Samizdat

Publishing the Forbidden. All Rights Reserved. © Samizdat 2014-21.

Search Results

Cicada Files: Marcus Wanners & “Halfassed Journalism”

My conversation with Marcus Wanner, owner of the Cicada 3301 Trademark, sole proprieter of Primus Holdings, LLC.

Cicada Files: Z 3301 et al

Thomas Schoenberger in his own words.

Q Files: Paul Furber Interviewed

An interview with the original Q evangelist, Mr. Paul Furber of South Africa.

On Prognostication

And Divinity I was talking with my old friend Ranger Harry Hunter, formerly a senior medical sergeant at the 1st Ranger Battalion, a veteran of Operation Urgent Fury. Harry and I share some history that will only be interesting to old Rangers, but he was the senior sergeant in my 300F1 class at Fort Sam […]

On the Ineffable

This is my review of Nick Stockton’s “Time Might Only Exist in Your Head. And Everyone Else’s.” From Wired, 26 September, 2016. Published at 0600 hrs. I later modified this piece on 17 October, 2016. It keeps bothering me like a splinter in my mind. In its current revision, it comprises 2,537 words. “Some physicists blame gravity […]

Eco: Theoretical Objections and Counter-objections

“A fundamental objection that can be applied to any of the a posteriori projects generically is that they can make no claim to having identified and artificially reorganized a content system. They simply provide an expression system which aims at being easy and flexible enough to express the contents normally expressed in a natural language. […]

Eco: Some Ghosts of the Perfect Language

“We have often paused to draw attention to side-effects. Without forced comparisons and without exaggerated claims, it seems permissible at this point to ask informed readers to reconsider various chapters of the history of philosophy, especially those concerning the advent of contemporary logic and linguistic analysis. Would these developments have been possible without the secular […]

Eco: Artificial Intelligence

“Lincos does furnish us with an image of a language that is almost purely “mental” (its level of expression is supported by nothing more than electromagnetic phenomena). This reminds us of other languages which are, in one way or another, the heirs of the ancient search for the perfect language. Computer languages, like BASIC or […]

Eco: Eighteenth Century Projects, 2

“Even though the primitives were no longer such, they remained a compositional criterion. For instance, given in first position the letter a, which refers to grammar, the depending letters have a mere distinctive value and refer back to grammatical sub-categories. A third and final letter specifies a morphological termination or other derivation. Thus a list of […]

Eco: Blind Thought

“We have seen that Leibniz came to doubt the possibility of constructing an alphabet that was both exact and definitive, holding that the true force of the calculus of characteristic numbers lay instead in its rules of combination. Leibniz became more interested in the form of the propositions generated by his calculus than in the […]

Eco: Characteristica and Calculus

“The theme of invention and discovery should remind us of Lull; and, in fact, Lull’s ars combinatoria was one of Leibniz’s first sources. In 1666, at the age of twenty, Leibniz composed his own Dissertatio de arte combinatoria (Gerhardt 1875: IV, 27-102). But the dream of the combinatoria was to obsess him for the rest […]

Eco:The Limits of Classification, 2

“Let us try to understand a little better what is happening here. Suppose we wanted to use the real character to understand the difference between a dog and a wolf. We discover only that the dog, Zitα, is the first member of the first specific pair of the fifth difference of the genus Beasts, and […]

Eco: George Delgarno, 2

“Figure 11.1 presents an extremely simplified, partial reconstruction of the tables, which limits itself to following only two of the subdivisions–animals with uncleft hooves and the principle passions. The 17 fundamental genera are printed in bold capitals, and are marked with 17 capital letters. Intermediate genera and species are represented in lower case. Dalgarno also […]

Eco: Dee’s Magic Language

“In his Apologia compendiaria (1615) Fludd noted that the Rosicrucian brothers practiced that type of kabbalistic magic that enabled them to summon angels. This is reminiscent of the steganography of Trithemius. Yet it is no less reminiscent of the necromancy of John Dee, a man whom many authors considered the true inspirer of Rosicrucian spirituality. In […]

