i drew the i ching yesterday.

there are sixty-four “hexagrams” here.

each one consists of six “lines”;

each “line” is a yin (“broken”)

or a yang (“unbroken”). one counts

from bottom to top so that for example

_ _

_ _

_ _

___

___

___

has yang lines in its first,

second and third positions

(the “lower trigram”).

the arrangement of the hexagrams here

is my own; i copied it from a similar

arrangement of sixty-four objects

having exactly the same

“six things, with each ‘thing’

taking one of *two* possible

values” form… namely an

arrangement of “subgraphs”

of a certain “graph” having

six “edges”. (i don’t know why

i’m getting all “quotemark happy”

here exactly… maybe it’s the

*opposite* of “scarequotes” i’m

aiming at: by marking technical

terms in this way, i mean to indicate

that their technical sense is

here *recognized as such* [but

without actually wishing to

bother ourselves with their

technical *meanings*]…

“don’t worry about this;

it’s from another part of

a different course [but

worth mentioning here

just the same]”. oh never

mind.)

so much of the “work” of this “exercise”

i set myself will have been, if we want

to think of it this way, *calculation*:

translating each *graph* of the original

drawing i was working from into a

*number* (using binary arithmetic;

the zine i took the original drawing

from [K_4, MathEdZine #0.8] is

essentially *about* binary arithmetic)

and then translating this number

(from 0 to 63… starting at zero

makes things much easier) into the

“hexagram” notation.

of course i could also have just learned

directly which lines on the hexes

corresponds to which line of the graphs,

and spared myself lots of calculation

(by paying the price of having to briefly

memorize subsets of {1,2,3,4,5,6}

a whole bunch of times instead…

or maybe “wordstrings” like

“yes-no-no-yes-yes-no”).

but my way looked easier for me.

then i went ahead and drew ’em all

over again on lined paper. and in

a much more natural order: eight

rows of eight, 0–63. the book i then

turned to *also* had eight rows

of eight but in a different order…

and so i went ahead and looked

up all the correspondences so i’d

have the names… and the numbers

(in the “standard” order for the

writings-of-the-sages associated

to the various hexagrams). and

here i used a “mixed” strategy…

the trigrams have chinese *names*

so as i checked back and forth

i’d subvocalize along the lines

“chi’en over chen” more often

than “seven over zero” since

(as it turns out) i can recognize

even nonsense syllables (in

latin letters) with

less effort than it takes to

“read” a trigram as a number

from 0 to 7.

and i got to thinking about

drilling and killing. now

obviously if i were doing

this kind of thing all day

on a deadline or something,

i’d want a quick-and-easy

*routine* and soon would

arrive at one, too. i’d

slip into a bit of a zone

where i’d devote most of

my conscious effort to

controlling the movements

of my hand to make better

lines and let my inner robot

do the names-and-numbers bits.

i even did some of this yesterday.

but only for a little bit at a time;

this takes *concentration* and

is, pretty specifically, no fun. no.

i haven’t *got* a deadline (alas)

and sure as heck ain’t gonna

do this all day, anyhow not

yesterday i wasn’t. not a bit.

i was also looking up some of

the hexagrams… the one i

typed out a moment ago shows

the “female” sign over the “male”

and denotes “peace” (and when

the positions are reversed,

“stagnation”)… for example,

and thinking back over certain

classroom work in my past and

fantasizing forward about working

with classes of students again.

it’ll never replace DEAD BEEF

but i’d love to give an “i ching

as intro to binary logic” lecture

before they finally haul me away.

to everything there is a season.

a time to gather stones for casting.