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Today's Stichomancy for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:

operation is denoted angling or drawing up (aspalieutike, anaspasthai).

THEAETETUS: The result has been quite satisfactorily brought out.

STRANGER: And now, following this pattern, let us endeavour to find out what a Sophist is.

THEAETETUS: By all means.

STRANGER: The first question about the angler was, whether he was a skilled artist or unskilled?

THEAETETUS: True.

STRANGER: And shall we call our new friend unskilled, or a thorough master of his craft?

THEAETETUS: Certainly not unskilled, for his name, as, indeed, you imply,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:

vainly striven to utter. The strange discords that clashed under his fingers had obviously sounded in his ears like celestial harmonies.

A deaf man, seeing the inspired gaze of his blue eyes open on another world, the rosy glow that tinged his cheeks, and, above all, the heavenly serenity which ecstasy stamped on his proud and noble countenance, would have supposed that he was looking on at the improvisation of a really great artist. The illusion would have been all the more natural because the performance of this mad music required immense executive skill to achieve such fingering. Gambara must have worked at it for years.

Nor were his hands alone employed; his feet were constantly at work


Gambara
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

in use, one motionless in the cuddy, the other keeping very still in the captain's stateroom.

It must be explained here that my cabin had the form of the capital letter L, the door being within the angle and opening into the short part of the letter. A couch was to the left, the bed place to the right; my writing desk and the chronometers' table faced the door. But anyone opening it, unless he stepped right inside, had no view of what I call the long (or vertical) part of the letter. It contained some lockers surmounted by a bookcase; and a few clothes, a thick jacket or two, caps, oilskin coat, and such like, hung on hooks. There was at the bottom of that part a door opening into my bathroom,


The Secret Sharer
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

the same region do at last, if we look to wide enough intervals of time, become modified; for those which do not change will become extinct.

In members of the same class the average amount of change, during long and equal periods of time, may, perhaps, be nearly the same; but as the accumulation of long-enduring fossiliferous formations depends on great masses of sediment having been deposited on areas whilst subsiding, our formations have been almost necessarily accumulated at wide and irregularly intermittent intervals; consequently the amount of organic change exhibited by the fossils embedded in consecutive formations is not equal. Each formation, on this view, does not mark a new and complete act of creation, but only an occasional scene, taken almost at hazard, in a slowly changing


On the Origin of Species