Monday, January 29, 2018

Saint Misbehavin' (movie review)


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)


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.