Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Denial of Service

I'm assuming this "switch" means all my posts to this site to date will be lost, breaking many links. 

If and when that happens, I'll plan to stop my monthly contribution and never post again to the QuakerQuaker site (nor read it either).

From the webmaster:
It's time to move QuakerQuakerEverything's not quite ready, but it's time to move QuakerQuaker over to the new server. It will be powered by BuddyPress, a variation on WordPress blogging platform. It's still very much an experiment in progress, but that's fitting in with the history of QuakerQuaker. I've announced some of the changes on a blog post there:

Time to switch QuakerQuaker

When the switch happens that site will become and this will be temporarily until I close it down. Please send all feedback as comments on the new site. I'll be traveling on a family vacation soon and not as available on email. Having everything at one spot will help!

Also, as I say there, the Paypal account is currently about $30 short (and the vacation means I can't front any myself this month). You can use the PaypalMe account to help out. Thanks in advance.

—Martin for QuakerQuaker.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Factory Girl (movie review)

Andy Warhol fans and detractors already know this story. I was only glancingly familiar with most of his work until recently, when Portland Art Museum unveiled a major retrospective.  That helped me tune in more of his scene, though I didn't catch the name Edie Sedgwick until last night, when I finally saw the dramatization.

My thoughts flashed to Patty Hearst a few times, and her relationship with her own family. I'm not a know-it-all on these families, just we have a lot of windows and telling remarks in the public record, which facilitates discussion of celebrities.  Orson Welles comes to mind.

Edie was an heiress from a Santa Barbara ranch family, transplants from Boston, East Coasters on the Pacific. Hearst Castle is on the same coast.  When I think of Hearst, I often flash on Homer Davenport, his lead political cartoonist in some chapters, and native of Silverton, Oregon.  I have quite a bit about Homer in my blogs owing to my friendship with Gus Frederick, an expert on Homer's life and to some extent times.

Edie's big dream was to find herself in New York and to pioneer a freer way of being alive in a city big enough hearted to support such experiments.  She was by all accounts bold, but in falling victim to drug abuse, got derailed.  This was the story of a generation and has not ceased being the core plot of many scenarios.

Folks in my cohort have their own generational window in that I was old enough to have Warhol on my radar, but not adult enough to track the soap operas.  I uncover the history of my own time in my later years, having lived through it in my own day dreamy way, as some kid in Italy or whatever.

A lot of work went into making this a real telling. The filmmakers undertake their task seriously. I'm reminded of Mishima.  In being a dramatization, the script takes many liberties with the facts, many of which remain unknown. This movie is but one possible assembly of an intricate jigsaw puzzle.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Naga Returns

I'm eating my own dog food with the, doing some of the most basic pens, based on Youtubes, some of which are quite good.  Making a green box slide back and forth with some button interaction, is all doable in this interesting environment.

My two students will get some overview about how it all fits together.  Here's what I have in Movement:


Yes, JavaScript (ES, JS), a moving target of a language. A front line. I'm impressed by the many troopers who march into Angular, React and all that. The tutorials look fun.  Yet I'm still busy boning up on Python.  JS is back burner for me, so not the front end developer in that sense.

"Eating my own dogfood" is a geek expression which, loosely translated, means walking one's talk. If I'm out there talking code schools, Silk Road or otherwise, I need to be putting in my hours, though not completely at the expense of exercise.  I did make it up Mt. Tabor today.  Rain was threatening, so I had my hat.  David DiNucci (computer scientist) happened to be walking in the same direction and joined us.

Melody was by today, in part to return Naga, the stuffed snake Steve Holden brought into circulation around the time toy animal mascots were seen as cool, a sign of not taking ourselves too seriously. Perl started it with the Camel, and then O'Reilly gave us the animal books.

Naga @ Home

Friday, April 07, 2017

Women as Kings

I've chosen this title precisely because it's a gender bender, as we normally translate "King" to mean "of the male gender" and so "women as Kings" is an oxymoron, a grammatical error?  Why so though? Kara Cooney was interested in precisely that question.  In ancient Egypt, a woman would occasionally become Pharaoh.  How and why?

The timing of the talk was ironic in that pyramid-hierarchies run by men were clearly wreaking havoc, cranking up military invasion plans long in the making, and triggered by magic trick (not good magic, evildoers at work).  Women are not really represented in world affairs and are expected to go along as cheerleaders and care-providers, but why so?

Kara's hypotheses are in the direction of raw biological facts of life. Bearing a child puts huge stress on a woman, and that's just the beginning of her caretaker role.  Men, unencumbered by pregnancy or nursing offspring, range far from the camp, in hunter-gatherer tribes, and fetch the hard to find, treasured meat protein.  They literally bring home the bacon, which serves as a currency, cementing inter-family relationships.

In societies were getting the valued protein is something both sexes engage in, such as by fishing in the American southwest, women are more likely to sit on councils of elders and weigh in on the big decisions.  Where all the whale meat comes from men, women have little leverage and are treated more like livestock.

Once we're into an agricultural society, women still do most of the clothes-making and janitorial work. They're expected to have even more kids per year than in hunter-gatherer societies. Again, biology is against their achieving leadership roles.  Men are more likely to survive, in not undergoing childbirth, though they may fall in war.  Life spans weren't as long across the board.

Now let's turn to Egypt and what made her special:  an ocean for a northern border, desert on three sides, and granite boulders in the upper Nile.  Large scale military invasions were pretty much out of the question, and the fertile river valley produced just about everything a civilization might need.  By dint of geography, Egypt was both abundant and well-protected.  In such a society, patterns could settle, through thirty dynasties, until she became more of an annex to Rome.

The main focus of Kara's talk was Hatshepsut. Dr. Cooney (UCLA) is an expert in Egyptian sarcophagi and knows her Egyptology really well. Her book, Women Who Would Be King, is on what allowed women to rise to the highest, most divine position in the land, beginning with explanations for why the occurrence was nevertheless uncommon, and still is to this day (not that we have pharaohs anymore).

Hatshepsut had a perfect pedigree, as a king's daughter who married a king.  When the king she was married to died, without leaving a son, succession switched to her nephew. She was permitted to act as regent as the nephew grew into adulthood, and even then, she served as co-king.

Some decades after she died and was given a king's tomb, the nephew went to some lengths to have her memory expunged.  Archeologists are still putting the story together, understanding how temporal powers, even more than acts of nature, tend to mess with the record.

Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and some other female pharaohs made her list.  She was respectful of all of them, but pointed out the pattern:  none of them ruled solo, all were apparently tolerated in order to provide a placeholder and smooth a transition to some new lineage.

Given the brute facts of biology, Kara thinks women are perceived as loyal within a narrower, smaller sphere, the family or tribe, whereas men get to be the power brokers in the greater games. The public is more suspicious, almost instinctively, of a woman's loyalties and motives.  Men get more benefit of the doubt.

The Q&A was lively, and at the dinner downstairs, Kara kept the conversation going well through the dinner hour.  People gathered from all tables and shared viewpoints late into the night.  That was evidence of Kara's power and leadership right there.  She's a powerful presenter, and charming as well, in being so forthright.

