Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Learning to Code

I'm about to head out to a distant section of Greater Portland, actually outside the city limits I'm pretty sure, to work with elementary school students on learning to code.

Working in this wartime economy is difficult.  You might think I'm far away from any wars, living in some American Dream, so what am I talking about?

In truth, North Americans have become psychologically damaged by Endless Wars with no end in sight.  The Weapons of Mass Suicide are singing a siren song to a lot of people.

This morning I galvanized the Wanderers discussion list to pick up some controversial topic for debate, something with science and engineering angles.  We'll be looking at so-called 5G and the topic of microwave radiation.

There's a sense that we're drowning in false reports and propaganda.  The narratives have not grown up sufficiently to sound realistic, so we get these little nightmare scenarios.  We know they have a short half life. I think that's because we've already outgrown the nation-state system, such as it was, but so what if that's what I think.  What people feel are the constraints of the straitjacket.

People take refuge in what's slower moving, the more cosmic, the wheel of life itself.  The political narratives of the wartime economy are a source of brain damage.  Lets just call it "wrong frequency" and seek protection.

I'm all for increasing tourism to replace terrorism.  That's stereotypically a leisure class activity and a lot of people are being expelled from the leisure class.  Another way to tour is in uniform, not as a guest necessarily, but as an armed combatant.  That's how many get to see the world today, as terrorists.

However, we also see that many of those engaged in the fighting cannot afford uniforms.  They're civilians defending a piece of turf, turned into combatants by circumstance.  North Americans see how this phenomenon is spreading and cling to their own weapons just in case.  They see Aleppo and realize that cities are not safe.

That's what happens in wartime.  Planning for the future tends to low ebb.  People just don't see a shared vision.  Only positive science fiction is in any way unifying.  Dystopian science fiction is more ubiquitous, but then people can't agree on it as easily.  The narrative fragments even as it demoralizes.

I don't bother my students with world affairs.  We're focused on learning skills and concepts.  I do my best to exit the wartime economy and create a small oasis of peacetime for them.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cerebral Sunday


Our breakfast meeting was about GST, in particular the question of how best to teach thermodynamics in conjunction with the global economy.

Now, I'm not talking about global warming or climate change, so much as what we call the Earth's energy budget.  How much energy comes in, and how much goes out?  Terry emphasizes that it's close to net zero, otherwise the global temperature would be increasing or cooling much faster than it is.

OK, I take it back, there's a global warming aspect to the equations.  Just to be clear though, we're looking at how hydrocarbons impound solar energy to create vegetation, forests and so on.  Then there's the rain cycle:  evaporation feeds rivers and an endless supply of water flowing downhill.

Humans stick their water wheels into these rivers and thereby get more horsepower than ever.  The same strategy gets us hydroelectric power today.

Malthus appreciated that life increased at geometric rates (exponentially) in the right conditions. That includes vegetation, however since surface area is a constraint on arable land, he forecast a human population outstripping food supplies in the near future.

Terry, whom I was meeting with, also Glenn, went to the same London School of Economics, ages later.  The population was pushing towards ten billion but growth rates were slowing according to some metrics.  He's interested in the history of thermodynamics going back especially to French language thinkers Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis and the Carnots (Lazare and Sadi).

GST does factor in solar power as the major ecosystem driver of life on Earth, but of course it takes more than power to make a system go.  One needs components, complexity, organisms.

How the build-up in complexity affects any global entropy measure, if that makes any sense, is still an open question in my book.  I'm looking for more authors to address it.

After breakfast, Glenn and I walked to the Friends Meeting on Stark, by way of Movie Madness, and met with several Friends.  We were heading up Mt. Tabor.

Then I had a 2 PM appointment with an earnest student of what I might call psychological physics, also known by the label Deep Democracy as championed by Arnold Mindell and associates based here in Portland.  I've been to a few of Arnie's workshops and studied his writings.

Physics, in proposing to offer "theories of everything" tends to get drawn in to talking about such memes as "consciousness" which of course connects them to what "unconscious" might mean.  Typically, an "unconscious being" is simply unaware of some otherness, insofar as it has any awareness.  I realize that's a circular definition.

I took a lot of pictures of book covers and book contents throughout the day, given the veritable blizzard of information coming at me.  What better way to make a record?

However, I went through my camera battery doing that, such that when it came time to attend my friend Matthew's sixtieth birthday (we're about the same age), I had to grab a backup camera, the one that was starting to jam (it gets paralyzed). The backup camera jammed every time this time, so I feel back on my Android for any pictures.  This was out in Tualitin-Sherwood, at the Century Hotel.

D'Arcy Thompson was a main figure in the morning meeting, so when I got back I started reading his On Growth and Form again.  I've never read it cover to cover.  Then I found some Youtubes about the guy, including the one linked above. D'Arcy was a big inspiration behind this new book Scale by Geoffrey West which I've been reading, and recommending.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Death of Journalism


The US and UK no longer have a functioning mainstream media when it comes to reporting "news". The independent voices have access to the internet. RT has helped a smarter group stay in public consciousness.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hectic Day

Although I made a token appearance at Wanderers tonight, I didn't have much energy for conversation, and left early, seeking cheap caffeine, which I have at my place.

This was marathon psychotherapy day with H&R Block, only to find out that the USPO had changed pickup times at Fred Meyers.  Only yesterday, April 16, the day before the tax rush.

Fortunately, I had an afternoon gig in Clackamas County.  Unfortunately, the detour to Fred Meyers cost me valuable minutes and a few kids gave up on me and went home as usual.  I'll be there extra early next time.  One of those schools where if you show up when the bell rings, you have no way of parking.  My first day in Happy Valley (that's not the name of the school).

After an hour with the kids sharing MIT Scratch, a favorite of Portland Public Schools (I'm private sector), I used the maps app to find the nearest post office.  The thing is:  these were amended returns and it's especially true that the State of Oregon freezes whatever you claimed on this date.  I had a few dollars in savings, which, to me, actually means something.

I sent checks with both returns and have Trimet queued.  I just need to wait for a couple invoices to clear.  In the meantime, I have overdraft protection.

It's all going through the motions for me, as it hurts to face extortion by organized crime, which is how it feels when an executive at some far off desk job chooses the most reckless course possible, thinking people buy the farcical "reality TV" they're pumping out to us.

You know how it is.  My family tried to live overseas as much as possible to avoid propping up the military junta, as we might as well say in the open now. The facts are on the table.  I've lived under martial law before.