Eco: The Egyptian vs. The Chinese Way, 2

“On the subject of signatures, Della Porta said that spotted plants which imitated the spots of animals also shared their virtues (Phytognomonica, 1583, III, 6): the bark of a birch tree, for example, imitated the plumage of a starling and is therefore good against impetigo, while plants that have snake-like scales protect against reptiles (III, […]

Eco: The Egyptian vs. The Chinese Way

“Although today many are still of the opinion that images provide a means of communication that can overcome language barriers, the explanation of the way in which images can accomplish this by now takes one of two forms: the Egyptian and the Chinese way. The Egyptian way today belongs only to art history. We believe […]

Eco: Later Critics

“About a century later, Vico took it for granted that the first language of humanity was in the form of hieroglyphics–that is, of metaphors and animated figures. He saw the pantomime, or acted-out rebus, with which the king of the Scythians replied to Darius the Great as an example of hieroglyphic speech. He had intimated […]

Eco: Infinite Songs & Locutions

 “Between Lull and Bruno might be placed the game invented by H.P. Harsdörffer in his Matematische und philosophische Erquickstunden (1651: 516-9). He devises 5 wheels containing 264 units (prefixes, suffixes, letters and syllables). This apparatus can generate 97,209,600 German words, including many that were still non-existent but available for creative and poetic use (cf. Faust […]

Eco: A Dream that Refused to Die

  “Even faced with the results of the research of comparative linguistics, however, monogenetic theories refuse to give up the ghost. The bibliography of belated monogeneticism is immense. In it, there is to be found the lunatic, the crank, the misfit, the bizarre mystic, as well as a number of students of unimpeachable rigor. In […]

Eco: Postel’s Universalistic Utopia, 2

“After various peregrinations, Postel found himself in Venice, where, in 1547, he was appointed chaplain of the Hospital of Sts. John and Paul (called the Ospedaletto), and censor of books published in the Hebrew language in that city. While in the Ospedaletto, he was appointed confessor to its founder, the fifty year old Johanna, or […]

Eco: The Arbor Scientarium

“The Lullian art was destined to seduce later generations who imagined that they had found in it a mechanism to explore the numberless possible connections between dignities and principles, principles and questions, questions and virtues or vices. Why not even construct a blasphemous combination stating that goodness implies an evil God, or eternity a different […]

Eco: The Ars Magna of Raymond Lull

“A near contemporary of Dante, Ramòn Llull (Latinized as Lullus and Anglicized as Lull–and sometimes as Lully) was a Catalan, born in Majorca, who lived probably between 1232 (or 1235) and 1316. Majorca during this period was a crossroads, an island where Christian, Jewish and Arab cultures all met; each was to play a role […]

Eco: Dante and Universal Grammar

“One solution to the problem has been proposed by Maria Corti (1981: 46ff). It is, by now, generally accepted that we cannot regard Dante as simply an orthodox follower of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. According to circumstances, Dante used a variety of philosophical and theological sources; it is furthermore well established that he […]

Eco: The First Gift to Adam

“In the pages which follow, Dante affirms that, in Genesis, it is written that the first to speak was Eve (“mulierem invenitur ante omnes fuisse locutam”) when she talked with the serpent. It seemed to him “troublesome not to imagine that an act so noble for the human race did not come from the lips […]

Eco: Latin and the Vernacular

“An apology for the vernacular, DVE is written in Latin. As a poet, Dante wrote in Italian; as a philosopher and as a political scientist (as we would say today) who advocated the restoration of a universal monarchy, Dante stuck to the language of theology and law. DVE defines a vernacular as the speech that […]

Eco: The Kabbalistic Pansemioticism

  “Our story opened with a reference to an eastern text, the Bible. By the time of the last church Fathers, however, knowledge of the language in which this text was composed had been lost. Thus we were able to begin our story by reading the Bible directly in the Latin of the Vulgate. The Christian […]

Eco: Before and After Europe

“Stories accounting for the multiplicity of tongues appear in divers mythologies and theogonies (Borst 1957-63: I, 1). None the less, it is one thing to know why many languages exist; it is quite another to decide that this multiplicity is a wound that must be healed by the quest for a perfect language. Before one […]

Eco: Search for the Perfect Language, 2.

