Idle thoughts: on wars, justice and banking

[ by Charles Cameron — reality, appearance and virtuality ]

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These two phrases, wars and rumors of wars and done and seen to be done have apparently been rattling around in my head for long enough that they finally dodged all the other stuff about Mahdis and Glass Bead Games and met.

Okay, I’d already thought of the first one in terms of “Cameron’s Function”:

f(x) = x + rumors of x           (i)

because it seemed to “apply” to other things than war — the instance that gave me that insight was the run-up to the Year 2000, during which it became abundantly clear that rumors of bank runs were precisely what bank runs themselves were about — which in turn became my classic instance of the need for mapping that “crossed over” between the subjective and objective realms — or morale and materiel, as I called them in a recent post.

And so here comes “Cameron’s Function #2”:

f(x) = x + seen to be x         (ii)

What I’m wondering now is whether the two of them are essentially the same “function” — any thoughts? They’re twins — but are they identical?

8 comments on this post.
  1. Bryan Alexander:

    Charles, I was just listening to a podcast discussion about the British banking sector, and was struck by one adjective’s repeated use: "invisible", as in "the invisible service," "invisible economic sector", "invisible economy."  This was used to contrast with manufacturing, whose productions and production process are very visible.
    Done, but not seen to be done?

  2. Cheryl Rofer:

    I would say that they are not identical.
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    "rumors of x" may be believed or not. "seen to be x" implies belief or recognition of an identity.
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    Structurally, and this is related to the previous distinction, the first phrase is a noun phrase. The second is a predicate.

  3. Charles Cameron:

    Bryan:
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    Done, but not seen to be done?
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    The military equivalents of your "invisible" economy would include "covert" ops, "stealth" bombers, etc — and I of course keep coming back to that verse in Ephesians –

    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Speaking of which, the concept of "les invisibles" is immensely rewarding for the artist – Paul Klee, "Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible" – but a terrible snare for the literal-minded.

  4. Charles Cameron:

    Cheryl:
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    Thanks.  I like your structural approach, and I tend to think that if they were identical we’d either only have one phrase, or would use the two of them together a great deal — but that leaves me wondering why I feel such satisfaction in bringing them together, as thoiugh they were somehow "separated at birth"…

  5. Cheryl Rofer:

    Charles,
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    As soon as I try to formulate something on this, the ideas multiply. But I’m not going to try to get it all down in this comment thread. Maybe one manageable piece at a time.
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    I think they can go together, but not necessarily. They could be stages in a development: the rumors lead to the seeing if repeated often enough or if confirmed.

  6. Mercutio:

    No, because "rumors of" and "seen to be" are themselves both functions, which may not necessarily be identical and possibly could be inconsistent in some circumstances.  In any event, if they are identical, that would have to be proven, which so far has not been done.

  7. Larry Dunbar:

    I would also say no, they are not the same. Rumors of war is explicit, because it has had to have crossed a gap, while "seen to be" is implicit, because it came to us in a wave of energy. In crossing a gap there is a need to understand what is in the gap. In receiving a wave of energy, the forces are perpendicular and one only has to "ride" the wave.

  8. Charles Cameron:

    Okay, are they (can they perhaps be perceived as) perhaps different facets of the same thing, or different phases along a timeline?
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    I’m very much appreciating the thought and conversation here…