Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Wanderers 2013.4.3

:: mt. hood community college ::

We're sitting around comparing theories of anthropology.  Lots of us here, lots to think about.  David Tver is saying the liberated Jews in the Passover story were not technically "slaves" in the way we might use the word.

My point exactly:  the word "slave", kind of like "race", dumbs us down when used uncritically.

We're a typical room of verbally endowed hominids, post Babel, not all on the same floor, let alone page.

DC is like this too:  nonsense meetings, people getting a word in, no narrative congeals (nor need one, in this case).

What is / was / will be a "slave"?

I learned only recently that Plato was apparently a slave of some kind -- I just checked that out, more a temporary prisoner of a goofy potentate who saw a chance for some booty (he accepted a ransom).

Buzz is talking about Plutocrats.

Cal Tech gets a fair amount of rep with us, given Feynman and Pauling, and also OSU, thanks to the archives, but Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) should get more credit.  The overlap in staff and faculty has had a precessional effect.  The other night, a few of us visited the campus planetarium for a teach in on galaxies, an event open to the public.  Got a tour of the lab / offices.  Impressive I thought.

The Thai restaurant, Vi Thai in Gresham, Wood Village exit, up the hill a ways, was excellent.  Just saying "Thai restaurant" into the Android (Steve fakes an American accent) got the robot voice telling us where to go.  Electronics have made it easy.  "Where's my car?" doesn't work yet though, when you get lost in a shopping center (or community college).

I quizzed Bob Mcgown on the difference between graphite and graphene.  Was the latter another allotrope of carbon, like buckyballs and diamond?  This got us talking about the trail of evidence Harold Kroto followed to a Nobel Prize with Richard Smalley and Robert Curl.  On the spur of the moment, we surfed up his web site and emailed a greeting (with a snapshot, so like a postcard).  I'd met Harold a long time ago, at the First International Conference on Buckminsterfullerene, in Santa Barbara (by Pergamon Press), where I represented both BFI and ISEPP (I was BFI's first volunteer webmaster).

So many eating options along Hawthorne means less business for any one of them, maybe (unless total foot traffic increases, or the willingness to eat out).  Such traffic patterns were on Becky's mind when last we stopped in.

Swirl is not competition for Fujin, but it was for Ben & Jerry's in her analysis, yogurt being trendy, and would the new owner of the ice cream shop there keep making things stay interesting?  Free cone day is coming right up, we saw that on the sign after, drawn in by the singers out front.

Speaking of Unilever, I heard the theory lately that PonPonPon has an overabundance of Unilever products represented, some kind of conspiracy?  Count me a skeptic so far.  I've gone over it and don't recognize any ice cream containers.

Last night, in private studio, we went over some South Park and related productions:  history of white people in America, of Mormons, and a famous musical number.  The public threads (journalism, blogs etc.) seemed to do less to educate about Mormonism than I thought they would, given Romney's candidacy.

I don't think the Roman Catholic church should strive to be other than a patriarchy.  That's what it is and changing the rules too drastically would change the character of the practice to such a degree as to render it a different animal.

I have no problem with patriarchies persisting, any more than I have a problem, in principle, with a religion that reserves its core positions for females only (however defined -- XX a clear place to start, but not necessarily where all do).  Nor must all religions use gender-based criteria -- but those that do should be permitted to do so.

The premise here is your freedom to choose:  religions are brands.  You also have the freedom to create new ones, and some will be better than any so far InshaAllah.
For warm up last night, we goofed off watching Maru  (まるです) the clever cat.  I closed out the show with Code Guardian by Mark Spitoni and company, a kind of tribute to a genre of war movie and popular with my Saturday Academy classes.

We talked about Hawaii a lot.  Pat is moving there to be with her mother.  This is her last Wanderers meeting in awhile.  She'll be at the next ISEPP lecture (like TED talks, but longer).

Email from Python Software Foundation:
You have voted and your vote has been registered. Thank you!  Here is your ballot....A copy is also attached.

Please keep it to verify the integrity of the election.
We have secret ballot elections for new fellows, board of directors etc., even though we also claim to be a dictatorship when we feel like it.  Guido has thumbs up thumbs down on PEPs, plus he's free to take the language in new directions.  We got a taste of his leadership during his Pycon keynote this March.  I also enjoyed Raymond Hettinger's keynote and have offered to summarize it for our school.