Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wanderers 2017.12.27


Don organized this Tuesday's meetup around sharing a short movie about the power of advertising.  The writer-producer says what distinguishes capitalism is its huge output, with the log-jam (potentially) in not giving players enough incentive to consume it all.

The analysis casts the players in their archetypal role as mindless, once the brainwashing is complete, and still unsatisfied, because one never really has enough of what one doesn't really need.  "Enough is never enough" as they say, in Over the Hedge, a cartoon parody of suburban living.

A shortcoming in the analysis is how lack of means puts severe brakes on consumption, such that advertising works against itself in portraying an unattainable never-land as its mythical backdrop, but then promulgates "starvation wages" as what all these consumerists deserve.  The left hand fights with the right and capitalism becomes semi-paralyzed.

The question "what makes us happy?" and the false answer "more stuff" avoids another question: "what is work?"  Work from whence happiness derives, versus some mindless "pursuit" of end-of-the-rainbow type happiness, would seem a more secure footing with which to gain traction.  What does advertising tell us about that?

Advertising tells us that doing advertising, or PЯ as I like to call it (rolling in propaganda), is powerful and effective and well worth paying top dollar for.  This DVD said much the same, attributing all kinds of power to advertising even while skirting the question "is it effective?" -- the assumption already being, that it is.

I've been recalling the Hunger Project and the level of cynicism that quickly grew up around it, as a purpose of that project was to bring to bear the full power of advertising to unleash our outrage about low living standards on the richest planet in the solar system (by far).

We're like a superpower compared to Mars, so why do we let Earthlings die in droves from easily preventable causes?  The humans rose up against the prospect of full-scale brainwashing PЯ campaigns for anything other than their customary purposes.  The Hunger Project as envisioned by est Trainers, was strangled in its cradle by righteous critics.

However, now that we've had some decades to even more fully appreciate the power of memes and memeplexes, with memetics a mature science (with a little help from anthropology), we might be ready to try again at outgrowing our old ideas about "what is work" and look for something more satisfying than bombing ourselves back to the stone age, as we seem to still consider a likely prospect.

If you're part of the problem are you really working?  I'd say a lot of money is spent forcing people to do "negative work" in exchange for compliance.  "Compensation" we call it, and with good reason.  I take issue with this idea of "net worth" and side with GST against the most laggardly forms of Economics, which confuse wealth with money far too carelessly.

We used my Mac Air with a borrowed DVD player, connected by USB.  The technology performed well. I didn't contribute much to the discussion as I think about advertising all the time and didn't want to get myself started.  I'm not at Wanderers to hear myself think.  I get that pretty much wherever I go.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

DSCN5724

:: remembering 2013 ::

Sermon:  looking back on the year; so many gifts left unopened; God's generosity.

Catching up on cartoons,  a few Youtube poops (that's technical geek-speak).

Dinner with friends.  Hallelujah.  Waving to family.

DSCF2366

:: same room today ::

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Solstice Party

Bar Carlo

I'm fortunate in having entre to a series of winter holiday parties.  This year (2016) I was especially lucky thanks to Laura and Rick, whom've not been in my blog for years, though I did see Rick at the Portland Tech Crawl not so long ago.  I'd never met the younger of their two boys, now about five, to give a sense of time passing.

The Wanderers have a solstice potluck, also a favorite.  However Deke and I had been stuffing our faces at Round Table on Foster, an all-you-can-eat he treated me to, in exchange for driving out to the horse farm.  Ergo, I ate sparingly at the Linus Pauling House (across from Third Eye, if you know Portland), sampling a couple goodies while sipping red wine.  A few came over to my house afterwards, and continued with festivities.  Bob and I traded off as veejays (VJs), calling up favorite Youtubes on various themes.

Today I was back on Foster, right near Round Table, for brunch, at Bar Carlo, which brilliantly doubles as a record store at one end.  Rosalie has medical conditions that keep her from traveling, however in spirit she's been standing with the protesters at Standing Rock, an unfolding chapter in American history.  Small eateries such as this one perform important service in their neighborhoods, as do food carts. Networks form.

In this age of social media, vicarious participation in protest actions, disaster relief, and refugee camp community building, is afforded by such as Facebook.  I mentioned our zip code's wheelchair guy with the dogs, who says he's been out to Standing Rock by bus, with other vets.  There's a place there called Facebook Hill where you get the best reception.

Zip Code Node

I'm expecting to switch to Soylent for much of the remainder of 2016 as we take stock and restock.  More walks up Mt. Tabor are also "in the cards" (are those proverbial cards in some kind of Tarot deck, that tells the future?).

At Wanderers I chatted mostly with Bob and Marianne.  Bob is a nurse-in-training, already with a lot of experience in care-taking.  He came to Esozone that year (my second time to hear Paul Laffoley speak).  Marianne is in her 90s having escaped Berlin in her childhood.  She's like a psychoanalyst by training.  One of her sons, Alex, is a Hegel scholar.  Our conversation wandered, and was somewhat esoteric I suppose, not surprisingly, given the mix.  Dream interpretation and all that.

Bob wanted me to summarize Wittgenstein's philosophy in a succinct way and I came up with a pithy way.

First imagine getting it distilled down to this question, as within it are many others of a philosophical flavor:  "how do words mean?"  Wrestle with that for awhile, through observation and investigation, don't quote authorities, then come back for this second koan:  "words to not point."

Bob questioned that and I told the story of the screwdriver, how it took shape in our language through its utility, without pointing to anything in particular. Think of all words more like tools, in a machine of so many moving parts (yes, an analogy, and way of looking).

A segue from "words do not point" is to a discussion of "spin" in the sense of applying a layer of interpretation.  Facts under-determine the story we tell.  Even with all the facts in, how the story is told is not nailed down.  Is it shared as a puppet show?  An animation?

In the American lexicon we have this term "spin doctor" with somewhat negative connotations in the sense that spin may sometimes be a cheap substitute for substance.  "Connotations" come to the foreground when discussing "spin" I think it's safe to claim.

