November 24, 2008

Rival Gods — or just One?

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 11:54 am


Is the One God those folks in Washington DC worship the same One God these other folks worship in Wichita, Kansas?


A pattern of conversions?

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 10:03 am


The young Mosab Hassan Yousef becomes a Christian, young Abd Al-Rahman Al-Qaradhawi becomes a Shi’ite — and for that matter, young Frank Schaeffer converted to Greek Orthodoxy

November 22, 2008

Webcam killings: life imitates art

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 9:29 am

Very sad — both the boy’s death, and the responses of those who viewed the video feed. Very different flavors of sadness.

November 21, 2008

Arriving late for battle

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 6:09 pm


Fischer and Musashi have this in common…

November 19, 2008

Now if Ayman al-Zawahiri’s son will please apologize…

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 10:57 am


November 12, 2008

Varieties of bus ads, US and UK

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 8:34 am


Note and enjoy the differences between the slogans of the humanist bus ad campaigns where they first appeared, in London, and in the copy-cat campaign in Washington…

Ripple effects

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 8:32 am


Decisions made within disciplinary silos tend to ripple out into the complex world outside them.

November 8, 2008

Varieties of Mathematical Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 8:47 am


Namagiri is, as far as I know, the consort of Narasimha or Narsingh, the man-lion avatar of Vishnu, misspelled as Narahimsa in the Kellys’ book.

It is a pity that those who are interested in Ramanujan have not expended as much thought on his mathematical mental process — which he attributes as we see above to Namagiri — as they have to his mathematical results. As consort of Narasimha, Namagiri would be a goddess of the liminal spaces, the interstices — for Narasimha himself is a liminal figure many times over. His story goes like this:

A tyrannous and oppressive king obtained a boon that he should die “neither by day nor night, neither within the palace nor outside it, neither at the hand of man nor beast” – and thought his boon conveyed immortality. His hubristic attempt to make himself equal to God was only ended when the avatar Narasimha, a half-man half-lion figure, met him on his own doorstep at dusk and slew him — so that he died neither by day nor by night, neither within the palace nor outside it, and neither at the hand of beast nor of man.

It is instructive, in the context of Ramanujan, that an Indian writer on Narasimha explicitly discusses liminality in terms of inspiration and the transcendence of ordinary logic:

It is at the cusp, in the moment of liminality, in the state of in-betweenness, that ignorance is defeated and knowledge is acquired. This in-betweeneness also compels us to recognize that we are not always bound by either “a” or “b”, not even by “not a” nor “not b”. If we go only so far as common-sense logic appears to take us, we might not travel very far at all.

Vinay Lal, Associate Professor of History, UCLA

In that “in-betweenness” neither Namagiri nor the UFOs of John Nash are to be taken literally — reified — nor dismissed out of hand — but seen instead as archetypal realities, imaginal entities, platonic ideas: deep workings of deep mind.)

November 7, 2008

The poetics of McCain’s defeat

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 2:37 pm


If I’d seen just one of these phrases, I’d have thought it was a nice touch: seeing both of them, Hemingway matched with Japan, strikes me as more than that — a nuanced way for the universe to suggest that there’s an aesthetic at play here, a topology of honor and loss defined by those two phrases, “beautiful fatalism” and “noble failure”.

November 5, 2008

Process theology?

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 1:23 pm


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