Music and the Book of Symmetries

I kept good distance from social media for years. I knew it had music but also that it was mostly noise. Yes one can choose how to and where to spend their time but regardless, it felt like time wasted every time and I always reflect on this.

I spent my life in classrooms, as a student and as a teacher, and sporadically as both, between more college and the occasional workshops.

One is always a learner, by default, but is a student when we go to school, when we ‘put’ ourselves into the learning process.

We learn using our senses as input but don’t give much thought to what we’re letting through; sometimes ideas so foreign to one’s own. All thought is open to all thinkers of all ages, when guidance isn’t available for everyone.

Occasionally, there is less music than noise, meaning that not all input is good input, this is especially true on social media.

So I decided to play music, write that is, with the butter and cream of what I know, by plucking some strings and I found this great book that had plenty of expressive lyrics with layers of meanings, on flexible sheets of stretchy paper.

This book seemed underrated and was even controversial, which might suggest to consider another, or of course critique it, objectively, no matter how much I like it because I do and I hope you get a chance to check it out, perhaps you’ll like it too.

The next thing I know I was doing a book review, for someone ought to do it for the sake of knowledge. May we all peer review this review.

“These lyrics were punctuated with stars and each line was like a taut string of its own, tied to a star at its end, with its number inside. The star count ranges between 3 and 300 in each sheet. The book has over 100 sheets and 6000 lines/stars, not of code, but of strings of characters.”

“The two columns of its Table of Contents intertwine, like two grape vines.”

“Basic algebra reveals an odd-even symmetry at play. The chapter numbers and the counts of stars are bound together. The symmetry is that of structure. With basic math and data analysis skills one can calculate the odds and see how they decrease with further study.”

“Some learning requires a curious spirit.”

“In computer language, strings are bunches of characters lined up together to form a single string. In this context, in order to separate one string from another, we can use a line break or a special punctuation, perhaps a star, like the case is in this book.”

“The symmetry of the stars based on their odd and even counts and locations is wholesome.“

The characters are an alphabet of twenty eight keys. The only additional key allowed is the spacebar, to separate the bunches of letters making up the book’s words. There are mentions of numbers throughout the text but in their written forms, like three hundred and nine.

Another story about people in caves

If one counts the words (or spaces and stars) of the story of the People of the Cave in its original language one gets to the phrase “three hundred and nine” as count three hundred and nine!

The original text of the story, read from right to left, boxed in blue.
The English translation of the story.

It’s normal for the number of words to be different after translation from the original text, unless was translated word for word.

Better yet, what if it was transliterated letter for letter, since if word counts are accounted for, perhaps letter counts are too. Here are the 28 letters, only 6 of which are difficult to pronounce.

From Star Dataset

Later, this transliteration can be translated, but for now the transliteration is all a data enthusiast needs to embark on a journey into the past. It is all stories and tails of people, their encounters with other people, and plenty of conversations, seemingly preserved, word for word.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store