What I wonder, as a Quaker, is if women come into their own in power structures that have no obvious hierarchy, are less pyramidal and more networked.  I think of switchboard operators, a passing profession.

I'm glad Christine got her truck back.  She drove me home, telling me the story.  The truck had been stolen right out from under her.  Except for the smell, it was undamaged, even came with some extra tools.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Yakking About Synergetics

I'm deliberately not setting some super high bar, in terms of production values, keeping my focus on the story. People tolerate a crude stage and hand puppets if they have some respect for the content, and I don't even have hand puppets in these.

In terms of content, my work is easy: I'm presenting the work of an established genius. The respect factor is already high, the relevant work already published, its authors already highly decorated (Applewhite in his own way). We've got the Wikipedia entry. Britannica will need to catch up.

Random high schoolers, especially numberphiles, will stumble across these and a few will watch the whole series, Synergetics 101.  As of this writing, that's the only playlist I'm done with.

Having taught Python live, on-line quite a bit, I'm able to get these out in single takes, but not without complete do-overs. I've also caught some mistakes, which I rectify with annotations rather than overdub or rerecord. Mistakes happen.

As of March-April 2017, I'm pretty much the only Youtuber presenting straight Synergetics, although even here I'm sneaking in some results and discoveries that came after the publication of the two volumes, as the field has not been dormant since Fuller died in 1983.

Lets see if others realize this material is accessible, especially with colorful models and constructions, animations. Higher production values are well within range of teachers better endowed than myself, in many ways.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Digital Scanning

Gus's workshop in Silverton this Saturday, on digital scanning, got me thinking more about the Business Mobile ("biz-mo"), and what might be its business. We already own a cultural stereotype, of nondescript vans used for spying and monitoring. Why not mark them?  To chronicle and curate, to survey, is hardly in and of itself evil.  On the contrary, that's what National Geographic does. We get great pictures, intelligent writing.

Gus showed us how objects of some thickness, thicker than paper or film, might to effectively scanned. He brought his Mao watch. When it worked, the Chinese leader waved his hand, against a colorful backdrop. The watch scanned at 4800 dpi no problem, with adequate depth of field. Applying some adjustment layers in Photoshop, leaving the original untouched, reduced some of the glints, where red, green and blue had separated on a shiny surface.

My bizmo could have a scanner. Pulling into a place, say near Fossil, Oregon, or somewhere in Utah, means getting ready to curate and chronicle. Why? That depends on the business. This isn't the FBI looking for criminals, yet representatives in any form of representative government need to study and investigate their own districts, any Chinese emperor could tell you that.  Perhaps the bizmo is connected to someone in Congress, and it says so right on the vehicle.  That doesn't mean that someone is piloting the vehicle.  FEMA needs bizmos to coordinate and communicate, no doubt has them.

Gus talked about the invention of scanning devices, which grew up alongside photography. Until recently "to scan" meant something we did with poetry, an a par with "to parse". Some of the earliest scanners placed their target document on a drum, a cylinder, still a favored design.  Digitizing fragile documents, as a way of preserving them, is an integral part of preservation and scholarship these days. The technology has only gotten better.

A high point of Gus's workshop was when he unveiled a Homer Davenport original, purchased on eBay. The paper was way to big for his flatbed scanner, so his solution was to protect the original with clear plastic and then use a hand scanner to digitize in swaths.  Satellites in orbit around planets or moons used exactly the same technique, gradually building a complete picture of the target surface through stitching algorithms.

When it comes to stitching though, lets not neglect the skills of a human operator.  Gus adjusted the swaths expertly, applying minute adjustments, such as rotation, as necessary. The result was a very high resolution digitization of the original.  Sometimes bringing the equipment to the site, be it contemporary or archeological, is the most practical approach to intelligence gathering.  Hand scanners can be a lot less hard on books, then pressing them on the flatbeds when at the library.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Playing with Blocks

I'm fortunate to have so many magnetic MITEs, enough for a rhombic dodecahedron, maybe two. Most people don't have those, even math teachers in Finland, so I guess I should stop waiting for the high production values and just get it out there with the terminology.

In these videos I'm introducing some of the tetrahedral space-fillers, such as Mite, Bite and Rite. The Lite is a space-filler, and a Syte, but not a tetrahedron.  The quarter Rite, i.e. with a point at the center exploding it into four, is also a space-filler, meaning no left or right handed (very strict).

Then I go on to show how Sytes face-bond to form volume 1/2 shapes. Koski and I added the Kit to the Kate and Kat. Kit = Lite + Lite. 

Do I imagine proud geometricians abandoning their tetragonal disphenoids in favor of these definitions?  Not really.  We're more into building our own culture than into trying to invade and take over the others. Ethnicities do rub off on one another, thanks to tourism, so some percolation of this terminology, by osmosis, is expected.  The A & B modules were original with Synergetics and take us into new territory in terms of polyhedron dissections. Then come the T, E & S modules.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Media Bias

Here's from my Facebook timeline, posted recently:
Al Jazeera was eventually accepted, after Rumsfeld singled it out and some of its journalists were murdered in cold blood. The documentary Control Room is all about that episode.

RT right off the bat featured a lot of Americans, some of them familiar, such as Thom Hartmann, a veteran of Air America, author of Unequal Protection, about how the 14th Amendment was used to finagle Corporate Personhood (if blacks aren't real people, but might become so, then so may our artificial persons become real as well, only fair (whitey is so forked tongue it's hilarious)). Jesse Ventura. Interesting characters.

Instead of giving Russia credit for adding in a positive way to our media culture, the six corporate media companies decided to circle the wagons and say "we define American culture, not Russians, no way" after which we entered into a Gangland Spy World episode of oligarchs against oligarchs, nation-states trampled under foot. Hard to go back now. We see it's all billionaire cabals with their politico puppets, so now what? Are we still supposed to hate RT?

Forgive me for hating CNN so much but all that build-up to inevitable shock and awe against Baghdad was just so nerve-grating. I've hated that network ever since, and will continue to do so. Remember, Jon Stewart was disappointed in CNN too. Then the Dems got all cozy with 'em. Because RT is so much better?
Clearly that's a rant, and likely some CNN of the future might be the bee's knees in my book. What got me going were these massive protests in Yemen, regarding the ongoing attacks and blockade, and the helplessness of civilians to do anything about weapons sales to all factions (one of the older stories on this planet).
Not finding any CNN coverage yet. I think RT is waaay more informative than CNN. So much more intelligent debate & dialog. US corporate media is just not edgy or cool anymore. The less of it I watch, the smarter I get.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Silicon Forest Curriculum

I like to boast about regional differences, in the sense that Cascadia, home to the Silicon Forest, is pioneering a more useful STEAM curriculum than you'll find in most parts of the world, including in the UK, which sets the pace for many US east coasters, in the form of standardized testing.

But does this regional curriculum actually exist and what does it look like?  Simply to remain true to its roots, it'll need to focus on "chips" meaning logic gates, boolean algebra, ALUs, CPUs, GPUs and all that. Plus 'learning to code' will be integral with learning mathematics.