You don't need to declare war to have war.  That's a lesson these latter day executives have taken to heart.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Loving Sophia


I've been mounting an old soap box and calling for a recall of the PhD degree, a defective product.  How could "lovers of knowledge" prop up such a corrupt academic establishment?  Letting Pearson get away with not sharing our polyhedrons is a travesty.  The UK is not our friend.

Look at what happened in Saudi Arabia.  A hoax puppet, made to seem smart, got to be a Saudi citizen and address the UN, making a mockery of the curriculum everywhere.  Who needs Yes Men anymore, when supposedly bright people are this gullible?

I take the high fear levels around AI, traceable to Terminator movies, as a projection of what we most fear:  that our own conditioned reflexes, our robotic side, will end civilization.  That's a real danger.  We're 99% robot, with only 1% "that of God" (intuitively minded). Our robotic side is very useful in a pinch, but may also get us killed.

The real danger of AI is that we, the really intelligent (RI) will become dumber and dumber, turning into robots.  The army of PhDs, so-called "doctors of philosophy" aren't fighting back it seems.  They're surrendering to their own artificialness, turning phony to their cores.  AI = PI (phony intelligence).  It's everywhere.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Queen of the Desert (movie review)

I took in this masterful piece of storytelling at Glenn's place.  He had it checked out of Multnomah County Library.  Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, and creates a haunting tale of a big soul, another Tara in her world (this one of camels and pyramids, and Lawrence of Arabia -- set somewhat the same time as Wonder Woman, the big movie).

Gertrude felt horribly penned in by British domestic society and begged her dad for more adventure. Good patriarch that he was, he found her a situation in Tehran, where she fell in love with the culture, and the third ranking secretary (male persuasion). Her dad was not about to give his property to that gambling house (they wished to marry) and the situation deteriorated (neither was fully a master of their own destiny, but then who is?).

Flash forward, and Gertrude is amongst the Bedouin.  She has the truly healthy and in no way twisted ethic of the anthropologist just hoping to understand her / his fellow man.  She knows at some level that she's helping to stabilize the situation simply through the force of her own integrity.  The men respect that and understand she's playing as they do, for high stakes and respect.

Werner Herzog employs either cranes or drones we don't know, perhaps all mysteries were revealed in The Making Of, but on this date and time, I needed to withdraw and continue with my overall mission.  That includes another rendezvous, and then more thinking about Machine Learning in tandem with Synergetics.  Glenn was all about Bayesian geostatistics this evening, flipping through the latest Nature.

I think of my mom and her sojourning with Coptics, south of Cairo.  Women with big souls often are first over the walls, you could say riding broomsticks, but why not also with respect.  Women are not some lesser species, after all.  Not that this needs reiterating in polite company.  Feel free to resume enjoying your desserts.  Coffee anyone?  I think I'll have one.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Colonialism 2018

The Colony of Puerto Rico, called a Commonwealth as that sounds better, is not free to accept ships from just anywhere. The hurricane was a jobs program for many maritime workers, not to mention pilots, if only for evacuation purposes.

The Jones Act is what I'm urging AFSC to keep studying.  Lots of analysis slowly brews and gets untapped at a later date. Just like with the HVDC lines, and all that research (GENI etc.), and with the refugee issues studied by UNHCR, the learning phase takes time.  Detective work is sometimes painstaking.

The above connects to the Chinese Peace Corps meme, which is somewhat esoteric.  The idea for free eyeglasses for all who need them, as a bare minimum living standard expectation, sounded like something Chinese would think of, and then encourage by means of inexpensive aid programs, in Walmart parking lots perhaps, in Michigan.

North Americans sometimes don't see themselves in need of care and assistance.  Yet the rest of the world sees a lot of sickness on their screens, and lots of acting out around the world. 

Having Chinese help provide eyeglasses might seem demeaning, as if "the richest nation on earth" couldn't organize such a thing.  But it couldn't.  More likely it would punch you in the face and break the glasses you already have.

I think the struggling people of North America are more aware of their pain and therefore more likely to assist others, whereas those enjoying insulated lives want to control how much the dispossessed try to help one another.  That's a long way of saying we won't be angry if other countries ignore the embargo against Puerto Rico.

Targeting Puerto Rico for sanctions was never fair in the first place.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

No Macroscope?

Globe & Map

We have the telescope and microscope, have for decades (though both keep morphing), yet no "macroscope" is a household word.  Why?  What's a "macroscope" anyway?

Google Earth has come about as close as anyone to declassifying a Big Earth animated globe thingy, but not in real time, as people aren't ready for "everyone seeing everything" through satellites.

Some of us want to guard against poachers.

That was my big push with drones, and not as shooters.  Inform the authorities and set up whatever road blocks or check stations. If there's a way to save more animals, consider the options.  I digress.

I never supported their use in warfare, though of course war is not about "fair" and no one asked my permission, one way or the other. I never called for their use against Julian either, even in jest.

Buckminster Fuller suggested "geoscope" for the same thing, and got close in 1967, when the original US State Department proposal was for an unfolding geoscope that formed a Dymaxion Projection (same Gaussian as a Snyder pretty much but in a unique arrangement ideally suited to keeping contiguous landmasses contiguous).

Those adjoined only by oceans get spread apart.

The Expo people decided that might be too cerebral and why not go with a giant geodesic dome instead, a smaller version memorialized at EPCOT in Orlando, decades latter?

Montreal 67 was the Taj Mahal of geodesic structures.  No nation has had more self respect than Canada, when it comes to hosting such a bold architecture.  Makes sense:  Donald Coxeter.

Later blueprints anchored a Geoscope in East River opposite the UN building, a convenience for those inside, and a tourist attraction.  The tensegrity moorings would have competed for attention with the tensegrity radio tower atop New York's newest trade center, had either project been completed.

Kenneth Snelson of Needle Tower fame (Washington DC) and many other tensegrity structures, had been approached about providing one as a finishing touch to the new skyscraper.

Actually, macroscopes do exist, for precisely the purpose intended, the display of global data.  They just don't enjoy the courtesy of an instrument name, such as "telescope" and "microscope" enjoy.  We're to get by with "globe" or "planetary data display" or some generic.

That's as of 2018 BCE in my specific locale (OR 97214), where I monitor only a subsample of how the world population speaks (by "world population" I mean to include those in low orbit aboard staffed machines).