“Beyond this, I have decided to consider only projects concerning true and proper languages. This means that, with a bitter sigh of relief, I have decided to consider only the following: the rediscovery of languages postulated as original or as mystically perfect — such as Hebrew, Egyptian or Chinese; the reconstruction of languages postulated, either […]

Gane: Neo-Babylonian Monsters, Demons & Dragons From a Narrow Slice of Time & Space

A number of scholars have already correlated Mesopotamian iconography with cuneiform texts to identify and illuminate composite beings over a wide range of periods in terms of their historical development, association with deities, and impact on humans within ancient systems of religion and mythology. The present research draws heavily on their work, but uniquely focuses […]

Selz: Enūma Anu Enlil and MUL.APIN

“My contribution is an outsider’s view, neither pretending to do justice to the ongoing discussions in biblical studies, in particular in the studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls, nor dwelling on the highly complicated matter of the Babylonian background of the astronomical Enoch tradition. O. Neugebauer, one of the pioneers working on Babylonian astronomical texts […]

Selz: On Giants

“Dating back to the late nineteenth century and the so-called Babel-Bible dispute, the relation of the biblical traditions, especially those concerning the paradise narrative, the flood-story, and the (antediluvian) patriarchs, to the Mesopotamian world received much interest (see below). (For an overview over this politically remarkable dispute and the involvement of the German emperor Wilhelm […]

Melvin: On the Tower of Babel

“The story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9 provides further evidence for the human origin of civilization in the form of city-building. As Theodore Hiebert notes, the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9 is not chiefly concerned with the construction of a tower, but rather with the founding of the […]

Kvanvig: The Apkallu are on the Borderline Between the Human and the Divine

“Our assumption is therefore that there existed two versions of the Adapa Myth in the Nineveh archives. Since the Nineveh fragments C and E follow fairly close to the Amarna text in fragment B where they overlap, we suppose, as quite commonly in scholarship (sic), that a story like fragment B was known to the […]

Kvanvig: The Apkallu List from Bīt Mēseri

“Reiner numbers the lines 1’-31’, which covers the lines 9-31 in Weiher’s edition. Borger knew Weiher’s work on the Uruk recension of Bīt Mēseri when he translated the text, even though Weiher’s final edition was published afterwards. We will return to the different aspects of the text later. 1-2: Incantation: Uanna, who completed the plans […]

Nakamura: Magic Enchants Us with the Possible Made Real

“Neo-Assyrian magical figurine work conjures and materializes a primordial secret: if apotropaic magic names that which wards off and turns away evil, then evil is nothing other than the insidious reality that humans themselves create their own creators and make their own world.”

Carolyn Nakamura

Nakamura–Rimbaud’s Derangement of All the Senses, Magic, and Archeology

“Curiously, archaeological research has not fully exploited the evocative cooperation between text, iconography, material, and deposition in this apotropaic practice. Rather, it has been the art historical and Assyriological traditions that have provided the most thorough deliberations on the ritual. Iconographic analyses present detailed visual descriptions of the figurines (Klengel-Brandt 1968; Rittig 1977; Van Buren […]

Why No Canonical Literature Regarding the Apkallu?