The above MIT Scratch application, very simple, suggests how we bridge lexical and graphical.  The coding environment itself is a mix of lexical and graphical elements, with the language defined in terms of "blocks" looking like jigsaw puzzle pieces.

By taking the XY and XYZ Cartesian apparatus of, building on what we learned earlier with figurate and polyhedral numbers ala The Book of Numbers (Conway & Guy) and Gnomon (Gazale), we bridge from mathematics to architecture and visualizations more generally.

Mere calculators won't get us there. We need real computers to learn our maths.

We need to embrace 3D printing and CAD skills, and what used to be called "mechanical drawing" (making blueprints).

Fig. 988.13C S Quanta Module

For example, tetrahedron EFGH above is called an S-module and 24 of them applied to the faces of the internal icosahedron, build this octahedron of 4 tetravolumes.

Starting with a smaller cuboctahedron of volume 2.5 and applying the S-factor twice, we get this icosahedron's volume.

Subtracting this icosahedron's volume from 4, and dividing the difference by 24, gives the S-module's tetravolume of (ΓΈ^-5)/2.

That's right, unlike the east coast curriculum, the Silicon Forest is friendly to the Bucky stuff.

Learning Synergetics

MIT was somewhat friendly, at least when Dr. Loeb was alive, but Boston's public schools recently chose to go from the Mercator to the Peters Projection, without mentioning Fuller's.

Maybe New England no longer appreciates American Transcendentalism (Fuller being the grandnephew of Margaret Fuller, early editor of Dial), but we do.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Student Reading

At the university level, we might introduce tetravolumes in a philosophy of mathematics class, as a good example of how different language games suggest different axioms.

Imagine a tribe in which multiplication were presented differently. That's hard to "imagine" without some concrete example. This Tropical Math YT is the precursor to using three poles, say X, Y and Z. but no longer mutually perpendicular.

Non-Euclidean geometries have already legitimized branching away from Mother Goose Math into alternative territory. This might also be an Art History class where we look at Non-Euclidean geometry in Modern Art.

Remember, the meaning of '4D' depends on the namespace:
  • 4D as Time: time machine physics ala Einstein / Minkowski
  • 4D as Spatial in nD Euclidean Geometry: polytope math ala H.S.M. Coxeter
  • 4D as primitively Four Directional (tetrahedron = 4 arrow heads) in pre-Frequency a priori res extensa (American Transcendentalist with Lakota influence) 
On a plane (plain), we divide the unit circle into four quadrants with reference to the four compass directions.

In zero-G space (an ideal conceptualization) we have four directions of the tetrahedron and the four quadrants of space, per IVM "caltrop" coordinate system (so "4D" in the Lakota medicine wheel sense).

For hexahedronists, it's the three-also-six directions of the cube that make the six-spoked XYZ "jack" (so in the XYZ namespace we say space is "3D").

Storing Liquid

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lucky Lab / Hawthorne


I consider Lucky Lab a gateway to Asylum District, named for the mental hospital Dr. Hawthorne helped establish here, under contract from Salem, before the bigger one was built, a star in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.  The actors actually checked in and mixed with the patients, to get it right. That building is gone now too, is my understanding.  However those seeking asylum still remain.

I was back to working with Iranian polytechnic academies on Facebook again. We go from tiling (of a plane) to space-filling (of volume) and best Harvard (except for Dr. Loeb) in going with the A & B modules, with lots of links to the relevant literature (Aristotle etc.).  Iranians appreciate American Transcendentalism by and large. They're reminded of Sufis and not all Sufis are terrorists, despite Turkish PR these days.

Closer to home, I've been finishing up Winter Term with the Catholic flagship archdiocese school in Lake Oswego, and Bridgeport Elementary, more likely to have families needing Food Bank assistance.

I'm closer to Bridgeport in my socio-economic status, having assiduously avoided the outward weapons trade. As a Quaker, I'd have to shoot myself before buying shares in Lockheed, or put another way, owning any shares in Lockheed would be political suicide for an authentic Quaker like me. Or in Raytheon. Or in Halliburton. We have our standards, our code of conduct.

I've steered clear of Alphabet and Apple too (in terms of shareholding, not products or services), as not transparent enough about their back room dealings. I want nothing to do with Beltway Bandits, the scourge of Planet Earth, even if that means eating out of a dumpster (Food Not Bombs rarely resorts to that around here, and if it does, it's with good cause).

Although my Codesters applications cover prime numbers and closest packing of spheres, those are maybe not 2nd to 5th grade topics in these parts. I was more previewing what we're learning in Russia and Iran.  MIT Scratch is a brilliant platform.  Codesters, a partial implementation of Python 3, is more austere, and a bridge to life on Cloud9 ( in our curriculum.  That's when the JavaScript comes in, using Codepen.

I had a diagram on the whiteboard in both schools for the parents / guardians, explaining the progression.  Kids were feeling somewhat guilty playing games, but I encouraged it, as what better way to harvest ideas and develop motor skills than by game-playing.  The two diving boards, low and high, give them opportunities to risk their egos, and make a splash.  Some of them did that today, with parents watching.

Comments on Boston's Disloyalty

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bicameral Mind (Wanderers Presentation)


Karja has put together a complex theory on the rise of order, fitting right in to Wanderers as an "out there" coven of space case cosmologists. Can you say "multi-dimensional"?

We have a packed house. Lake Coffee developed in micro-time. I recognize Karja as a non-linearist (we've met before) so didn't mind cleaning it up, using a forest of paper towels. Paul Bunyan R Us.

That Lake Coffee was in the tiny kitchen with no cooking surfaces (microwave).  I'm told the original design featured a dumb waiter (like an elevator) to the larger kitchen in the basement.

The Steve Crouch coffee maker is a really good one, maybe the best we've had (grinds its own) but has more moving parts than we're used to, plus other idiosyncrasies.  A learning curve.

After dealing with coffee station cleanup, I took a far back chair, to blog in real time on my Android. I added polishing touches from the home office later on.

I spoke with Patrick about my Code School the New High School posting, a sleeper for now. I was at PDX Code Guild again last night, for Flying Circus.

Karja's theory is strongly into a vocabulary around gender, and how that maps to brain wiring in the human form. That's where the bicameral mind fits in, per Julian Jaynes -- saw him at Princeton -- which I take more as a generic acknowledgement of plasticity in brain wiring over geological time. The details may never be known.

Certainly the software changes a lot, and now is abetted by literal software, which I meant metaphorically in the first clause.

Rhett Savage is here. That's exotic.  Great to have all these engaged "sovereign individuals" (another theme of the talk).

Battery is getting low on the cell phone, as I blog the talk live.

Don is talking about keyboards, echoing some code school themes. Karja is refocusing on the bigger picture.

New people keep arriving.

She's pretty cogent I think in her critique of Borg Planet. Wanderers are not polite necessarily, rude Americans. On the other hand we're here to discuss. She handles herself well in shark-infested waters, so I wasn't in cringe mode watching some ego get eaten.

Masculinity is the ordering principle... sounds like Apollo (or was it Mars?).

I won't be doing full justice to Karja's theory here. Maybe a studio around town will make us a Youtube.

She has an interesting take on Instagram; I'm tempted to add it to my inventory of active apps.

