[ by Charles Cameron — watch out for movements — of any belief — that arm themselves in preparation for an end times battle ]
This is simply to alert you to a fine BBC recounting of the events at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on the first day of the current Islamic century — when two or three hundred heavily armed militants following a Mahdist claimant and his proclaimer —
BBC pull quote
really, think the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and His John the Baptist, and you have some sense of the seriousness of the affair — took over the central mosque in all of Islam — think the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, or St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican perhaps — and held the place under siege, with considerable bloodshed, until finally four French commandos were allowed in to use gas and flush out the remaining followers of the Mahdi, himself now dead.
Well, you know Nassim Nicholas Taleb, he gave us the concept of black swans, very bright guy because he questions, questions, and the answers he gets from reality don’t always match with the expectations routinely offered in answer to the same questions.
Well, Taleb‘s tweet cropped up in my feed within about a minute of Greg McMurry quoting the Oratorian priest Fr David Abernathy‘s tweeting a quotation from St Charbel, which seemed to convey a very similar notion, only expressed in terms of spiritual rather than secular ratios between loss and gain:
Their buildings rise, their morality sinks. Their worldly goods increase, their values diminish. Their speeches multiply, their prayers grow scarce…. An edifice based on man may well rise, but it ends up crushing him. St. Charbel pic.twitter.com/5iZChni2ia
I bother because seeing parallelisms and oppositions and taking note of them is one of the prime “moves” in creativity, and I want to be as primed to recognize such parallelisms, particularly when they cross disciplinary boundaries, as readily as possible.
Bonus point because both St Charbel and Nassim Nicholas Taleb are of Lebanese origin.
[ by Charles Cameron — a DoubleQuote that suggested itself to me today, posted here for your contemplative enjoyment ]
Stage one was provided by my opening screen, which contained three or four questions against a background of countryside and waterfalls. The question which caught my eye was this one:
I’ve isolated it from a screen grab and placed it in the upper panel of my DoubleQuotes board, leaving the lower panel open for possible answers: Question and Answer, like Call and Response, would seem to be elementary forms of DoubleQuote play, just as DoubleQuotes are the elementary forms of HipBone Game moves, and HipBone Games elementary essays in rendering Hermann Hesse‘s fictional Glass Bead Game playable.
I then used Google to find the correct answer to our question, and placed it in the lower panel:
That’s my play.
And why do I trouble you with such a trifle?
Because asking a logophile what the word logophile means is an ouroboros — a serpent that bites its own tail — another of the elementary forms of the HipBone Games:
you might think of it as the Good Friday version of the great cathedral, central to France’s spiritual and national life, devastated by the fire that swept through the 800-year old structure in the heart of Paris in April this year.
Today is Christmas day, however, so here’s a joyous Christmas version — from last year’s Christmas Mass, a great organ peal leads into the carol Adeste Fideles, here sung in Latin, but known in English as O Come, All Ye Faithful:
Here’s wishing you a Merry (and if you don’t mind such things, a blessed) Christmas and Happy New Year!
And for those of you who prefer jazz to the classics, here’s a taste of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Church of St John Coltrane, held in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco this July:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, happy holidays of your choosing!
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.