Saturday, November 28, 2015

Resolved: the USA Still Solvent

This question is a no-brainer for most of us, given the national deficit (versus debt) as a percentage of GDP is still considered acceptable.  The US is not Greece.  Those measuring solvency as a concept need look no further.  Nations are debt payers for the most part, in this New World Order, a handy source of interest income.  The name of the game is to keep it that way.

Those seeking to debate for the other team will need to dig deeper in search of arguments.  They will have to argue in terms of ideals, suggesting, perhaps, that the military-industrial complex is a pretender, having hollowed out the original core and replaced it with a new operating system.  Instead of directly arguing the US is insolvent, this team might argue the US we have today is a fake, a facsimile, a phony.  "Whatever it is we're calling solvent, it's not the USA" could be their approach.

The latter line might perhaps gain some traction.  The life support on which Uncle Sam has been placed bespeaks a new chapter wherein nation-states in general have lost much of their believability as moral beacons, standing for higher ideals.  Certainly the map of the Middle East has become hard to draw, Syria having crumbled.  The game of asserting sovereignty by enforcing borders looks like a no win proposition.  In the meantime, the population flees.

How close are we to internal refugee displacements reminiscent of Syria?  Should we blame "global warming" for the shut off of potable water in the heartland?  Flint, Michigan decided to encourage residents to imbibe toxins, while many in Detroit are simply losing access.  Local government is walking away from the challenge of providing for the people.  The money the US borrows is more intended to pay for carnage overseas than to provide for essential services.  In that sense, then, "the USA we have known is bankrupt and extinct" (to quote a famous Medal of Freedom winner).

The people do become restless when it appears the government is turning against them, now the servant of alien ideologies.  Reassurances that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are somehow being defended fail to mollify.

Will the National Guard bring Flint some relief, in the form of potable drinking water?  Citizens have been calling for that.  Instead, the US Army (and National Guard) chose to conduct war games in the area.  I understand why Jesse Ventura, former Michigan governor, is suspicious.  The presumed demise of the so-called Posse Comitatus Act gives our debaters more points to bring up, regarding the possibly phony nature of a post-US imposter.  Meanwhile, in Flint, the free water filters should help.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Road Trip

Thanksgiving 2015 included the ritual drive north, just me this year.  I'd thought seriously about bringing the aging, no-longer-ambulatory dog, however Mr. Bridges kindly agreed to look after her here in Portland.  I drove to my cousin's house, north of Seattle (Everett latitude), departing Portland about 11 AM the day before TG, and arriving about 5 PM.  Traffic from Seattle to Everett was especially thick, with people rushing to get home.  The usual 25 minute commute was 70 minutes, including in HOV lanes.

This morning, on Thanksgiving itself, I followed cousin Mary's Volkswagon south to the University of Washington area, where we picked up Uncle Bill.  We transferred his walker to my trunk at that point, and he rode with me, on southward to Port Orchard, near Bremerton.

The family convened here last year as well, at a pancake house restaurant, but Tara and I, driving north from Portland, got stuck and traffic and met up with relatives later, at Uncle Howard's.  That year it had rained and Howard's old machinery was glistening.  I took lots of pix.

This year, brothers Bo, Howard and Bill were all together.  Their sister Evelyn, my cousin Mary's mother, has passed away, as has Eddy, one of her brothers.  The three uncles were not actually my father's brothers, but by grandmother's sister's sons.  Grandma Esther's sister, Elsie Lightfoot, had five children.  Esther had only one, my dad John Bailey Urner, who went by Jack.  The Urner name comes through my grandpa Carl.

Mary's sister Alice and her husband Steve, another two hours north, were unable to make it this year.  My mom and daughter, as well as stepdaughter Alexia were in their own scenarios.

Bill and I yakked about Boeing some.  They build the 777 in Everett.  Renton builds 737s.  We were not sure where the 787 was being built, but saw one as we drove by Renton.

Carol was most fortunate in that David DiNucci noticed the decrepit state of her walker when she attended Wanderers on Tuesday last week (I had to stay home, as I was teaching a class over optical fiber).  David happened to have a spare walker, ordered somewhat by mistake for his aunt, one with working brakes that met her specifications quite closely.  She was happy to switch to red for awhile, getting the day before she left for California. 