Today is when I learned of the death of Kenneth Snelson, from a Facebook post by Gerald de Jong and shared to my profile by David Koski.  He'll continue in our conversations; I've been sharing about our friendship. He had a wonderful life and loved his family. To this day I treasure the small tensegrity sculpture he gave me as a thank you for doing a first website for him in the early days of the web. To quote myself on Facebook:
The sheer scale of some of his sculptures puts him in a class by himself. He was head and shoulders above everyone else doing tensegrity as an art form, as most artists would gladly admit or acknowledge. He also helped open a portal into a whole new way of thinking about tensile forces, part of a longer historical arc that includes bicycle wheels, suspension bridges, and ephemeralization more generally.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Refugee City



Related:
ESL Bits

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Business Meeting

A lot of non-profits will put in the small print that they're committed to leaving a public record of their doings, however nothing could be further from the truth.  There's no turnout for their meetings, no public passed the guards at the skyscraper door.  Nonprofits become accomplished at staying beneath the radar of the public, even if they remain sharply visible on the dashboards of their sponsors and funders.

Quakers have taken a different tack in building attendance at Business Meeting, making it more than a religious duty, but a hobby, like keeping a sophisticated model train in working order in the basement.  Attendance by a critical mass is a practical necessity when the Meeting's continued existence is what's at stake or up for grabs.

A Meeting has lots of moving parts, from physical property to the design of its workflows.  Some positions may be paid, however the most important decision-making happens through consensus, which means gathering for business once a month (if a Monthly Meeting).

For example, at Multnomah's most recent business meeting, we probably had upwards of thirty people.  Hobbyists come from far away just for this event i.e. it's the weekly Meeting for Worship they don't attend.  Sometimes there's a worship group (without the overhead of a monthly business meeting) closer by.  Between Worship Group and Monthly Meeting is another phase:  Preparative Meeting.

The Treasurer gave a full report, including our current position, income versus expenses, along with a budget for the future.  This was just one item on the agenda.  You might think there'd be exponential inefficiencies in involving "people off the street" into such proceedings, but that's not the flavor of a business meeting.  Close attenders get the benefit of the bigger picture and so reach consensus more easily.  The greater the transparency, the less maneuvering about, the shorter the discovery process.

I'd not been to Business Meeting in quite awhile.  Per past blog posts, I'd been doing my part more regionally, as Clerk of IT Committee.  When October rolled around, two years into my three year term, I decided to relinquish my hold on that title and share the glory with someone more in agreement with the new policy, to outsource the website rather than keep it in-house and unpaid.

The Multnomah Meeting website has its own trajectory, which comes under the purview of the Communications Committee.  As I stated during introductions (we go around and say names, maybe mentioning any official roles), I'm not currently on any of the Multnomah Meeting committees.

My listowner roles in Cyberia, mostly through Yahoo! and Google, don't extend to the Monthly level, not currently.  I'd started a P&SC listserv but rendered it inactive pending more evidence one was needed by those actually on the committee (I'd been on at as AFSC Liaison, first locally, then West Region, but gave that up with the AFSC's closing down of our Peace Program).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wanderers @ OMSI


OMSI is our local science and industry museum, of which I've always been a fan, since I was single digit, age-wise.  By now I'm almost sixty, and OMSI has moved, having been near Oregon Zoo in the old days.  Packy the elephant, a resident of said zoo, and I, are about the same age.  He's not doing well, bad case of TB.  I remember first seeing pictures of TB germs at OMSI. Small world.

Our speaker tonight, Dr. Sarah Schaack, was well practiced, having appeared in ten previous science pubs, or the like.  It's called a "science pub" because yes, they let us bring beer to our seats.  These were the really steep seats of the movie theater, originally Omnimax, now branded 4K and no longer projecting on a curved screen.  Quite the remodel.

Our topic: the human genome (and the genomes of other animals), its sequencing, what it is, why it matters and so on.  Given the gigantic screen and super high resolution projector, we were treated to a Powerpoint on steroids.  Our Reed College professor needed to gaze up at three story high slides from close range, and not lose her balance.

Don consulted with a few of us Wanderers, before announcing this experiment, in which we would forego meeting at our usual location, the Linus Pauling House, and congregate at OMSI instead.  Glenn and I road with Barry in his Mustang, who fought his way to our zip code through rush hour.

Speaking of Barry, I take care of a python (as in snake) by the same name, here in my office-plex.  I decided to give his aquarium a thorough cleaning today, and somewhere in the process, cut a knuckle, leaving a visible wound, upon which the human Barry later commented.

My mind was already drifting along the day-dream of gene transfer, me absorbing some snake genes through the cut.  That could only be mythographical, like what happened to Peter Parker in Spiderman (horizontal transport -- one of the warm-up quiz questions).

The human genome, especially the Y chromosome, is enlarged with a library of what we might call transient sequences, not part of the active protein-encoding version, more like skipped code, a wasteland in some accounts, a valuable repository in others.

I'm reminded of human language and the many memeplexes that lay dormant, possible, even potential, but not much expressed.  Diversity lays dormant, between the lines.  Humans are packed with such "detritus" which may be our salvation in the long run.

The talk was free-ranging, if bound by the slides.  The Q&A afterward was even more so.  Portland has a rather science-savvy subculture.  Lots of geeks have moved here.  They don't call this the Silicon Forest for no reason, and genomics seems a branch of bioinformatics in many ways.

After PCR, this process called CRISPR is the next big breakthrough. I missed an ISEPP lecture on that topic.  We learned about the patent war and what's at stake with that.  Geeks are always explaining to other geeks about one intellectual property war or another.  The cost of sequencing has been plummeting.  Now we're getting better at synthesis, not just analysis.

We learned about daphnia, somewhat ugly critters that pass DNA from one generation to the next asexually, unless under pressure.

Mutations sound like a bad thing to most ears, however most are considered harmless, and every so often the new sequence may be just what the doctor ordered.

We don't have all the big data we'd need to really cross-correlate genetic sequences to phenotypes, meaning profiles.  You need more than just a pile of genetic sequences to discover links to whatever traits.  We have a long way to go with our analysis.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon



Previous political cartoons:
[1] [2] [3] [4]

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Driverless Bizmos


What's a "bizmo" again?  Business Mobile, like an RV ("recreational vehicle") but for business -- you're not just goofing off.

A driverless bizmo would be the autonomous version. We already know about downloading the operating system when you get to the garage.  Or the rental agency might have that step taken care of. You might not think of it as a rental agency, either.

Because humans have avoided discussing the Old Man River City project, even in science fiction, we don't have much fluency around "cities from scratch".  Even though we could use them.  A city with "people movers" as they used to be called, i.e. "driverless cars", would likely need the whole grid to be controlled in that way, more like Wall-e, except we'd also allow pedestrians.

Doing a whole city for driverless would seem pretty EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), what Americans used to be famous for, before the Fourth Reich period we've been enjoying.  If we dial back to Disney, his original vision, we might actually get somewhere with these memes.  Or just keep doing Dubai.

