Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Front Door

Anaconda3 Submenu on Win 10

In this day and age, if operating in compatibility mode with USA OS (more elsewhere), there's a way to do it in Windows.  You need a friendly front door in the Citizens' Desktop (not its real name), which is part of Homeland.

Jungle-ware (multi-species), such as Anaconda/Python, need to obey rules of the road, starting with Start Menu aesthetics.  The above screen shot shows that happening, with Spyder also along for the ride.  Spyder is another IDE (interactive development environment) for Python.  Python is a computer language.

One of my pillar tenants is both pedagogy and andragogy benefit with the needle wavers between two extremes, we might call them left and right brained, but don't have to.  I waver between (1) storytelling, lore, and (2) deep dives into the details of syntax, getting technical.

Contrary to stereotypes, computer programming does not require shutting down one's imagination, draining one's fantasy life, fighting one's propensity to daydream.  On the contrary, keeping story lines in mind and visualizing theatrically, like a movie director, helps glue together what one is reading and writing.  Programs have a plot.

Stepping back from any specific drama and considering one's possibilities in the abstract, is what it's like to focus on the language itself.  We might want to code up a Supermarket, a Casino, an Observatory, a Spaceship.  What these have in common, in Python, or in any computer language, is their grammar.

In mathematics we face something similar:  a need to keep the imagination fired, and abstract at the same time.  Here is where polyhedrons enter the picture, in the form of one's own visual and tactile environment.  We're in a scenario already, with furniture, with sets.  Lights, camera, action.  "Camera" means "room".

Virus Story

Unifying computer programming and polyhedrons is another pillar aspect of my curriculum writing. The stereotype around polyhedrons is they're a topic in computer graphics, first and foremost.  However consider leaving visualization to the imagination and coding only numeric changes in surface area and volume as a function of changes in radius.  Using @property, we may inter-relate all three.

Yes, I'm talking about scale, which is turning out to be an important source of generalizations.

Through Windows, I provide a front door into PATH and STEM.  Anaconda creates a space, after which Jupyter Notebooks kick in.  We learn Python in connection with its ability to sort polyhedrons in order by volume.  The focus is on grammar, however in a way that fires the imagination rather than damps it down.
Unicode on Windows

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Groundhog Day

Today's Ground Hog Day (film allusion) ascent of Mt. Tabor was a wide departure from the norm, statistically speaking: I took the bicycle.

I've been riding this sturdy metal beast to one of my meetups, some miles away, not too challenging terrain.  The route up Tabor is far less distance yet a lot more of a climb, and I decided "walk mode" would be permitted once inside the park.

I have a hard time writing "park" without Westworld resonating, having just plowed through Season One start to finish, special features included, a Warner Bros. DVD. I'm between gigs.

On my way to returning it, I stopped over at Glenn's and shared the first two episodes, which he enjoyed.  He knows where to rent it:  where I returned it.  We have one of those hard to find video rental places in our neighborhood.  I got it back before the deadline.

That was yesterday.  Today, having made it to the mid-level reservoir, I stood overlooking the city and marveled at the small birds frolicking in the foreground.

As fortune would have it, Glenn was on his way down so we walked and talked our way to Chavez, me wheeling the bicycle. Once across Chavez, Glenn staying east, I locked the bicycle to a rack and carried the helmet, doing a full bag's worth of supermarket shopping.   I lashed the bag to the back with tight bungies and managed to mount and ride back.

My day since then has been less of a physical workout, unless growing out my beard counts.  I'll shave that today, and spend a few calories.  I do appear to be slowly losing pounds as I continue the No Beer Diet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reciprocal Base Agreements

From Facebook profile:
Is it time to talk about inviting some foreign military bases to North America, in the name of reciprocity? So many US in Okinawa and Guantanamo. Oregon might be OK with a couple bases. They're mostly used for joint marching band exercises, sports, practice using crowded airways. We'll bring back the cavalry and make movies.
Chögyam Trungpa had an army going as I recall. They'd drill and stuff. Oregon could host a Tibetan military base, except the weapons would be metaphysical (like incense).

Monday, September 10, 2018

Who Gets to Be a Mathematician?