I'd say she's in the same "final exam" ballpark as R. B. Fuller, and likewise looks to "the computer" with hope more than dread.

She has an interesting take on corporate personhood, if we wanna call it that. #piyemor. Karja sees evidence of active sentience in the cell-silicon whole, distinct from humans. New pattern integrities, more like angels. Digital sentiences. Very Kurzweil in some ways.

We're all thinking about Buzz a lot.  We miss his soothing radio voice.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Members Only?

Winter in Portland

What saves the institution of membership from degenerating into run-of-the-mill cronyism and cliquishness (the common lot of your average black box church) is transparency to non-members, i.e. no "members only" rituals and initiations.

This guiding design principle puts the non-member in a position to fully "try before buying" while placing workflows under permanent "outsider" scrutiny. Members feel publicly audited 24/7, and that's actually what public companies (non-profits) are supposed to provide, in exchange for their not having to pay taxes the same way an ordinary business does.  We're more like governments, of, by and for the people. Religious institutions take that "nothing to hide" route, and then often hide plenty. However Quakers pride themselves on conducting their business openly, as a part of their truth testimony.

During my most recent tenure on Oversight, I pioneered having a clear policy of inviting non-members to join clearness committees for those wishing to become members, even to convene same. I must say some members found this highly counter-intuitive. We did always have at least one member on said committees, as for purposes of clearness, the candidate member should have worship discussion with Friends of both persuasion.

In my view there's no other way, outside of transparency, that has much integrity. Otherwise you get "members only" signs and symbols and before you know it ruling clique mafioso with rank and gradations, handing out favors to the most sycophantic, and the whole anti-egalitarian hierarchy of an illiberal church, blech (some pastor-led churches may be quite liberal in the sense of open source, not saying only unprogrammed have a shot at salvation).

You want your convinced Friend / new member to have had the opportunity, at least in principle, to have served in any capacity asked of her or him, which may include sensitive positions that fully exercise a person's talents (e.g. AFSC liaison).  Nominating is free to overlook membership in seeking to bless people with opportunities for growth that serve the meeting (win-win). Non-members on Finance, Property, Oversight & Communications, Ministry and Worship, is more the rule than the exception. I know I've shared all this before, but I think it bears repeating.

That being said, because we have to map to Oregon state legal templates at some level, as a 501(c)(3), we reserve some of the fiduciary / corporate roles for recorded members, with maybe some rare exceptions.

That's in keeping with the institution of membership's main purpose: to draw attention to those publicly identifying as Quakers in some recorded / authorized way.

In theory (I've heard this often) the recorded members are presumably taking more risk, like if Quakers get in trouble with the authorities or people start spray-painting Quaker stars (red and black) on peoples houses. Members get credit for bravery and going to jail first. This sense of "going first" traces to olden times when Friends were deemed politically incorrect and extremist.

But then we need to remember all the not-members and un-propertied, all the slaves and indentured servants, who were also brave in lending our Society their integrity, in whatever ways open to them.

The not-public Quakers comprise a kind of Wall of Stars, of anonymous benefactors who never outed themselves (how could they? Maybe I'm a general in some army somewhere, yearning for peace, whereas outing myself would be political suicide in my position) but supported us behind the scenes nonetheless. 

The theme here is respect, earned or by entitlement, and I'm suggesting members and non-members are flip sides of the same coin (and I understand meetings not wanting to bother with the overhead -- I'm thinking more of how to cope with inertia from the past, vs. trying to impose an unwanted institution on newer, membership-free brands of Friend like Howard's).

[ copied over from QuakerQuaker ] 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Another First Day

Into the Vortex...

"First Day" is Quaker jargon for Sunday. One spin is our Puritan heritage made us shy away from pagan concepts, such as a Sun or a Moon. God's people would just use numbers, goes the theory, and in many a database that's true (the calendrical data gets distilled to an integer).

I'm fully under the impression today is Business Meeting, an open event, though not in the sense of including lengthy recaps of prior episodes. We don't interrupt the meeting to do long retrospectives, though that might really help as a Program Committee project. Studying one's own history (as in medical history) is usually a wise investment, unless maybe hypochondria is your main problem, in which case just let go.

One of my healthcare stories is dad and I got hepatitis, we think from the corned beef in Ramallah that time, but who knows. We were heading to Florida, having spent the summer in tents, in the outskirts of Rome, and in this small town near Jerusalem, since grown. We banged on rocks with sledgehammers, like in the cartoons, and of our own free will, as peacemakers. AUB students joined us, as did local Boy Scouts (a translation; local adults, mostly men). This was in the early 1970s.

Dad's hepatitis got worse and he needed to be quarantined, all while seeking new work in the capital. He'd given several years to the fifty year plans for Libya's development, not that he was the decider or anything as planning is not like that.  It's a process, more like a Quaker business meeting.

I've already missed Meeting for Worship, which is weekly (Business Meeting is monthly). I was up late watching the new Adam Curtis film, HyperNormalisation. I still have time to make business meeting.

Likely I won't have much to say as I'm not currently on any of the several committees. I hopped on a welcoming team recently, got to have lunch with the Abbotts, Betsey Kenworthy, Mike Goren (transferring in) but that's been the extent of it since Peace and Social Concerns.

Regionally, I've been active with IT Committee, both on and off, as clerk and not-clerk.

Curtis did Power of Nightmares, which I've always appreciated for its succinct summary, with talking heads. I started sampling it last night again, using Youtube (an Alphabet company), which is what got me plowing through HyperNormalisation, released prior to the US presidential election in 2016. I'll get back to it later with a more proper review.

I'm still eating the Trader Joe's Pita Pockets I picked up at the Men's Group (Willamette Quarter), having secured a supply of hummus upon returning to Portland.  Great gathering, guys.

After Business Meeting I might see if anyone wants to grab a beer at either Horse Brass or Belmont Station, both near to the Stark Street meetinghouse. Our branch of Friends is not out to reimpose Prohibition or anything like that.

Curtailing human freedoms is not at the top of our agenda, or even in the middle.  Quakers formed in many ways as a counter to the overbearing / overwhelming power of faceless institutions, bureaucracies, which in those days was heavily Church of England.

The UK had the New World as a blank screen on which to project new vistas, new programming. Many Quakers chose to pioneer said New World rather than accept their lot in the homeland.

How the story goes from there is rather long, safe to say the Quakers went on to pioneer in the midwest and eventually some got all the way to California, our spiritual ancestors among them.

Our Pacific Northwest meeting is pretty cosmopolitan by this point.  We don't have the Unicode name tags yet (for those with names spelled outside of Latin-1) but they're in the works. All contemporary databases support Unicode.

Addendum (email to old friends, from Hop House):
Good to hear from you Rick. I'm sipping an IPA after Quaker business meeting.

I left early as they wanted to talk about a members-only HVAC system fundraising committee, however I've rescinded the right of these particular Friends to count me as one of their members, for personal integrity reasons (their members are too snooty and spoiled, not my favorite flavor). Best to quit while I'm ahead. I still count myself a Quaker.

That was awhile back, that I dropped my membership. I've continued to serve on committees and even donate money from time to time.

