Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pi Day 2012

I didn't do anything special around Pi Day this year.  However I did mention the University of Havana's role in one of my meetings with a Pycon delegate. is not yet spoken for, but I know Python is being used there.  With the liberalization of the Internet (thanks in large degree to software libre), come new freedoms for its user-developers.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up and the bloggers are making their usual point that Ireland didn't have snakes since at least the last ice age, and therefore St. Patrick's famous feat of ridding said island of snakes is at best a figurative accomplishment -- some say the Celtic druids are what the snakes symbolize.

March 17 is also when Dawn died.  We had a dinner in her honor a couple nights ago, near the Unity and Friends establishments -- with a focus on Unity's outdoor labyrinth (we didn't walk it, but we all were aware of it).

Might some readers of the Book of Genesis and the Garden of Eden story think this logo is offensive?  I plucked it from a web site in India, where snakes are associated with wisdom, perhaps going back to Chinese dragon iconography.

The positive spin on snakes remains in the caduceus in Greco-Roman cultures, and as Athena's familiar.  But then some Christians tend to demonize Athena as a version of Eve, whom they consider somehow a cause of Man's downfall.

That's a blame-based interpretation of the Bible my version of Quakerism would not subscribe to, but this doesn't keep people from seeing West Point as some kind of Eve-centric cult (because of all the Athena motifs).

I find it natural, as many do, to associate the circle (back to pi day) with the image of a snake eating its own tail, the Uroboros.  This may also be taken as a symbol of the eternal return or eternal spiral.  These are not new ideas.