“In adducing the motif of the “wise vizier”, I have only meant to show that the “wise men” of a tradition are not necessarily kings, and furthermore, to show the complexity of a problem that, if I do not pretend to solve, I neither am inclined to embezzle. In my opinion, the myth of the […]

The Chaldaica and the Babyloniaca

“Before I focus on the work itself, I first discuss the text as it has come down to us, because this is essential for our understanding of the work. Berossos’ history of Babylonia has only been preserved in fragments. Two titles have been transmitted: Chaldaica and Babyloniaca. It is almost certain that the latter is […]

Controversy Over Sacred Prostitution in Mesopotamia

“Having proved that neither the   nor the qadištu nor the nu-gig are to be reckoned as sacred prostitutes, it remains necessary to prove that there was no such institution as sacred prostitution in Mesopotamia in spite of its widespread reputation among scholars, to which I would like to return in the conclusion. Their investigations are […]

An Excerpt from Lenormant’s Chaldean Magic, Contrasted with Egyptian Magic

“After having put the reader in the way of comparing for himself the Egyptian and Chaldean magical formula, there is no need for me to pursue further the marked difference between the two systems, for this is evident to all students. The fundamental beliefs and ideas of magic superstition in Egypt and Chaldea were as […]

Babylonian Magical Incantations

“The relation between the magical texts and the hymns of ancient Babylonia is now, therefore, clear. In many cases, at least, the hymns formed part of the magical texts; they were the mystical incantations around the recitation of which the rites prescribed in the texts were intended to revolve. The magical text was not complete […]

A Babylonian Incantation

“In the hymns the mamit occupies a conspicuous place. Thus we read: “0 curse, curse, the boundary that none can pass! The limit of the gods (themselves) against which they may not transgress! The limit of heaven and earth which altereth not! The unique god against whom none may sin! Neither god nor man can undo […]

Examples of Magic in the Filāha

“The magical recipes and forms of action in Filāha are in harmony with the magic of the area since the Hellenistic period. Very prominent in the Nabatean corpus is the preparation of magical images. One of the rare occurrences of black magic in Filāha describes the preparation of an image of a man or woman, to be […]

Winds and the Babylonian Concept of Evil

“Hadad, Addu or Dadda, never superseded the native name of Ramânu (Ramman) in Babylonia and Assyria, and remained foreign to the last. Ramânu, however, was sometimes addressed as Barqu or Barak, “the lightning;” and it is possible that antiquarian zeal may have also sometimes imposed on him the Accadian title of Meru. He grew continuously in […]

Assyrian Monotheism versus Babylonian Pantheism

“Henceforward “the heaven of Anu” denoted the serene and changeless regions to which the gods fled when the deluge had broken up the face of the lower heaven, and which an Assyrian poet calls “the land of the silver sky.” It was to this spiritualised heaven that the spirit of Ea-bani, the friend of Gisdhubar, ascended, and […]

Origins of Lilith

“We can now understand why it was that in the theology of Eridu the Sun-god was the offspring of Ea and Dav-kina. The name that he bore there was Dumuzi or Tammuz, “the only-begotten one,” of whom I shall have much to say in the next Lecture. At present I need only remark that he was the primeval Merodach; […]

The Harlot Civilizes the Wild Man Enkidu Using Sex

“The existence of various occupational groups connected both with cultic sexual service and with commercial prostitution tells us little about the meaning these occupations held to contemporaries. We can try to learn something about that by looking at the earliest known poetic myth, The Epic of Gilgamesh. The poem, which describes the exploits of a legendary […]

The God Assur

“The transference of the centre of power from Assur to Nineveh made the anthropomorphic side of Assur’s nature still more prominent. He represented now the whole nation and the central power which governed the nation. He was thus the representative at once of the people and of the king in whose hands the government of the people was centred. […]

Plato, Timaeus, 360 BCE

” … In the Egyptian Delta, at the head of which the river Nile divides, there is a certain district which is called the district of Sais, and the great city of the district is also called Sais, and is the city from which King Amasis came. The citizens have a deity for their foundress; she is called in the […]

About Samizdat

Samizdat explained!