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Archive for the ‘paradox’ Category

Of dualities, contradictions and the nonduality, yet more

Monday, April 7th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- like a fox in the hen-house, artist Miriam Elia among the Penguins ]

Simply this:


You may recall my interest in the matter of non-duality, which runs all the way from the lofty theological abstraction of Nicholas of Cusa in his Of the Vision of God:

I have learned that the place wherein Thou art found unveiled is girt round with the coincidence of contradictories, and this is the wall of Paradise wherein Thou dost abide…

to a practical if unexpected means of obtaining ceasefires in “gun battles between police and gangsters”…


The unfortunate rabbit in the illustration atop this page has been cut in half. By a taxidermist who fancies himself a post-modernist, perhaps?

The image comes from a book by artist Miriam Elia, brilliantly lampooning the contemporary art scene in the pages of a clearly satirical imitation children’s book in the Penguin Ladybird Books series. Penguin is flapping its legal wings, and wants any remaining copies of the book destroyed once the artist has recouped her costs.

  • Read the story at Hyperallergic
  • Read the story at the Independent
  • Read the story at the Guardian

  • Buy your own signed copy, quick, on eBay
  • **

    Okay, as usual, the affair is subtler than our knee-jerk reactions might suggest, and while Penguin comes off a little flat-footed, it is in fact in reasonably courteous discussions with the artist by her own account, and perhaps something good will come out of the kerfuffle. Censorship has a habit of biting back.

    It’s the dual rabbit that concerns me, though. Can it be happy, sliced and spaced like that? IMO, the whole page is a brilliant visual koan.

    Run, Rabbit, run!


    An iconic photo?

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- iconic, ironic, either way it's interesting, instructive ]


    Theory and Practice:

    Friday, November 29th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron -- how theory works out in practice, and vice versa ]

    Here’s the first of a pair of “patterns” of interest…

    Theory contradicts practice:

    — with thanks to my friend Peter van der Werff!


    And here’s the second, a delicious serpent-bites-tail tweet re Egypt:

    Practice contradicts theory:


    Okay, there are two more items for the “pattern recognition” / “pattern language” archives…

    And here’s wishing you all a Happy Black Friday — if that’s even concedivable!


    One person’s this is another person’s that

    Saturday, October 12th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron -- under the same black flag ]

    In this case, one neighborhood’s supplier of food relief (upper panel)…

    is another soldier’s execution squad (lower panel).

    Food for a Sunni neighborhood, in other words, death for the Alawite soldier.


    Both images from Aaron Zelin‘s 46 Scenes From The Islamic State In Syria on BuzzFeed today — recommended.


    Serpent logics: KarlreMarks and LizzyPearson

    Monday, October 7th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron -- yet another quick dip into the dizzying world of patterns enfolded in tweets ]

    My collection of “Serpent logics” or “patterns of thinking” in the miniature format provided by the Twitter-stream got a noble boost today — you can blame my insomnia for my noticing this — from Karl Sharro and Elizabeth Pearson:

    Sbarro unwittingly triggered things off by tweeting:

    Pearson picked upon the “nested” quality of this tweet, and tweeted back:

    and to clarify:


    That was neat enough indeed, what with three instances in a row of self-referential tweets, each of which enfolds a previous tweet within it — the pattern I’m always on the look out for, and call “Matrioshka” after those nested Russian dolls — but there was more to come. I turned back — how could I help it — to the first tweet from Sharro:

    and searched for the tweet embedded therein:

    A little deeper into the conversation, I came across this rejoinder, which sent me off on a further journey:

    and lo, the embedded link here led me to a page that contained not one but dozens of tweets, all based on the formula of the three characters went into a bar joke, many of the examples turning Sharro’s mind to matters of philosophy and the Middle East…


    They’re all examples of the kind of “collision thinking” that Arthur Koestler specifies as the source of creative insight (aha!), comedy (ha!) and tragedy (aiyyeee!) — but I’ve selected three which represent three of the different patterns I’m intrigued by:

    That’s a serpent biting its tail joke, if ever I saw one, a conspiracist take on conspiracism.

    Now that, I aver, is a extaordinary example of enantiodromia, or direct reversal.

    And for the pattern I call nominal, one can hardly better this play between the word minimalist and its context…


    It’s time for me to get minimal, too. I have a quite a long line of “Serpent logics” more or less lined up and ready to go, but putting too many of them in one post gets tedious for the readership, so I’ve cut these examples out of the herd to give you a taste, and will follow up with two mmore selections in a day or two.


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