zenpundit.com

The rose is my qibla

September 3rd, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — some light refreshment after dark sides and devilish walks ]
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SPEC WBE Sepehri

**

Sources:

  • Sohrab Sepehri, Poetic Voices of the Muslim World
  • Wallace Black Elk, The Greenfield Review, vol 9, double issue 3 & 4
  • with thanks to Joseph Bruchac & Rabia Chaudry

    Of dark sides and devilish walks

    September 3rd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light? ]
    .

    SPEC FDR Cheney

    Questions:

  • does Cheney‘s “dark side” comment sound less obnoxious when following Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s “walk with the devil”?
  • alternatively, does Cheney’s remark make FDR’s look less appealing? Perhaps you’re in agreement with both sentiments?
  • if you agree with FDR but not with Cheney — when did we cross the Iraq bridge?
  • at what point should we “put on the armour of light”?
  • **

    FDR apparently claimed he was quoting an Orthodox / Bulgarian proverb — I doubt an Orthodox theologian would have gone on record with such a claim, and haven’t been able to confirm a source as yet — my thanks to John Schindler, Grurray and Velina Tchakarova for their help with the search.

    Two alchemical substance-scapes

    September 2nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — the material world meets the immaterial in our humanity — cognition & language ]
    .

    I came across two views of what you might call “alchemical substances” today — one mixed and one unmixed — and in each case the wording of the description fascinated me.

    SPEC scapes

    The upper panel is taken from the late Oliver Sacks‘ description of the elements as he found them in his childhood, displayed in London’s Science Museum. There’s alchemy in that description, in the fusion Sacks achieves between scientific observation and poetic insight.

    In the lower panel, we have an overtly alchemical fusion, this time achieved by the interweaving of words from the language of the material (tobacco, leather, oak) and the immaterial (mystery, wisdom, knowledge) — both under the rubric “materials” — the work of Marcus McCoy.

    **

    Sources:

  • Oliver Sacks, Mendeleev’s Garden
  • House of Orpheus, Cunning Man sample vial
  • **

    Any self-respecting legal desk will contain both pigeon-holes and loop-holes.

    Who, by some other name, might smell more sweet

    August 30th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — written while YouStink is, curiously yet coincidentally, the name of protests ongoing in Lebanon ]
    .

    Text therefrom:

    There is no “migrant” crisis in the Mediterranean. There is a very large number of refugees fleeing unimaginable misery and danger and a smaller number of people trying to escape the sort of poverty that drives some to desperation.

    **

    Text therefrom:

    Countries are free to deport migrants who arrive without legal papers, which they cannot do with refugees under the 1951 convention. So it is not surprising that many politicians in Europe prefer to refer to everyone fleeing to the continent as migrants.

    John Holland, RIP

    August 30th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — a Magister has departed ]
    .

    John Holland

    **

    I am saddened to hear that John Holland — the “father of genetic algorithms” — is no longer among us. Happily, I understand his passing was peaceful.

    Obits:

  • Santa Fe Institute, Complexity science giant John Holland passes away at 86
  • Boston Globe, John H. Holland, 86; advanced study of complex adaptive systems
  • Washington Post, Goodbye to the genius who changed the way we think
  • New York Times, John Henry Holland, Who Computerized Evolution, Dies at 86
  • **

    I corresponded very briefly with John Holland, because of his interest in the Glass Bead Game — which he discussed in his Omni interview in connection with his own life’s work:

    I’ve been working toward it all my life, this Das Glasperlenspiel. It was a very scholarly game, starting with an abacus, where people set up musical themes, then do variations on it, like a fugue. Then they’d expand it to where it could include other artistic forms, and eventually cultural symbols. It became a very sophisticated game for setting up themes, almost as a poet would, and building variations as a composer. It was a way of symbolizing music and of building broad insights into the world.

    If I could get at all close to producing something like the glass bead game I can’t think of anything that would delight me more.

    See also:

  • Omni, And then there was A-Life
  • Wikipedia, John Henry Holland
  • h/t Mike Sellers


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