You know, of course, that once cars are driverless, humans will want to kick back and send them on errands.  "Go get me those groceries" (a robot picks them in the warehouse, fills the basket).  A goodly portion of cars on the road will contain no humans at all.

We've already planned that for trucks (the "zombie truck system" I called it on the physics listserv), but people tend to forget about "no people" movers in the general case.  We've taken to calling those "drones".  But what if on wheels?

Like luggage systems at airports -- you're not supposed to ride in your suitcase.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fantastic Beasts... (movie review)

J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith) is not that far from John le Carré (alias) in creating a chthonic world parallel to that of the Matrix, that pale shadow of reality we take for granted as Muggles or No-Majs (no-madges), those without superpowers.

The Incredibles sketches a similar backdrop:  those with magical powers have suffered persecution and need to keep themselves hidden. They have their own institutions, and wrestle with the same demons, who think "hey, we're the supers here, lets take over the world!" -- the standard "bad guy" thought process.

A from above camera shot replicates all the CIA movies in having some seal or symbol on the floor, emblematic of this shadow world of Men in Black.

If you're not a spy, er wizard, and see too much, like Jacob Kowalski does, they'll need to "obliviate" what you've seen i.e. wipe your brain clean of any classified memories.

Alexia and I saw this together at The Bagdad.  I'd planned to join Friends on Stark Street for Thanksgiving afterwards, had made the lentil dish, only to discover upon checking the web that said event was at noon, not in the evening. I'd missed it.

I ended up over at Patrick's, baching it with the dogs -- his family in Chicago -- fantastic beasts indeed.  We took in a couple episodes of The Blacklist on Netflix, another series I've not tracked (I've seen maybe only two Sopranos).

The Rowling universe strives for internal consistency, as the Star Wars one does.  We get partially overlapping timelines.  Dumbledore had defended Newt Scamander when the latter was expelled from Hogwarts, we're not sure exactly why yet.

The plot is still unfolding.  Expect more from this franchise.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Permaculture MOOC


I'm enrolled in a MOOC about Permaculture these days (CN-2124).  Here's one of the instructional videos.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Brainwashing of My Dad (movie review)

Documentary

This crowd-sourced Kickstarter documentary is the project of a loving daughter, Jen Senko, who was alienated when dad bought into the fanatical cult that is Goldwater talk radio (John Birch etc.).  Jen was more of a hippie, anti-Vietnam war, the kind of bra-burner Nixon was outraged about.

The aging hippie generation belatedly gets around to learning more about PR skills, which the Goldwater crowd felt it had to learn big time, or die.

Liberals were a more complacent majority back then, taken by surprise by the Reagan years, so soon after Nixon's humiliation. Vengeful feelings over Nixon's impeachment lingered, and Bill Clinton took the brunt of it.  There could be no president Hillary (it's easy to say that now).

Yes, the Goldwater folks had to go back to the drawing board and create a whole new media empire from scratch, with Fox News the crown jewel.  The Imams (pastors) got in on the action, as "Mosque Morality" (the prevailing church orthodoxy -- anti-GLTBQQIP) was highly offended by the free love sexual revolution engendered by the pill.

The documentary doesn't touch on these hot button issues much i.e. it does not go deeply into what the disenfranchised "moral majority" (so-called) was reacting to.  Just calling the Goldwater folks "racists" or "misogynists" doesn't get us anywhere.

It's not that I'm "against name-calling" in some holier than thou sense -- there's no way to not name -- I'm just more respectful when the analysis goes deeper.

Hippies studied pretty hard, some of them, and a fringe even got into geodesic domes.  J. Baldwin admits the domes leaked at first and took responsibility, saying he leaked (hah hah) the numbers to Whole Earth Review before NASA (i.e. Joe Clinton) had fully debugged its programs.  Good story.  He told it at the Fuller Symposium, the last time I met with Ed Applewhite.

I have a collection of old Whole Earth Reviews (as distinct from the catalog) and do appreciate the writing that went into them. Yes, I think medications (drugs) had something to do with it.  The psychedelic counter-culture was called that for a reason.

However, for all the interest in a design science, the Boeing engineers and like that stayed hooked on military-industrialism with its prime contractor irrigation system, to the detriment of our global living standards. Too few hippies went into engineering? Helicopters were misappropriated.

I'm thinking both major parties are dead by now, and need to reinvent themselves or face the music.  Lets see what happens.

I'm still hoping STEM or STEAM pulls us back from the brink, but unless that means saying the word "tetrahedron" with greater frequency, it won't have the integrity.  We've seen some positive trends at least, like in Nature.

My morality is not quite left liberal in that I'm not offended if someone says it's possible to be gay by choice.  Lets accept that's true for some people, big deal.  That's kind of what "bi" means, no?  Some gays get all bent out of shape if you say for some it's a free choice, as if it's only "moral" if it's genetic or something.

Also, I don't see legalizing "gay marriage" as all that wonderful a civil rights victory, as "marriage" is but one of many contractual agreements, not necessarily the best, at least not for everyone.  My wife and I were a business partnership first. I'm not that crazy about diamonds as a gemstone, either.

But then who cares about my opinion?  I'm not trying to make the whole world think the way I do.  I do think the US would be less hypocritical about protecting freedom of religion if it lightened up about non-nuclear families though.  I've given that topic a lot of column inches already.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Planning Ahead

Vesica Pices Begets Four Pennies
Figure 1: central diamond (not square): 
short diagonal (vertical) = 2; long diagonal = 2√3


Square Diagonal = 2R; Edge = sqrt(2)/2
Figure 2: central diamond (a square): 
both diagonals 2; edges √2


A cube built from six of the squares in Figure 2 would conventionally have a volume of √2 to the third power, as 3rd powering means "cubing" in "Earthling Math".

The inscribed tetrahedron made from six of the cube's face diagonals has an Earthling volume of (√2√2√2)/3, as tetrahedrons in general have 1/3rd the volume of the parallelepiped in which they inscribe, as true for the golden cuboid as the cube.

We've forked our depiction of 3rd powering and developed the "Martian Math" apparatus, a tetrahedron, for this same purpose, setting our canonical cube of face diagonals 2R (R = unit sphere radius) or 1D at volume 3, not at √2√2√2, leading to a conversion constant known as S3 or √(9/8).

