mandag 5. november 2007

The Love Formula

What better way to celebrate November and the dark Age ahead of us, than by quoting one of my very fav authors, the Polish SF-writer Stanislaw Lem?
Quite the opposite of other atheist authors, like Philip Pullmann to mention a relevant case, Lem is fair to folk of other philosophies - and rather fun to read, to understate a tad.

Here is but one example of why Lem would have deserved the Nobel Prize far more than Doris Lessing, to understate rather more than a tad.

From The Cyberiad, a true work of genius:

Love and Tensors

Come, let us hasten to a higher plane,
Where dyads tred the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to _n_,
Commingled in an endless Markov chain!

Come, every frustrum longs to be a cone,
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.

I'll grant thee random access to my heart,
Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love;
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove,
And in our bound partition never part.

For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel,
Or Fourier, or any Boole or Euler,
Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers,
Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell?

Cancel me not--for what then shall remain?
Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine!
The product of our scalars is defined!
Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine.

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh.
Bernoulli would have been content to die,
Had he known such a^2 cos(2 \phi) !

Other translation may be found here.

Use you vectors wisely.