zenpundit.com » history

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Break it Down Show with Zen Co-Hosting: Mazarr on Leap of Faith

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

[mark safranski / zen]

Friend of ZP, Pete Turner invited me to join him at his place The Break it Down Show to interview RAND scholar Michael J. Mazarr about his new book Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy :

Mike Mazarr – Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy

Mark Safranski joins Pete A Turner with author, think-tanker Dr Mike Mazarr.
Mike’s book is called, Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy
Why is the invasion of Iraq viewed as a tragedy? Mike explains to us and draws conclusions to help us better understand by comparing and contrasting past conflicts to Iraq. Mark, brings his experience understanding presidential security council dynamics to push the show to even great depth and uniqueness.

Listen to the episode here.

Without giving way any spoilers, Mazarr has penned our time’s version of The Best and the Brightest. It’s a step by step reconstruction using the best evidence available and extensive interviews of principal figures or their aides and colleagues to explain how the Bush administration decided to go down the road to war in Iraq.  Like David Halberstam explaining the origins of Vietnam, Mazarr’s task was to explain how so experienced a national security team as the one that served George W. Bush could make so catastrophic a strategic error, the effects of which continue to unfold to this day.

See the source image

 

Cats as 16th century weapons, foxes as Old Testament precursors

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — cat picture meets strategy, history meets scripture ]
.

Here you go:

With thanks to @alabandine.

Did Escher know Fludd?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — I was looking for Ramon Llull’s wheels of knowledge, and found Robert Fludd instead ]
.

I am wondering whether MC Escher, whose Waterfall dates to 1961, knew of the work of Robert Fludd, and his water screw perpetual motion machine, which was invented in 1618, though the image below dates from 1660 — the year in which King Charles II was recognized and the and the tyrranous Interregnum under the vicious Oliver Cromwell finally laid to rest.

MC Escher, Waterfall:

Robert Fludd, Water Screw:

DoubleQuote!

The image of Fludd‘s water screw is accompanied by this note:

Robert Fludd’s 1618 “water screw” perpetual motion machine from a 1660 wood engraving. This device is widely credited as the first recorded attempt to describe such a device in order to produce useful work, that of driving millstones. Although the machine would not work, the idea was that water from the top tank turns a water wheel (bottom-left), which drives a complicated series of gears and shafts that ultimately rotate the Archimedes’ screw (bottom-center to top-right) to pump water to refill the tank. The rotary motion of the water wheel also drives two grinding wheels (bottom-right) and is shown as providing sufficient excess water to lubricate them.

Hmm, I wonder.

Mind-blowing golden images from Louis de Laval’s Book of Hours

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — whatever you may think of religion, the artwork in these images is stunning ]
.

There’s this phrase in the Apostles Creed, the shortest and most basic of the three creeds which mainstream Christians accept: the communion of saints. The hymn known as the Te Deum is more explicit, while describing basically the same companionship:

The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world : doth acknowledge thee;

But this image of that company, from Louis de Laval‘s illuminated Book of Hours, ca 1480, is the first I’ve seen that suggests the membership of this communion is innumerable —

— wave on wave, saint upon saint, halo on halo into the distance — until they constitute a veritable sea of gold.

Nor that the company includes many females, also innumerable–

— some of whom must have caused a ferment in their own day, or at least in the creative imagination of a court artist, likely Jean Colombe, in the 1480s..

Nor had I seen until now that there were vacancies for saints as yet unknown, perhaps unborn, their halos vacant —

— unless perchance these are saints so deeply meditative that they have lost all face, as the Zennists might say, save the original face alone..

Glorious.

Venezuela: The Body Politic

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — zen mind would be blanker than mine, but mine’s getting pretty blank — evidence in the post below ]
.

I’m DoubleQuoting that with:

**

Sources:

  • Jon Lee Anderson, Venezuela’s Two Presidents Collide
  • Michael Gazzaniga, Why do some people have ‘two brains’?
  • **

    So the body politic of Venezuela is currently of two minds.

  • Think about what you know of the two hemispheres
  • Think about what you know of schizophrenia
  • Think about what you know of the King’s Two Bodies
  • That’s a nudge. You may well be able to think thoughts along these lines far better than I. Ergo, I won’t do your thinking for you. Besides, if I did, I’d need to do three whole heaps of research, and my library is in storage, my mind in limbo.

    **

    Limbo?

    How anyone can conflate, or almost conflate, schizophrenia with lateral specialization with Kantorowicz’ theory of monarchy is, frankly, beyond me. But I’ve tried.


    Switch to our mobile site