Sunday, February 19, 2017

Keep on Truckin'

Quaker Business

Lots of truckers share advice and stories on Youtube.

That gives me an opportunity to ask directly, and respectfully, if they'd have any interest in driving overseas, as a part of a truck driver focused student exchange service.

I've already gotten a green light from academia to pursue such interests, but really I need truckers themselves, along with transportation engineers, to be more aware of their options.

Market research...  Focus groups... Does Google maps have the overlays we need?  What other map services will we need, to keep out Kabul-to-Istanbul lanes flowing smoothly?

Freeways Layer : Global Matrix

Trucking as currently designed allows precious little time for tourism.  It's dock-to-dock, through the dirty side of most cities.  Many people treat truck drivers rather poorly.  That's where the academics come in:  drivers get a full-blown work-study program.  Our curriculum is about more than moving freight.  Lets think about families.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Prime Numbers

Solution in Codesters



Code on Paper

Friday, February 10, 2017

Study Circle

World Game Players

In addition to working with world game planners on Global U ideas around trucking, I'm studying a New Yorker article, Dymaxion Man, about Fuller, published in 2008.

Sure, that's one way to compute the account, tell the story.  New Yorker features a lot of intelligent writing.

No mention of the Cornwall Eden Project, nor of the Epcot Buckyball ("Spaceship Earth"). How does Synergetics relate to the CCP?

No mention of Dr. Arthur Loeb, nor A & B modules, T & E modules (3D printable!).

We'll have exhibits in our World Game Museum, of what the textbooks were ignoring (a basis for ignorance). Lets see how the narrative accounts compute then, shall we?

Is West Point teaching the Bucky stuff at least, sharing our American heritage with high ranking officers?  Scandalous if not. We're investigating.

A couple comments, from my Facebook timeline:

Study Circle

Military Man

The main literary trope I find regarding Bucky is that he was a failure and his inventions didn't fly. Put his awards and degrees, number of works published, historical role as "engineer saint", in a pile, and put that pile next to any detractor's and compare. 

True, he didn't win a Nobel Prize. Is eleven honorary PhDs enough (given for free remember, to help a school uphold its own brand)? Elliot Norton chair of poetry at Harvard? Patents not just on the dome, but the IVM itself (like if Descartes had patented XYZ). 

This guy appears to be a huge success, by objective criteria. One of the most successful who ever lived. I think the "he was a failure" trope is a projection. People think "the world is still a ghetto ergo Bucky did not succeed." Specious. Completely void of real thought.

Or was it 47 PhDs? That's what BFI claims. Depends what "doctorate" means maybe. 

Such a failure right? Poor slob.
After being spurned early in his career by the architecture and construction establishments, Fuller was later recognized with many major architectural, scientific, industrial, and design awards, both in the United States and abroad, and he received 47 honorary doctorate degrees. In 1983, shortly before his death, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, with a citation acknowledging that his "contributions as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Jitterbug Transformation

Your math teacher may use the Jitterbug Transformation to help explain how the cuboctahedron and icosahedron layers might morph into one another without gaining or losing constituent balls.

1, 12, 42, 92, 162... is the sequence we're talking about.

Geometrical concepts may be imparted via a number of these moving sculptures, or dynamic devices.

Another such device is the triangular book with one triangular page, its tip traveling in a 180 degree arc and defining two complementary tetrahedrons (same volume as each other) all along the way.

When the page is straight up, and the edges are all 2, we call that unit volume in the XYZ coordinate system, made from cubes of edges 1.  These two sculptures have the same volume.

The Quadray coordinate system apparatus gives us yet another conversation piece with which to leverage greater understanding of the target namespace.  Again, the canonical edges (not base vectors) are of edges 2.

Our World Game Museum will feature a lot of textbooks that saw fit to not include any of this information, nor the related whole number volumes schema.

Probing questions will be posed, and documentary postmortems invited.  People will come up with varying theories to explain the censoring habits of minions.


Sunday, February 05, 2017

More Codesters

The embedded version has its limitations. Try this version instead? These are fun experiments.

I have one baseball and want to completely surround it with others. One way: put six around the center one on a table, then three on top, three on the bottom. With real baseballs, this would be difficult.