XYZ.volume * S3 = IVM.volume

"Martian Math" is a rebranding of certain aspects of "4D" geometry published as Synergetics in the 1970s (Macmillan) by RBF (R. Buckminster Fuller) and EJA (Ed Applewhite). The same core concentric hierarchy obtains, with a new rhombic triacontahedron added of 7.5 tetravolumes. This RT shares some of its vertexes with the rhombic dodecahedron of 6 tetravolumes.

The "4D" doesn't refer either to a "tesseract" (i.e. hypercube) nor to "3D + Time" but was rather a commercial logo used by Buckminster Fuller, along with "Dymaxion".  The "4" in "4D" drew attention to the tetrahedron's starring role.


4D as a Brand

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Election Postmortem

Back Stage

I heard the CBS team assert numerous times that voters had made up their minds a month ago, about whether Hillary's emails were important, and so on.  However we're also learning that the polls were way off, so any such specific polling result might get looked at with some skepticism.

As someone versed in social media, I saw a sudden surge in rumor mongering, with Wikileaks playing a central role in the narrative, lets call it science fiction for now, to avoid having to make too much of a determination.  The scandal factor was high.  Occultism, sex trafficking, everything tabloid and National Enquirer rolled into one orange pill.

If I were a political scientist, I'd at least entertain the hypothesis this "shock therapy" was effective, as enough dots seemed to be connecting to reveal a new paradigm, right on the eve of November 8, with November 5 the high tide.  Having CBS News tell us nothing 9th hour could be a factor seems too much like a cover story, to keep us thinking Weinergate was nothing, a false positive.  Not that CBS would knowingly fabricate, just "news from nowhere" gets in sometimes.

People don't like to randomly admit to strangers (pollsters) that they just came to a conviction in the last 24 hours, on a topic everyone has been discussing for months.  Reasonable?

Those supporting Hillary are indeed pointing at the FBI for adding a Weinergate wrinkle and reopening the emails issue, but how many of these true blue supporters saw the "scoops" being dished out through social media, about "orgy island" and "spirit cooking"?

People who listen to NPR aren't the same ones who ogle the tabloids in checkout lanes, necessarily, though of course there's overlap. People who doubt Barack was born in Hawaii, might also believe Michelle is a man. A little credulity may go a long way, given skilled spin doctoring.

Like I said, even without playing special prosecutor, with respect to some witch hunt, I think we might agree we don't have sophisticated enough models to reach agreement on the true impact of social media, especially of the more sensationalist genre.  We can guess, debate, but only the least of the pundits will definitively assert.

Election Day 2016


:: Carol got to vote too! ::

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Thinking Globally

Checking It Out

I probably come across as one of those "globalists" people rant about, although I'm not espousing some particular order as the new one.  I know it's not up to me, so when I ask myself what the future could be like, it's not to myself that I turn.  Yes, I'm powerless in some sense, but not in every sense, and I enjoy my freedoms.

In the 1960s we became aware of some "jet set" and young beautiful people who looked like Mary Tyler Moore and those handsome guys on Mission Impossible.  They had sideburns and wide lapels in one chapter.  Bell bottoms came and went.  I was busy growing up, a teenager, and yes, our family moved around a lot, without being military or missionary. I wore my mirror sunglasses and took pictures with my Kodak Instamatic.

I saw the inside of many jets.  For a time, we even had UN passports.  Dad was freelance, a planner, and people everywhere see there's both reason and occasion to plan.  Indeed, if governments or private enterprises want to impress upon stakeholders that they're doing something related to management, then sharing plans for the future is pretty high on that list.

Then after high school in the Philippines, at an International School (akin to Overseas School of Rome), I was privileged to attend an Ivy League university, Princeton, and absorb a lot of learning, find some role models etc.

Professor Falk was pretty enthusiastic about the ousting of the Shah of Iran.  He saw a new generation of Iranians taking over and ditching an oppressive cast of overlords, in favor of making room for an exiled government.

We were looking at ending Apartheid and as tuition-paying students we were asking how Princeton might play a productive role.  Two Dickinson Street (2D), where I lived for two years, was especially involved in that research.

I studied about world hunger at the Woodrow Wilson School, while writing a thesis on Wittgenstein's later philosophy.  I tried to take full advantage of this well endowed campus, putting a lot of my energy into computer programming.

All that added up on my end to feeling we live on a tiny dot of a planet, surrounded by empty space and places far less hospitable.

As humans in Universe, it's up to us to "save our ship" and a lot of that saving comes from thinking realistically about our place within the biosphere, and behaving accordingly.

A level of sobriety is called for.  I'm somewhat like Krishnamurti in thinking that our bigger failures trace to a lack of seriousness.

Not long ago I wrote an essay entitled Thinking Globally in 2016.  With that kind of press out there, it'd be on the foolish side for me to run from the "globalist" label.  That doesn't make me a part of the same conspiracy as everyone else so labeled.

Globalists are not all birds of a feather.  Indeed, if biology teaches us anything, it's that diversity is a positive way to work with complexity.  Yes, I consider the world to be complex.

A lot of people are suspicious of complexity, subtlety, anything they feel they don't fully understand.  I get that way too (suspicious).  On the other hand, I don't insist that I'm the bottleneck and stuff shouldn't be allowed to happen that goes over my head.  Just because I'm out of my depth about something, doesn't mean that something has to pause or slow down.

It's up to me to keep up, as best as I'm able.  Is that why it's called the human "race"? In other words, in being a "globalist" I nevertheless hope to avoid being a "know it all" and exuding some air of phoniness based on some "know it all" attitude.

I've had limited experience and was shaped by whatever adventures and misadventures. I'll share my perspective and be a star in my own little show, partially overlapping with the stardom of others.  A lot of what I do is "retweet" those I admire most. In accepting the label "globalist" I'm not thereby making some special claim to originality.

I've also talked about being "elitist" but really I'm more into "esoterica" such that I don't really believe in "elites" as comic book conceived.  Playing with a Ouija Board taught me something:  that a lot of what goes down is from a shared unconsciousness, one might say.

Yes, it always feels like "other people" are in control, but that's to some extent just a truism i.e. "there are more of them than there are of you." Duh, right?

The Reader

Friday, November 04, 2016

Geeking Out

nerds

At Barnes & Noble today, I perused a book suggesting that "nerd" as a label might be part of an oppressive dominant culture's mythology, which has, in times passed, classified both homosexuality and the desire of slaves to be free as treatable mental disorders.

