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Serpent logics: KarlreMarks and LizzyPearson

[ by Charles Cameron — yet another quick dip into the dizzying world of patterns enfolded in tweets ]

My collection of “Serpent logics” or “patterns of thinking” in the miniature format provided by the Twitter-stream got a noble boost today — you can blame my insomnia for my noticing this — from Karl Sharro and Elizabeth Pearson:

Sbarro unwittingly triggered things off by tweeting:

Pearson picked upon the “nested” quality of this tweet, and tweeted back:

and to clarify:


That was neat enough indeed, what with three instances in a row of self-referential tweets, each of which enfolds a previous tweet within it — the pattern I’m always on the look out for, and call “Matrioshka” after those nested Russian dolls — but there was more to come. I turned back — how could I help it — to the first tweet from Sharro:

and searched for the tweet embedded therein:

A little deeper into the conversation, I came across this rejoinder, which sent me off on a further journey:

and lo, the embedded link here led me to a page that contained not one but dozens of tweets, all based on the formula of the three characters went into a bar joke, many of the examples turning Sharro’s mind to matters of philosophy and the Middle East…


They’re all examples of the kind of “collision thinking” that Arthur Koestler specifies as the source of creative insight (aha!), comedy (ha!) and tragedy (aiyyeee!) — but I’ve selected three which represent three of the different patterns I’m intrigued by:

That’s a serpent biting its tail joke, if ever I saw one, a conspiracist take on conspiracism.

Now that, I aver, is a extaordinary example of enantiodromia, or direct reversal.

And for the pattern I call nominal, one can hardly better this play between the word minimalist and its context…


It’s time for me to get minimal, too. I have a quite a long line of “Serpent logics” more or less lined up and ready to go, but putting too many of them in one post gets tedious for the readership, so I’ve cut these examples out of the herd to give you a taste, and will follow up with two mmore selections in a day or two.

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