Glenn Stockton of Global Matrix fame keeps tabs on such literature and is well aware of the many authors and authorities involved in macroscope development.  Again, Google Earth is representative of the state of the art.

But in what ways has this asset been incorporated into the elementary, middle and high school grades?  The vector towards becoming a "household word" is through percolation within a curriculum.  Who looks at Earth?

More schools may be screening macroscopes soon.  The LCDs might not be interactive, but are instead preprogrammed to hop around, like a programmed Planetarium projector might do.

These are related devices (Planetariums and Macroscopes), as Christian Science Mapparium (Boston, MA) clearly demonstrates.  Observers stand inside the planet in question, with global data appearing as stained glass. Might pixels be referred to as "stained" when containing RGB "dyes"?

Look for macroscopes in Dubai?

The Lower48 keeps telling itself it's the richest "nation" on Earth -- which is touching -- and we want these folks to succeed.  But lets be honest:  their budget for education is far outclassed by those working harder for their children.  End Timers have reason to be lazy, in proportion to the certainty with which they cling to those beliefs.

I'm not claiming all North Americans are End Timers, let alone all in Lower48.  But those who are ready to see it all come to a full stop probably won't see the need for planners or futurists.  What's the point, right?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Drama Queens


Yes, this one is hilarious. It hits so many movie-maker cliches right on the nose, the chords of melodrama.

I think a lot of the Boomer generation thinks the world suddenly got a lot more tabloid at some point, as if the supermarket checkout lane world just took over one day and won't ever let go.

The above trailer captures that sense of claustrophobia, wherein a mundane nuisance becomes an existential threat of gun blaster proportions.  Such a psyche tends to feed on itself.  From merely dramatic, we move to melodramatic, then off the scale (the so-called deep end) to surreal. 

However surreal could be fun with a Dali throwing the party, so I'm not saying all our reality TV shows must be nightmarish, even if surreal sometimes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Paradigm Shift

Library Book

This is the one to read after Cryptonomicon, which is historical science fiction. This newer one, The Theory that Would Not Die, is availing itself of a lot of the same information.  As author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne points out:  a lot of this wartime business didn't start to trickle out until the 1970s.  The people who participated were forbidden to share their experience, for "national security" reasons.

The premise of the recent movie Churchill, was that Winston had huge doubts about the wisdom of D-Day, and took comfort in the idea that the weather might be on his side.  He tried his best to talk Eisenhower out of it.

According to this recent history of Data Science, Eisenhower possibly had access to deeper secrets from the UK's own Bletchley Park than Churchill did, and knew, from intercepted and decrypted communications, that Hitler saw a Normandy landing as a likely bluff, and wanted his generals to gird for the "real thing" should it happen.

That told Eisenhower his deception was working.

I knew a guy who'd served under General Patton in the UK, where the goal was to appear to be amassing a large army, such that aerial surveillance would be fooled.  The Germans would think those were tanks, but they were closer to inflated balloons.  The Churchill movie doesn't talk about all this.

I remember when this older guy I knew, a WW2 veteran, finally felt free to share his experience:  the New York Times had published a story on the fake army just that morning or thereabouts. This was way back in the 1980s.

Alan Turing, on the other hand, was never allowed to talk about his critical role saving Britain.  Churchill was very keen to have all evidence destroyed.  Exactly why again?

Why do politicians have the power to order mass destruction of anything, anywhere?  Because we authorize them to do so?  So we can scapegoat them later when things don't go as planned?  Yeah, something like that.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Studying Wars

Enough still unprocessed warring has gone on to last lifetimes.

The violence voyeur is always seeking some new spectacle.  A younger generation comes along and asks itself "how would I behave in wartime?"  Some seek glory.

Maybe we don't need you to find that out?  How would you behave if war were not a goal?

Politicians continually need assurance they'll be able to whip up war fever, and float a lot of trial balloons in that regard, just to see where they stand with the minions.

The minions, for their part, get bamboozled into one war after another, because they don't get the time or space to really study.  They repeat the same mistakes, having too little time to learn from mistakes already made.

"Stop the world I want to get off" is the cliche complaint people ridicule, knowing there's no stopping.  However, without reflection, life stays shallow and superficial.  What would it be like to let generations really learn their own past?

We have enough raw material to last many lifetimes.  Do we really need to create more gratuitous karma for ourselves?

Slow down and learn about what has already happened.  Wouldn't that be a huge luxury?  You could still tour, enjoy those cruise ships, explore museums.

We didn't need you to start new wars.  Maybe you did anyway.  You might have thought elective wars would get you elected? Is that what your donors told you?  Were they paying you to get a war on?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ML DL

We use these short little acronym in government (Cyberia) all the time.  ML = Machine Learning.  DL = Deep Learning.  If you don't know what these mean, you're likely a left-behind politician with too little time for engineering to really govern (steer).

As a newbie in the circle of ML / DL teachers, I'm very humble.  I sit at the feet of favorite teachers and sponge it up, tasking my own neural net to re-weight and re-bias as necessary.  Get to the bottom of all these meanings.  Investigate.  Don't assume, coming in, that your namespace is well-tempered (well-tuned).

My approach is two-track.  First, I've somewhat abandoned doing everything in Sphinx, not because I have any issues with Sphinx, but because of my own weaknesses and shortcomings with regard to Github.  There's a final step wherein documentation might "go live" in world-readable (open source) space, but I'm not taking it.  Second, I'm staying with Python.

Track One:  manual skills, like when gardening, you need to know how to use a spade, trowel, shovel, bucket, weed whacker and so on. 

Track Two:  conceptual grasp.  The latter comes slowly or at least at its own rate, less under conscious control, whereas practicing with matplotlib, numpy, pandas and scikit-learn APIs is eminently doable of one's own volition.

My focus is on polishing Track One manual skills and remaining patient with the "slow dawning" that is the gradual emergence (surfacing) of any knowledge domain.  I can't rush Track Two whereas if I burn the candle at both ends, I can practice the way athletes practice:  you keep at it.

Keeping these tracks separate has one big advantage:  I don't have to apologize for taking the ten thousand foot view and going for broke on Track Two, all out of proportion to what my manual skills yet allow.  I'm barely able to dig a trench yet am already studying the intricacies of orchid raising, or beekeeping (not usually considered part of gardening, but then really everything is).

My humility does not translate into refraining from actually studying the magic.  I just have to admit I haven't practiced enough, nor re-tuned my model enough, to fully minimize the error function (cost function).  I'm still getting to the bottom of ML DL (gradient descent).

