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Serpent bites tail, or Genesis revisited

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — serpent, dragon — take your pick ]

I’ve been interested in the form of the serpent that bites its own tail at least since I was in Oxford and wrote the poem:

dragon eats self reference bd

Putting it in a circle-with-tail like that, however, was a much later business, dating to a time when I was figuring out how to annotate recursion in a HipBone game move, and suddenly realized I’d tumbled on the smallest HipBone game board in the process..

Recursion is a key indicator, as Douglas Hofstadter explained in Godel Escher Bach, and as the Cretan philosopher Epimenides knew, with St Paul echoing him at Titus 1.12:

One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.


SPEC Westboro Baptist

The God Hates Fags church protesting Kim Davis, the Rowan (Kentucky) County Clerk who fasted, prayed, and then refused to issue licenses to gay couples who wished to marry, is surely a serpent bites tail moment..


Unless, perhaps, publicity is your god, your sole aim and glory.



  • HuffPo, Kentucky Clerk Says She ‘Prayed And Fasted’ Before Deciding To Stop Issuing Marriage Licenses
  • HuffPo, Westboro Baptist Church Picketed Kim Davis For ‘Enabling Fag Marriage’
  • BTW, flags

    Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — along the lines of yoga chitta vritti nirodha ]

    Obviously. I am going to be interested in the DoubleQuote in the Wild juxtaposition to two flags in a political cartoon commentary on last week’s events in the US, but I still find it very hard to decide whether the appropriate DoubleQuote to embed it in is this:

    SPEC DQ flags 2

    where the “ISIS flag” is in fact a satirical play on the IS flag with silhouetted sex-toys in place of the calligraphy…

    Or this — well, actually, no contest, this one gets my vote by a zen mile!

    SPEC DQ flags 1

    Because, well..

    SPEC DQ flags 3

    I guess that’s my analytic bottom line, right there in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras.



  • This week in flags #lovewins
  • CNN Claimed to Spot an ISIS Flag at a Gay Pride March. It Was Actually a Drawing of Sex Toys
  • Not the wind, not the flag
  • Yoga Sutras: ‘Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodhah’: ‘Yoga is the Cessation of Modifications of Mind’
  • The Tao Te Ching in contemporary western contexts

    Friday, May 29th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — two reasonably diferent ways of contextualizing the Tao Te Ching for the west ]

    DQ Tao Te Ching 43 in Modern Contexts

    Strange, eh?

    I somewhat like Witter Bynner‘s non-literal take on the line in question: “to yield with life solves the insoluble”.

    My own carefully ambiguous version: “Chinese meanings can slip through / into obstinate English translators”.



  • Taoistic Taoism Explained
  • Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi), Chapter 43
  • Physicists solve quantum tunneling mystery
  • Up the Jihad River with gun and camera

    Sunday, September 29th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — the belt-fed video camera, & ammo for women ]

    A brilliant photo juxtaposing war and media in a single image.

    Also reminiscent of that Yardley’s “A Woman’s Ammunition” ad from so long ago:

    Sex fatwas: N so very SFW

    Monday, July 29th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — a comparative view of one of the more alluring byways of the religious imagination ]

    You’ll occasionally see reports of outré sexually-oriented fatwas emerging from the Middle East — and sometimes they’re entirely fictitious. This DoubleQuote is to remind us that outré sexually-oriented religious teachings can crop up all over the place, exercise a momentary thrill, and are soon forgotten.

    The upper of the two images relates to a recent report in Al-Arabiya titled Pro-Mursi protesters are awaiting signal for ‘sexual Jihad’.

    The lower of the two was taken from a “Flirty Fishing” pamphlet put out decades ago by the then Children of God aka The Family — the practice of FFing has since been discontinued. See also (highly NSFW):

  • FF Reports (the bureaucracy!)
  • Bought with a Price
  • God’s Whores, and
  • God’s Love Slave!
  • When last I looked, the best academic text on CoG and FFing was David van Zandt‘s book, Living in the Children of God. Sociologist of religions (and my e-colleague) Stuart Wright has a book chapter titled From “Children of God” to “The Family”: Movement Adaptation and Survival on The Family International’s current site.

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