Sunday, September 17, 2017

Business Meeting

I don't think P&SC has had enough time to address the Chelsea Manning affair at Harvard, in which somehow Morell got mixed up. We do have a minute asking Friends Everywhere to consider the newly minted UN treaty banning (criminalizing) nuke WMDs.  That'd be a step beyond banning bio and chemo, except for authorized doctor use in the war on cancer, other diseases.  Nuclear medicine is still OK.

I'm planning to bring Deviled Eggs to potluck, there being no prohibition against same, the name notwithstanding. We're considered Liberal Friends, meaning eggs "of the Devil" have not been banned, and indeed they usually go quickly, either alone or as an ingredient with potato salad, like Sonya does.

I once had a long conversation with Christine, not a big believer, thinking the kitchen conversation she'd recounted was with Sonya, not Sonja -- we have both.  Silly me for getting the whole scene wrong in my head.  We've all gotta watch that.  Constructing one's own reality (liberals believe in constructivism usually, per Piaget), is a weighty responsibility, as any weighty Friend worth her salt will attest.

I did my walking meditation up the mountain this morning, which sounds so dramatic. Mt. Tabor is the neighborhood hill, full of decorative lakes, a tribute to Portland's former glory when, like ancient Rome, it enjoyed an entirely gravity fed water system.  Engineers may be forgiven for not having the training and background to keep that up into the 21st century.  We switched over to pump-driven because that's what engineers today can understand.

The new sandals from Bi-Mart are on a maiden voyage this morning, as boats for my feet.  Time to visit Fred Meyer, a Kroger brand shopping center, for the requisite deli offering.

Carol is here with complete versions of the UN Nuke Weapons Ban Treaty, ready for distribution at Business Meeting after potluck.  Quakers know nation-states thrive in war mode, like a drug, and have no ability to go cold turkey where WMDs are concerned.  However, we've been able to orchestrate a gradually introduced safety and security program wherein we safeguard future generations from our radio-toxic stockpiles.

Containing fires in the heavy element sphere has not been our forte.  Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island... how many others don't we know about?  The tick tick ticking of the time bomb nuclei, nano-hazards, have been released and the genii won't go back in the bottle.  Yes they occur naturally in some cases.  In other cases, you need a freak of nature, like hominid species of a self-destructive bent.  Then there's the depleted uranium issue.  Lots to study at OSU.

Multnomah Friends Meeting is based in Portland, Oregon.

Lastly, for today, a brought a free sample of C6XTY for the kid programs, letting them know there's more where that came from if there's interest.  I have exhibits I could bring in.  Friday was a gala event wherein we got the super bowl commercials in the can.  Just kidding.  This stuff is a tad esoteric for the NFL.  When it comes to soccer clubs on the other hand...

I'm literally in the meetinghouse on Stark Street as I write this.  This used to be Doug Strain's electronics factory (his company's) and Jantzen's before that (swimwear factory).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

FrackNation (movie review)

This documentary is a direct response to the award winning Gasland by Josh Fox.

I recommend viewing it.

did a lot of homework, starting with Kickstarter.

The director engages in a point by point refutation of the Josh Fox documentary.

I notice there's a Gasland 2 out by now.  I haven't seen it yet.

I'm all for public debate about public policy.

The MSM comes in for some severe criticism in this film as well, especially the NYT.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Task Management

Conway's Law says organizations reflect outwardly how they communicate inwardly, and that gets me thinking about task management both individually and at more collective levels.

How we write computer programs may have an impact on how we conceptualize about multi-tasking more generally. That's something I sometimes talk about with Dr. David DiNucci. He was at Wanderers this evening, which adjourned early on account of unhealthy air quality.

In the Python asynchronous model, a Task is like an egg working towards hatching, with an event loop scheduler checking each egg, almost round robin, until any one of them cracks.

The syntax expresses putting a wind-up toy into the mix, but how fast it unwinds depends on many environmental factors, such as the slowness, or speed, of the network.

Tick tick tick go the eggs, somewhat like time bombs but we want and expect them to go off eventually, and each one is enveloped in a waiting handler, less a callback function than a surrounding context, the enveloping Task.

However, Python's means of maximizing or optimizing a single thread is only the beginning.  Spawning threads and processes is likewise possible, using tools from the same asyncio library or other places.

A procrastinator will often beat himself or herself up for delaying an important task just thought of, however queuing up stuff to do later is likewise a signature activity of the self-organized.  Putting things off is not a dodge, but intelligent scheduling.

Let tasks come to you and don't feel compelled to jump up and immediately attend to them in the order dreamed. Acting immediately is what we call "impulsive" and many seemingly important tasks will appear "half baked" looking back.

Doing jobs in the same order you think of them may be a higher risk lifestyle than you need indulge in, is the mantra here.

Go ahead and stay in the lotus position, even if your jobs queue grows in the meantime. You'll need downtime to optimize.  Seeing how to kill many virtual birds, with no real birds harmed in the process, with one stone, will be your saving grace in many cases.

