
all the reasons why it should have nothing whatever to do with this so
as to be misconstrued as a 'force'.

There is no force, other than gravity and resistance acting upon the
pendulum whatsoever--and most decidedly not some hazily understood
force or momentum come of Earth's rotation. The motion and direction
of the pendulum does not change, only the rotational motion of the
earth does. Despite that motion, that impotent force, the pendulum
does not change, as witness what it does at the equator, where it
swings continually in line with it.

But that the 'fixed point' itself precesses requires a better
explanation, since it shows that the pendulum is not even tied to the
angle of Earth's axis--it keeps swinging to the beat of the Real big
bang band despite the tilt.

While the physical fixed point changes with the aim of the axis, the
pendulum remains pointed at something else, toward the original
vector, in line with the dimensionless; not *at* the dimensionless but
close as anything could come to it; pointing not at the heavens but at
what is much more the point.

And much more to the point, Eco must of course present his narrator as
mad, lest someone should say Eco is mad. That's the point. See the
author of 'Silence of the Lambs" for the same point and another
example of the same authorial device--where Hannibal comes off,
despite it all as such an oddly charming fellow of a 'sympathetic
character', mad as a hatter, mean as a jungle cat but wearing a good
hat.
--
Mac the Nice
Francis A. Miniter
2007-06-05 15:55:03 UTC
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Post by J Seymour MacNicely
Post by Francis A. Miniter
No, just the opposite. There is no fixed point in the heavens and Eco knows it.
"I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work,
there, Lou."
Not time for much, am leaving for a week or two in the mountains,
but . . .
The 'fixed point' as described by the narrator is not 'in the
heavens'. It is too fine a point to be located anywhere in the
empirically known universe. The point is "dimensionless"
all points are dimensionless. Geometry 101.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
--or i.e., for
all practical purposes it tends to behave as though it were, such that
Eco, not only the narrator is saying, "Think 'Coriolis Effect' and of
all the reasons why it should have nothing whatever to do with this so
as to be misconstrued as a 'force'.
There is no force, other than gravity and resistance acting upon the
pendulum whatsoever--and most decidedly not some hazily understood
force or momentum come of Earth's rotation. The motion and direction
of the pendulum does not change, only the rotational motion of the
earth does. Despite that motion, that impotent force, the pendulum
does not change, as witness what it does at the equator, where it
swings continually in line with it.
But that the 'fixed point' itself precesses requires a better
explanation, since it shows that the pendulum is not even tied to the
angle of Earth's axis--it keeps swinging to the beat of the Real big
bang band despite the tilt.
??????
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
While the physical fixed point changes with the aim of the axis,
and the rotation of the earth, solar system, galaxy, cluster?
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
the
pendulum remains pointed at something else, toward the original
vector, in line with the dimensionless; not *at* the dimensionless but
close as anything could come to it; pointing not at the heavens but at
what is much more the point.
And much more to the point, Eco must of course present his narrator as
mad, lest someone should say Eco is mad.
Or that you are, since I don't believe for a moment that Eco buys this. He is
satirizing a number of things, including Kabballah. It is Casaubon who is
trying to read Kabballah into the movement of the Pendulum.

If you don't keep a proper psychological distance, you will become as mad as
Belbo and Casaubon.
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
That's the point. See the
author of 'Silence of the Lambs" for the same point and another
example of the same authorial device--where Hannibal comes off,
despite it all as such an oddly charming fellow of a 'sympathetic
character', mad as a hatter, mean as a jungle cat
It thought it was "mean as a junk yard dog"
Post by J Seymour MacNicely
but wearing a good
hat.
--
Mac the Nice
I can see that you have not yet read Eco's later novel "The Island of the Day
Before". Definitely no fixed points there. In fact, that is the whole problem
of longitude. In "Island", Eco uses this inability to say where in the world
you are as a metaphor for existential lostness.


Francis A. Miniter
Dwib
2007-06-04 07:10:55 UTC
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Post by J Seymour MacNicely
In short, the earth motion is not doing it, the dimensionless
immobility is the thing that makes Foucault's Pendulum do what it
does, simply to demonstrate that motion.
Does that viewpoint agree with the fact that Foucault's pendulum has a
Sin(latitude) effect? Like, the plane of the pendulum doesn't rotate
at the equator.

Dwib
Junya Harpo
2015-06-22 16:38:56 UTC
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Post by J Seymour MacNicely
At last it has come to hand: they were giving it away FREE at the
Friendly Bookstore downtown, with the front cover torn off. So, I
thought, well, I could actually bend at the waist enough to pick that
up. At my age an expense of energy like that is worth about a dollar.
Would I spend it?
Yes! And I'm so glad I did.
Now, previously I had got about a third of the way into *The Name of
the Rose* before to my distaste, a fine beginning soon turned into
something Eco, from the looks of it, just had to get off his desk in
the form of a Jesuit James Bond thriller, for sake of a few lira in
his pocket, and thereby gain the freedom to finance something new to
pick up from where inspiration ran out.
Foucault's Pendulum, so far, looks like it came roaring back.
I begin with a question to anyone familiar enough with physics to
answer this question: What exactly is this bit about Foucault's
pendulum proving, ideally speaking, that any "dimensionless point in
space" from which such a pendulum is suspended is somehow, as I take
it, a proof of Aristotle's metaphysics of the "unmoved mover"?
He seems to be saying that if this pendulum were not--despite
resistance and gravity--to some degree fixed upon what is essentially
an unmoving, dimensionless point, it could not rotate just as it does
in order to demonstrate the motions of the earth.
In other words, it is not earth motion causing the pendulum to rotate
in its swing, but quite to the contrary it is the fact of that point
of suspension being close enough to the ideal of the 'dimensionless'
that it functions as the 'immobile' such that the earth must be seen
to rotate around that point--but not only the earth, indeed the entire
universe?
In short, the earth motion is not doing it, the dimensionless
immobility is the thing that makes Foucault's Pendulum do what it
does, simply to demonstrate that motion.
--
Mackie
http://whosenose.blogspot.com
http://doo-dads.blogspot.com/
http://www.mackiemesser.zoomshare.com/0.html
http://vignettes-mackie.blogspot.com/
CONCURRENT EVENTS WERE OCCURRING AS I READ 'FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM' (1992)
By the time I reached the conclusion of the book there was an incarnated intersection with my own life experiences
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