Actually, on further research, I see the memeplex relating autism to nerdiness is well-developed, and rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Whereas I would agree that control over "what's a mental disorder" is a key controlling technique, I'm not persuaded:

(A) that Geek and Nerd are synonymous -- what a waste of a good word if so -- or that
(B) Geeks lack social skills.

On the contrary, geeks have collaborated to create new ways of working together on complex projects that big business is striving to emulate.  They call it Inner-Sourcing, which means using what we learned doing Open Source to do something a bit more hush hush and proprietary.

I've held in my namespace that "a nerd is actually the larval form of a geek" which I know sounds somewhat gross, which is all part of the spin.  An ugly duckling, socially speaking, may turn into a swan, given growth-fostering conditions.

Building the new software infrastructure of the planet, with open hardware and open data in the pipeline, took sociality to a higher level.

For my part, I consider myself a geek who is pretty well endowed with diplomatic skills.  I'm not especially shy nor retreating, though I'd cop to being on the quiet side.  Some might claim I was never a nerd then, and probably never bullied sufficiently.  We could argue.

I'd say these are not terms with any fixed or immutable meaning, so allow me my own dialect, how about?

Anyway, the geeking out I did today (Walter Cronkite's 100th birthday (he died in 2009)), involved updating the Jessie distro on my Raspberry Pi 3 (R-Pi 3) to the latest version, sporting the PIXEL desktop with integrated RealVNC.

Thanks to VNC, I was able to connect to the R-Pi in my basement from the Mac Air upstairs, not just through ssh, but in such a way as to show the desktop. I can use this new capability in my upcoming classes I bet.

I also worked on a puzzle involving transportation systems and Dijkstra's algorithm for finding the shortest distance from A to B in a weighted graph.  I wasn't aiming to solve a specific puzzle, just spin my wheels a bit as a coach and mentor.

Earlier, also under the heading of geeky, I got the firmware on my Netgear router to upgrade, finally.  The "Yes" button had been obscured by a Help Bar I couldn't move out of the way, a flaw in the GUI design I finally managed to get around.

These are living standard boosts worth making.  One needs perseverance and concentration.

Why not study "the Work" as shared by Maurice Nicoll if needing more power to focus?  As disciplines go, the Fourth Way folks seem pretty reasonable.  Alex sees connections from the Ouspensky lineage to est through Silva mind control. I'd say even more directly through Mind Dynamics -- before my time really.

I do see the link in the emphasis on machine-like behavior.  In what sense is our intelligence already robotic and therefore artificial?  The esoteric religions and cults do overlap in what they preach.

In Fuller's namespace, we look at mind versus brain, meaning intuition versus conditioned reflexing.  A lack of social skills may relate to both automaticity and an inability to upgrade / reprogram.

As code schools merge with schools more generally (witness the "boot camp" phenomenon), why not look at psychology and mental discipline, in addition to physiology and working out?

Scouting was always about mind and body both, right?  But then of course many critics would share my tendency to lump a lot of these teachings together, as a prelude to tossing them out more than anything.  New Religious Movements (NRMs) definitely spawn their share of detractors, as do the older ones.


Controlling the R-Pi from Mac Air over LAN

:: R-Pi desktop in a window in the Mac Air ::

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Scholars Meet

Scholars Meet @ Th'underground
:: scholars meet ::

Cubs Win
:: cubs win ::

Singularity
:: life goes on ::


Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Public Schools

Old School Toys

Here in the US (a namespace) the attack against the whole idea of "charter schools" has reached a fever pitch, and the fights are along battle lines I scarcely recognize.

Years have transpired since I helped a Portland charter get off the ground, one LEP High, on East Burnside.  More recently, I've expressed my interest in the Nexus Academy model in the State of Michigan.

A recent editorial said the charters had failed in their promise to raise the test scores of poor kids.  Was that their goal then?  Was that the conversation? 

I thought the purpose of all public education, charter and non, was to save US Americans from their own brutish ignorance, their natural state.  As babies we don't know a lot.  We need an education to use a phone, engage in business activity.

Private schools share the same mission.

When did we agree on standardized tests?  Which tests?  What if they're stupid?

This bold miss-assumption that we as a nation ever agreed to anyone's standardization plan is really jumping the gun a bit I'd say.

Sure we'd like to eliminate poverty, but to really do that, we'd need to be at least twice as smart about how we spend our money, and three times as smart about what money is in the first place.

How many public schools teach anything about bitcoin I wonder, or the idea of cyber-currencies more generally?  Or about encryption?  What standardized tests ask about those topics?  None you say?  My point exactly.

In any case, civilization requires torch-passing to be ongoing, a truism, which doesn't mean it's not true.

Lets imagine a future world wherein rich spoiled US Americans are even dumber than dumb, nothing like the world of now.

Could charter schools spring up all about teaching empathy and compassion?  Could we raise their EQ just a little?  Could any public school of any type take that on?  What if some group thinks it worth a try?

What's fair about denying future generations the experience that comes with creating a new school from scratch?  Another public one, like the others.  Why should that right be denied?

Is creating new public schools that are not charter schools ever done any more? Or are all the non-charter public schools that we'll ever have, right now with us today?

Branded Boxes

Suppose a small city had ten golden keys, surrounding counties a few more, and it was up to school boards to award these to eligible grantees.  You could hold a key for thirty years, then it went back in the pool.  You'd have your school.

Schools are not the same thing as school buildings.  Any skyscraper in downtown Portland could host a school, and many do.  Code schools in some cases.  A university system might have the ten keys for code school endeavors.  Some code schools could be public, labeled either magnet or vocational.

The thirty year timeout interval was arbitrary, used to introduce an idea:  that schools could be made mortal right out of the box, and that their mortality is a good thing, a feature to be welcomed.  What a concept, right?

A broadcasting license doesn't last forever either.  Some licenses need to be renewed.  If we posit a relatively stable population for our model City and want to give people in every generation the opportunity to create schools, then a time-out for existing schools makes sense.

As a popular teacher in school X, not taking new students four years out, a high school winding down, I might be in on the planning of the next one.  The "blank canvas" feel, the innovative talents unleashed, are welcomed.

We're not mourning for the fading of twilight schools. Having had a good run, we welcome change. We learn from every generation's mistakes, or certainly hope to.  Honesty about what those mistakes were is part of the process, nothing to do with shame or blame.

Besides, a given school might standardize on something "retro", allowing thematic echoes of prior times.  Academia in the West tends to echo Greek and Roman patterns, and that's just the beginning.  In a city like Portland, West meets East.