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

World Game Continues

Wanderers, who meet frequently at the Linus Pauling House on Hawthorne, tend to be familiar with the World Game idea, and a couple of us at least, have actually played it.  Francher showed up at the ones led by Buckminster Fuller himself.  I played it in Eugene, and in San Diego, when Tara was just taking her first steps.

We're reading about the passing of Jay Baldwin and 85, an American hero and lover of cars, who escaped New Jersey and headed for California along the open road.  He love of cars it would steered him towards Fuller, who developed a three wheeled Dymaxion Car at a critical juncture.  Then came the Dymaxion House.  These were props we could use on the World Stage (where World Game is actually played).

I'm beginning a new course on data science tonight and want my students to get in touch with their internal data scientist.  I think some of us get turned off statistics for the same reason we don't really like economics:  the topics are too dismal, to fatalistic and deterministic.  "I'm not a statistic" the ego cries, fitting the model.  I know I've eschewed thinking like a data scientist most of my life.  I'll confess that, and discuss techniques for overcoming such limitations.

World Game connects to Club of Rome in that humanity was newly becoming aware of its ability to model reality based on big data, or any data at all.  Computers could churn through the number crunching, according to whatever algorithms.  Humans would be free to focus on the algorithms.  We could turn our mathematical understanding into a better tool for forecasting.  These were seeming like superpowers.

I wrote on the Club of Rome in eighth grade, for Mr. Craden's sociology class.  We had sociology at the Overseas School of Rome.  Dad subscribed to The Futurist, was an urban planner in charge of drawing up fifty year plans for the government of Libya.  I took for grated that humans were meant to "think big".  That was part of our role.  During a crisis period in Jersey City, I came to doubt that such thinking mattered, as it never seemed to gain traction.  History did its own thing, never mind how we planned it.  I've come to a later synthesis, still being fine-tuned.

World Game is all about anticipating, forecasting from data.  Even for that reason alone I should be grateful for this opportunity to retrain and change the relative weights in my neural nets, feeding more power and influence to my internal data scientist.  The free open source tools I'm learning to use help me play World Game more effectively.  The very process of learning to use them helps me project what the personal workspace (PWS) of tomorrow will be like.  The PWS is a core concept within GST.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Big Sur (movie review)

P1040439

Glenn rented this one from Multnomah Public Library. He'd read some Kerouac novels and grew up in the same generation, more or less. Jack was a pack leader, of the Beat Generation, but feels ambivalent in his role.

Glenn recognized City Lights Books as iconic and said the real one was bigger than the one in the movie.  He pulled out a book he'd procured there.

Mostly it's a movie about alcohol and its potentially devastating impact on many lives, extending well beyond the drinker's. The movie is also about truth-telling and keeping it real.  The characters care about one another, they're just not sure how to express it.

Here's poor old Jack in what we might call a utopia, a cozy cabin at Big Sur, friendly supporters, and with a dream girl and her beautiful son. She's eager to be his life-long companion, and yet he's suicidal and in hell.

Viewer jealousy may be forgiven, but must Jack really suffer that much?  What were his sins that he cannot enjoy his own fame and fortune?

These beatniks were too undisciplined, drinking while driving, forgetting to make plans.

I understand they needed to escape an overly constraining, fiercely racist environment, and that the psychological cost of alienation was an occupational hazard.  Wavey Gravy, another beat poet, did a better job transitioning.

The youthful rebellion gathered momentum, and by the hippie days was more self-defining. Or was it? Jack Kerouac transitions to Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead.

The hippie era was somewhat less blighted by alcohol perhaps, in that the hip cool thing was to explore psychedelics, which have different side effects. This movie doesn't need to tackle the subject of entheogens.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

From Facebook


As an Oregon voter and taxpayer, I'd like to know more about these new security protections Oregonians have a right to know more about. Anyone into cybersecurity knows its about adhering to open standards using source code anyone can check.

That's how NIST designs stuff, around Elliptic Curve and AES. Oregon has Vote-By-Mail so I'm curious what people see as vulnerable to Russian attack.

I know my curiosity will be met by a cloak of secrecy if the plan is actually to further heist the system by making it opaque (less transparent). That'd be hard to do given the stated objectives and follow-up audits we'll be demanding.

Americans (in the US sense) have long distrusted the voting machine infrastructure, dating back several elections. I haven't seen many claims that this sense of distrust traces to Russian propaganda.

Rather, it seems well-founded and based on actual cases of tampering that have come to light, most notably purges of voter rolls using deliberately sloppy techniques designed to spread collateral damage among specific demographics.

Those who studied the black box voting machines found much to criticize.

So where is NIST in this picture?

Does the US commit any funds towards researching and developing the infrastructure of democracy?

If MAGA means anything at all, it would have to mean looking to the US for role model, trusted technology around voting, combined with best practices.

The US is very far from that now, with most judging bodies saying US elections no longer pass the sniff test. There may be moves afoot to hold the Russians accountable for Stinky Politics Nation (SPN), but that could easily backfire. Blaming all one's problems on a convenient enemy has a way of not working out.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Water for Elephants (movie review)

Really well filmed and acted. Big name cast.

One might argue it's a tad tabloid, histrionic, pulp fiction. In a word: corny. So there you are, the audience, perhaps with popcorn. Here are your freaks: more beautiful than average, in a world of cruelty. Quite the novel (soap opera, whatever).

The setting is the time of hobos, men sans work, riding the railroads to redistribute their labor, much as Amazon caravaners, other Dead Head type tribes, do today. Wandering gypsies, in a Gypsy Economy. Welcome to 2018.

The plot features a triangle: circus impresario (reminds me of Bug's Life) with stunning wife-horse act, hires protagonist of Polish background to work with the animals.

In a desperate economic gamble, an elephant is acquired, and it turns out she speaks Polish, meaning the impresario with anger management problems manages to not wreck his own circus for at least awhile longer.

Anyway, I was really impressed, especially by the elephant playing Rosie.

Queued for Iranian TV? Total film nuts, like the Japanese.

Anyway, I'm proposing it for Pyconic conferences, for the movie track (similar to the hallway track, quite informal, more like BOFs).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Free College


The progressives say Russiagate is distracting from the student debt problem, plus so many Americans are political prisoners of the Feds, post the ending of Prohibition (part 2) on the part of several states. Facing these issues is too painful for those with no solutions, so the scapegoats are to blame. An old story.

