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Two more tweets of interest from Elijah Magnier

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — angels as force multipliers for ISIS, and the cross restored ]
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I used a tweet from Magnier in Prophetic dreams, Dabiq now, Mosul back then, and another in my comment on The map borders on the territory? Turkey, Palestine. Here are two more..

The first updates us on the Qur’anic concept of angels, rank on rank, supporting the Muslims at the Battle of Badr (Qur’an 8.9):

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And before I show you the second, let me remind you of this, from November of last year:

mosul-church

Now the situation is blessedly reversed:

Trolleys come to Terror

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a western koan makes it onto German TV? ]
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What Hala Jaber calls a supermarket trolley in this tweet is not what this post is about — but it sure does connect trolley and terror!

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Here’s the terror side of things, in a tweet from John Horgan:

The BBC halls it an “interactive courtroom drama interactive courtroom drama centred on a fictional act of terror” and notes:

The public was asked to judge whether a military pilot who downs a hijacked passenger jet due to be crashed into a football stadium is guilty of murder.

Viewers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria gave their verdict online or by phone. The programme was also aired in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The vast majority called for the pilot, Lars Koch, to be acquitted.

Here’s the setup:

In the fictional plot, militants from an al-Qaeda offshoot hijack a Lufthansa Airbus A320 with 164 people on board and aim to crash it into a stadium packed with 70,000 people during a football match between Germany and England.

“If I don’t shoot, tens of thousands will die,” German air force Major Lars Koch says as he flouts the orders of his superiors and takes aim at an engine of the plane.

The jet crashes into a field, killing everyone on board.

So, is the pilot guilty, or not guilty?

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At the very least, he has our sympathy — but how does that play out in legal proceedings?

What’s so fascinating here is the pilot’s dilemma, which resembles nothing so much as a zen koan.

Except for the Trolley Problem:

trolley_problem
Image from Wikimedia by McGeddon under license CC-BY-SA-4.0

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Substitute an Airbus for the trolley, 164 people for the lone individual on the trolley line, and 70,000 people for the cluster of five — and the pilot for the guy who can make a decision and switch the tracks.

There you have it: terror plot and trolley problem running in parallel.

To be honest, I think the full hour-plus movie is far more immersive, to use a term from game design, than the Trolley Problem stated verbally as a problem in logic — meaning that the viewer is in some sense projected, catapulted into the fighter-pilot’s hot seat — in his cockpit, facing a high speed, high risk emergency, and in court, on trial for murder.

It’s my guess that more people would vote for the deaths of 164 under this scenario than for the death of one in the case of the trolley — but that’s a guess.

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The German film scenario — adapted from a play by Ferdinand von Schirach — is indeed a courtroom drama, a “case” in the sense of “case law”. And it’s suggestive that koans, too, are considered “cases” in a similar vein. Here, for instance, is a classic definition of koans :

Kung-an may be compared to the case records of the public law court. Kung, or “public”, is the single track followed by all sages and worthy men alike, the highest principle which serves as a road for the whole world. An, or “records”, are the orthodox writings which record what the sages and worthy men regard as principles [..]

This principle accords with the spiritual source, tallies with the mysterious meaning, destroys birth-and-death, and transcends the passions. It cannot be understood by logic; it cannot be transmitted in words; it cannot be explained in writing; it cannot be measured by reason. It is like a poisoned drum that kills all who hear it, or like a great fire that consumes all who come near it. [..]

The so-called venerable masters of Zen are the chief officials of the public law courts of the monastic community, as it were, and their collections of sayings are the case records of points that have been vigorously advocated.

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Relevant texts:

  • John Daido Loori, Sitting with Koans
  • John Daido Loori, The True Dharma Eye
  • Cole Bunzel captures the Dabiq moment

    Friday, October 14th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — ISIS and Dabiq, with Stephen O’Leary on the Millerites in parallel ]
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    I have a longish post in the works about the battle for Dabiq which will soon be upon us, in which I’ll give some preliminary indications about the ways in which groups spin things when prophecies on which they’ve depended don’t occur as prophesied and planned. It’s a wonderfully complex business, and one with direct bearing on the current situation.

    Meanwhile, Colw Bunzel fills us in on the ISIS strategy this time around, in a tweet today which I’m posting while still working on my longer ZP piece:

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    Postponement.

    This is reminiscent of the Millerites, whose prophet William Miller predicted , “I am fully convinced that sometime between March 21st, 1843, and March 21st, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of computation of time, Christ will come.” Stephen O’Leary, in his magisterial Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric, comments:

    When the End failed to materialize by March 22, the movement’s first crisis of confidence occurred. Various attempts to recalculate the chronology were made. The puzzling failure of the Lord to return was interpreted as the “tarrying time” of the biblical parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Mt. 25:1—12), a key text for the Millerites. Attempts were also made to justify the failure of prophecy on the grounds that the Lord was testing the believers’ faith.

    O’Leary’s chapters 4, Millerism as a Rhetorical Movement, and 5, Millerite Argumentation, are definitive, and Festinger‘s When Prophecy Fails is the classic psychological exploration of prophetic failures, and subsequent work by scholars of apocalyptic and new religious movements have refined and expanded our understanding of such processes. But more of all that in my pending post here, My latest for Lapido: on the fall of Dabiq & failure of prophecy.

    Wikileaks weak on graphics

    Sunday, August 7th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — interested in close, not far-fetched, analogies ]
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    A while back in 2011, Aaron Zelin picked up on a tweet by Aaron Weisburd and retweeted:

    the cover of Inspire 5 is remarkably similar to a wikileaks logo, e.g. http://goo.gl/2wibr coincidence I’m sure…

    I posted about it here on Zenpundit, and to me eye the match does have something to be said for it:

    wikileaks inspire

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    But c’mon, baby.

    I was reading through today’s pretty harsh Intercept piece, What Julian Assange’s War on Hillary Clinton Says About WikiLeaks — amazing, considering the origins of the Intercept in the work of Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras — and came across another purported similarity, this one claimed by Assange himself.

    Only this one really just doesn’t work at all:

    wikileaks clinton

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    Did Assange invent arrows?

    I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous.

    In any case, Hilary got it from Netflix, where they’re airing the Glenn Close series Damages, with John Goodman playing Howard T Erickson, the boss of High Star, a private security firm..

    clinton damages

    Case closed.

    Unfortunate tweet sequence

    Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — keeping a wary eye on algorithms, with the sting in the three links at the end ]
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    Here’s a tweet alerting readers to a newspaper piece on the Munich terror attack:

    Here, entirely by chance, is the tweet that followed it as I scrolled down my feed:

    That tweet, for what it’s worth, was promoted.

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    I’m sure the people doing the promoting wouldn’t have chosen to have me read it immediately after reading the newspaper tweet just above it, but that’s the sort of things that happens when “thought” gets automated. It reminds me of the time I was researching al-Awlaki on the pro-jihadist site Revolution Muslim, and some algorithm suggested I’d like an add offering “bold Christian clothing”:

    Awlaki-and-ad

    No sale there, I’m afraid.

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    It gets more serious, though:

  • 3 Quarks Daily, Algocracy: Outsourcing governance to Algorithms
  • WSJ, Google Mistakenly Tags Black People as ‘Gorillas,’ Showing Limits of Algorithms
  • ProPublica, How We Analyzed the COMPAS Recidivism Algorithm ProPublica

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