I'm pleased to be back in touch with Tom on related topics of Zero, Origin, Vortex (one of your favorites), in addition to the caltrop-based (vs jack-based) XYZ-like coordinate system with origin (0,0,0,0). 

He's the Zero expert. Oregon did sponsor a rock concert named Vortex One long ago. Wikipedia has a write-up I bet.

Come to think of it, this Hop House still gets Vortex magazine.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fake News

The money launderers were at it again today, exchanging their tainted cash for company equities, getting help from a suspect bank.  Cyprus may have carried water for a fertilizer enterprise. We're still watching those tail numbers, to see which private jets rendezvoused where.

Although we have no firm evidence Flynn actually Skyped the Russian ambassador, leading to Microsoft's leaking the conversation directly to Warren Buffet, stranger things have happened. Click here for amazing weight loss facts. How the Vice Principal got the transcript, if he did, is the subject of ongoing baseless speculation, which the NYT will stand by, as Obama had nothing to do with it.

The intercepts, while not authorized by a sitting president, were nevertheless a legitimate probe into what might have been a nefarious business, and in the absence of proof otherwise, we're left at best with a diagnosis of ODD or "oppositional defiance disorder" (look it up).

Should the numbers prove disqualifying, an experienced Panetta has reassured us of his willingness to step in and lead us to our destiny, should things get too weird. Or would Colin Powell be our more compliant Smedley Butler and not turn on us this time? Never mind, just business plotting out loud.

Whether this finding of ODD is more disqualifying for high office than ADD (or ADHD for those with trouble following) remains to be determined. The union of neuroscientists is expected to produce a report, rivaling that of NIST's on WTC7 for the completeness of its final, if surprising, conclusions. Will Puerto Rico be our 51st state by then?

Rumor has it that FEMA wants you to know if you're registered to vote or not given all the rumors of a purge of double voters, a number one felony among the least-likely-to-vote. Some true blue, red blooded Americans (buy Cialis) have suggested (recently) that our Democracy of the Stars was in need of some emergency roadside assistance, AAA-style. If in doubt call 1-800-alt-real.

Remember to use the promo code to collect your discount.  Meanwhile, in Zanzibar...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Retrieving from MEMEX

"In a math class we use operator overloading and objects in the first 20 minutes."


Bridging graphical and lexical... (2016).  Delta vs. Lambda calculus.

"I'm handing it over to the physics department in this scenario..."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Of Globalism and the Macroscope

I'm not sharing this because I agree with it, but because I think it brings into sharp relief what the wall-builders are thinking: "borders, language, culture, that's what defines America, that's what defines every nation."

I'd counter that the Americas have never really experienced closed borders of the type the wall-builders envision. What the alt-right is pushing is an ideal (not yet real) form of nationalism wherein we finally do nail down the vision and make borders impermeable (no, not like a cell wall, but Savage uses that metaphor).

Kind of like "being documented": we have yet to live in a world wherein everyone is carefully documented, birth certificate onward, but we appear to be approaching such a world, given IT prowess.

We can imagine it and somewhat need that (universal documentation) to work better for the ideology of nationalism and its concept of "citizenship" to finally reach everybody, including nomads and gypsies.

Nationalists ardently wish for the nationalist ideology to finally become the dominant ideology, whereas I'm more thinking nation-states reflect a bygone Victorian Era imperialist world view of another day. That doesn't mean they can't or won't continue to provide core services.

An older globalism is getting replaced with a newer one, with more morphing to follow (humans are reprogrammable, our saving grace), which neither abolishes ethnicity nor self esteem, nor pride in one's heritage.

Our telecommunications have a lot to do with it. It's not telepathy, but it's close. When nations got off the ground in Europe, around the time of General Garibaldi, we didn't have this layer yet.

We globalists just happen to see more clearly than ever that our species shares a biosphere and needs tools (such as the macroscope) to self organize. We're doing our best, which may not be good enough, that always seems to be the story line.

Speaking of macroscopes, Glenn caught it right away when IBM embraced the term recently. For Glenn and I, the macroscope meme connects to the hexagons + pentagons pattern of the soccer ball, but perhaps with many more hexagons (higher frequency).  What if any such motifs IBM is considering we're not privy to. A lot of PR has been moving in that direction, sensibly.

Edward Popko's Divided Spheres is a great primer on spherical surface subdividing.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


The Platonics have been played with for ages. They're a closed set under the operation of "dualing" i.e. the dual of a Platonic, is a Platonic, the tetrahedron being self dual.

Dual(Tetrahedron) is Tetrahedron
Dual(Octahedron) is Cube
Dual(Icosahedron) is Pentagonal Dodecahedron

The self-dual tetrahedron gives rise to the cube and there, with mutual orthogonality, we get phi entering the picture, as mutually orthogonal rectangles supporting the icosahedron of twenty equilateral surface triangles.

The Borromean Rings may or may not enter the picture at this juncture.

The icosahedron, crossed with it's own dual, yields the rhombic triancontahedron (RT).  Hold that thought. It has thirty "wedges" to the center, thirty diamond faces.

Rhombic Triacontahedron

Turning next to the TetraBook, you'll remember how DB Koski was tilting its page. That's not the only possible TetraBook by the way. A 2x2 square, three of those corner-intersecting, makes our octahedron, half of which could be a book. 

Again, with an isosceles page straight up (angles 45, 45, 90), you have unit volume (1/4 of the octahedron's total). That's unit in IVM tetravolumes (vs XYZ cubic volumes).

The classic TetraBook has equilateral 2x2 triangular book covers, with one page flapping back and forth, same size. Click stopping at volume stops map(√, (9/8, 8/8, 7/8, 6/8, 5/8, 4/8, 3/8, 2/8, 1/8, 0)) may seem a bit quirky, but at √(4/8) volume, he notes a volume of 4 E3, the same as a wedge in the aforementioned RT.

E3 = √2/8 and 4 * E3 = √(4/8), one of the volume click stops along the TetraBook track.

The notation is such that the RT hugging (shrink-wrapping) a unit-radius sphere is made of E-modules, which scaled up by phi are E3 modules, as volume is upped by phi to the 3rd power when the thing is linearly scaled by that amount.

Scaling down by phi is lowercase: e3. We have self-similar E6, e6 etc., going up and down the size spectrum.

Reducing volumes to canonical assorted "sizes of E-module" is one of DB Koski's focal points. He'll do the equivalent with S modules given their simple volumetric relationship:  VE:icosa :: S:E (S:E is the so-called "S factor").

The TetraBook track is important for the last two stops, 8/8 and 9/8. Those are the two unit volumes in the IVM and XYZ coordinate systems.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Family Feud

If World Game were a game show, which game show would it be? Who remembers Family Feud? Good wholesome fun, right?

As I pondered aloud on Facebook:
"We've got billions, we can buy weapons, fortifications, governments... we've won." But then there's the problem of other billionaires (multiple cabals) and to what extent do we need the people to tacitly go along. It's starting to look like they don't miss their democracy and are willing to play out their lives within a global plutocracy. Do they have a choice? That's a question.

