the left-hand photo shows

a nine-point plane: an “ordinary

two-dimensional plane” over the

field with three elements (and its

label is, therefore, ).

such a plane is ordinarily co-ordinatized as

(0,2) (1,2) (2,2)

(0,1) (1,1) (2,1)

(0,0) (1,0) (2,0):

the set of (x,y) such that

x & y are both elements of

the set {0, 1, 2}.

one could convey the same information more

concisely as

02 12 22

01 11 21

00 10 20.

it’s useful for our purpose here, however,

to consider our plane as belonging to a

*three*-dimensional space… (x, y, z)-

-space, let’s say… and as having a

*non-zero* “third” (*i.e.*, “z”)-co-ordinate.

thus, in the photo, our plane is represented by

021 121 221

011 111 211

001 101 201.

the colors come into play in displaying the

solution-sets for various (linear) equations.

the reader can easily verify that the Green

equation—x=2— is “true” for the points of

the vertical line at the right… *i.e.*, for

{ (2,0), (2,1), (2,2) } (old-school), *i.e.* for

{ 201, 211, 221} (“our” version).

likewise “y=x” (the Red equation) gives us

{(0,0), (1,1) (2,2)}… *i.e.*,the “Red line”

{001, 111, 221}.

now for some high-theory. by Algebra I, one has

a well-developed theory of Lines (in the co-ordinate

Plane). the usual approach there is to use the

(so-called) Slopes. the (allegedly intuitive) notion

of “rise over run” allows one to calculate—for any

*nonvertical* line—a number called the Slope (of that

line). vertical lines are said to have “undefined”

slopes. one might also say that they have an “infinite”

slope… though this invites confusion and is usually

best left unmentioned.

y = Mx + B

x = K

are then our “generic” *equations of a line*.

any particular choice of numbers M & B will

correspond to the a set of solutions lying

along a (nonvertical) line having the slope

of M (an passing through (0,B)… the so-

-called “y-intercept” of the line); each vertical

line (likewise) is represented by some particular

choice of K.

now. having different “forms” for vertical and for

nonvertical lines can be devilishly inconvenient,

so, also in algebra I, one sometimes instead uses

the “general form” for an equation of a line in the plane:

Ax + By = K

(with A & B not both zero).

likewise (but typically *not* in algebra-i)

Ax + By + Cz = K

(with A, B, & C not all zero)

is the equation of a *plane* in *three*-dimensions.

thus far i’ve been as precise as i know how.

but now i’m going to start waving my hands around

and making leaps-of-faith all over the place.

in the second photo, four new “points” have been

added into our framework (namely

{010, 120, 110, 100}—the “line at infinity”).

the upshot… without the details… of this move is

that one now has an algebraic theory of “Lines” in a

“Plane” containing precisely our 13 “Points”. more-

over, this theory is “structurally” very similar to

“ordinary” linear theory. in particular, we dealing

with solutions to

Ax + By + Cz = 0—

the “K=0” case of the “general form” for (the 3D case

of the “ordinary” theory).

the Green equation—which must now be written without

its “constant term” (x = 2 is “the K=2 case” of x = K)—

becomes x – 2z = 0;

similarly, rather than (the three-point “line”

of ) “y = 1” (concentric black-and-

-white circles), the (“homogeneous”—for us, right now,

this can be taken as meaning “having no constant term”)

equation is “y – z = 0” (and, again, we pick up a “new”

point at 100).

when the smoke clears… which won’t be here and now…

we’ll have a *very nice* geometry. just as in “ordinary”

space, two distinct points determine a unique line.

but… *unlike* “ordinary” space, it’s also true that

(*any*) two lines determine a unique point.

the same “trick”—homogeneous co-ordinates in finite

fields—converts any plane having p^2 as its number

of points to a *projective* plane having

p^2 + p^1 + p^0

as its number of points. thus there are PP’s having

7, 13, 31 = 5^2 + 5 +1, 57 = 7^2 + 7 + 1, ….

as their number-of-points. there are also some others.

but the margin is too small.

there is, indeed, one more fly

caught in the honey here than

in the entire collection of flies

i’ve ever caught in vinegar. also,

by one of those weird coincidences,

there’s a vinegar bottle right next

to the inverted honeybear. if the

lid had been airtight, all the goop

would’ve settled to the bottom with-

out making it quite so *damn* far… and

wasting a bunch of food and a little

time. and a fly, of course.

… but i’ve lost control of that one.

so here it is again. with a photo

from “vlorbik unstrung”.

the music isn’t by me, of course. “stealing”

already-well-known tunes was good enough for

joe hill and woody. and dylan. so it’s good

enough for me.

i easily figured out the main “trick” in playing it

but haven’t practiced it enough (even now) for

public performance.

negatively fifth street (2015)

a drifter escaped from a boxcar/ denouncing obviously jive believers/ has a zine about it in the catalog/ but nobody can work the damned randtrievers/ and the cats are praying in the alley/ and the pool shark is chalking up his cue/ an’ i’m out lookin’ for my lady/ down on kirkwood avenue

jesse, he’s round the corner/ buskin in front of the bird/ doesn’t bother him if no-one stops to listen/ doesn’t bother him if they don’t like the words/ and some violence boys might come and beat him down/ and he’ll forgive ’em more than i could ever do/ but that’s nothin compared to what’s goin on/ back on kirkwood avenue

a melancholy cougar/ buys a hoagie from a clown/ there’s a tempest brewing somewhere/ and there’s panthers on the other edge of town/ and the goddess of gloom and the jester/ are doin’, that thing they love to do/ in a video montage/ at the parking garage/ on kirkwood avenue

a cloud of marijuana/ is obscuring the people in the park/ or maybe i’m just losing my eyesight/ or maybe it’s just getting close to dark/ an’ the tournament game was a victory/ so now it’s turnin’ into a zoo/ an’ the riot squad and the thunder god/ are on kirkwood avenue