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On analogical mountains — & pitons that portend enlightenment

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — carrying French mountaineering coals to a mountaineering Frenchman ]
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As imagination can reach farther than spacecraft, so analogical mountains are at a higher elevation — indeed, a higher octave — than physical ones:

Tablet DQ rurp mt analogue


René Daumal
‘s brilliant novel Mount Analogue was uncompleted, and fittingly so, at his death — the peak of the book’s arduous ascent being by necessity wordless.

Thete’s nothing non-Eucidean or metaphysical about Chouinard‘s RURP, however — it’s a piton so small that if you dare hang your life on it, you might well expect to achieve enlightenment. I was given mine as a keepsake by a hitchhiker on his way to try the lower slopes of Everest, while I was taking the hippie route through Turkey and Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in the early seventies. And yes, I confess I use it for exclusively analogical mountaineering.

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This DoubleQuote is for my long-time boss and friend Victor d’Allant, who tweeted today:

Salut!

The pearl and diamond of fightless fighting

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — Sun Tzu meets Willie Pep ]
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SPEC pearl diamong sun tzu pep

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Sun Tzu‘s fightless victory is like the Platonic pearl, ideal, perfectly spherical. Pep‘s blowless round is like a cut diamond, multifaceted — some claim the tale is true, some that he fabricated the tale years later, some that it was a boast he made before the fight — one version suggests Pep told St. Paul sports writer Don Riley, who was covering the fight for Minnesota radio station WMIN:

Pick a round, I’ll throw punches, but I’ll never hit him. Check the scorecards after, and see if the judges fall for it.

Who knows? A good tale frays into a thousand fugal strands in the Ocean of Story.

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The curiosity:

The more facets a diamond built to approximate a sphere has, the closer it comes to the Platonic sphere.. Quite what the analogy with narrative variants would be, currently escapes me.

Sunday surprise: nunchucks and katana

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — weaponry in advertising and robotics — just some light weekend viewing ]
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You may have seen these already — they go nicely together, I think, though I might be hard pressed to say why.

and:

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Further reading:

  • The Bruce Lee Ping Pong Video. Cool, But Not Real
  • Samurai Robot Challenges Human Sword Master
  • Whose mind hath the finer blade?

    Monday, October 12th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — robert frost, the poet, or yogi berra, the player? ]
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    SPEC Frost Yogi

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    Also of interest, Frost‘s comment, quoted on the Classic Poetry Pages:

    One stanza of ‘The Road Not Taken’ was written while I was sitting on a sofa in the middle of England: Was found three or four years later, and I couldn’t bear not to finish it. I wasn’t thinking about myself there, but about a friend who had gone off to war, a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn’t go the other. He was hard on himself that way.

    As that page shows, I’m certainly not the first to note the overlap between Robert Frost and Yogi Berra — but it caught my attention today as I was reading a comment on Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse‘s On Some Yogisms:

    And “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” was his joking way of giving directions to his NJ home. You could get there by going either way once you reached the fork he was referring to; both roads led to his house eventually.

    That gives a literal context to Berra’s flight of fancy — and yeah, some roads are looped, it’s true — but without the wit, there’s be no wisdom.

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    Witty Wittgenstein, as apparently quoted by Ray Monk and in the Aikin and Talisse piece:

    A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.

    War Games

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — not a FIFA joke ]
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    via ElMostaque

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    I’ve no idea of whether this was photoshopped, staged, screencapped, or simply a brilliant photo, but it’s war fun and games any way you look at it.

    A visual koan.

    The image is several years old, but I just saw it today via @EMostaque.


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