In other words, there's plenty of thematic continuity irrespective of specific institutions, as well as opportunities to experiment with new and positively synergetic blends.

In this possible future, new public schools are simply that, neither "charter" nor "alternative" just of more recent vintage, like a car more recently off the assembly line.

"We don't make those anymore."  What a relief in some cases, right?  With more hard won experience, we have a right to expect some improvement.

Mr. Ed?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Science Fiction Future


We will need writers who can remember freedom. We need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity, and the practice of an art.  So says Ursala Le Guin, another WILPF member (like my mom).

Speaking of science fiction, the Martian Math I'm using, not unlike Tolkien's Elvyn in living internally to some "middle earth" (a virtual nation we might say), features this artifact that looks like a caltrop, if anyone knows what that is, not a jack in other words.  A jack is a six-spoked affair whereas a caltrop has only four spokes.

If you've taken linear algebra you know the 90 degree turn is into a whole other dimension, a twilight zone almost, given its 100% linear independence from the first ray in the picture.

The real estate from 0.01 degrees to 179.99 degrees is all brought into being by this Dim 2 (second dimension) but pointing 180 degrees opposite is back to Dim 1.  The clock hands lie flat, so back to one line, not a triangle anymore.

Just taking the negative of a basis vector, is not to get a new basis vector, or dimension, as we're to see only three infinite lines through a shared center, with travel in both directions a property of any line or road.

The caltrop is nonetheless fewer spokes, four is less than six, incontrovertibly.  In making all four "positive" with these labels: (1,0,0,0) (0,1,0,0) (0,0,1,0) and (0,0,0,1), we're creating canonical linear combinations, road maps of zero or forward motion along these four directions, to any point in space.

The six-spoked XYZ artifact offers the same advantages:  a unique address per every point, a distance formula, ways of computing angles.  Going back and forth between XYZ and Quadrays is what many an Earthian diplomat learns in grade school, in preparing to work with the Martians on projects.  Their unit volume is not a cube.

The XYZ vendors claim they're touting most economical warez, in that three basis vectors, mutually orthogonal, are enough for their scheme to pan out.  Yes, negative signs are needed, to show basis vector mirroring, and eight octants get created.  That does not mean we should kowtow to the Martians.  They could learn from us Earthlings.

As you can see, there's a lot going on in this science fiction, with factions right from the get go.  Having the two coordinate systems in the picture is the first step towards at least having some interesting debates and conversations, during which terminological questions are clarified, definitions more clearly cast.

However some teachers protest that linear algebra students have enough on their plates.  Martian Math may sound like fun in theory, but adulthood is calling.  We don't have time for gratuitous brain teasers.  Who ever heard of a unit volume that wasn't cube-shaped, anyway?

For my part, I think all six XYZ vectors should get equal pay for equal work and therefore -(1,0,0) i.e. (-1,0,0) is just as much a basis vector as its oppositely pointing counterpart.  That's not the official definition of course.  That's where philosophy comes in, to provide that subjunctive layer of "could have been otherwise" -- even in mathematics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ship Comes In

VEs from India


Zebra VEs

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mystics


I've been revisiting the literature assembled in the wake of Russian mystics Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, having purchased in soft cover four of the published six volumes by Maurice Nicoll, which are psychological commentaries on the thinking thereof.  A book sale at the meetinghouse.

Some may dispute this label "mystics" correctly applies, as if to them, why not to Bucky Fuller, who likewise meditated on the machine-like qualities of human existence.  When it comes to machine learning by means of neural nets, no AI can hold a candle to what one brain can do, let alone many working in tandem, in parallel.

The illusion of real intelligence (RI) here is almost complete (smile).

I read on Medium that it's OK for me not to decode AI anymore, likewise CIA which some say should be AIC (Artificial Intelligence Central).  No wait, I'm wrong.  Here's the very short list of technology acronyms I don’t need to define: API, AJAX, BIOS, CPU, CSS, HTML, HTTPS, LAN, RAM, REST, USB, WWW, XML. For everything else, I should spell it out.

AI = "Artificial Intelligence" in that case.

Anyway, Bucky worked closely with Ed Applewhite, a career CIA guy, retired by the time we met, who gave us the four volume Synergetics Dictionary, and in there, we maybe find a distancing from the "mystical" as what to spend time on: 
I consider all the time spent on speculation regarding the inherently unanswerable as inherently profitless and a squandering of the opportunity to answer those questions which are inherently answerable by man.
I supposed he's taking "mystic" as somewhat akin to "obfuscator" and he preferred to be clear, about what little he knew about.  He also said "I spend every waking moment in a world of absolute mystery."

Lets agree the word "mystic" ("mystics" plural) is malleable as to its meaning and precisely to whom it applies.

My mom, Carol Urner, has tended to embrace the term as suggestive of what drives her, which many an orthodox Christian would simply call "the voice of God" (or "the Will").

However in Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, studied by many Quakers I know, the mystics frequently come off as outside the jurisdiction of any orthodoxy, as their role in their own time is to challenge some established status quo.  St. Francis of Assisi would count in that category.

No one commanded we establish a strict taxonomy in any case. I will point out, that after Fuller self-published 4D Timelock, a book on solutions for sheltering people, he had a short list of people he felt should have access to it right away, and P.D. Ouspensky was on that list.

Fuller was effusive in his admiration for Einstein and referred to peaceful uses of nuclear power (such as in the sun) in Nine Chains to the Moon.

So was Einstein a mystic? He's a source of quotes such as this one:
The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead.
Wittgenstein  might question whether the mystical must really be an emotion or sensation (let alone a brain process).  Was Wittgenstein a mystic?  Obviously, we could go on and on with such queries.

Maurice is what some might call a Jungian in his outlook, a link to Gnosticism and Gnostic, which rhymes with Mysticism and myth-making.

The machine and the mechanical, and its relationship to life, is the stuff of myth as well, a source of stories.  Psychology and philosophy meet here somewhere.  We have just the one Universe after all.

DSCF0207

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Measure 97 Again

Foes of Measure 97 have cleverly portrayed it as a "tax on sales" but not a sales tax. Everyone knows Oregonians are happy to get by without a regressive sales tax.

Property taxes stay relatively high. I just got my bill today in fact, over $4K on a non-commercially zoned lot, with a house over a hundred years old on it, plus garage. Walnut tree. Rhododendron.

People like me pay for schools, not the out-of-state big guys, who just wanna make a killing.

What business can't model itself as gaining revenue from "sales" of some kind. Health care, cable TV... all end user consumer services.  It's a tax on revenue, on the bottom line, and yes, that relates to one's gross.