Uncle Bill and I did not remember about his walker in my trunk however, after we left the pancake house and I drove it all the way home before remembering.  He was good humored about it on the phone, having come to the same realization.  I'll send it back to him by UPS.

I tend to think about big picture history and emerging reality (becoming) around this time of year (other times too).  I'm studying about N8V Americans and the history of American peoples through a couple titles on my Amazon reading list.  Meditating on the various narratives is what TG is a lot about for me, starting with my own family's and quickly branching to the world, as all our stories inter-twine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Coffee Break

The term "coffee break" is a bit of a misnomer when applied to my doings, given I work and drink coffee simultaneously.  I don't "break" for coffee, usually.  I have it sitting here next to me.

I think a lot of overweight and even ideal weight individuals would appreciate the privilege and opportunity I have to generate a modest income and pay bills, by sitting in an easy chair, somewhat kicked back.  I call this the Steve Holden Chair of Computer Science, as I inherited it from him when he moved back to the UK from Portland.

Turn this coffee to beer and put some ball game on the screen across the room, and I'm in the archetypal posture of the relaxing sports event viewer.  People work so they can afford to relax like that.

That I can get paid work done in the same posture is a sign I've been lucky, by some cultural standards.  However I'm not sailing the Mediterranean in command of my ship, with a crew of Sea Org interns at my beck and call.  By other cultural criteria, Hubbard (I call him "Elron") was more "living the dream" in his later years.

The fact is, my home is permeated with invisible frequencies that my screen and keyboard tune in, to carry my keystrokes, sometimes voice, images, out to the cloud, where my doings make a difference, however small, in the lives of other people, as do their doings in mine.

Of course I do other work too, such as housework.  I'm the chief domestic, no servants.  One of my primary responsibilities is looking after a no-longer-ambulatory dog.  I'm not sure what she weighs, lets say thirty pounds.  I'm strong enough to lift her up and, cradling her in my arms, get her down to the driveway level, so she doesn't pee on her bed or my rug.  I get her to poo on a newspaper usually.

Lately, circumstances have been less pleasant in that I've had a cough and sore throat, yet I'm on the hook to be like a radio host for a call in show about Python, a computer language.  My listeners also see my screen (not my face).  I've told them about the cough and for the most part am able to mute the microphone before I have a coughing fit.

Another thing I've been doing is watching rented documentary films, standard practice for me.  The TV across the room, not an HDTV flat screen but an older Sony Trinitron (still pretty flat), is not hooked up for broadcast channels, nor cable.  I use it strictly for recorded media.  Mostly I use the radio receiver under the TV, when not watching DVDs or listening to CDs (there's even a tape cassette deck).  For example, a couple nights ago I watched Going Clear, about the Church of Scientology. 

Upstairs, I receive broadcast TV and in the back office, I get the minimum set of TV channels to get Internet via optical fiber, and all those house-permeating frequencies.

Shifting gears, I recall a time wandering through the lobby of the World Trade Center (not sure which of the twin towers) and seeing lots of exhibits on organization management, i.e. running a business.  I remember being impressed at the level of abstraction sometimes required, to impart these various management theories.  Theology is no more intricate.  I was still pretty young at the time and had yet to have much experience in business myself.

Exploring further, I browsed over to Werner Erhard's site and caught up on some of his doings, in particular watching the business management presentation at the Simon School of Business in Rochester, New York.  Erhard is not someone I've met in person, but I did participate as a volunteer in his organization, in addition to paying for its trainings and seminars.  I've had hours and hours in large hotel ballrooms (as they're called) listening to people talk about their lives through microphones and amplification systems.

Lets contrast such a for profit or nonprofit business and all that "metaphysics" they get into, with "church", a way of mingling and perhaps benefiting by sharing benefits.  If you're looking to rub shoulders with or otherwise get in contact with interesting viewpoints and individuals, a religious establishment may be just the ticket.  Better than radio, or at least as good.  A religious establishment is also a business.  In fact, if you're a Quaker, you're used to such terms as Meeting for Worship for Business.  Quaker Meetings have stuff to manage.