Responding to an essay on Medium:

Given trends in AI (machine learning), humans are coming to appreciate that in constructing and internalizing any Reality Model (the process starts before birth) one is performing intensely mathematical operations, updating new “priors” (synthetic a priori judgements) in some Bayesian feedback loop, complete with cybernetic back propagation though many layers of perceptron.

As Kraftwerk so eloquently put it: “we are the [mathematicians]”.

Dr. Keith Devlin showed biological life is at bottom a form of mathematical computation. Humans claim to do it consciously, as a brain activity, on top of a 99% automated metabolism.

Sure, universities want their name on the bottle, when the math smells and tastes like the real deal. They’re like wine merchants. However I’m always willing to accredit the mathematical abilities, properties and practices I encounter in so many walks of life. Fine wines come with many labels.

English majors studying New England Transcendentalism come up against a lot of architecture and geometry these days. Their PhD may be in American Literature of the 1900s, but that means knowing what the “isotropic vector matrix” is all about (1970s metaphysics), and of course “tetravolumes”. No, this isn’t mathematics necessarily, but when it comes to Reality Modeling, such concepts have utility.

Friday, September 07, 2018

On Saying More with Less


I hiked up Mt. Tabor this morning, which sounds impressive, however I might have used the word "stroll".  Some steep parts.  I almost turned around at the Narnia Lamp Post, but then decided to press on.

Coming down, I came across some interesting construction site activities involving a crane lifting heavy objects onto a flatbed truck.  I paused to take pictures.

What was going through my mind a lot was how I could write some new essay on Medium about Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics and quadrays, a coordinate system apparatus I've been yakking about since the 1990s.

However, around noon, before beginning said essay, I did a quick search and found these two postings, both with hyperlinks of their own:

On Ludwig Wittgenstein's Contribution to a Pragmatic Philosophy (April 3, 1997)

Investigations into the Linear Algebra Concepts used in the XYZ and Quadray Language Games (November 20, 1997 Last updated: October 1, 2005)

Wow, that's a lot of what I'd planned to write today.  Do I really need to write it all again?  Probably not.

A better use of my time might be to hack in to those ancient web pages and add some new hyperlinks to them, to more recent writings.

I found my materials using Google, just searching on Synergetics Wittgenstein as my two keywords.

Ravasio writes in her autobiography about finding out these high tuition schools for which loans are needed, not bothering to share New England Transcendentalism in the form of the Fuller corpus.  The math goes there too.

Academia will learn to "get off it" with the Bucky stuff, or it won't.  I'm thinking I won't lift a finger, as I want to see wheels turn without my input.  My goal is to publish less, not more.  Time to wrap it up.

Sure, I'd help as a consultant on the 3D movies about the Concentric Hierarchy etc., but for those to happen, the Global U would need to strengthen its curriculum.  There's a chicken and egg vicious circle here, or maybe a "down the drain" vortex? Time will tell.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Discussing a Documentary

In case you don't have time to watch the movie, or can't get your hands on a copy, the National Geographic documentary about the Gospel of Judas is pretty interesting.

Yes, National Geographic was a sponsor of the project, as if it turned out this was an authentic document, then kudos would accrue to the documentary makers.  For sure this whole operation would need to be memorialized using state of the art film techniques.  One doesn't mess with such heritage without making highly detailed records of the enterprise or project.

The two main puzzles were:  to decipher the badly decayed content of the recovered papyrus book, written in Coptic; to figure out where it came from exactly and how old it was.  Carbon dating was applied and an expedition to Egypt ended in caves with many traces of Coptic culture.  The dating put it around 280 A.D. with some decades plus or minus, suggesting it be treated much as the other so-called "Gnostic Gospels".

The film explains that "gnostic" was a put-down, a lot like "truther" and not a label self-applied, and that it was already a term of opprobrium by around 200 AD by which time Christianity had started to solidify, after taking many turns.

Bishop Irenaeus had railed against some Gospel of Judas way back then, but no one since had been able to snag a copy.  Leave it to some treasure hunter to get it on the black market, where it languished and almost turned to dust.

