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Let the man keep his own silence or speak for himself

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — regarding the conflicting reports on Imran Yousuf’s religious affiliation ]
.

Perhaps:

Maybe:

**

If the Orlando Marine hero Imran Yousuf is a practicing Muslim, that would tend to balance out the Muslim claim of the shooter, Omar Mateen. Yousuf might be Muslim, he might be Hindu, he might be — who knows? He’s certainly a Marine, which (Semper Fi) is a faith or fidelity of its own. In the meantime, let’s let the man keep his own silence, or speak for himself.

From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a reminder from 2014 — for those who preach love, for those who preach mercy ]
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Rwanda detail
Dominique Ndahimana, Perpetrator (left); Cansilde Munganyinka, Survivor

**

Dominique Ndahimana:

The day I thought of asking pardon, I felt unburdened and relieved. I had lost my humanity because of the crime I committed, but now I am like any human being.

Cansilde Munganyinka:

After I was chased from my village and Dominique and others looted it, I became homeless and insane. Later, when he asked my pardon, I said: ‘I have nothing to feed my children. Are you going to help raise my children? Are you going to build a house for them?’ The next week, Dominique came with some survivors and former prisoners who perpetrated genocide. There were more than 50 of them, and they built my family a house. Ever since then, I have started to feel better. I was like a dry stick; now I feel peaceful in my heart, and I share this peace with my neighbors.

**

Rwanda

**

Another perpetrator / survivor pair:

François Ntambara

Because of the genocide perpetrated in 1994, I participated in the killing of the son of this woman. We are now members of the same group of unity and reconciliation. We share in everything; if she needs some water to drink, I fetch some for her. There is no suspicion between us, whether under sunlight or during the night. I used to have nightmares recalling the sad events I have been through, but now I can sleep peacefully. And when we are together, we are like brother and sister, no suspicion between us.

Epiphanie Mukamusoni:

He killed my child, then he came to ask me pardon. I immediately granted it to him because he did not do it by himself — he was haunted by the devil. I was pleased by the way he testified to the crime instead of keeping it in hiding, because it hurts if someone keeps hiding a crime he committed against you. Before, when I had not yet granted him pardon, he could not come close to me. I treated him like my enemy. But now, I would rather treat him like my own child.

**

Source:

  • Pieter Hugo, Portraits of Reconciliation: 20 years after the genocide in Rwanda
  • photos by Susan Dominus
  • Trump as Walt Whitman?

    Thursday, May 5th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — a drive-by DoubleQuote ]
    .

    Donald Trump
    , as revealed in The Atlantic, as tweeted by Peter R Neumann:

    Trump atlantic

    Walt Whitman, as self-sung:

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    **

    The Question:
    would you want a Walt Whitman for President?

    Namagiri and Ramanujan

    Sunday, May 1st, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — in which we glimpse the (female) divinity hidden behind infinity ]
    .

    Ramanujan and Namagiri

    **

    It is one of the curiosities of mathematics that the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan claimed to have received many, if not all, of his equations from the goddess Namagiri in dreams — and that this idea is all too often quietly omitted from discussions of his uncanny brilliance.

    Now that The Man Who Knew Infinity is out in theaters, it might be wise to explore the connection between Namagiri and Ramanujan a little more closely.

    Dream and waking, darshan and mathematics, inspiration and intuition, intuition and proof, quality and quantity — these polarities are all involved..

    To its credit, the film contains the line:

    You want to know how I get my ideas? God speaks to me.

    However, the idea that “God” might be a goddess seems a reach too far for the screenwriters and director.

    Viewing:

  • Matt Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity
  • Here’s one version of the trailer:

    **

    Stephen Wolfram posted a fine article on his blog last week, Who Was Ramanujan?. He was willing to mention that Ramanujan’s friend and collaborator, GH Hardy, “could be very nerdy — whether about cricket scores, proving the non-existence of God, or writing down rules for his collaboration with Littlewood” — but fails in 31 pages to mention Ramanujan’s own belief that he received his equations from a goddess.

    All of which caused me to pose a question to Wolfram’s own algorithmic genie, Wolfram Alpha:

    Did Namagiri reveal equations to Ramanujan?

    WolframAlpha skipped the words “Did Namagiri reveal” and “to” and concentrated on responding to “equations” and “Ramanujan” — not quite up to par with AlphaGo, I’m afraid, let alone Ramanujan himself, or better, Namagiri.

    Below’s the DoubleQuote I made to by way of comment — note that I’ve only had space for the first line of WolframApha’s extended response:

    Tablet DQ ramanujan namagiri wolfram 1

    **

    Readings:

  • Stephen Wolfram, Who Was Ramanujan?
  • Hinduism Today, Computing the Mathematical Face of God
  • Huffington Post, Ramanujan’s Mock Modular Forms
  • The Hindu, American mathematicians solve Ramanujan’s “deathbed” puzzle
  • Sadhguru, Doorway to the Beyond
  • Paul Chika Emekwulu, Mathematical Encounters: For the inquisitive mind
  • The Hindu, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A misunderstood mind
  • Better angels, honest selves

    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — two phrases, two anthropologies, two ways of virtue — Lincoln & Trump ]
    .

    SPEC DQ Lincoln Sharlet Trump

    **

    Jeff Sharlet is one of our finer writers about religion, and his piece on Donald Trump in Saturday’s NYT Magazine is worth your attention.

    Here, I simply want to contrast Lincoln‘s “better angels of our nature” with Sharlet‘s “lust, the envy, the anger of our more honest selves” — idealism and realism? sanctity and authenticity? — as phrases representing two approaches to human nature, each clearly enunciating a virtue in its own context.

    Sources:

  • Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address
  • Jeff Sharlet, Donald Trump, American Preacher

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