I've also been in touch with a Quaker friend about Landmark.  Sara has invited me to Landmark events a number of times, Landmark being a business.  I don't hear from her often (we are geographically far apart).  Here's what I wrote back just yesterday (one typo fixed):
I just saw the new documentary on Church of Scientology, Going Clear, last night.  I wrote this review:

History is interesting to me.  In researching my blog post I got to the long article about Werner Erhard linked to in the last paragraph ("fair game") -- an article at the Erhard website.  I didn't realize how well he was getting along with Christians, especially in Ireland.  What about Quakers and Centering Prayer then?

Food for thought.

I don't know when I'll review Landmark.  It remains a definite possibility.  In the meantime, I'm working on other ways to "shape history" (aka "steer") in ways that might be beneficial.
Erhard's relationship with R. Buckminster Fuller is what proved pivotal in my life in that after my years at Princeton (Class of 1980) I was casting about for new stuff to get into, and was receiving the est Graduate Review at the time (I had moved to Jersey City with college housemates).   I read about Fuller and Werner co-appearing at Madison Square Garden.  I did not attend that event, but felt prompted to start reading more of Bucky's books.  I was also participating in Centers Network at the time (the organization est had become before Landmark).

The sore throat, which was pretty severe, seems to be abating, almost gone.  There's still some coughing but not as much.  I have another Python radio show tomorrow night, as I do this gig two nights a week.

Last night my mom Carol attended Wanderers at the Linus Pauling House to hear about Dick Pugh's work in the world of nuclear weapons back in the 1960s.  He's been reading the same book she did:  Command and Control by Eric Schlosser, about all the accidents and unanticipated turns of events in that line of work.

I couldn't make it unfortunately but I'm glad she could go.  I'll be returning these documentaries to Movie Madness today.  The other was an interview with Steve Jobs.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Yakking with HomeSchoolers

Yakking with home-schoolers on the Web (hyperlinks added):

I'd never seen Platonic Solid Rock by Dan Radin.  Fun.

Note here at 1:36 mas o meno where we get the standard schoolish math re Dimension, that his line segments (supposedly 1D) are most definitely "lumps" i.e. they have all the height, width and depth one could ask for, even as incorporeal narrator informs us otherwise.

That's typical in Platonic cartoons:  they say "you will never see a point" even as they make the point (pile of chalk dust, usually).  Kids squirm uncomfortably and some try to mount some resistance, only to end up in the corner, dunce hat on, an example to others who dare question authority.

"Points are so small they're smaller than the tiniest atom" (quoting some random math teacher) -- yeah, as if they existed at all (to say they're Platonic means they're "pre-frequency" as we Martians say i.e. they have no energetic content whatsoever).

With Karl Menger we get our "geometry of lumps" and do not distinguish line-shapes, point-shapes and polyhedron-shapes on the basis of their being "depth only" or "just depth but no width".  No, they're all 4D lumps, so-named because the tetrahedron broadcasts 4ness and is therefore the canonical representative of Volume (i.e. pre-frequency space).

I'm into the intersection of mathematics and animation (mathy cartoons). Even just this animation about the International Mathematical Union is fun:

Note that I am not the creator of the above

I like it in part because the IMU explicitly credits Buckminster Fuller as a "popularizer" of his "Jitterbug Transformation", which is this twist-contraction of a cuboctahedron into an icosahedron then octahedron. 

The citation is somewhat ironic as standard practice in math circles is to dismiss Buckminster Fuller as a "popularizer" of X and Y without ever coming to grips with Martian Math

I blame the philosophy department as union mathematicians are by training clueless about much beyond math (per job description) whereas we philo types are supposed to stay more up to date on a broad range of disciplines.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Storybook Nation

Inventing broad brush stroke stories about how West Region was won, is an ingrained habit, so ingrained we don't really call it "inventing" with "we" being the authors of such tall tales.

Like that all of Louisiana Territory could be "sold" by Napoleon, in need of a war chest, to a bunch of Company investors in the then Mason Capital.  Or tell it how you like, it's a fairy tale of sorts, however told, but hey, we all learn about it in school, and that makes it "true".  Sometimes "the past" just seems too unbelievable, know what I mean?

Donald Trump is doing public debaters a public service in sketching the comic book literal picture of a "real country", not one conquered on paper by imaginative storytellers.  Sure we can mobilize, at this very late date, to actually spill the blood it would take to once and for all give those Yanquis total control.  Sure we could.