In the meantime, geeks such as helped win WWII for the British, the Turing Types, have transformed the face of education to where the logical API is your dorm room studio aka home.  The lectures are all there, as are opportunities for two-way and multi-way communication.  Concentrating on making the home a true PWS (personal workspace) makes more sense than borrowing money to invest in someone else's digs.  How many homes might one person afford (a great many, in some cases)?

The point:  "free college" as some imagine it, might not be as brick and mortar nor as easily paid for on the backs of young people.  Getting relief from those loans might involve entering another service, one that pays loans back, but perhaps in a devaluing currency.  Inflation is on the side of borrowers right?  Not all M1 denominated in dollars are actually Treasury bills.  But I'm getting ahead of my story.

Maybe we could pay them in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to redo college but in a different way, one that involves work/study which could mean world travel, and you might not have to wear a uniform or carry weapons.  The world is getting really sick of weapons and those who find them necessary to their survival.  Weapons used recreationally, not for crimes, are not actually weapons, nor sold as such.  A nuance of the language.

Anyway, I think patriots of all countries can rally around a university system that rescues more than it impedes.  There's a transfer of wealth going on, in entropic terms, from the sun to the earth, meaning an increase in entropy there, leading to eventual gigantism or brown drawfism, is feeding syntropy here, or potentially is doing that.  Or ability to order information has gotten rather good, what with big data and server farms and all.

Russiagate looks like an attempt to stop hacktivism and assert Federal control in new overreaching ways.  The move to criminalize self expression is quite one sided, with corporations free to pour money into Federal coffers, but forbidden to engage in private ventures unless friendly to same, willing to pay tribute and bribes.  A kind of extortion is happening, whereas a lot of the geeks who worked hard on this railroad were not doing so for the aggrandizement of any District, of Columbia or otherwise.

We'll see if the FBI is successful, in combination with the Patriot Act and other tools, in continuing to prosecute anyone using social media in ways disapproved of by the DOJ or any of several players set up to enforce a set of rules within a particular jurisdiction.  Those using Facebook to advertise their post Prohibition product lines are engaging in activities the DOJ has criminalized, or so they might soon allege.  But how does one tell Facebook to deny Californians access to home grown social media?  Silicon Valley is not about to surrender its economy to east coasters who don't know bash or think Ubuntu is some kind of drink.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Magic Squares

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Magic Squares in NumPy, who is doing them? I'm not saying they need to be auto-generated. Copy some well known ones into code and run the NumPy version of sum along each of the two Magic Square axes.

A sudoku would be another data structure to model.  You can get to each sector with what's called a "view" or slice into just those cells, no extra memory for the data, just the overhead of the frame. A sum in each sector keeps track of same.

As a former calculus teacher, now into statistics, I'm thinking we don't do enough in standard high school calc, to bridge probability density functions (PDFs) with their integrals, their cumulative distribution functions (CDFs).  So what if closed forms don't always jump out at us?  We've got the numerical tools to power through without those if need be.

I'm glad to have an API with the school system.  I thought Measure 97 might bring that about, and approached the Methodists about a certain Code Castle.  I also named a sculpture in my living room "code castle" and covered it with stuffed dragons.

Instead, I got a part time teaching job after school and get to chat with parents and teachers, other guardians, several times a week.  When it comes to teaching adults, Californians are more ravenous for a geek diet than Oregonians it seems.  I'm happy to feed a hungry neighbor.

"Code castle" (the sculpture) is being recycled for parts and the Spooky Castle (former church and community center) showed up in my Jupyter Notebooks on what we call "context managers" in Python.  They have their __enter__ and __exit__ methods, the latter perhaps charged up with Exceptions it needs to deal with.

Jupyter Notebooks, for those of you who wish to learn, are interactive web pages you may run locally (i.e. on localhost 127.1.1.1) that talk to a kernel such as Python or Haskell or maybe R, the statistics engine.  I need to remind my students:  Jupyter came from Julia, Python, R as the initial target languages of an expanded I-Python Notebook project.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Political Radar

I'm keeping an eye on my political radar, but when it comes to putting out blips of my own, I'm finding Facebook most congenial.  Twitter too.  These platforms are ideal for PR, and PR is what I do.

Of course Twitter is infested with bots.  There's an API to tweet from your programs.  Who wants to hire some poor stooge to make stuff up when you can just have a rotating queue.  Let C-level executives commit, just like Trump does, if you don't delegate to your CMO.

Along those lines, I'm not seeing where PR firms based in Russia get off the hook in having their operations exposed, but then we also found out about Bell Pottinger, the UK-based PR firm that colluded to "sow discord" just as IRA (Internet Research Agency) is accused of.  Quoting an earlier blog post:
The idea of Russians buying ads on Facebook doesn't bother me even a little.  The British do it too, which bothers me a little more.  I don't trust British suspicion of the Russians usually, as it relates back to their inheriting Roman Imperialism, a meme virus.  Americans were infected with that too, and tend to crow about it as a chief asset.  Just look at DC's architecture.
Anyway, the idea that nations seek to influence election outcomes does not disturb me.  It's a tiny planet and we all have a stake in the various outcomes.  The sooner we acknowledge what goes on, and stop trying to deal with it by criminalizing it, the better.

As thought-leader Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk) points out, one man's "collusion" is another man's smart business plan.  There's no law against making friends with friends of the enemy, unless one has such complete control of the law that one is able to legislate permanent "good guy" status.  That's the tautological underpinnings of jurisprudence:  protect the jurisdiction of the jurists.  Give judges the right to judge.  Romans could tell us all about it.

My theory, which traces back to a little reported story, is that Protestants in particular are feeling an existential threat from three sides at least.  Firstly, one of their chief Bible thumpers switched sides to Eastern Orthodox (the under-reported story). Secondly, the Second Coming of Christ (SCC) doesn't appear to be happening in our lifetimes (not a new problem). Thirdly, secularism isn't vanishing either.

The strategy has been to pursue the main corporate PR initiative of the last century:  link Christianity to both Capitalism (the dream of instant riches) and Patriotism (the willingness to die for capitalists) by injecting In God We Trust language and giving it a patronizing spin.  The heinous crime of the ages has always been heresy, and without calling it that, there's still a strong urge to demonize.

Speaking of powerful symbols, why was KKK cross-burning never seen as a desecration of the Cross?  Burn a flag and you're disrespectful. Burn a cross and you're a good old boy.  Makes no sense.

