tracks, lie's, and exceptional magic

  The ancient Mesopotamians believed birds to be sacred because their footsteps on wet clay left marks that resembled cuneiform writing, and imagined that, if they could decipher the confusion of those signs, they would know what the gods were thinking.
  Alberto Manguel, "A history of reading," p. 184.
I feared that a book without sex, anguish or violence would not sell, so I picked a title that rhymes with Sex, Lies and Videotape. An allusion lost on my graduate students. Managed to get absolutely no sex into the book, which one would expect, considering... If there are lies, they are unintentional. So the only thing that got across is anguish, not so subtly snuck into the "historical" sections, such as 4.9 A brief history of birdtracks, 21.2 A brief history of exceptional magic, and the Epilogue.
Why call this "birdtracks" and not "Feynman diagrams"? The difference is that here diagrams are not a mnemonic device, an aid in writing down an integral that is to be evaluated by other techniques. Here "birdtracks" are everything---unlike Feynman diagrams, here all calculations are carried out in terms of birdtracks, from start to finish. Left behind are blackboards and pages of squiggles of the kind that made Bernice Durand exclaim: "What are these birdtracks!?" and thus give them the name.
If you feel more comfortable calling these things Feynman, Konsevitch, Penrose, Deligne, Vogel, ... diagrams, be my guest.
I called it Magic Triangle as it subsumes Freduenthal's Magic Square.

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