Yes, sometimes we need fast reflexes to take over.  Things do happen too fast for a lot of, or any, conscious consideration sometimes.  However don't treat your whole life like a twitch game.  Practice the art of creative delay i.e. scheduling.  Computers do it.  Multitasking is a science and an art.  Learn to both divide, and undivide, your attention.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Abducted!



stage.set_background("summer")

nyc_girl = codesters.Sprite("person10", -100, -100)
girl2 = codesters.Sprite("person7", 50, -100)

ufo = codesters.Sprite("ufo")
ufo.glide_to(100, 200)

nyc_girl.say("OMG! What's that???")
stage.wait(2)
girl2.say("I think it's a flying saucer!!!")
stage.wait(2)

nyc_girl.say("")
girl2.say("")

ufo.glide_to(-400, 200)

def click():
    x = stage.click_x()
    y = stage.click_y()
    ufo.glide_to(x, y)
    # add other actions...
    
stage.event_click(click)

def space_bar():
    nyc_girl.jump(1)
    # add other actions...
    
stage.event_key("space", space_bar)


def enter_key():
    nyc_girl.hide()
    # add other actions...
    
stage.event_key("enter", enter_key)

def up_key():
    girl2.jump(1)
  
    
stage.event_key("up", up_key)

def down_key():
    girl2.hide()
    # add other actions...
    
stage.event_key("down", down_key)

def a_key():
    # add other actions...
    stage.set_background("moon")
    ufo.glide_to(0,0)
    ufo.glide_to(0,100)
    girl2.show()
    nyc_girl.show()
    nyc_girl.glide_to(-100, -100)
    girl2.glide_to(50, -100)
    nyc_girl.say("OK, so now what?")
    
stage.event_key("n", a_key)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Amish Mafia

I'm not calling this a movie review because we're talking about a made-for-TV series, meaning we bypassed the old-timey big screen theater distribution networks (e.g. Miramax) and went straight to cable (which includes satellite and optical fiber).  Netflix tends to pick it up from there (just kidding, we have lots of subnets, very diverse).

In any case, I'm finding myself pleasantly entertained by this pseudo-documentary genre, many faces blurred to protect the innocent.  Amish maybe get some protection from English viewers, and we the English get to see our Mafia turf wars transposed into an innocent key, with buggy races not allowed in Levi's court. Merlin, an Ohio rival, another Mafia boss, muscles in.

I rented this first season alongside season two of Fear the Walking Dead, picking up at the coastline, now that our families have escaped the LA zone.

However it's not like I have oodles of hours to watch soap operas.  I'm doing full time work with a rush hour on both ends, ala the North American fossil-fueled nightmare (not complaining). Amish Mafia + Mennonite helps this old bones Quaker unwind a bit before midnight or whatever Zs time.

What stretches credibility is that a documentary film crew would get just this angle, with intimate relationship scenes on the Sarasota beach (no worries, everyone stays fully clothed). Why would Levi allow cameras?  Actually that makes plenty of sense: he covers his butt as Amish special operations, given he's never really alone with her. They're all using the film crew to tell their side of it.  We're the ET observers.

John the malcontent-in-trouble is hilarious, as is the Mennonite intense. I know these people, have met them many times.  The eternal vibe in this transposition is what makes it both Biblical and high comedy all in an anthropological bundle.

I love it when they speak Dutch, so Afrikaner in some ways, said the Englishman, right?  Actually the Afrikaners don't equate USAers with UKers, remembering some earlier conflict I suppose.  I've written on that topic more elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Skin Color

Struggle

When I was little, I'd hear my maternal grandmother sometimes refer to "colored people" which to her ears was not a slur.  America, in those days, consisted of "whites" and "coloreds".

However my generation was already being schooled that "colored people" was not acceptable.  "Skin colored" in a box of crayons was also biased, obviously, because off-pink (not white really) is only the color of a sampling.  Lots of skin colors out there.  That much, at least, is clear.

What's not clear is whether "white" is really not a color, given few people are actually that.  Off-white is a paint color, a whole variety of them.  Singling out "white" as a one non-color seems a similar form of discrimination.

If "people of color" (POC) is OK to say, is it OK if off-whites and even true albinos, be considered people of color as well?  That would seem the more uniform basket we're looking for, where any skin tone has its associated RGB value.

A problem though, is we use appearances for a kind of code, as in dress code, but also as in "code of veiled meanings".  Choice of font might be part of a code, or a flag, or other symbol.

Perhaps the better word is "brand" as in "look and feel".

Like when we go to high school or later college, we might have these various stereotypes, these templates, that people follow, more or less consciously.  Out of such raw material, identities get carved and tested, torn down and recast.

Is obsession with nuanced codes the way we operate as egos?

A lot of meanings can't or won't survive a bright light, but as implication and innuendo, they have a shadowy persistence.

The need to have or be a "personality" might have a lot to do with our color coding.  We get to play roles then, even pick up the mantle of this or that group and become as though mouthpieces of historical lineages, simply on the basis of a few genes in charge of skin, melanin content etc. 

As we grow older, and closer to death, some of us become the disembodied voices of these imagined "races" or "ethnic groups".  We might get our DNA tested, and build an identity based on what Ancestry.com has to say.

Lots of theories and superstitions, or call them "day dreams" help the ego glue it all together.  Everyone needs to be somebody, right?  Why not start with skin color, daft as that may sound?

Might there be a way to champion humans, or even more than that, humanity itself?

We have this word humane, and use it with respect to other animals.  In what ways might we train to be humane?  Would we need to identify as a person of any specific color to be humane?

Perhaps these code languages, not of our own choosing, nor making, could be left by the roadside?  I'm tempted to disrupt them.  I frequently question the reality of "races" and the relevance of DNA to one's mental makeup.  The power of stereotypes, templates, role models is real though.  I admit there's theater.

I suppose if your daydream is working well for you, adding insights and happiness, productivity, then it might be worth keeping.  I've been inventive regarding my own persona, crafting some specific guy.  Realizing one's ability to be inventive is perhaps the most one might hope for.  Doesn't "human" mean "made from clay"?  I read that somewhere.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Foam


Balls in Backyard

C6XTY

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Summer Camp Fun


Summer Camp is primarily focussed on MIT Scratch.

The "block language" projects have continued to evolve though. Today we took a look at Blockly and Berkeley Snap.

Snap in Arabic

Friday, August 04, 2017