Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Common Grounds

 I'm hanging out with my coven mates, at the local Coffee Shop.

We're enjoying Cyriak videos and talking about Hortonian Networks, Horton having invented hydrology, after Leonardo maybe (who was a Jack of All Trades).

Yarrow's birthday yesterday was really fun.  He's just turned one.  The first nine months is year 0 (starting from glimmer in someone's eye), then as a terrestrial one starts counting through consecutive integers.

Over on math-teach I'm boosting a kind of "Gnu Math" that draws on New Math but is not just a boring repeat of the 1960s and its Cold War.  The globe is not polarized in quite that way anymore.

For those just joining us, the associations between the Cold War and New Math were myriad.  As I was writing to a Friend recently:
Talking briefly about Vietnam, our friend under Ho during the push-back against the Japs (just evoking the lingo of the day, not attempting to be racist).

Ho was our friend.[1]   The a huge flip happened after WW2 and the fascists (Japs Germans Italians) were our friends (Marshall Plan) and Russia and Vietnam were now the enemies (it would take awhile for Vietnam to become that way, but Russia was bad overnight, behind an "Iron Curtain" of Churchill's invention -- Reagan's invention to tell them to take it down).

Very intelligent people in the OSS were a lot like "Hanoi Jane" a generation later (I've read her autobiography, Jane Fonda's, ex of CNN's Ted Turner).

Did you know some Americans fought on the side of the North in the Vietnam War?  That's a little known story.  Who can blame 'em, given their OSS history (the CIA would come later -- having lived in DC I would come to know some of them personally, another story, six degrees of separation, Kevin Bacon and all that).
I've been making some travel plans today, work related.

Anyway, when the Iron Curtain descended across Europe, it became important that the USA kids get up to speed on the kinds of maths that won the war, Turing's stuff in other words.  The University of Chicago started cracking the whip, getting us to turn into Bertrand Russells at a young age if we could.  Problem:  Bertie was actually a pacifist.  Einstein too. And Linus Pauling.

One of our number at been at the Economics of Happiness conference recently, where a fair amount of technology bashing occurred, making the Internet be the problem.  At least it's something people can gang up and gripe about.  What's more cathartic than a good gripe session?  We're thinking to have one at Annual Session this year, though the proposal is not finalized. Friends get phished a lot.