[ 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:
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 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:
So three conspiracy theorists walk into a bar. Do you think it's a coincidence?
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.
[ by Charles Cameron — where paradox begets form in phrasing, redux ]
Here for your entertainment and entrainment are some further instances where the tweet doubles back on itself, bites its tail, or otherwise embodies some form of “form” that’s noteworthy in its own right, and possibly indicative of the heart of a problem — think of these tweets as eddies in the flow of things, knots in the wood…
Two arms crossed as in that MC Escher hand-draws-hand piece:
Microeconomics successfully describes situations that never occur. Macroeconomics unsuccessfully describes situations that occur constantly.
The time has come. According to the Terminator clock, at 8:11 p.m. Tuesday, Skynet will become self-aware. And humanity will be screwed. Going by canon set out in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, Judgment Day should hit Thursday.
Never mind Mikko, this one’s funny too — if and only if one’s also familiar with Wikipedia, which seems plausible in all cases for those who follow twitter — it wins double-honors in fact, hitting it out of the self-reference ball-park and into parallelism as satire:
This Tweet has multiple issues.
This Tweet needs additional citations for verification.
This Tweet may need to be rewritten entirely.
The next one depends on your knowing that the Greek mythological creature known as a Naiad refers to “any of the nymphs in classical mythology living in and giving life to lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains”:
Last Thursday as I was rolling into the Pentagon Metro station I noticed from the train window a giant sign that read, “Snowden Honored His Oath. Honor Yours! Stop Big Brother!”
Before I could snap a picture or see who’d sponsored the sign, the train was rolling out. For the rest of the weekend I wondered who had the chutzpah (and the inventiveness) to praise Snowden at the Pentagon stop, where it’s far more common to see ads from lobbyists praising the merits of some piece of military tech.
Turns out it was the Oath Keepers, “a coalition of current and former military, police, and other public officials [who] have pledged not to obey unconstitutional commands.”
And the enantiodromia here, the sudden switcheroo? That’s to do with Greenwald suddenly tweeting an appreciation of the OathKeepers — not his usual allies by any stretch of the imagination. So this one might equally be filed under “strange bedfellows”.
Or a “one two combo” perhaps? Left jab right cross, to be specific?
Everybody understands the obvious meaning of the world struggle in which we are engaged. We are defending freedom against tyranny and are trying to preserve justice against a system which has, demonically, distilled injustice and cruelty out of its original promise of a higher justice.
The second is from UK’s Labour MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, who once said:
My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. … My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.
Right or wrong, Kaufman was in effect asserting the danger of enantiodromia…
Note well that enantiodromiais mostly used to refer to a single switchback: iterative enantiodromia would be a form of boustropehdon.
Note also that David Myatt, whose comment on enantiodromia in Heraclitus I linked to above, is an interesting fellow in his own right, having been a leading UK neonazi for decades, then converting to Islam and preaching jihad and praise of bin Laden — now finally settling into his (hopefully, final) role as an English country gentleman and proponent of moderation in all things — an ex-twice-extremist anti-extremist, itself quite an enantiodromic turn of events…
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.