11 May 2006

Rush to Destruction: Iran's Version of the Singularity

Yesterday, I linked to several essays dealing with issues of the technological singularity. Today I am linking to essays dealing with a singularity of a different nature.

Iranian Shias have a legend of the Twelfth Imam, representing the messianic end of the present world and the final triumph of Islam over the infidels. Current day leaders of Iran seem to have taken the legend of the twelfth imam to heart, in their rush to develop nuclear weapons so as to be able to incinerate the enemies of their own version of radical revolutionary supremacist Islam.

Over at Shrinkwrapped blog, the psychologist blogmaster has posted a fascinating series of essays entitled The Singularity and the 12th Imam, Parts I-V. You should first read essay one, then proceed through the essays, being sure to check out the comments.

Here are the links to all five essays in the series:
  1. Essay One
  2. Essay Two
  3. Essay Three
  4. Essay Four
  5. Essay Five
These essays were written from a psychologists point of view, and incorporate a lot of psychoanalytical thinking. That is part of the beauty of the web, that anyone can publish in his own words, from his own perspective.

A lot of people avoid the reality that tens of millions of religious and ideological fanatics would like to see them enslaved or dead. It is one thing to be honestly ignorant of one's precarious place in the world. It is something else to be studiously ignorant--intentionally ignorant. That verges on stupidity.

Addendum: I recently read VS Naipaul's fascinating account of his visit in 1979 to revolutionary Iran. His poignant style captured the mood of the place at the time, reminiscent of the engaging book describing a different islamist revolution, Kite Runner. You can inhale a bit of the essence of the Iranian belief in the twelfth imam, from the second page of Naipaul's article.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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