Therefore to be anti "tax on sales" is to be anti tax on business, period.

"We don't want to pay taxes and as big businesses you can't make us" is the attitude.  "Let us gross whatever we can and make the little guy shoulder all payments."  They do the same thing around wars.

What's a poor little US state gonna do, with the Feds run by greedy Wall Street, or LAWCAP or whatever?  Squeezing a small state is no problemo for them, given the USG has already caved.

So yeah, those hoping to improve the state's schools and other services may be disappointed come November. The outcome of the propaganda war is far from predetermined.

Maybe Oregon could run some tourist attracting passenger trains with adjoining communities in the outback?

We don't have train tracks to Breitenbush, a hot tub paradise, which is private, but you get the idea.

Institutions of higher education might get in on the campus planning. Go by train, stop off here and there to get an education.

Don't let the naysayers who won't pay their fair share advertise Project Earthala as their idea.

We have  more intelligent sponsors to boast of than Comcast.  Some of our partners behind the scenes don't mind feeding the public/private partnerships these foes of Oregon might consider inconvenient. Pleasing Obnoxico is not our priority.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

CompSci + NeuroSci

Retired Mascot

[ originally an email to Nathaniel Bobbitt, Oct 15, 2016 ]

I wonder how annoying it'll be to neuro-science types to hear me teaching compsci and saying such things as "the browser's brain is full of JavaScript whereas the server is thinking in Python."

Of course web browsers don't have "brains" and many philosophically-minded would take issue with servers doing any real "thinking" let alone in Python.

I'm not worried about it though. Language is nothing if not malleable and I'm purposeful in having students empathize with their machines as if these latter were sentient beings.

Why?

Not to encourage superstition but to bring an already richly associational matrix of key terms, a well developed namespace, into a relatively alien territory (that of machine learning -- and they need to be taught, by us).

Knowledge has always expanded thusly, i.e. empathy has always played a big role, at least for some people.

The Python language actually uses the word 'self' although it's not a keyword, more a placeholder with a conventional spelling, ditto "God" (not in Python) and like that -- kind of like how "Zero" doesn't really have to be "0" but we do need that placeholder.

When I define a type of thing, such as Airport:

class Airport:
    def __init__(self, three_letter_code):  # birth!
        self.code = three_letter_code
    def __repr__(self):
        return "Airport('{}')".format(self.code)

Interactively then: 

In [148]: portland_or = Airport("PDX")
In [149]: portland_or
Out[149]: Airport('PDX')

I then spawn many "selves" of same, e.g.

portland_or = Airport("PDX")
newark_nj = Airport("EWR")


and so on, elaborating into a full program.

A standard practice in compsci, when passing the "object oriented" torch, is to talk about "is a" and "has a" relationships e.g. a car "is a" motorized vehicle, and "has" seats for people (maybe the driverless ones don't).

I've long encouraged a parallel "am a" and "have a" grammar, such that the programmer thinks "I am an Airport, now what do I have?" "I have concourses, and luggage carousels". "OK so now I'm a concourse, what do I have?" and so on.

Changing the subject for a sec, a question I was gonna ask you at Atlas (or Bagdad or...) has to do with "autistic spectrum" -- how people talk, yes? But doesn't a "spectrum" connote basically two directions: left vs right, up vs down, in vs out (any of those)?

Probably some author has already suggested a multi-axis (i.e. higher dimensional -- more than one) "phase space" for placing autistic profiles in a taxonomic or diagnostic matrix. "Beware of spectra when phase spaces are better" might be the moral here -- degrees of freedom and all that.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Science Fiction

Cascadia Masthead
by Zapato Produtions Intradimensional

In this telling, the US is more interested in emulating the EU than the other way around.

Each of the USA states would like to develop its own foreign policy in large degree, with the understanding that other states in the federation have automatic special standing, and share the same currency.

Once within the federation, US citizens are free to move about as usual, without harassment by border patrols.  N8V sovereignties are more likely to prosecute trespassers, especially polluters and treaty violators.

US states and territories probably don't send ambassadors to all the others.  Texas and California might, given their size.  Puerto Rico will likely exchange ambassadors with Cuba.

Oregon still proxies through DC quite a bit, not bothering with ambassadors to non-US states in every instance.  DC still has important switch boarding functions, as does the UN.

Cascadian states have a natural alliance with western Canada some other states may not enjoy.

DC still spins its wheels and attracts tourists.  The notion of "federal laws" still exists.

However, Oregonians already enjoy freedoms considered criminal by the so-called Feds, whereas for their part, the Feds engage in prurient and criminal adventures overseas most Oregonians are eager to disavow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Another Honorary Wanderer?

Remote camera photo of OR7 captured on May 3, 2014, in eastern Jackson County on USFS land. 
Courtesy of USFWS

In addition to proposing Keiko as an honorary Wanderer, I'm thinking about this wolf. The ape authorities are thinking about killing him.  We allow animals to join us in death, as well as in life.

We've had numerous dogs in our midst (some now dead), welcome at the table. Yes, mostly we're comprised of [not naked] apes, par for the course in our zip code.

My reference to Ecuador in the above tweet has to do with that country encoding some rights for non-humans into law, one of the first groups of sapiens to do so.

Yes, it's true, some apes pride themselves on being "sapiens" and have invented a whole taxonomy to celebrate their supposedly exceptional superiority.

Never mind they murder one another in droves and are the laughing stock of the galaxy -- just kidding, the galaxy has more important things to think about.

However if we're allowed to call North Americans "Indians" (even in 2016!) as in "Indian reservation" then I think the "Planet of the Apes" moniker applies just as well, as a colloquialism.

"Welcome to the planet of the apes!" I'd say to the ET tourists.  The "sapien" stuff is just their vanity talking.

I'm referring to all the branches of hominid species, most of them already killed off by now. The sapiens were apparently the most vicious.

Call them "mankind" if you like, or "humans". That's the more formal term (not "vicious monkey" or simia vitiosus in Latin).

When in Rome...

Thursday, October 06, 2016

A Tipping Point

Patrick did a good job pulling together new Python teaching materials.  These are for a class he's running, completely separately from mine, though also on-line in real time.  His company wants to hand out something thick, made of paper.  Mine doesn't go there, presently.

We're both tracking the hurricane in Florida, among many catastrophes in the making.  The human-made catastrophes are even more lethal sometimes.  The wreckage around the Mediterranean, on into Mesopotamia, or "Arabia" as a former US senator from Oregon calls it, is so much worse.