To see an animation of what I'm talking about, check here:

For a lot more on the mathematics, check here:

More of a Martian Math theme, which for some of you may mean more Hungarian.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

On Race Again

:: stand-up philosophy by Wes Cecil ::

What I wrote on Facebook:
Really enjoyed this, because he's doing philosophy and standup comedy at the same time. Gets my attention. Yay, my discipline gets into the nightclub scene (reminds me of Tom Lehrer).
... and in a follow-up comment:
The End of Racism by Dinesh D'Souza is pretty on target in arguing many anti-racists miss a golden opportunity in buying into "race" as a tenant of their own belief systems, such a foggy and ill-designed concept as Wes Cecil takes up in his mocking philosophy talk. However, given how deeply engrained is the thought pattern, I have to accept that most Americans (at least) are terminally racist (will take belief in races to their grave) and it will be up to future generations to look back and dissect these beliefs in a more clinical postmortem manner.
But then as some of my friends point out, Dinesh has gotten in trouble with the law, and was a big Trump supporter, anti-Hillary. So does that mean races are real?
Thanks for the update about D'Souza, got me checking his website too. 
I do believe in ethnicity as meaningful. I notice racists have a hard time naming the races. The idea of races pre-dates genetic science, which has only further undermined the idea. Certainly "Anglo-Saxon" is not a race. Or maybe some think it is, as there's really not much agreement on what the races are in the first place, assuming they exist for the sake of argument.
Quoting from my Synergetics on the Web (1990s):
Western science originally portrayed race and class as characteristics of a person's blood which, as such, could be subdivided in proportion to a person's ancestry, "blood" being treated as a mathematical quantity, contributed in equal proportions by one's parents. Hence such terms as "octamaroon" (one eighth black). Whereas "class" is no longer regarded as a genetic entity, "race" has remained a popular concept for grouping genetic characteristics, even if the link to blood is no longer made. Like anthropologist Ashley Montague, Fuller felt the concept of "race" had outlived its usefulness, that the cross-breeding of the world's people, especially evident in North America, was exposing the old racial categories as mere snap-shots of genetic traits thrown together by the exigencies of time, but available in any number of permutations from that vast grab bag of traits known as the human gene pool. In the Fuller lexicon, a racist is perhaps most straightfowardly defined as someone who believes in races.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Growing Up Quaker

A story from my boyhood: my mother Carol was working with other WILPF ladies, as a young mother, to counter the prevalence of war toys on the market. She harvested a pile of examples and stored them in our two-car suburban garage. Dad and I found them, and decided to play with them. The remote controlled Tiger Tank was especially cool.  As a general rule though, toy guns were discouraged and I didn't play with toy soldiers, as did some of my peers.

When we moved to Rome, I met friends in military families. Reggie liked to fantasize about wars and weapons. Mom served as a cub scouts den mother.  I was a Bear, with my friends Mahlon, Kijoon, Reggie, Hayden and Joe. Kijoon, son of the South Korean ambassador, had a stash of toy guns, as well as a pellet rifle and we'd play with those, more in a 007 mode than as soldiers.  Movies at the nearby Archimedes, an English-language theater, were influential.

In the Philippines, my dad started out with the UN, which was doing land reclamation in Manila Bay. Dad switched over to USAID and taught planning at the University of the Philippines as well. He was helping spread a culture of local planning, versus top-down from a central government, and flew all over the islands. Thanks to his job with the State Department, we were able to go on base, mostly Clark AB and Subic NB. We also had access to officers facilities in Baguio and vacationed there at one point.

My years in the Philippines helped me more fully grasp the global scale of US military infrastructure. The American War (Vietnam) had been really hard on my mom especially. The way USers like to rain bombs on defenseless civilians didn't impress me either.  However I also saw how a lot of brave individuals inside the military were also skeptical.  Daniel Ellsberg went to Vietnam as a Marine to check the reality of the situation. Brian S. Willson was there serving his country as well.  Dad and I also heard Ralph McGeehee talk at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC (this was later). He'd been with the CIA.

After Princeton, I dove into international affairs quite a bit and thought seriously about joining the foreign service. The Woodrow Wilson School beckoned, however I decided philosophy was more my thing. Wittgenstein was doing a kind of anthropology, looking at how words mean. I also took a course in psychological anthropology, with Imee Marcos (daughter of Ferdinand and Imedla) in the same class.

Fast forward and I found myself plunging into the Bucky Fuller corpus. He was still alive and circumnavigating the world, giving those famous long talks. His blend of futurism and philosophy appealed to me. He'd been in the US Navy and credited that experience for exposing him to big picture worldviews, what the admiralty shared in officers training at Annapolis. This was a high point for him, preceding a deep low, when he needed to support his new family in Chicago and went broke, coming close to suicide.