Judas was thoroughly demonized, yes, but more generally the Bible was being whittled down to Four Gospels with the others best forgotten.  But most especially oxymoronic would be any twisted "Gospel of Judas".  Revelation would be less confusing, in terms of making the Bible cohere.

Two often made points were echoed in this film.  (A) Jesus and his disciples were of course Jews and weren't really into questioning that and likewise (B) the Romans administered "justice" in that region so the irony of Rome's Christians later demonizing Jews for being Jesus killers seemed somewhat like a pot calling the kettle black (an English idiom meaning "who are you to call me that?").

I'd say "Mahayana Christianity" sees that humanity as a whole killed its own God when He came among them, a display of poor judgment which well explains why God, on previous occasions, took some pretty severe actions towards His creation.

Gnostics were to be disrespected for teaching the local God had indeed messed up, but that Jesus was pointing back to a greater God away from these unworthy humans, or something along those lines (considered heresy even today).

The narrower form of Christianity has taken on the mantle of "Chosen People" (us versus them) characteristic of those not thinking in terms of "humans on Planet Earth" (an Astrological conception).  Jewish shepherds were not schooled in esoterica with its cosmic vocabulary.  The older forms of Christianity also have less Greek metaphysics, or so I've been told.  The Coptic people I've hung out with were in Cairo.  But then Alexandria had the works of Euclid.  I guess my point is it took Christians a few centuries to get super educated, especially in light of their early persecution, by the Romans especially.

These last two paragraphs were me rambling.  The movie itself doesn't self indulge having bitten off a huge chunk. In addition to piecing the document together and determining its history, the film gets some character actors to tackle some really challenging plot lines that will be heavily scrutinized.  Agreeing to star in these sequences took some courage in case the film attracted the ire of some offended orthodoxy.

Fortunately, the seminaries have already done a good job of disseminating the historical and archeological approach.  The Gnostic Gospels had already carved out a space in consciousness, thanks in part to Carl Jung, who worked on saving this literary heritage.  I'm not a super expert on all the details but have done enough homework to feel some gratitude to all involved in salvaging such remnants from our human past.  So much ransacking goes on, or sometimes deliberate defacing on ideological grounds.  We want to respect new findings and update our narratives as creation continues to reveal itself, a process some might call God while others would prefer not to.

The two points I mentioned above were to counter the anti-Jew sentiments that were cultivated by those casting themselves as victims of Jewish globalism and/or loyalty to only themselves.  These patterns of thought already had Judas epitomizing Judaism, but in a bad way.  According to this rediscovered gospel, Jesus relied on Judas to turn him in and maybe save the others.  One may debate whether we're talking actual history, but it seems well established that the story of Jesus was taught with this plot twist at least in that one lineage.  Several other gospels were floating about, including those of Timothy, Phillip, Mary Magdalen and so on.  Again, the existence and intelligibility of said texts does not constitute a proof of facts.  These stories don't actually require fact checking to go global, we know that from many other storytelling traditions.

Anyway, I assume a lot of this stuff is old news to the Bible hounds among us, and to the archeologists, some anthropologists.  The literature since this movie must have grown considerably in the meantime.  We have also enjoyed many breakthroughs in getting to know the ancient Mayans.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wanderers 2018.8.21

I haven't been chronicling Wanderers meetups at all frequently, in contrast to ages past. They're always datelined in that same titular format, so feel free to search, should you find intact infrastructure.

Our practice as Wanderers is to practice "open session" wherein the conversation wanders and no one is obligated to stick to the topic, as there's no topic per se.  We sometimes take a vacation and turn the evening over to a leader, a presenter, thinking of ourselves as good guinea pigs, but then we go back to earning our name and reputation, as those with no fixed agenda, just a coffee fund.

The more formal story of our beginning is Terry Bristol, President of ISEPP, needed a stable of trusted conversationalists should a big wig come to town, meaning a top science & engineering practitioner and/or writer-journalist on the book selling circuit.  The cast was eclectic to say the least, with the guest often staying at the Heathman, then lecturing in one of Portland's swankest venues, either at the Schnitzer (old school theater palace) or the Christian church one door down (pews, gallery, organ), on the Park Blocks.