I saw on Twitter about that giant Putin flag hanging off a bridge in New York City.  So how sympathetic was Kerry towards Russia keeping a base in the Mediterranean, regardless of what nations we see?

I haven't seen any nations in a long time, on the maps I'm using, but that's because I was trained in the World Game, a specialized form of modeling only a few got to study.  We look at geography, geology, ecosystems, but not the political layer as much, though we have that overlay.

NATO has a bazillion bases all over the place, we've all seen those maps, so begrudging Russia having a few outside its nominal borders, whether or not that includes Crimea, should not be that controversial.

Surely the US isn't so psychologically insecure that it can't abide even a single Russian base anywhere outside Russia.  Organizing inter-visitation might be the next confidence building measure.

I don't think "bases" in the obsolete sense are needed at all, but the infrastructure is useful, for disaster relief and human relocation.

Calling for the complete evacuation of Aleppo, as I've been doing, sounds more realistic when one has bases for the refugees to flee to.  They'd've been out long ago, like Floridians from their east coast.

However I'm just another Tweeter, these days without even a gym membership, so my views hardly register, whereas Kerry gets to set the tone.

I know a lot of people say it's about pipelines, gold, other treasure.  We all have our ways of sounding worldly, knowing.

So-called "rich people" (often among the most ignorant) like to ape one another, competing to sound "more insider".

Social media have amplified and expanded that workflow, to where now pretty much everyone gets to sound like a rich ape.  That's a shift, even a tipping point.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Go By Train

DSCF9667

Uncle Bill, the mining engineer turned naval historian, in his 90s now, is heading this way by Amtrak for a lunch at Ringler's or other brew pub near Union Station, before heading home two hours later.

This will be his fourth such visit with me, however he's come down independently to visit with other relatives.  He used to drive his Aztec but voluntarily quit driving after a passing mini-stroke (TIA).

Carol had hoped to join us this time, but decided getting her INR checkup (like Hillary gets) with her favorite checker would be tough to reschedule.  So I'll get her there early and she can while away the time reading her recently-acquired book by Hendrik W. van der Merwe, regarding his work to end Apartheid in South Africa, a story more USers could learn from.

South African Friends were more than a little miffed when the US-based AFSC showed up in force and presumed to advise them on how to best deal with ending Apartheid and self governance in its aftermath, given the RSA was actually overcoming racist thinking, whereas USers were still singing "we shall overcome" in some future tense.

That's a song for young people in my book.  If you haven't overcome by 58, it ain't gonna happen, is my attitude, whatever "overcoming" means to one.  YMMV.

RSA means Republic of South Africa in the above paragraph, not Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, a public key crypto system similar to Diffie-Hellman.

I recommend the movie Chappie to better appreciate the difference Ubuntu makes.  AFSC still uses Windows.  If you don't use the bash shell, you're not a real activist, is my rule of thumb (Carol an exception).

USers like to be bossy, believing themselves enlightened or ahead of the curve. Didn't Michael Moore help lay that notion to rest in his latest movie, which mom and I both want to see (I've seen the previews)? 

USers are among the more backward, culturally, adding them all up and dividing, to get an average. They have "diversity issues" in the sense of insufficient schooling in dealing with it intelligently.  Remember the people who came here were those with the most trouble fitting in (like the Quakers).

I'm teaching class tonight, really more like hosting a talk radio show, with me doing most the talking.  My listeners text message, and see each others texts.  I work their questions into my discourse.  I'm doing a highly technical talk on Python, the computer language, which I get to teach in forty hours.

Last night I was at the code school again, "the guild" as we call it, catching up with my peers and ignoring DC politics.  Oregonians live on the Pacific Rim and tend to not always share East Coast perspectives.  I brought along my XO-1 for show and tell.

Carol has a speaking engagement elsewhere tonight, which I won't make.  She's in demand as a speaker, and this year she took it on the road, riding shot gun with Ellen Thomas in rented vans, from LA to Seattle, and from Boston to Cape Code and Boston.  Most 87-year-olds wouldn't have the stamina.

Then she joined me for her granddaughter's graduation, in Richmond, Indiana, flying to Dayton from Reagan International, before packing her stuff to base herself here.  Like the Pope, she has winter and summer residences.

XO-1 at Code School 
Charles Cossé with OLPC XO

Friday, September 30, 2016

Whispering Campaign






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wanderers 2016.9.28


Pretty funny: some of our Wanderers have never seen the opening premise of the Portlandia TV comedy show.

I screened the above for their benefit, along with a short excerpt from my Nepris interview (like a TED talk).

When Bernie packed Moda Center (I missed that one), a bird landed on his microphone.  Unless you know the phrase "Put a Bird On It", you've missed something.

I drew a silly picture of the two-headed "Hilladon" (prehistoric) on the whiteboard and posted it to Facebook with my cellphone.

Hilladon

Jurassic Park

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeper

I can't make a ton of money without being a hypocrite. However I can commit the back office, the Centurylink / Prism room, to serving nonprofits, as a nonprofit that pays its share of expenses, especially telecomm.  That I make a meager income is tolerated, actually welcomed, as that keeps it simple.

As a trainer, I pop up, all paid for, and deliver the Python3 or whatever.  Python3 is more an ecosystem than just the one language, what with JavaScript, SQL, noSQL and all the rest of it.  Not that everyone is into web dev.  We've got Jupyter Notebooks, we've got SciPy.

I'm a big believer in institutional wealth.  I feel pampered on a big Boeing, or an Airbus, without owning stock in the company, let alone a slice of the jet.  Sailors on big Navy ships are proud of what they pilot, but it's not like any might claim title in the purely landlordist sense, not even an Admiral.  That's why I go with "military socialism" as an apropos model, of what the "bases economy" (a kind of "centers network") portends.

That's how I got my trips to Lithuania and Gothenberg:  they were paid for by sponsors, not as income to me but as an expense of doing business on their part.  My flying on an airplane somewhere is not necessarily "income" any more than shipping a book.  I'm an office supply.  Don't even send me the transaction, as it doesn't have to go through my bookkeeping at all.  Or send me some record if you like, it's not like I don't like to scrap book.

I'm happy here in Portland for the time being however, though close family stay high on my list and I'm not bed-bound or anything.  I have a current passport.  This is "back to school" season and I'm on the hook to deliver, lets put it that way.  Carol is here.  I'm her driver.  Lots of good reasons to stay put in this chapter.