Of serpent-bites in logic

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing my series on the “serpent bites tail” reflexive form (1, 2, 3, 4) in which analytic gems and other insights may often be easily discovered or succinctly expressed — read this post fast for fun, or reflectively (!!) for the ripples ]


I’m going to lead off with this tweet, which seems very timely considering the news this last week or so about Syria…

A lot of people who will not bleed for their beliefs argue for a war they will not pay the blood price for.

— sam (@selil) August 27, 2013

I thought this was another quite beautiful example of “serpent bites its own tail” phrasing — timely too — uttered by JM Berger in summarizing his Loopcast with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on the current status of Al-Qaeda, highly recommended, BTW:

@intelwire on @TheLoopcast w @DaveedGR:"an evolving understanding of a movement that is evolving while we're understanding it" < gt summary

— hipbonegamer (@hipbonegamer) August 26, 2013

And if you want to know about Hezbollah and its global reach, this one refers to the book you need…

Hezbollah book launch is overbooked, but not 2 worry: CSPAN covering the event live & @WashInstitute streaming online http://t.co/XrtxYASo13

— Matthew Levitt (@Levitt_Matt) August 30, 2013


Okay, having given pride of place to those three, I’d like to catch those of you who are interested up on an entire series of self-referencing tweets I’ve run across since I last posted. I’m really collecting these things because I’d like, one of these days, to do a thorough analysis of what they teach us about our modes of thought, and how we can apply that to pattern-recognition in our own readings, and creative insight in our writings and analytic output… In the meantime, don’t feel obliged to read every last one, just dip in as you feel inclined — think of this as a reference section, okay? Take what you need and leave the rest.

Reminds me of Keynes' "prettiest girl contest" description of the stock market. Not about market forces but perceptions of perceptions.

— Peter J. Munson (@peterjmunson) August 23, 2013

One good way to demonstrate that you are committed to transparency is having a press conf where you do not allow your name to be quoted.

— Tim Miller (@Timodc) August 21, 2013

Forge your own weapons to solve your own problems. #coding

— Brute Logic (@brutelogic) August 10, 2013

"Klout score is actually a really good metric for evaluating a person's intelligence."–someone with a high Klout score

— Gartenstein-Ross (@DaveedGR) August 22, 2013

Here’s one that uses the Escher‘s hand draws hand format:

Romance for women in Silicon Valley 'the odds are good, but the goods are odd'. Physics at Oxford – 8:1 M:F ratio.. way back when.

— Elizabeth Pearson (@lizzypearson) August 31, 2013

And here’s a pair that needs to stay together:

Your body will assemble 30 million new cells in the time it takes to read this tweet. Each has the complexity of a medium-sized city.

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