Another author with a lot of military experience was L. Fletcher Prouty, played by Donald Sutherland as Man X in the Oliver Stone movie JFK. Prouty cites Fuller when explaining why humans are squandering resources to kill each other instead of collaborating to enjoy better living standards. The "you or me" picture of Malthus-Darwin and a belief in global scarcity had turned endless war into a means of population control.  This was the picture World Game worked to counter. In principle, humans had the wherewithal to better their lot. We had the necessary mastery over principles. Ephemeralization (more with less) was on our side.

Through my study of Fuller, I got to meet E.J. Applewhite and his wife June. I met their daughter Ashton briefly, haven't yet met their son, a boyhood friend of Sam Lanahan's (Sam accompanied Bucky to the Philippines when I was there, but wasn't tracking at the time).

My parents and I had dinner with Ed and June in DC (I forget which restaurant). Also Ed and June flew out to Portland to hang out with me there, meeting some of my people. Ed had a CIA background, having served in Berlin and Beirut. He'd been a Fuller fan as a teenager and devoted his post CIA years to collaborating with the guy, shepherding the two volumed Synergetics through to publication.

The US military had worked closely with Fuller and the companies set up around the geodesic dome invention. Don Richter, T.C. Howard, Ed Popko and many others did much of the actual engineering, in both civilian and military sectors. The radome (radar dome) became a relatively common feature of the landscape. My uncle (actually grandmother's sisters kid) had a contract to work on those in some way, doing maintenance. I only found that out recently (Bill is 91).  Soviet premier Khrushchev had been impressed by the dome in Kabul. Fuller was always friendly to the Russians, as his commitment was to all humanity (he credited that commitment for his successfully synchronistic lifestyle).

However, Synergetics is about a lot more than just geodesic domes and spheres. It's a hard philosophy book that most philosophers don't actually read, but contains some simple geometric innovations based around polyhedrons. When the World Wide Web became available, getting more of Synergetics on-line was my priority. Dr. Bob Gray got the actual text of Synergetics on the web, followed later by the Synergetics Dictionary, another Applewhite production.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Forum 206

I'm back to posting to the Math Forum a little bit.  I've contributed thousands of posts to Forum 206 over the years. I'm glad Drexel University gave us an opportunity for public debate.

As I indicate in my latest comments, I have alternative ways of covering the mix of topics, which were maybe a sign of the times. Certainly "learning to code" has grown in importance, as a PR topic.

I pay for the 4D Solutions domain out of my own pocket. No one has sponsored me. There've been tie-ins with the Bizmo idea.

I've spent a lot of time working with David Koski and others, with what I consider one of the main focal points: a way of building spatial geometric fluency by leveraging the work of Buckminster Fuller.

I've been meaning to get back to the Linus Pauling Archives at OSU to see what correspondence I might uncover between Linus and Bucky. I imagine there must be some.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Finding Polys

Great Find

Some teachers stress about curriculum segments on polyhedrons, such as the Platonic Five, as where and when will these prove useful? Do we really have the luxury of "going there" with so much of STEM still waiting?

I don't think the arrangement of space into coherent, oft repeating, patterns is a waste of time. Glenn's recent find at Good Will reminds me:  Linus Pauling merged spatial geometry with chemistry in ways we'll never forget.

On the same topic, congratulations to Julian for that write-up in the Portland Tribune. He's the sculptor behind Alpha Helix next to the Linus Pauling House on Hawthorne, directly across from Third Eye.

I'm at the other end of the spectrum, stressed about the exclusion of polys, and curating textbook titles for our World Game Museum.

Secondary school textbooks that skimped on polyhedrons, the tetrahedron especially, while purporting to be STEM-worthy might get some critical write-ups in our retrospective.

Why the tetrahedron in particular?  Of the Platonic Five, or of any, it's topologically the simplest, called the simplex for that reason. No arrangement of fewer edges joined at corners has a spatial inside. A triangle fences a field but doesn't define a cage (enclosure).

We're in the realm of Euler's Law for Polyhedrons, likewise Descarte's Deficit of 720 degrees. The numberphiles on Youtube will explain what those mean. Such pillar concepts mark out a common core of cultural literacy.  A common core minus V + F == E + 2 would be exhibit-worthy for its grave deficiency.

If you're a teacher in a Freedom School or one of those, and have the luxury of escaping from the "down the drain" vortex of the left-behind curricula, you'll have access to the resources you need to keep it real. Help your colleagues who aren't so lucky?

Methane Molecule