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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…

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:

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


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.

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

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

Continuing… I might as well give you a cluster from Teju Cole, since he’s a master…

Okay, here’s another one with timely reference, this time to the whole NSA business:

Really, this is just such a rich vein of humor and insight:

Let’s go to another wordsmith — they’re often good at this stuff:

Two from philosopher Allen Stairs:

One from quasi-Einstein, via the very bright (non-quasi) Seb Paquet:


I’ll close with an example from the “all is nothing” category, this one from Peter J Munson:

2 Responses to “Of serpent-bites in logic”

  1. a nonny moose Says:

    Bush = Obama
    Colin Powell = Kerry
    Syria = Iraq
    If this bothers you enough to get away from the keyboard and into the real world, here is a PDF to print and post as you see fit (follow the link):

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hat tip to JM Berger, this one’s from Caitlin Fitz Gerald:

    As JM says, that’s “Clear @hipbonegamer baiting”…

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