The arterial system of tribal migration was certainly interrupted by fences and freeways, diminished certainly, but to bring the circulation of the pueblo to a total stop, in a desperate attempt to get a stranglehold on the situation, once and for all, with a giant wall and everything?  We could call that Washington's last gasp, a final death rattle.  Leave it to a New Yorker to make the funny noises.

Speaking of school, we've been sharpening pencils in the Martian Math department.  That's an initiative to strengthen STEM by bringing real REPLs to students.  Remember in The Martian where Matt Damon hits on using ASCII?  You learn that stuff, along with Unicode, when packing for / training for Mars.

With real REPLs like Python's comes a decent helping of Group Theory, not everyone's cup of tea, but a great way to spin one's wheels learning coding, which is all the rage.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Smart Art

:: Rev. Billy & Church of Stop Shopping ::

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Quaker Doings

Carol (mom) and I are at the meetinghouse for what promises to be an all day meeting.  Joyce was somewhat disapproving of my showing up with a Diet Dr. Pepper, but as long as I don't take it in the meeting room, Quaker doctrine specifies no problemo with caffeine (68 mg per 20 fl oz).  Our Coordinating Committee (NPYM CC) clerk is still coming in from the airport (PDX).

Annis is here at the table with Carol and I, along with two others from out of state.  Some people have traveled some distance for this meeting.  We happen to live in the neighborhood and often walk it, even Carol (with a walker) but today we took the car.  Someone was in the wheelchair parking slot (a Volvo) so we went to the Mazama's parking lot next door (that's an arrangement we've worked out).

I'm here as Technology Clerk for the region.  We have fairly light IT needs (event registration, a regional directory, a website) but I still regard our work as cutting edge, as how Quakerism embraces or shuns technology is in many ways going to be definitive of its future profile in the world.  I want clerking, as a role, to include SQL / noSQL savvy, as a matter of course.  Computer literacy is simply literacy, in this day and age.

Choosing to meet on an important holiday, Halloween, was a mistake I think.  Our NPYM Secretary was unable to attend for this reason, as it's a major business day in her line of work.  She's the paid staff in this picture.  The rest of us are volunteering.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Portland Doings

Carol is being recorded downstairs, where I've cleared out of the living room.  I've been camping out in the Steve Holden Chair of Computer Science, keeping the dog company while I promulgate Martian Math.

Today I have lunch with some friends.  This morning:  my walk, meeting up with Glenn.

In case of a major earthquake, we can expect liquefaction of the muck under the fuel depots along Hwy 30, west side.  The heavy equipment is mostly in SE.  If the bridges fail, we'll be in trouble.  Fortunately we have one of the best gravity fed water systems on the East Side.

Oh wait, they're planning to disconnect that and make us dependent on electricity.  The best earthquake backup system is to be purposely disabled by "city fathers".  As Glenn put it, Portland is built atop ignorance.  Just look at those homes on stilts in the West Hills.  He wrote about all this in the Southeast Examiner.

I've been debating Vote By Mail with a former PSF elections maestro, still active in e-Voting.  My concluding comment:
Some N8V reservations e.g. Warm Springs, have only one post box in a radius of 40 miles. Getting to a "polling place" (USPO) is well nigh impractical (there's no home pick up or delivery on the rez) but then "as a zip code" the N8Vs know they'll continue to be punished regardless, as that's the white man's way, i.e. their votes count for nil as it is.
When it comes to fairness, I think that's as scarce as [ U-235 or whatever ] i.e. there's not much of it in human affairs, never has been, but democratic models do help us remember it as a liberal value. Thinking about "free and fair elections" helps us create more fairness, even if we have yet to have a national election, in the US at least, that would truly count as either.
It's easy to judge in hindsight right?  No election was fair when blacks couldn't vote.  No election was fair when women couldn't vote.

Since those two prohibitions were rolled back to some degree, other barriers to voting have crept in, and if blocking voting doesn't turn the tide, there's always rigging and miss-counting.

We need a lengthy documentary series on the history of voting and democracy, don't we?  An old theme in these blogs.

The Mayor, Charlie Hale, has decided to not run again and instead focus on strategy.  He's right that many key decisions need to be made during the remainder of his term.  He sounded in full possession of his faculties on NPR the other day, quoting Monty Python a few times.