So say Jane Goodall shows up.  Everyone would like to meet her, but rather than mob the poor creature (actually quite self possessed), Terry could have a party, serve refreshments, and the Wanderers could instantly create the suave / sophisticated surroundings such a celebrity would have come to expect.  We were the proverbial intelligent laypeople, not peers perhaps, but from neighboring walks of life.

Tonight we practiced yammering about (a) the big bang (did it have a center) (b) whether any good could come of our grave circumstances (c) near death experiences, such as almost-drownings (d) paranormal phenomena (e) the non-existence, or existence, of extraterrestrials and why we haven't detected them yet (no one present argued that we had, but each meeting is a random function of who happens to show up).  We had some jokes and puns.  We were a sampling of genders and generations, I won't claim random.

I want to mention in particular that Peter Sloterdijk came up and we debated the pronunciation of his name.  Francher has been delving into his most recent writings whereas I'm still stuck in the trilogy, Bubbles, Globes and Foams.  We are not of any special religious denomination and I would say we're mostly a haven for those who don't espouse any mainstream religion, or religion at all, but with numerous exceptions of course (we're riddled with true believers of one kind or another). 

Francher and I are especially fans of Buckminster Fuller, whom Sloterdijk writes about quite a bit.  I'm also into the Wittgenstein stuff.  Larry knew the Trimtab meme. Later I posted to Facebook, in the spirit of what I'd said then:
When I look back in history it's like Alexander Bell (telephone, "kites"), container shipping, the internet (more than just Al Gore)... i.e. I don't place my hopes & dreams [tm] in the hands of prima donna actor-lawyers who claim DC as their Hollywood-like universal studios (many well-known backdrops). They're entertainment, at best a simulation, but these days sing off key. My focus is on the artifacts, like the cars and trucks. Highways. Bridges.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Bizmos in 2018

By this time in our narrative, the "bizmo" (business mobile) is a well-established genre of van or bus, mostly peddled as a luxury item.

I'm not saying I'm yet able to head for the garage and download my favorite dashboards and stuff, but we're getting there.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Red Books

I've gone from Alan Watts (influential in my early reading career) to James Hillman (likewise influential), talking about Youtube. Great to get audio trax from these guys. I'd been doing silent reading.

The Hillman kick got me to this lecture by Becca S. Tarnas, Ph.D. (a self-confessed Elvynchyk).  She's talking about similarities between J.R.R. Tolkien's imagery and that of Carl Jung, in their respective books with red covers.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Delta versus Lambda Calc: Weighing Options

What's Next?

I stumbled on this old fragment of storyboard this morning and decided to explain it again, adding a link to a related Youtube (8 mins). The picture corresponds to a high school student looking at the math tracks branching out ahead of her or him, and wondering whether to slant to the delta side, or to the lambda side.

The delta side stands for Calculus and is the only pre-college track as far as many are concerned. You may have some stubs, like statistics and business math, that point in some other direction, but the college admin folks are pre-geared to like calculus. Professors don't want to do all the heavy lifting and you need calculus to prove yourself educated, further up the line. I have another calculus book on order from Amazon as we speak. I used to teach it myself, at the high school level.

The lambda side stands for Functional Programming (Scheme, Clojure...) but underneath that, for Lambda Calc in particular, as distinct from Delta Calc i.e. delta calculus (the one we learn in high school).  Lambda Calc, one might say, is the basis of computer science. We have instructions, or functions, and inputs, or arguments.  We think a lot about getting our syntax fine-tuned to actually "run" (execute operationally).  Lambda Calc is pretty much synonymous with Computer Science.

What happened in the late 1900s, after the rise of computing and computer power, kicked off by Alan Turing and others, was a greater need for Lambda Calculus and a requirement that Delta Calculus share the road more.  That's why high schoolers would later have more choices, as to how to proceed with their math education.  They could choose to emphasize computer science over delta calc, and still get a lot of delta calc in the process.  Operational mathematics is not devoid of Newton's Method for example.  Computers do calculus all the time, even as discrete math devices.

In some ways, the whole dichotomy is an illusion, much like wave versus particle.  You have different tools for different needs.  It's not either / or.