Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Staying Put

As it turns out, the weather was pretty normal, after the morning flurries.  But we didn't know that would happen waking up.  I woke up early, to an email from the auto mechanic very conveniently allowing me to reschedule.  Sure, why not?

I was up early because of time zones again.  Not the first time.  We in the on-line economy, when doing synchronous meetings, need to adjust for the global economy staying awake, somewhere, 24/7.  This was a follow-up appointment, having established the only remaining glitches were client-side.  This morning's meetup went off without a hitch.

However, with snow coming down, the street already white, I wasn't about to rush out to have my door lock inspected.  My car is a junker (meant affectionately, and not out of disrespect to a still strong engine) and shows wear and tear everywhere.  Remember Columbo with Peter Falk?  I think my car is nicer than his at least.

I'll be getting back around to that soon though.  To postpone owing to snow is not to neglect, at least not in Portland.  We're allowed to take snow days.  The district schools were all closed.

I had an assignment in a district school yesterday.  There's a lot bureaucratic going on, in addition to all the Python learning.  I sent a note to the parents, reminding them of what we're doing around Codesters, an adaptation of the Python language that runs well in the browser.  These are middle schoolers and I'm not expecting them to have the same wishes around how to spend time.

Deke told me yesterday was Personal Chef Day, and that I am for my mom.  She does a pretty routine diet, thanks to the "food is medicine" mantra, and her pills interact with all the rest of it.  That makes the work easier.  She's able to fend for herself to a point, if need be.  And she'll want you to know:  she's not the only one known to leave a burner on.

Have I talked about Tulsi Gabbard yet?  The candidate for US president.  I remember:  I started a draft on Medium, but don't regard it as pithy and probably won't publish it.

In general I think like an Atlantic Monthly of some months ago, that the job of POTUS has become too undoable, in terms of demands and responsibilities.  As a consequence, I'm finding myself not wishing that office on anyone, as too cruel and unusual.  Tulsi deserves better.

An emperor-president is too oxymoronic a notion, we've been finding that out more and more over time.  The screenwriting just isn't believable.  The illusions have worn too thin.

Political bubbles have popped before.  I'm not scapegoating here.  No one president has brought about this state of affairs and indeed many of fought it, in ways we don't (and probably won't ever) know about.

Speaking of the job of POTUS, the scandal lights were flashing big time today as the public learned more about the personal wheelings and dealings of their chief executive, from his former lawyer.

The broad outlines of the story have been public for months.  However, the full circus potential of the scandal had not been exploited, in the manner of the Kavanaugh hearings, until this morning.  I was blissfully oblivious, until my daily briefing from one of my TV hound friends.  I did some catching up later, having decided to stay put.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Journal Entry on Racism

Copied over from Facebook.
Activity log: 
Feb 24, 2019, 11:43 AM
(commenting in an already long thread)


We can celebrate the expressiveness and adaptability of the human genome without buying in to the specific taxonomy of races invented mostly by white supremacist social Darwinists with an agenda to justify imperialism and/or slavery.

The racists use animal husbandry for their concepts, wanting to identify humans as either "pure specimens" of this or that breed (race), or "mongrels" (hybrids, mixed race). We could go much further in this direction if we wanted, with "Best in Show" specimens of whatever pure breeds the authorities decided to enshrine, perhaps inventing new races as time goes on.

In the meantime, racists forge ahead without any universally agreed upon taxonomy. It all keeps changing, and "race" gets hopelessly confused with "ethnicity" which is different. It's not that I don't see genetic differences (and/or ethnic ones), I just have little respect for the pseudo-anthropology that pretends to see a clear and clean taxonomy. A lot of academic white guys with snobby attitudes want to tell me, another white guy, what the races are. Are there five or seven? What are they again?

Their answers always sound stupid to me, from pretentiously pseudo-educated college and university types with a cave man's understanding of the world. I can't credit racists with any kind of intellectual integrity. They're a morally bankrupt camp and yes a lot of them have white skin and academic degrees. I consider racists inferior, intellectually, in so many ways. To believe in races is an ethnic trait. Not everyone suffers from that specific meme virus.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Staggerers Party

The term "staggerers" jokingly derives from "wanderers", what we call ourselves, I think mostly for the wandering nature of our group meetups.  The conversation flits from topic to topic.

I'm not claiming we're unique like that.  When adults gather at dinner or cocktail parties, you note similar stream of consciousness chit chat.  We practice democracy in having inclusive conversations that give people frequent opportunities to change the subject if they wish to.

In other modes, we keep things more organized, even ritualized if in the realm of religion, legal rites.

Secular institutions are not without ritual.  But I wander.

"To stagger" in this context means to walk in a halting fashion, not gracefully.  However we're speaking metaphorically and just poking fun at ourselves.  I don't expect it's a term that will catch on.

I'm reminded of "Quakers" as by some accounts the term had the spin of a insult.  Without a time machine, it's no simple matter to recreate the psyche of a 1700s England.

Our youngest participant had suffered the most dire healthcare chapter lately, in terms of acuity. I remember my bout with appendicitis just out of college, staying with friends.