NPR is reassuring us that even though they didn't pick Boeing for the latest boondoggle, the Pentagon is still engaged in prime contractor irrigating in our region, per usual.  They spin that as "good news" somehow, not sure how.  Jobs I guess?   Is that a bribe?

Certainly it's not about keeping our edge in engineering as the military is prohibited from accessing our best science (any military, except when it comes to health care for the injured) -- a truism, as the best science is not about killingry (duh).

We were hearing on the radio yesterday, about how the US discards its own soldiers left and right.  One DUI and you're discharged, without honors, denied benefits, after sometimes decades of service, and even if you have injuries (especially if you have injuries).

Human resources are treated like so much garbage, collateral damage, so the war machine can afford to keep running.  Use 'em up and spit 'em out.  America eats its young.  "The true costs must never be admitted let alone paid" is the business model.

Like the Taliban, the US Army vets could use more professional, less backward, outside medical services, like from Doctors Without Borders.  The secret tape recordings of Army psychiatrists prove they harbor and protect quacks, a kind of terrorist.

The leadership provided by Judeo-Islamo-Christian cultures is somewhat pitiful isn't it, witness the Middle East.  All they know how to do is fight, right?  The Middle East is hardly a poster child for the so-called "prophetic" religions.  New Yorkers are more law abiding.  Bishop Tutu made this point.

We already knew that about quacks in psychiatry from the torture-authorizing BS artists in the civilian rank and file.  That whole branch of the medical profession (psychiatry) is fighting for respectability at this point, given it can't seem to disown its own bad apples.

In Asylum District, "crazy" as in "bat-shit crazy" is becoming a badge of honor almost.  What they call "sanity" in military doctrine never seems to set much of a standard.  Helicopter gunships get involved, and sanity is out the window, once again.  I'm glad the Pacific Northwest makes other investments.

At lunch we talked about Heidegger quite a bit.  I went home resolved to Google up something interesting.  I liked Richard Rorty's summary at the end of this BBC documentary (above).  He, along with Walter Kaufmann, were two of my teachers at Princeton.  Rorty actually read my thesis.  This documentary on Ho Chi Minh was interesting too.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Advice to the Sanders Campaign

Behind a Fence

As I've mentioned on Facebook, I agree with the view that the more imperial-minded in the media need to start closing doors on Bernie, regardless of his populist appeal.  His USA has too many inconceivable elements whereas they see Hillary as a known quantity.  These journalists simply feel more confidant, more ready to write about her trajectory, whereas Bernie, like Donald, is a wild card.  They'd have to do a lot more homework, a daunting prospect.

My suggestion to the Bernie Sanders campaign is to take the edge off "socialism" by advertising how Americans practice military socialism with dignity and professionalism, co-owning, as a people, huge fleets of monster weapons, intimidating to say the least.

Sure, a percentage of "we the people" may feel suckered into buying a lot of these toyz, aircraft carriers in particular, but hey, the Chinese and Russians build those too, so if there's a sucker in the room, at least the sucker is not alone.  We have a fellowship of the ring thing going, a community of dolts.  Hasn't it always been this way:  stuck at the bottom of a gravity well in a pile of Fallen humans.  Welcome to the Big Apple (in the sense of planet -- New York City a cosmopolitan mirroring thereof).

That's why "making the world safe for socialism" is really no longer a battle.  We won!  The Americans, Chinese and Russians all practice military socialism in one form or another.  Each has a "people" (pueblo) that owns vast arsenals and feels patriotic about it.  Nuclear weapons, wow.  That's socialism in action.  Rising through the ranks in the military is also a form of social mobility, a way of circumventing hereditary classisms.  Again, all the weaponry states practice this from of ladder climbing (social promotion).

So whereas Socialism is in good shape around the world, Democracy could use some stronger defendants.  Relatively few had a say in making these great decisions (e.g. to go whole hog into nuclear waste as a primary investment, which it now is for the foreseeable future), including Einstein, who didn't think the US would actually go beyond testing.  He regretted that the physics community had helped the rest of humanity come to the low IQ brink of self destruction through stupidity.  Scientists in the main are not eager to see their knowledge exploited towards purely misanthropic ends, with those few Dr. Evil exceptions.

Once we take the edge off "socialism" then we can get back to thinking about both capitalism and democracy and how to best serve them and their flagship institutions.  Bernie has never said we should not have private ownership or even secret ownership, which was the original goal of the LLC.

