Return to form

[ by Charles Cameron — on the East Coast at least, this can pass for a Thanksgiving greeting ]


I’ve been away sick for a while, with no notes on form, paradox, quincunx etc — but on my return, couldn’t resist this medieval ouroborus of a cat, courtesy Emily Stein


On the games politics gets compared with, we’ve seen various dimensions of chess, go, and also multi-game mixes such as Alasdair MacIntyre‘s assessment that we’re in a game where “moving one’s knight to QB3 may always be replied to by a lob over the net” — or CalvinBall.

At the opposite end of complexity is simplicity, and there’s no simplicity to compare with PacMan, surely. and as WaPo noted a short while back:

One Republican operative in frequent contact with the White House described Mueller’s team “working through the staff like Pac-Man.”

That’s pretty cool — but is it as cool as Trump’s own use of Hillary-PacMan from a while ago:

— and note that Trump also used PokemonGO in his campaign.


And myself? I’m hoping to return to form, too, slowly. It’s great to have a computer after a year without.

I expect David Ronfeldt has noted the increasing usw of “tribal om MSNBC and elsewhere, though I’ve mainly seen it on TV without time to rewind & verify, take notes, etc. It has seemed quite remarkable to me, and I wonder whether Jim Gant or David have seen the same.

Greetings, all, Happy Thanksgiving — let’s talk, let’s stir the pot!

4 comments on this post.
  1. Cheryl Rofer:

    Welcome back, Charles! I hope your recovery will go smoothly.

    And Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Charles Cameron:

    Thank you so much for these words of greeting and encouragement! They mean a lot.

  3. Jim Gant:


    Great to see you back on zenpundit. Apologize for the late reply. I have been on a ‘spiritual sabbatical’ in China. More to follow on that in an email. Am relieved that you are at least feeling well enough to blog a little. You are in my thoughts often.

    Yes, I have seen an uptick in the term ‘tribe’ (or some lightly disguised form of it) as of late. Most recently in the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy. A great article over on Free Range International by my friend Tim Lynch.

    “The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name.” – Lao Tzu

    Will be in touch soon.

    All the best,


  4. david ronfeldt:

    yes, indeed, “tribe” and “tribalism” are being used much more frequently. to places you and jim mention, add the atlantic and new york times. i’ve even wondered about discontinuing my series of readings about this at Facebook and on my blog. thing is, happy as i am to see increased usage, i want to see next steps: recognition of the tribal form in comparative and evolutionary TIMN senses. long ways to go for that.

    most impressive usage yet is andrew sullivan’s, here:

    keep on recovering, charles.