Given how I'm such a Bucky fan, I feel as an exercise I need to investigate in what ways he might have been right in Grunch of Giants, about the fate of the United States. He saw the cash reserves of the world concentrating in the hands of invisible private interests with governments left out in the cold as puppets acting out the various feuds among billionaires. He called this cash heist GRUNCH ("gross universal cash heist") and claimed it spelled curtains for the nation-state age, as the billionaire fortunes are supranational in nature. Given what I'm seeing on the news, this 1980s "science fiction" is seeming plenty believable. I'm thinking Bucky Fuller deserves a place in the pantheon right next to George Orwell.
There I go again, trying to win more points for "da man" and besides, who wants to be the next Orwell? Doesn't that sound rather grim?

What else have I posted recently that might be fun?  

Oh yes, my "generation gap" analysis regarding why the younger people have a vendetta against the so-called MSM (mainstream media). 

I've sounded these notes before.
In a lot of ways what I'm interested in is not "the truth of what happened" but of generational perspectives thereof (ditto Apollo, which I believe happened but record numbers of Millennials have doubts and that's interesting all by itself).

If 0% think Oswald acted alone, that's a fact independent of whether he did or not. What people believe is not the same thing as what's actually so, and I may deliberately care more about the former than the latter.

I'm saying there's a generation gap around the NIST report on WTC7 regardless of what really happened, which helps explain the positive reinforcement some politicians are getting for attacking the mainstream media (MSM).

My personal opinion somewhat doesn't matter relative to what I care about (opinion at large).

As for how coordinated the conspiracy theory needed to be (the hijacker theory is also a conspiracy theory, by definition), given WTC7 was evacuated ahead of time and its immanent destruction announced by apparently clairvoyant operatives (NIST hypothesis), the decision-making network might have been entirely different than the one vested in using airplanes, in principle.

WTC7 was clearly a white elephant by 5 pm (extremely damaged) and rubble cleanup would be happening anyway, given the fate of the other towers, so why not pull the plug on this bystander now, all people out of the area, rather than demolish it later?

I don't have to believe the decision to bring down WTC7 was far in advance or coordinated with hijackers, only that it was wired to go, who knows how long ago, maybe years, knowing all buildings have a life span in Vegas. If you know the key codes, you can blow it. People say that's unrealistic, but then buy that the planet itself is wired to go, and that some president has a football to make it happen.

Speaking of football, we've getting into the history of the soccer ball over here, thanks to HP4E. The Adidas hexapent pattern has been popular, however FIFA is standardizing on another way of dividing the sphere. We use common, but also invented, geometry objects to impart generalized principles, such as the Law of Sines and other trig.  More from Facebook, writing to David Koski:
The TetraBook is a "job" like in Montessori i.e. take it down from the shelf, play with it, put it back. Reshelving is important. Your physical designs for Bridges (ongoing) made sense. I'm not thinking we have to strictly nail what a TetraBook looks like physically, having done the diagrams. Leave that to the designers. Virtual TetraBooks, such as we've done already, sit on virtual shelves.

Friday, March 03, 2017

In a Nutshell

For Pythonistas

:: for Pythonistas ::

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Agile Learning

Trimet Developer API

My students doing real time professional development get a radio-TV show experience, enhanced with live messaging. I've worked in other configurations, including in not real time (asynchronously) with O'Reilly School of Technology (OST), but that meant under three days to respond, with source code to eyeball and make sense of.  My students had my attention in ways the radio-TV does not provide. A combination of the two might be a next step.

However, for now I'm content to suggest projects and provide source code that's encouraging exploration in several directions. We go against a movie database, check out the API.  As of last night, I'm able to check Trimet's Trip Planner, thanks to Sheri Dover for sharing this part of the PDX Code Guild curriculum with me.

What I suggest to self learners around a Python topic would be this three step workflow:  anchor yourself in the API's documentation to where you're ready for testing it.  Hop over to Youtube and fish up useful movies on exactly what you want to know (good luck).

Inch forward, using the Agile test-as-you-go tiny increments approach (heavily ratcheted, for steep learning curves, even vertical climbs if need be, though I'm not into melodrama necessarily).

In Python we're lucky to inherit Java's JUnit framework, which goes really deep once you add in the mock objects.  At OST, we emphasized TDD as a methodology (write the tests first).

Talking up "open source" and really taking that culture seriously, including its internal conflicts and heritage, is something I do as a geek.  If you listen to me, you learn about this or that rift or conflict, but it's not like I'm endlessly grinding a lot of axes.  I've got it down to very few axes at this point.

One of those cutting edge blades of debate is:  where do we include Unicode in K-12 in US public schools?  I'm not saying it's up to me and if I were writing on this topic I'd want to dig down in the curriculum first, not that there's only the one, do some homework.  The US is a diverse territory and there was never a consensus on what to say about Unicode or how long to spend on UTF-8.

Not everyone reading my blogs cares if the US is stuck in the calculator era and not facing the future. Yes, I have a parochial outlook thanks to my geographic location and personal history.  Portland, Oregon was the city of my childhood, which I returned to after many exciting adventures overseas. I've lived here since 1985 and put kids through the school system, volunteered in it, even had some paid work in it.

As you scan these blog posts, you may see some of the same discussions you've been having, regarding "i18n" for example ("internationalization" as every geek knows).  However, a lot of what I talk about is pretty esoteric by today's standards, fair warning.  I'm not saying that to be condescending as I'm the first to admit to not being inner circle when it comes to certain parties.  I'm as clueless as they come regarding the secrets of many cults.

Trimet has a great Trip Planner system, multi-modal, and with a public API.  If your city bus system has a public API, then join that inner circle.  Hey, even if you live far away, if what you need is simply practice getting back complicated XML about something so easy to reason about as getting from A to B by public transportation, I'd recommend registering with Trimet and grabbing a developer token.  Get ideas for your own city, don't reinvent the wheel.  Or do.  I'd like to see a JSON output option, bet Metro would too.

Monday, February 27, 2017


Archive Copy
:: Museum Exhibit ::


:: big dreams for JCNJ ::

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Keeping Tabs

Denizens of the USSA are the most spied upon in the world, thanks to their "own" devices, which phone home to inform all sorts of private interests about one's activities and location.

Those wishing more privacy have an uphill battle out of the box.

One could argue that people are not entitled to complete privacy and/or invisibility assuming they share public resources.  If you're on the road, sharing it, we have the right to know your identity, no?

The sense of paranoia that's been building is being deflected onto the Russians these days.  They're the ones doing the spying, not the home team.

Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica, which boasts having data on every voter in the US, enough to compute an OCEAN profile and target ads.

Even though this company openly takes credit for the Trump campaign's effectiveness, we learn it was Russians and Wikileaks that tipped the scales.

How many mainstream media reports have directed attention to "Russian hackers" versus this psychometrics company based in the UK?

Those media reports picking up on that story are mostly dismissive of this "myth" that Cambridge Analytica has working voodoo.  I agree with the "myth" part, but then so is the "Russian hackers" story about mythical powers.

It's myth versus myth.

The effectiveness of targeted advertising based on profiling is hardly a "myth" to social media companies such as Facebook and Google.  That's how they make their money.  The fact that political campaigns are likewise advertising campaigns is obvious.

