Götz Kluge

Götz Kluge

Posted on 06/01/2013

Photo taken on August 22, 2011

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The Hunting of the Snark The Hunting of the Snark

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The Hunting of the Snark
Henry Holiday

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From Henry Holiday's illustrations to Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876)

357 · · So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not,
358 · · · · As he wrote with a pen in each hand,
359 · · And explained all the while in a popular style
360 · · · · Which the Beaver could well understand.

361 · · “Taking Three as the subject to reason about—
362 · · · · A convenient number to state—
363 · · We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
364 · · · · By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

365 · · “The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
366 · · · · By Nine Hundred and Ninety Two:
367 · · Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
368 · · · · Exactly and perfectly true.

369 · · “The method employed I would gladly explain,
370 · · · · While I have it so clear in my head,
371 · · If I had but the time and you had but the brain—
372 · · · · But much yet remains to be said.

373 · · “In one moment I’ve seen what has hitherto been
374 · · · · Enveloped in absolute mystery,
375 · · And without extra charge I will give you at large
376 · · · · A Lesson in Natural History.”

High resolution:
- www.ipernity.com/doc/goetzkluge/37490830
- www.ipernity.com/doc/goetzkluge/36365750
- www.academia.edu/11375165/The_Beavers_Lesson

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8 comments - The latest ones
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
6 Sources to the Beaver's Lesson
5 years ago. Edited 5 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
Workplace assessment:
Snarked Workplace
4 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
John Martin's Bard and Henry Holiday's Snark Illustrations
4 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
The formula tought by the Butcher to the poor Beaver is y=((x+7+10)*(1000-8)/992)-17.

The formula simplified: y=x.

This is lots of number crunching for proving nothing.

This reminds me to Charles Babbages number crunching in his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise (1837).

Babbage described a machine, which simply counted from 1 to 100000001 and then changed the "law" for computing the sequence. After applying that 2nd law 2762 times, the machine would switch to a 3rd law, etc.

-2: 99999998
-1: 99999999
0: 100000000
1: 100000001
2: 100010002
3: 100030003
4: 100060004
5: 100100005
6: 100150006
2760: 38174202760
2761: 38201802761
2762: 38229412762
2763: 38257032763
2764: 38284662764

Today it would be easy to implement this as a program. But in the sequence above you see, that nothing special happens at around 2762. Thus, a modern programmer just would have to check a counter or the value after which the law should be changed in order to change that law. But that proves nothing.

Babbage wanted to prove, that a creator could build such a machine. But for sudden changes of rules for sequences you don't need a surprise generator programmed by a creator. There are zillions of state changes in the universe each second. That is a high enough number for "experiments" to allow for the sudden emergency of events which can cause sudden changes to the paradigms for subsequent events.

A meteor crushing into earth can be such an event, or the emergence of a species whose individuals can think about thinking. Sometimes they even do that.
4 years ago. Edited 3 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
3 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge

[...] If the name "Colenso" is vaguely familiar today, it is probably from Lewis Carroll. Before becoming a bishop, Colenso had written a popular set of books on mathematics. If you look at Holiday's original illustration to "The Beaver's Lesson," chapter five of The Hunting of the Snark (p. [49] in Carroll/Gardner), you will observe that one of the books shown there is Colenso's Arithmetic.
Once he became a Bishop, Colenso turned the analytical skills which he had previously used for mathematics to examining the Bible. One of his missions was to the Zulus, whose language he learned (a very unusual act for an Englishman of the time); he published a grammar and dictionary of the language, and began to translate the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer into Zulu.
This proved rather embarassing, because the Zulus had a lot of tricky questions about his teaching (Carroll/Gardner, p. [47]). He began to analyze the Old Testament in mathematical and scientific terms (Ellis, p. 218). His results were published in The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined (completed 1879, according to LarousseDict, p. 329). Carroll/Gardner, p. [47], says that Colenso "reduced to absurdity the literal interpretation of the Bible." Among his calculations was an estimate that, to make the Bible literally true, six men would have had a combined 2748 sons, and that priests would have been forced to consume 88 pigeons daily (Green, p. 281). [...]

Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle: The Ballad Index (2015)
3 years ago. Edited 3 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
357 · · So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not,
358 · · · · As he wrote with a pen in each hand,
359 · · And explained all the while in a popular style
360 · · · · Which the Beaver could well understand.

2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.