We gathered at my place, Carol gamely lurking in on the conversation, in the living room, where pizza was had.  We also have an upstairs.

You can see the place through my Oregon Curriculum Network website, where I use a Google Street View of it.  I think of myself as a for-profit business that funds a nonprofit, which is my work to uplift education practices in Oregon.  I'm far from being expert in all such practices.  I'm here to learn.

Speaking of learning, Don helped me tune in the Sallie Tisdale corpus.  I bought her book on female Buddhist personages, for Kindle.  That was but a couple hours ago and I haven't studied it yet.

David had a pinkish shirt with the NASA logo.  He used to work there.  I've got other blog posts about Dr. DiNucci.  Wanderers meet in the old Linus Pauling House in Asylum District.  I've been writing up many of the meetups in these blogs for over a decade by now.

Like what happens in many parties, gatherings, meetups, of an informal nature, if there's internet, speakers and screen, there's the possibility of dialing up (selecting) various video clips. 

The diner juke box is/was similar.  People take turns picking music. 

That's behavior that also traces to salons and parlors, developed as somewhat playful spaces by our Victorian ancestors.

Bob works as a nurse, these days on a night shift schedule.  He goes pretty far back in this blog, to an Esozone.  Don, a frequent visitor of Doug Strain, met Bob in his role as staff.  Bob is a jolly good fellow.

My curriculum was web based, not textbook based, and not behind paywalls.  As of this writing, a lot of my pioneering, such as my Numeracy Series, is still there.  However by the time you read this, a lot of that stuff may have gone off-line.  I haven't gotten to a place with Oregon where I think my domains will be long term relevant going forward.  Cyber-tourism is still in its infancy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Welcome, to Planet of the Apes

try it on x2 speed?

Per a recent blog post, one of the Fuller Schoolers sent me a link to the Gutenberg Press version of an H.G. Wells piece.  Wells was attending a conference in Washington, D.C. in 1918, a gala affair with opening speeches by President Harding, aimed at heading off any more world wars.

WW1 (as no one called it yet) had just ended.  Everyone was saying, how do we stop that from ever happening again?  Civilization was having a hard time recovering.  Wells wondered if the illness was terminal.

Our man on the scene, as if sent by time machine, does his best to raise the awareness level, as we might say today, and without any use of psychedelics (Doors to Perception, by Aldous Huxley, came decades later).

He's skeptical that even he, a well-anchored man, will be able to muster the necessary sobriety of spirit to help regain an even keel.  He notices he's too giddy, one might say hysterical.  He's like a doctor walking among patients in a psychiatric ward, except we've lost track of which are which. 

Russia has just saved France's butt against the Germans, and is now not invited to the table, because of those mean Bolsheviks.  Yes they were mean, as were the Zionists (Wells doesn't mention those).   Germany was to repay everyone.

The lessons learned were in meanness, and vengefulnes, for the most part.  Kids realize it's cruelty that counts, which becomes like their rite of passage to the despair of adulthood.  We won't get bullied again.  Next time, it's our turn to be the bully.

And what about Japan, with its population pressures?  Could it really afford to give up its designs on China, and would it, if no one else did?  H.G. Wells was thinking out loud (not unlike Bucky -- the two did meet, in another chapter).

We've already been through many generations of European imperialism and colonialism by this time, one could say back through Rome.  Like Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, Wells is far from infatuated with imperialism.

In bringing up all these questions as a journalist, Wells was hoping to inspire deeper thought and more appropriate action on the part of his fellow planetarians.  He was doing the world a service, in sketching himself, the paradigm Englishman, in contrast to these impetuous Americans, and easy-to-get-along-with Chinese.

He's taking risks, as well as helping to define his own character.

I'm not through the whole work yet.  I saw the name "Briand" popping up here and there, and started wondering about "Kellog" as in "Kellog-Briand Pact".

Would that Treaty be the outcome of this Washington based process work?

Not immediately, for sure.

That Treaty wasn't signed until 1928, and proved unenforceable against the warmongers (see embedded Youtube).

When you get right down to it, the people who specialize in implements of torture and coercion, get to have their way quite a bit.

We all live daily under the threat of nuclear annihilation, and will tend to obey that within ourselves that would put off that terrible conflagration.

Naturally there's push back against the warmongers, many of whom have already invested in reinforced bunkers.  The warmongers crave some proof they were right to be prepared, and stoke the self-fulfilling prophecy machine (the same siren songs, over and over).

As Wonder Woman would learn in Humans 101, a demonic force is hiding behind humanity, a Lucifer (they used a different name), determined to make this place a living Hell.

Humanity sorely needs true defenders, and some pray for help from ETs.  I understand why a deus ex machina might have some appeal around now.  We have this sense of needing rescuing.

Where's a mother ship when you need one?  Beam me up Scotty.

In the words of one of my favorite Martians:
In his preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air, Wells had stated that his epitaph should be: 
"I told you so. You damned fools".

-- Wikipedia

Monday, February 18, 2019

Scary Roads


Reminds me of Bhutan. Druk-yul.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019