Anyway, the Russians seem a powerful threat because of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.  Israel is not a threat because it's expected to play into the Book of Revelation and help make End Times happen.  The Middle East is a tinderbox people want to ignite in hopes of ending the world.  You might think such people don't exist, yet the mentally ill have always been legion. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Coxeter Biography


Donald Coxeter is old and frail in this telling, yet made it to Hungary at age ninety-five, for a 21st century geometry conference.

Professor Coxeter is the man to whom RBF dedicated his two-volume snapshot of a work in progress, sometimes referred to as "syngeom", however given a formal title of Synergetics for the Macmillan publishings.  Its subtitle:  Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking.

The writer for this film is Siobhan Roberts, who wrote the book with the same subtitle (The Man Who Saved Geometry), as well as a bio of John Horton Conway, who features prominently, as another Coxeter fan with deep insight into what these polytopes and hyper-dimensional sphere packings were all about.

Having someone who has done so much homework write the script makes for confidant, as well as intimate, storytelling.

We come to see Donald as bravely defiant in the face of intellectual currents intent upon driving his kind (the Euclideans) from the face of the earth, though perhaps they were joking (Bourbaki was a practical joke).

Serious or not, geometry needs its champions in any age if the inter-generational torch is to be passed.  Mandelbrot, among others, drew great solace from Coxeter, as his own work was likewise veering into the visualizable, too accessible to Everyman for an elitist core to bless as orthodox.

Not that higher dimensional polytopes are all that visualizable or renderable in the vernacular, though with projections into 3-space they are at least tourable (as gems with many rooms).  The Euclideans gave us something to strive for that's right brainy, as in exciting to graphical imagination.  At least Coxeter Diagrams won acceptance, as they verged on being purely lexical.

When the story gets to Fuller, the Montreal Dome of the 1967 World Expo gets the most focus, as well it should, as Dr. Coxeter was Canadian and his first encounter with geodesic domes was at this Expo, at least on a grand scale.  A treasure trove of archival scenarios unfurls.

My thanks to David Koski for underlining the relevance of this film.  Because I'd read the book and watched a Siobhan's address to the Gathering for Gardner crowd, I somehow assumed I'd seen this, but I had not, until tonight.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Rambling

I think The Ramblers could have been another term for The Wanderers, and maybe is, in some parallel universe (in science fiction).  Dr. Nick Consoletti was a Saunterer, so The Saunterers might have made do.  Whether we wander, ramble, or saunter, we end up learning more about our world, which is sort of the point I suppose.

Speaking of points, I've been envisioning myself as a vector in a phase space, the vector sum from previous frames. Elastic Interval Geometry taught me a lot about weighted sums, how the most tensed vector would be like the most important neuron in some hidden layer.  Back propagation is accomplished simply by yielding to forces in EIG.  Compromises get made.  Learning happens.  Reshaping occurs.

EIG was pioneered in the wake of Tensegrity, computer modeling a lot of the same concepts.  Gerald de Jong was consciously inspired by one of Kenneth Snelson's sculptures. He joined us in Seattle at Russ' and Deb's place, along with Karl, Braley (not Brawley) and several others (me too), and much work got done.  I was a big EIG aficionado in those days.  Those creepy-crawlies of Darwin at Home got under my skin.

I purchased an O'Reilly book about Bitcoin at Hawthorne Powell's yesterday, and stayed up late reading it, after finishing teaching. My students were learning all about TLS last night, Transport Layer Security, which involves browser and server employing the latest and greatest cryptographic techniques to make transactions secure.  We call it HTTPS and see the little padlock or other icon appear, next the the URL in the address bar.  I promised to apply all this knowledge to crypto-currencies when next we meet.

I've been a fairly accomplished explainer of RSA for awhile now, getting turned on the cryptography anew by Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon awhile back.  The whole story of how the NSA initially resisted declassification of this technique is fascinating in the rear view mirror.  The Web hadn't become established yet, so the future needs of eCommerce were not featuring in the vector sum. People were worried about "activists" i.e. Daniel Ellsberg types, more than they were thinking about the likes of WalMart and Amazon.

These days, Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) has made deep inroads when it comes to initializing the session.  That's where Bob and Alice establish a common secretly shared key they might then use for AES, or Advanced Encryption System, the winner of an international contest in the wake of the demise of DES.  Bitcoin, and the blockchain in general, use a lot of the same ideas.

People sometimes think encryption is all about evading scrutiny and carrying on with major transactions completely behind the scenes and off radar.  To some extent that's a misconception, as the transactions may be reported in the news, entered into ledgers, kept for future analysts.  A company without a coherent internal story is not in a strong position.

The encryption step is more about preventing hacks, subtle tricks, which could alter the course of history by corrupting the transaction.  Hacks lead to higher entropy, as what should have made sense now no longer does.

Put another way, it's fine for the public to find out about all these transactions later on.  What's important is that at the time of their occurrence, there's no way to interfere with their content, such as by changing some charged amount or remittance, or substituting a new recipient.

The act itself needs shielding, not from the prying eyes of historians necessarily, but from the shenanigans of entropy creators.  Cryptography is about authentication, verifying the transaction is not counterfeit.  Bob might be completely sincere, but what does that matter if Alice gets the wrong message, one Bob didn't send?  Some forms of breakage aren't that easy to mend, as investors (stakeholders) of all types have come to discover for themselves.

For me, these blogs are more like Quaker journals, which pre-internet were kept somewhat like diaries, and not necessarily published, or were shared only posthumously.  Blogging is different, but nevertheless doesn't have to be about events now occurring in real time.  Whether the stock market is up or down needn't be our theme.

Blogs and the blogosphere tend to be more timeless in their focus, on average, than either newspapers or radio talk shows, less about what's special case.  We could say "more philosophical".  Rovers... Rangers...

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Bot Learning




Monday, January 29, 2018

Saint Misbehavin' (movie review)

wavygravy

I watched this over at Glenn's today. He had me over for lunch, great soup. I brought some tallboy Olympia beers.  The movie is from the library.

I've been aware of Wavy Gravy for a long time, but was out of the country during Woodstock and would have been too young to attend on my own even if I'd been on the continent.  The first hippies trace back to the beat generation.  Wavy Gravy was your classic beat poet, in Greenwich Village, except with a strong sense of humor that's carried him until now (he's 81 at the time of this writing).