So how does playing down the role of psychometrics companies stack up against the reams of stories playing up their importance?  How hypocritical are these "myth busters" willing to be?

Are psychometric computations what drive this narrative of "Russia the evildoer"?  That seems a truism in my lexicon.

Politicians (social engineers) feel in their gut that oughta work (scaring people about the Russians).

Going with one's gut is what psychometrics is all about, especially minus the big data component, which might serve as an unwelcome reality check in some cases.

USers have been susceptible to Red Scares for a long time, so what does it matter if the Russians are no longer red?  Can't we scare the USers anyway, or at least make them angry?

That's what organized crime wants to find out.  Experiments are underway.  The mainstream media is their tool of choice, what they've learned how to use.

You know what I always say:  if you want to be a US president, you need to:

(A) know how to lie persuasively and
(B) have close ties with organized crime (including the CIA).

For example, president Clinton well understood about the need to ship arms to the Contras in contravention of the Boland Amendment.

The CIA wouldn't enjoy the loyalty of its home team mercenaries if big money were not involved, meaning cocaine sales and money laundering, with lots of partying for friendly politicos.

Clinton could not have become president had he not, as governor of Arkansas, helped with the CIA's program, a continuation from Vietnam War days, where drug trafficking was likewise a big part of Air America's business.  Not a secret.

President Trump is still being tested by organized crime, as Putin has his own criminal networks and the idea of "getting along with Putin" is pitting mob against mob, at least in the lower ranks.

Trump's base wants to find out if "draining the swamp" has anything to do with telling more of the truth about recent history.

Given the mainstream media is purposely forgetful ("United States of Amnesia") and has no means to connect the dots for people in any short evening news format, the social media habits of USAers have changed.

They want the bigger picture.  They're turning to Youtube.  Many of them are not big readers, thanks to TV, but then the Internet is turning out to be a lot like TV.

Hollerith machines were all about keeping tabs on people and of course the Germans wanted them to implement Nazi programs.  IBM helped them out.  Lets figure out who all is Jewish.

We forget how many in the US business community were tacitly rooting for Hitler.  Eugenics, as a "science" was co-developed on Long Island.

Once the war was over, the losers did not necessarily agree it was over and the Cold War picked up right where WW2 left off, just as the war in Korea rolled right into the war in Vietnam.

Many Nazis ended up in the Middle East, working with the CIA to frustrate Arab nationalism.  German scientists pleaded innocence and flooded into the US rocketry program, resulting in ICBMs.

Undermining governments, forcing regime change, has been the game for a long time.  The mob rules.  That's a tough lesson to teach in school though, so a lot of people end up confused.  They suppose ideals match the reality and criminality relates to "a few bad apples" and nothing systemic.

No one is asking if the Trump campaign was in close touch with UK intelligence operatives throughout the election season.  If we're as fast and loose with definitions as we are where Russians are concerned, then the answer is yes, of course.

Which nation did the US have a war with to win independence for itself, Russia or the UK?

Ah, but with the latter we (the USers) have a "special relationship".  British Aerospace and the Pentagon are joined at the hip.  BP oil powers the USSA's aircraft carriers.

We've been taught that Russia is our enemy.  Those reflexes still work, but maybe not as much as they used to?  Stay tuned.  Global literacy levels are still on the rise.  Telling people how they must think is getting more difficult.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Keep on Truckin'

Quaker Business

Lots of truckers share advice and stories on Youtube.

That gives me an opportunity to ask directly, and respectfully, if they'd have any interest in driving overseas, as a part of a truck driver focused student exchange service.

I've already gotten a green light from academia to pursue such interests, but really I need truckers themselves, along with transportation engineers, to be more aware of their options.

Market research...  Focus groups... Does Google maps have the overlays we need?  What other map services will we need, to keep out Kabul-to-Istanbul lanes flowing smoothly?

Freeways Layer : Global Matrix

Trucking as currently designed allows precious little time for tourism.  It's dock-to-dock, through the dirty side of most cities.  Many people treat truck drivers rather poorly.  That's where the academics come in:  drivers get a full-blown work-study program.  Our curriculum is about more than moving freight.  Lets think about families.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Prime Numbers

Solution in Codesters



Code on Paper

Friday, February 10, 2017

Study Circle

World Game Players

In addition to working with world game planners on Global U ideas around trucking, I'm studying a New Yorker article, Dymaxion Man, about Fuller, published in 2008.

Sure, that's one way to compute the account, tell the story.  New Yorker features a lot of intelligent writing.

No mention of the Cornwall Eden Project, nor of the Epcot Buckyball ("Spaceship Earth"). How does Synergetics relate to the CCP?

No mention of Dr. Arthur Loeb, nor A & B modules, T & E modules (3D printable!).

We'll have exhibits in our World Game Museum, of what the textbooks were ignoring (a basis for ignorance). Lets see how the narrative accounts compute then, shall we?

Is West Point teaching the Bucky stuff at least, sharing our American heritage with high ranking officers?  Scandalous if not. We're investigating.

A couple comments, from my Facebook timeline:

Study Circle

Military Man

The main literary trope I find regarding Bucky is that he was a failure and his inventions didn't fly. Put his awards and degrees, number of works published, historical role as "engineer saint", in a pile, and put that pile next to any detractor's and compare. 

True, he didn't win a Nobel Prize. Is eleven honorary PhDs enough (given for free remember, to help a school uphold its own brand)? Elliot Norton chair of poetry at Harvard? Patents not just on the dome, but the IVM itself (like if Descartes had patented XYZ). 

This guy appears to be a huge success, by objective criteria. One of the most successful who ever lived. I think the "he was a failure" trope is a projection. People think "the world is still a ghetto ergo Bucky did not succeed." Specious. Completely void of real thought.

Or was it 47 PhDs? That's what BFI claims. Depends what "doctorate" means maybe. 

Such a failure right? Poor slob.
After being spurned early in his career by the architecture and construction establishments, Fuller was later recognized with many major architectural, scientific, industrial, and design awards, both in the United States and abroad, and he received 47 honorary doctorate degrees. In 1983, shortly before his death, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, with a citation acknowledging that his "contributions as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Jitterbug Transformation

Your math teacher may use the Jitterbug Transformation to help explain how the cuboctahedron and icosahedron layers might morph into one another without gaining or losing constituent balls.

1, 12, 42, 92, 162... is the sequence we're talking about.

Geometrical concepts may be imparted via a number of these moving sculptures, or dynamic devices.

Another such device is the triangular book with one triangular page, its tip traveling in a 180 degree arc and defining two complementary tetrahedrons (same volume as each other) all along the way.

When the page is straight up, and the edges are all 2, we call that unit volume in the XYZ coordinate system, made from cubes of edges 1.  These two sculptures have the same volume.

The Quadray coordinate system apparatus gives us yet another conversation piece with which to leverage greater understanding of the target namespace.  Again, the canonical edges (not base vectors) are of edges 2.

Our World Game Museum will feature a lot of textbooks that saw fit to not include any of this information, nor the related whole number volumes schema.

