Summary: Various nonsense about logos, tribalism, extraterrestrial aliens, etc.
Keywords: logos, tribal, extraterrestrial aliens
Our logo has attracted some hostile comments. These were largely anti-semitic in tone, seemingly based on its apparent incorporation of the 'Star of David' and a coincidence with the 'cabbalistic' number seven. One bigot haranged it as an Islamic symbol: indeed, it does correspond to a beautiful pattern widely used in Islamic art and architecture [note 1]. However, Pleiade Associates is a secular company with no adherence or affiliation to any religious faith or group. As such, we regard religious belief as a matter for individual conscience and therefore disavow all bigotry and prejudice, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia [note 2].
We cannot aid those seeking an esoteric basis for the design of the logo. To us its form resembles the molecular bonding pattern of carbon—perhaps this is an apt emblem for members of a carbon based life-form assembled from the debris or 'stardust' of a succession of supernovæ [note 3].
In reality the logo is merely a symbolic depiction of the 'seven' stars of the Pleiades—the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology—our adopted namesake. In terms of a 20th century psychological theory of perception it is also a gestalt, that is, a perceived figure which is more than the sum of its parts: the apparent 'stars' being formed by a configuration of hexagons.
Too much significance is given to logos, they are intrinsically trivial. Even so, in combining a simple element (a regular hexagon*) into a pictorially apt and distinctive emblem, our logo could be seen as representative of one of our wider aims—to produce greater effects with lesser means. In fact, it is based on an heraldic badge that is licenced for our authorized use as a company logo. In an unusual reversal of the normal sequence, the name was partly inspired by a nameless emblem.
In response to some credulous visitors to this site:
Let's try to keep within hailing distance of reality…
Decagonal and Quasi-Crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture. Peter J. Lu1 & Paul J. Steinhardt2 : Science 315, 1106 (2007). Decagonal and Quasi-Crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture (pdf, 1.1 MB) and Supplemental figures (pdf, 4.6 MB).
Abstract: The conventional view holds that girih (geometric star-and-polygon, or strapwork) patterns in medieval Islamic architecture were conceived by their designers as a network of zigzagging lines, where the lines were drafted directly with a straightedge and a compass. We show that by 1200 C.E. a conceptual breakthrough occurred in which girih patterns were reconceived as tessellations of a special set of equilateral polygons ("girih tiles") decorated with lines. These tiles enabled the creation of increasingly complex periodic girih patterns, and by the 15th century, the tessellation approach was combined with self-similar transformations to construct nearly perfect quasi-crystalline Penrose patterns, five centuries before their discovery in the West.
1 Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
2 Department of Physics and Princeton Center for Theoretical Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
* Actually, the pattern in the logo is a simple rhombille tessellation, as it is reducible to an isohedral periodic tiling of identical 60° rhombi in a Euclidean plane. It has an equal distribution of the two colours, with hexagonal sub-tessellations in blue and hexagrams in white.Note 2
Karl Popper exposed the basis of prejudice in his defence of liberal democracy against its enemies, both within and without, 'The Open Society and its Enemies'†. Written during the Second World War, its analysis of the historicist basis of totalitarianism sets out a curriculum vitae of tribalism's enduring reaction to the emergence of the Open Society. It remains relevant – perhaps now as never before.
† Karl Popper: The Open Society and its Enemies –
[ISBN 0 7100 1967 X & ISBN 0 7100 4625 1. London, 1945].
[ISBN 0 7100 1968 8 & ISBN 0 7100 4626 X. London, 1945].
Evidence from recent research indicates that the material forming the Solar System is of multiple supernovae origin. The discovery of anomalies in the molybdenum isotope composition of the stony meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites has important implications for the mixing of interstellar dust grains in the early Solar System. These meteorites are enhanced in p- and r-process molybdenum isotopes, pointing to diverse supernova sources for this pre-solar material.
Diverse supernova sources of pre-solar material inferred from molybdenum isotopes in meteorites. Qingzhu Yin, Stein B. Jacobsen & Katsuyuki Yamashita. Nature 415, 881-883 (2002). Abstact.
It is clear that for life "as we know it" the Pleiades is an inhospitable neighbourhood in the inner suburbs of the galaxy. The evolution of even primitive forms of life in the cluster is highly improbable, given that the cluster is only 100 million years old. After some 30 million years, several of its member stars may have been orbited by primative planets [5,6]. Even so, any 70 million year old planetary system is a mere infant compared with the 4.6 billion year old Solar System and probably remains subject to massive and relentless bombardment from the dust and debris comprising the enveloping nebulæ. Add to this the hazards posed by the energetic detritus from the exploded shells of several 'white dwarf' stars and the X-ray emissions of some 170 stars in the cluster (X-ray sources up to a thousand times more powerful than the sun), and you can see that given, say, another 4 or 5 billion years of evolution the place may be suitable to move into and raise a family!
This could be fortunate timing, since it's likely that the Solar System will be fairly inhospitable by then: with the sun expanding into a 'red giant', the prospect of 'global warming' would be beyond contention.Note 5
A short timescale for terrestrial planet formation from Hf-W chronometry of meteorites. Qingzhu Yin, S. B. Jacobsen, K. Yamashita, J. Blichert-Toft, P. Télouk & F. Albaréde: Nature 418, 949 – 952 (2002).Note 6
Rapid accretion and early core formation on asteroids and the terrestrial planets from Hf-W chronometry. T. Kleine, C. Münker, K. Mezger & H. Palme: Nature 418, 952 – 955, (2002).
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King: Strength in Love.
The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts. He ascribes all his failure to get on in the world, all of his congenital incapacity and damfoolishness, to the machinations of werewolves assembled in Wall Street, or some other such den of infamy.