I've posted to QuakerQuaker how I consider Richard Stallman to be a Bodhisattva, and now I've got another candidate.  Not that it's up to me to be handing out this title.  More that I convey what I understand "Bodhisattva" to mean by pointing out whom I consider to be archetypal examples.

Woodstock had many of the same themes as Occupy a couple generations later.  Yes, these platforms give voice to political views, but equally if not more important was the experiment in non-violent cohabitation.  Could half a million people cram into a rural area and enjoy music without killing each other?  Could they stay fed?  Would they spawn epidemics?  Lets do some science and find out.

People are curious and want to evolve their logistical abilities.  Getting the Hog Farm (Wavy's community) to do "Please Force" security was a stroke of genius on the part of Woodstock organizers.

Occupy Portland (OPDX) was likewise all about the free kitchen, which Food Not Bombs started, but then turned over to others, given its own more stringent practices.  The downtown campers were eager to do science and see if they could live as economic refugees for awhile.  Portland supported the experiment for a matter of months, then pulled the plug.  The kitchen packed up the night before.  The data was in.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

More Thinking about AI


I've done something to my FireFox, to where the Twitter stuff doesn't come through all fancily formatted, like in the post below. Or maybe your browser doesn't render it either. I'm still seeing the tweet content at least.  Even that might go away, right?

The hope is our committed records will have some permanence but that's all presuming it makes sense to keep all the server farms running.  A sense of heritage might fuel that, but will that be sufficient?  They say server farms are already eating 2% of the grid's energy.  Good thing President Trump is committing through Twitter, for Twitter.  Historians will want to keep that set of records.

Not that Trump is the only tweeter the curators treasure, just he paves the way for Federal funding or something similar to keep universities training up new breeds of engineer, ready to tackle the challenge of keeping history plugged in.

There's a technical challenge in not overwhelming ourselves with more information than we're prepared to handle, even power-wise.

Going back to recent themes...

The invocation of Kant in connection with Abbott:  was the latter breaking any rules in conceiving of beasts of fewer dimension?  We suppose that three dimensions "encompass" two, one, zero and none.

That volume goes up as a 3rd power seems ipso facto the key argument for dim 3 terminology, whereas 3rd powering as a rate of growth (or shrinkage) gets shoved on to Frequency in Synergetics, which is about subdividing.  We have 3rd powering against a backdrop of a Fourness in pure shape, all change rates aside.  That was the 4D.  The F took the 3rd powering.

These shifts in meaning mostly serve a practical objective of making it OK for a cube of face diagonals 2, to have a volume of 3.  That works out when the shape of 3rd powering is either of the duo-tet's tetrahedrons.  With the cube-based model of 3rd powering, you have an edge of pow(2, 1/2) and therefore a cube of volume 2.828427..., not 3.  From this ratio comes S3.

I watched the video below today, as well as the one above. The below one is about brain power and what the chemistry might be, whereas the one above is about electronic circuits learning from feedback to ape, match or exceed human abilities.  AlphaGo.

Lets hope Google stays in business and our blogs live on.  Ditto Facebook and all that.  Scientific literacy means having the ability to grapple with issues while maintaining a cool head and a solutions focused mindset, even in the face of problems that seem insoluble.

A tetrahedron inscribed in any parallelepiped, any hexahedron with oppositely parallel faces, is going to have one third said hexa's volume.  In the case of the cube, the inscribed regular tetrahedron is complemented by four regions comprising the remaining 2/3rds i.e. 1/4 of 2/3 or 2/12 = 1/6.

The regular octahedron that complements the regular tetrahedron to fill space, has volume ratio 4:1, meaning the 1/8th octahedron corners that pack out from the reg-tet, each have volume 1/2. Four corners have volume 2, adding reg-tet gives 3, the cube's overall volume.  One half is one sixth of three.

These simple fractions work best when we give ourselves permission to have such a cube of volume 3, yet with edges that would normally not give that.  The shift is in making 3rd powering a Frequency operation inside an initially "4D" framework, the reg-tet itself, Unit Volume, edges 2R.

Once the logical path is established, go ahead and throw away the ladder and go back to "space is 3D" with an XYZ orientation.  When in Rome.  You've got your touch stones, a way to your favorite garden, but go ahead and surround it with a more conventional brick and mortar wall.

Rather than fight tooth and nail for anything, we're motivated to continue our investigation. When did we come up with height, width and breadth as the names of three dimensions and to what extent do each of these partake of self nature?  A somewhat esoteric question perhaps.

The neural nets that program neural nets get credit for refining their art.  I'm talking about the humans, however quantum minded.  They needed a way to make trial and error count for something. Figure out a feedback loop that continues to fine tune in the face of consistent feedback regarding performance.  As long as the game holds still for awhile...  fortunately chess and Go do.

The sense that AI is "winning" is an over-collapse of an either-or logic, whereas the cell-silicon hybrid is on both sides of the fence.  We encounter our ancestors in the codes they embedded, as silicon learns to echo our sense of music, even logic.  Mutual recognition. A mix meets a mix.

We want to think what we consider thinking has held constant, with maybe machines catching up, but that's not it.  Machines have already changed what we consider thinking.  We needed that word ("thinking") to stay up to date, and so we've somewhat lost our sense of what it meant -- through the ages. Not a constant. What was thinking before electronics closed so many gaps? What was thinking before reading?

Wandering back around...

Keeping a large lawn watered is a chore, but humans have undertaken such duties long term and considered them a privilege to perform.  I'm thinking about servers again, and the spinning water wheels, the hydro-dams. When humans insist on sticking their nose in one another's business, is when many problems arise.  Yet closeness is a fact of life.

Sometimes we're not prying into others' business so much as shielding ourselves from becoming inundated in too many details about affairs we can do nothing about.  The marriage of focus and attention with what's necessary work would need to have divine grace behind it, or some other extra human principle, as we have no idea how to go about consciously designing a reality to work that way.

Probably there's a sense of keeping a safe distance from what might get ugly, that pervades many disciplines.  Altercations you don't want to have to witness tend to drive behavior.  The train wrecks may never happen, and perhaps our avoidance maneuvers were actually constructive?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Calling All Kantians

Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK Day (2018)

MLK

Apropos of MLK Day, I was much impressed by Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute, a study center and archive, as well as an excellent museum. I was impressed by "the ham" (Birmingham) over all, nice to be there for a few days.

