[ by Charles Cameron — continuing my exploration of a pattern language of thoughts, both verbal and imagistic ]
One of my favorite patterns derives from the nesting of Russian dolls inside Russian dolls, so it’s only appropriate to start with an example of what I can only call.. Matrioshka shipping!
It’s my habit, as you may have seen, to collect certain “ways of thinking” in the miniature format provided by my Twitterstream. Whether you think of them as logical forms, patterns in a pattern language, or amuse-bouches for the mind, they are here to delight and instruct — and when you pile a whole lot of them up together, they can make you just a touch dizzy.
Today I’ll be bringing my collection up to date with two posts, Serpent logics: a ramble, and Serpent logics: the marathon. If you want a quick look at some of the neat patterns I’ve seen since I last posted on these topics, this post — Serpent logics: a ramble — is the one for you. If, after reading it, you want a gruelling, hilarious, insightful, insane, devious, extended course in this kind of pattern recognition — try Serpent logics: the marathon.
Here’s one from today, tweeted as I was prepping this post — in a category I’ll simply call…
Admit it, that’s just a trifle mind-blowing, no? C’mon!
Serpent Bites Tail:
Here’s a light-and-dark-hearted example of the ourobouros or serpent-bites-tail recursive patterm, with a hat tip to Allan Stairs:
Follow Kim Kierkegaardashian (@KimKierkegaard) on Twitter if you like mashups between the deepest of theologians and the shallowest of celebrities…
I have no idea what category this one belongs in, so I’ll slip it in here. It’s from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, protecting our digital private parts:
Oh my! A Clash of Classifications!
The EFF even has it’s own playful-serious version of the NSA logo —
— as the DoubleQuote above — juxtaposing how the Agency views itself with how the EFF sees it — illustrates…
DoubleQuotes in the Wild
DoubleQuotes in the Wild is my on-going collection of paired juxtapositions that say more together than they do apart. It’s a beginning training in what F Scott Fitzgerald claimed was the “test of a first-rate intelligence” — “the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”.
The example above comes from Parecidos Razonables, a blog that takes off from the Separated at Birth concept and specializes in double-takes of this sort, often satirical. One of their more celebrated examples:
I’d have juxtaposed Vladimir Putin with Daniel Craig as James Bond myself, but that idea has already been taken — a Bond fan apparently photoshopped Putin’s face onto a poster of Bond in Casino Royale, and then “plastered” Moscow with his handiwork.
Apparently the Apparat, like Queen Victoria, was not amused. I’d have been flattered…
While we’re on the subject of President Putin, here’s another category to consider…
The op eds by Presidents Putin and Rouhani to which Soufan refers are Putin’s A Plea for Caution From Russia and Rouhani’s Why Iran seeks constructive engagement.
Ali Soufan, the author of Black Banners, is always worth paying attention to — and his tweet, above, clearly belongs with that Alasdair MacIntyre quote I’m so fond of [1, 2]:
Not one game is being played, but several, and, if the game metaphor may be stretched further, the problem about real life is that moving one’s knight to QB3 may always be replied to by a lob over the net
Let’s close with some examples from the arts, the first with just a touch of Tibetan Buddhist flavor…
One of mine:
For further details, see Death and hallucination color new work by Chinese artist Zhang Huan after life-altering Tibet trip.
And the second, a pair of images — each in itself a sort of DoubleQuote in the Wild comparing the forms of birds and mechanical objects in a single photo — posted together today by Wm. Benzon under the title Conjunctions:
Birds and cranes, New Jersey and Lower Manhattan.
Birds and cranes, Brooklyn and Governors Island.
Magnificent — what a generous eye he has — many thanks, good Sir!
Patterns? You might think of them as Jungian archetypes, Platonic ideas, Hofstadterian analogies — or Ayat, the same word used to describe the verses of the Qur’an, signs in the calligraphy of God:
Qur’an 41 (Fussilat), 53
We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves…
And now, consider your options. Have you had enough of these damn patterns of mine — or would you like to try out for the marathon version?