Recommended Reading—Summer 2016

[by J. Scott Shipman]   The Storm of Creativity, by Kyna Leski 2017 War With Russia, by General Sir Richard Shirreff The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough Serendipities, Language and Lunacy, by Umberto Eco Paradise, Dante Alighieri, translated by Mark Musa Undertow, by Stanton S. Coerr The White Horse Cometh, by Rich Parks Washington The Indispensable […] Read more »

Conkers (the game) and Deep Learning

[ by Charles Cameron — offered to 3QD ] . This is my second submission attempting (and failing) to become a regular contributor at the fine web-aggregator known as 3QD — you can read my first here. On rereading this more recent attempt, I am not sure I would have selected it myself had I […] Read more »

On analogical mountains — & pitons that portend enlightenment

[ by Charles Cameron — carrying French mountaineering coals to a mountaineering Frenchman ] . As imagination can reach farther than spacecraft, so analogical mountains are at a higher elevation — indeed, a higher octave — than physical ones: René Daumal‘s brilliant novel Mount Analogue was uncompleted, and fittingly so, at his death — the […] Read more »

Getting deeper into Koestler

[ by Charles Cameron — on creativity at the intersection of the fleeting and the eternal ] . Centaur, displayed in the International Wildlife Museum, Tucson, AZ ** You know Lao Tzu’s “uncarved wood” (pu) — and Spencer Brown’s “Mark” or “first distinction? It is hard to speak of “the one and the many” without […] Read more »

Review: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Blood Meridian: or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy and Blood Meridian first came to my attention back in 2000 when noted literary critic, Yale professor Harold Bloom was interviewed on C-Span’s Booknotes regarding his book, How to Read and Why. Bloom, an eccentric character who […] Read more »

Browsing in bin Laden’s library II

[ by Charles Cameron — following up on Browsing in bin Laden’s library ] . Marcy Wheeler at Salon reports of the ODNI’s Bin Laden’s Bookshelf (expanded form, .pdf) that “the categorization imposed by ODNI” consists “largely of overlapping categories of English-language materials worthy of a Jorge Luis Borges short story. Categories include: Publicly available […] Read more »

The road to Samarra

[ by Charles Cameron — parroting Somerset Maugham in the context of suicide ops ] . The story [lower panel] is Somerset Maugham‘s version of the tale.. ** No news from Samarra since Feb 28th, when Radio Free Europe reported: IS Militants Attack Samarra Militants from the radical group Islamic State (IS) have launched an […] Read more »

Baghdad to Samarra: “you are entering a hot zone”

[ by Charles Cameron -- life not quite as subtle as art, but echoing it nevertheless ] . ** Alissa Rubin, writing in yesterday’s NYT under the title On the Road to Samarra, Glimpses of Iraq’s New Fractured Reality, offers a realistic description of the road between the two cities: About 20 miles beyond the [...] Read more »