Birmingham had some utopian aspirations and to some extent dreams came true, just we learn to take the future for granted, and what at one time might have been a stunning vision of a promised land, is just another day on Planet Earth:  great freeways sprawling every which way;  a proud university at the center of town; people from all walks of life expressing the human genome, without forced segregation; TrimTab beer.

The American Experiment, so-called, was a bold one: to forge a civilization from all the world's peoples.  E Pluribus Unum:  from plurality, unity.  The whole world came to know of this experiment and now we're all American in some sense, indivisibly planetary in our affairs and outlook.  People understand the ideals, even if skeptical personally, about their attainability or worthiness.

Some commentators brand so-called "globalism" as unAmerican, whereas in my view America was always about accepting our manifest destiny, as work-study student-faculty within a spherical Global U.  Our promised land, our Israel, is ball-shaped.  Lets accept what's self-evident, shall we?

Speaking of student-faculty, the scholarly Sam Lanahan came by this morning and gifted me with a really robust, top-ranked juicer, an appliance for turning fruits and vegetables into beverages.  I'm excited.  2018 is about focusing on health.

That's what we all need our freedom to focus upon.  Some of us don't have that privilege.  We're asked to sacrifice health for the greater good sometimes.

Design Science Revolution

Friday, January 12, 2018

Curating Credits


As a kid, one of my hobbies was using the parental tape recording unit to capture my favorite opening credit sequences on tape.  Cassette tape.

By "opening credit sequence" I mean where they get you with imagery, theme music, names of actors, directors, producers... all that.

I recognized the talent that goes into establishing the atmospherics for a program in but seconds.  In computer terms, we're talking about a boot loader, or a context switch.

Anyway, along those lines, I'd like to give my own award to WestWorld (HBO), for really fine stage setting.  The technology suggestion is way higher than we haves, and answers questions that might nag like:  can you do a human eye?

We can, say the credits, and so much more.  That's the premise, however fantastic.  Science fiction is characterized by wild sets of premises, is it not?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Codes of Conduct (again)


A lot of cultural misunderstanding persists, or shall we say culture clashes?

How could these women be against sexual harassment when dressing in a "provocative" fashion, the skeptics want to know.

The Pycon Code of Conduct is specific about discouraging "booth babes" (of whatever gender) from mixing technology with erotica.  One is expected to dress in a more demure manner, which is what makes a Pycon not a Comicon, wherein cosplay is encouraged.

The same conversation goes on at work.  What dress style is appropriate?  Most of us have never really lived in a democracy as that question was never put to a vote.  We're told, not asked.  The job comes with a uniform.

College students may perceive an ideal world wherein dressing is not a "code" such that what one wears may not be construed as "signalling" or "suggesting" anything in particular.  Garb is not for signifying.  The Portland State campus has been a site for Slutwalk, wherein speakers eloquently sketch their utopia, then parade in costume.

A lot of the misunderstanding traces to English and the locution "she made me feel..." meaning we're able to use the "victim tense" rather easily.  If a guy feels consumed by lust, it's her fault.  We call it the blame game.  "She made me do it".  Projection.

As a student of Peter Sloterdijk, I feel like saying the most we might hope for are spheres of agreement.  We'll give up on Pycon being like Comicon as we're free as individuals to attend one or the other, both or neither.  Not every domain need abide by the same rules.

Humans hunger to establish villages, manageable communities, wherein their sense of taste gets expressed.  Vindication and satisfaction is in the realization, or at least it was a worthy experiment.

The Design Science Revolution was about lowering barriers to entry such that more might afford their brand of theater.  Find your like-minded and try it out.  The technology is within range, even if the ideals turn out not to be.  Find that out.  Live your dream.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Geometry of Nature

So where were we, before I was so rudely interrupted by the reality of my mortality?

What gets under the skin of many professionals is that Synergetics dares to be polemical about topics no one usually gets polemical about, prompting by turns defensiveness or simply dismissal.

How dare Bucky assert he's giving us a "geometry of nature" that (A) is not what we're used to in schools and (B) does make some modicum of sense, meaning it's hard to dismiss as "simply crazy"?

As someone trained to read philosophy, I'm used to giving an author the floor and letting her or him construct a "private language" of sorts, meaning the author does some work to "draw us in" and make us privy to special meanings of this or that key term.

Synergetics started with a "deliberately remote vocabulary" but then, in Fuller's experience, over a lifetime, it seemed to be in a "merging traffic pattern" with what contemporaries were up to, in nearby namespaces.

No one specifically claims that the XYZ coordinate system is "the" geometry of nature.  We have many coordinate systems.  I introduce Quadray coordinates the same way, as just one coordinate system among many, one that uses 4-tuples instead of 3-tuples vis-a-vis 4 instead of 3 "basis vectors".

However, our culture does take for granted, without ongoing debate, that "space is three dimensional" because "height, width and depth" are represented by three mutually orthogonal sticks (the "jack").

Synergetics begins with the same "res extensa" -- a lump -- but doesn't claim to disintegrate it into conceptually separable aspects that could exist "independently".  Instead, height-width-depth is a single mutually co-dependent phenomenon, and its avatar, if symbolized as a polyhedron, is more economically represented by the tetrahedron, not the cube.

That's a different beginning, outside our culture, a different set of language games.  We're not accustomed to anyone "questioning authority" in quite this way.

Fuller had given up such lines of questioning and was doing his best to fit in, but tragedy and sorrow jarred him into reassessing whether he could afford to "fit in".  His life plan of the day was not working out.

The rest of us tend to be grateful that he re-committed to his intuitions as, even if we don't buy into Synergetics, we credit his inventiveness and positive futurism as a boon to society.

As a philosophy, Synergetics is committed to finding unity in complementary aspects, such as concavity versus convexity, tension versus compression, one could say two sides of the same coin.  Radiation and Gravity...

Again, with the Synergetics concept of Gravity, we're moving away from established usage patterns in the direction of logical coherence.

What holds a system together logically such that it continues to make sense to us?  A kind of connecting around in all directions.  There's a sense of containment, but then we also sense when "bubbles burst" meaning systems fly apart thanks to internal and external forces.

Radiation is divergence from a common center.  Gravity is convergence thanks to everyone holding hands and pulling together.

Thanks to the computer science notion of namespaces, we're able to relegate different usage patterns for such key terms, to their respective language games. There's not a requirement that we all be on the same page at all times.  Partially overlapping scenarios are both necessary and sufficient.