When investors wanted to back risky ventures, starting in the early days of the East India Company, they wanted to limit their exposure or potential loss, without closing the door to future benefits should the risk actually pay off e.g. should one's proverbial "ship come in" laden with scarce hard-to-come-by luxuries.  You'd get your share, some to keep, some to resell for a pretty penny.

Without some measure of control and self protection, a wealthy doctor, for example, would not wager on an adventure.  Not if the widows and orphans left in the wake of said venture could haul said doctor before the magistrate as a scrooge and war profiteer who only faked being a doctor while making sure the war was fed.  The public had to understand that his personal liability was only up to a point, and no further, plus all the good doctor's investments were philanthropic and socially responsible.  Buying shares in "Killing Commies Inc." went out of style in the 1960s, at least among the 0.1%.

Indeed, buying shares in "America Inc." has not been as trendy ever since the Imperial Presidency got out of control (JFK onwards).  Truman saw it coming but couldn't head it off.  Allen Dulles was one of the chief perps, but only one of them.

Not that the USA was really set up to be an empire in any constitutional sense -- it wasn't.  A federation of states is more like a strong alliance.  And that's where Bernie should jump in:  remind voters that investing in America could be sexy again, if only she were a little more like Canada, a little less like a Bridge Troll.  Lose the battle ax and camo, step into something less thuggish, and you'll do better in the ratings.  Or should that be Donald's line?

Finally, lets remember that workers of the world have as much a need to invest (their labor and its fruits, their savings) and limit exposure.  A safety net is so important because it empowers the worker, like the rich doctor, to take the risk of retraining in some new skill set.  That's like leaping from one trapeze to another in a circus act, and if the safety net is not there, why risk it?  Better to stay stuck in a rut, trapped in a dead end job.  The economy stagnates and dies when workers cannot afford to jump ship and take on new challenges.  That's the flip side of limiting liability for the estate-minded.

Bernie is already strong on the need for a safety net, so lets help bolster capitalism and celebrate its embrace of Open Source, as a bridge to a more civilian-minded socialism.  Given the military is already socialized, lets focus on the benefits to the civilian sector, of 21st century engineering.  That's where we have many capitalist celebrities eager to talk on TV.  Some of them would be happy to promote Bernie.  Silicon Valley is not pre-committed to the Republicans I don't think, despite the reputation of Venture Capitalists.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Disarmament Degree Program?


Having toured the Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Special Collection, then regrouped to discuss strategy towards creating a less morbid culture, our grand finale for the evening was to hear Hideko Tamura Snider talking about what it takes to overcome being atom bombed.  She was ten years old, in Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945.

OSU has no special track for Disarmament Specialists that I know about, however the auditorium at La Salle, was filled to capacity (this was the smaller auditorium, seating 200-250).  Some of us stood around the edges or sat on the floor (that's what I did, having gotten there a bit late with Carol -- who got close to the front row, but sans hearing device).

Hideko's slant was to encourage her fellow humans with assurances that each one of us is endowed with the capacity to overcome extreme discouragement and disappointment of the type she endured.  She's concerned that postmortems of atomic warfare neglect the psychological aspects in favor of the easier to understand physical aspects.

Witnessing the intense suffering of others without being able to assist is one of those traumatizing experiences.  Her own sense of abandonment was intense, as an only child who had lost her mother as the world turned nightmarish.

Her father, also a survivor, and in the Japanese military at the time, was placed on cleanup duty (she found out later).  Whereas they piled the bodies high along the river for cremation, her dad was sensitive to Western culture, specifically impressionist painting (soldiering was never his preference, only his duty), so he insisted the charred remains of US POWs killed by the bomb be buried instead.

In Hideko's case, her resilience traces to deep curiosity, a desire to fit the puzzle pieces together and figure out what happened.  She would read incessantly, including existentialist authors, i.e. those who deal with the human condition in some profound way.  This ability to deeply process is, in Hideko's view, part of the human design, which is both flawed and wonderful.

The mostly college age audience was quite engaged.  Her delivery, though going over stories she'd told in public a thousand times (figuratively), was full of spontaneity and wisdom.  She alluded to drugs and drug taking, suicidal ideation, the importance of friends.  These were themes to which many in her audience could easily relate.