Probing questions will be posed, and documentary postmortems invited.  People will come up with varying theories to explain the censoring habits of minions.


Sunday, February 05, 2017

More Codesters

The embedded version has its limitations. Try this version instead? These are fun experiments.

I have one baseball and want to completely surround it with others. One way: put six around the center one on a table, then three on top, three on the bottom. With real baseballs, this would be difficult.

To see an animation of what I'm talking about, check here:

For a lot more on the mathematics, check here:

More of a Martian Math theme, which for some of you may mean more Hungarian.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

On Race Again

:: stand-up philosophy by Wes Cecil ::

What I wrote on Facebook:
Really enjoyed this, because he's doing philosophy and standup comedy at the same time. Gets my attention. Yay, my discipline gets into the nightclub scene (reminds me of Tom Lehrer).
... and in a follow-up comment:
The End of Racism by Dinesh D'Souza is pretty on target in arguing many anti-racists miss a golden opportunity in buying into "race" as a tenant of their own belief systems, such a foggy and ill-designed concept as Wes Cecil takes up in his mocking philosophy talk. However, given how deeply engrained is the thought pattern, I have to accept that most Americans (at least) are terminally racist (will take belief in races to their grave) and it will be up to future generations to look back and dissect these beliefs in a more clinical postmortem manner.
But then as some of my friends point out, Dinesh has gotten in trouble with the law, and was a big Trump supporter, anti-Hillary. So does that mean races are real?
Thanks for the update about D'Souza, got me checking his website too. 
I do believe in ethnicity as meaningful. I notice racists have a hard time naming the races. The idea of races pre-dates genetic science, which has only further undermined the idea. Certainly "Anglo-Saxon" is not a race. Or maybe some think it is, as there's really not much agreement on what the races are in the first place, assuming they exist for the sake of argument.
Quoting from my Synergetics on the Web (1990s):
Western science originally portrayed race and class as characteristics of a person's blood which, as such, could be subdivided in proportion to a person's ancestry, "blood" being treated as a mathematical quantity, contributed in equal proportions by one's parents. Hence such terms as "octamaroon" (one eighth black). Whereas "class" is no longer regarded as a genetic entity, "race" has remained a popular concept for grouping genetic characteristics, even if the link to blood is no longer made. Like anthropologist Ashley Montague, Fuller felt the concept of "race" had outlived its usefulness, that the cross-breeding of the world's people, especially evident in North America, was exposing the old racial categories as mere snap-shots of genetic traits thrown together by the exigencies of time, but available in any number of permutations from that vast grab bag of traits known as the human gene pool. In the Fuller lexicon, a racist is perhaps most straightfowardly defined as someone who believes in races.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Growing Up Quaker

A story from my boyhood: my mother Carol was working with other WILPF ladies, as a young mother, to counter the prevalence of war toys on the market. She harvested a pile of examples and stored them in our two-car suburban garage. Dad and I found them, and decided to play with them. The remote controlled Tiger Tank was especially cool.  As a general rule though, toy guns were discouraged and I didn't play with toy soldiers, as did some of my peers.

When we moved to Rome, I met friends in military families. Reggie liked to fantasize about wars and weapons. Mom served as a cub scouts den mother.  I was a Bear, with my friends Mahlon, Kijoon, Reggie, Hayden and Joe. Kijoon, son of the South Korean ambassador, had a stash of toy guns, as well as a pellet rifle and we'd play with those, more in a 007 mode than as soldiers.  Movies at the nearby Archimedes, an English-language theater, were influential.

In the Philippines, my dad started out with the UN, which was doing land reclamation in Manila Bay. Dad switched over to USAID and taught planning at the University of the Philippines as well. He was helping spread a culture of local planning, versus top-down from a central government, and flew all over the islands. Thanks to his job with the State Department, we were able to go on base, mostly Clark AB and Subic NB. We also had access to officers facilities in Baguio and vacationed there at one point.

My years in the Philippines helped me more fully grasp the global scale of US military infrastructure. The American War (Vietnam) had been really hard on my mom especially. The way USers like to rain bombs on defenseless civilians didn't impress me either.  However I also saw how a lot of brave individuals inside the military were also skeptical.  Daniel Ellsberg went to Vietnam as a Marine to check the reality of the situation. Brian S. Willson was there serving his country as well.  Dad and I also heard Ralph McGeehee talk at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC (this was later). He'd been with the CIA.

After Princeton, I dove into international affairs quite a bit and thought seriously about joining the foreign service. The Woodrow Wilson School beckoned, however I decided philosophy was more my thing. Wittgenstein was doing a kind of anthropology, looking at how words mean. I also took a course in psychological anthropology, with Imee Marcos (daughter of Ferdinand and Imedla) in the same class.

Fast forward and I found myself plunging into the Bucky Fuller corpus. He was still alive and circumnavigating the world, giving those famous long talks. His blend of futurism and philosophy appealed to me. He'd been in the US Navy and credited that experience for exposing him to big picture worldviews, what the admiralty shared in officers training at Annapolis. This was a high point for him, preceding a deep low, when he needed to support his new family in Chicago and went broke, coming close to suicide.

Another author with a lot of military experience was L. Fletcher Prouty, played by Donald Sutherland as Man X in the Oliver Stone movie JFK. Prouty cites Fuller when explaining why humans are squandering resources to kill each other instead of collaborating to enjoy better living standards. The "you or me" picture of Malthus-Darwin and a belief in global scarcity had turned endless war into a means of population control.  This was the picture World Game worked to counter. In principle, humans had the wherewithal to better their lot. We had the necessary mastery over principles. Ephemeralization (more with less) was on our side.

Through my study of Fuller, I got to meet E.J. Applewhite and his wife June. I met their daughter Ashton briefly, haven't yet met their son, a boyhood friend of Sam Lanahan's (Sam accompanied Bucky to the Philippines when I was there, but wasn't tracking at the time).

My parents and I had dinner with Ed and June in DC (I forget which restaurant). Also Ed and June flew out to Portland to hang out with me there, meeting some of my people. Ed had a CIA background, having served in Berlin and Beirut. He'd been a Fuller fan as a teenager and devoted his post CIA years to collaborating with the guy, shepherding the two volumed Synergetics through to publication.

The US military had worked closely with Fuller and the companies set up around the geodesic dome invention. Don Richter, T.C. Howard, Ed Popko and many others did much of the actual engineering, in both civilian and military sectors. The radome (radar dome) became a relatively common feature of the landscape. My uncle (actually grandmother's sisters kid) had a contract to work on those in some way, doing maintenance. I only found that out recently (Bill is 91).  Soviet premier Khrushchev had been impressed by the dome in Kabul. Fuller was always friendly to the Russians, as his commitment was to all humanity (he credited that commitment for his successfully synchronistic lifestyle).

However, Synergetics is about a lot more than just geodesic domes and spheres. It's a hard philosophy book that most philosophers don't actually read, but contains some simple geometric innovations based around polyhedrons. When the World Wide Web became available, getting more of Synergetics on-line was my priority. Dr. Bob Gray got the actual text of Synergetics on the web, followed later by the Synergetics Dictionary, another Applewhite production.