Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Retreat 2008

Michael Hagmeier played his didgeridoo during our outdoor gathering on Friday night, with David restraining a curious 180 pound Shomar, an English Mastiff.

Trisha talked about a 102 year old woman she visits, way sharper than the average adult and completely engaged with her world.

Matt came by to finish enrolling Michael, Anna and I in the St. Andrew Clinic fund raising walk, which took place the next morning. Great seeing Tim and his dad, learning Tim won 2nd prize in his category at this year's ISEF in Atlanta.

We spent some time geeking out on the "birthday paradox" on Saturday.

In Python, you can compare fact(N) / ((N**n) * fact(N-n)), the probability of no birthdays in common among n students over N days (N = 365), with e**((-0.5) * (n**2) / N), an approximate expression for which David had a more intuitive derivation. Like for 24 kids, the first expression gives about 0.462, whereas the second gives about 0.454.

Tara got me hooked on Mad World, a sad song Mr. Avison used to good effect in his good bye movie to graduating Winterhaven students (Tara appreciative). I've also been rereading Kirsten Backstrom's autobiographical essay in God the Trickster, thinking about other courageous people I've known.

Saturday evening: an animated discussion of corporate personhood, how to effectively counter institutional inventions run amuck. Part of my own strategy was to develop a counter-cultural supranational and propagate it as a meme in literary circles. I called it the Global Data Corporation. Don went to visit Doug Strain.

:: shomar ::