Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wanderers 2019.5.28

I'm filing this under Wanderers, however the weekly meeting at Linus Pauling House was short, as only three people showed, and quickly dispersed. I had intended to be on time, 7 PM sharp, but got caught up catching up on Brexit videos.  This Memorial Day weekend was simultaneously a big election time across Europe.

I joined two of the remaining Wanderers at a different location, where I learned about alloy-making and lathes, especially when used to make screws, or, more accurately, threads.  Barry is an accomplished machinist and blisses out using tools every day.  I should visit his maker space again sometime.

I've been taking in EU videos (a genre), thanks to Youtube.  Ted Turner's original vision for CNN included playing news shows from around the world.  In the era of broadcast and cable, you had expert editors connecting the dots for you.  What we have nowadays is video on demand, but it's not like we only get the raw intelligence.  Editors make Youtubes too, and help us weight whatever else we're watching.

Presumably, if we're responsive to feedback, some sort of gradient descent will occur.  I just slipped into machine learning language, but lets remember those "perceptrons" were designed to emulate us. Chelsea Manning would understand.

In contrast to Barry, whose dad was also a machinist, my experience with large metal-working machines is mostly janitorial.

One summer, I did cleanup around the various gigantic tools used to build a Tokamak fusion reactor prototype.  This was at the James Forrestal Campus off Route 1, near Princeton, where I lived at the time.  I mostly used compressed air, to blast metalic residue from hard-to-sweep places, and a squeeze bottle of soap and paper towels, to make the machines shiny.

What I notice from the EU videos is how so-called supranationals show up in debates as virtual nations. They may not have contiguous land masses, but they do have private control of many buildings and campuses, warehouses, docks, ships.

The psycho-sovereignties in question (mental complexes, outwardly expressed) feel they're getting locked into a larger military-industrial system. Locals feel they're either helpless victims (of more global forces) or are at least fighting, by organizing, to regain some control over the local situation.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Teaching Python with Codesters


I started my day doing a longer version of the above, but then realized I'd referred to the Peters Projection as a Phillips Projection throughout.

I didn't feel like patching it and started over, after doing my afternoon stint as a middle school teacher.

The content covered in that stint is what most of this video is about.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Anti BDS


Let's do CarrotMob instead!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Peace Program Meetup


By "Peace Program" I'm not referring to AFSC's, which closed shop in Portland awhile ago.  That particular 501(c)(3) has had to morph over the years.  I used to serve as one of those flown to Philadelphia every year, for the annual meeting.  In my case, the Yearly Meeting footed the bill, but in other cases, the Quaker delegates get reimbursed.

I'm referring, informally, to the Linus Pauling Center for Science, Peace and Health, on Hawthorne Boulevard, and the talks that it sometimes hosts.  Yes, ISEPP is another 501(c)(3) I've served with, my wife the bookkeeper before that.  A well-known and much beloved lecture series, organized and staged by Terry Bristol, funded by generous donors, kept Portlanders way more in the loop than one might presume, for an "out west" town.

Dr. Peter Bechtold is outside both those circuits (Quakers and ISEPP) yet he appears at the Linus Pauling House rather regularly to update us on what's going on in the world.  Oregon / Cascadia, in joining the Union, surrendered its foreign relations (one might call them) to those writing the official narrative of the country in the District of Columbia.

Peter knows officialdom quite well and is highly traveled.  He was showing a map of Libya when I walked in, then Sudan, then Iran.  He's been studying these places for decades, has briefed diplomats and two star generals.  He's been a fixture around the State Department, and later Portland State.

My closest connection to Portland State was through Dr. Charles Bolton, still active duty when I moved back to Portland in the 1980s, and lived in his basement.  He later became an emeritus and loved to overlook the Columbia Gorge from his two story "cabin" (small house), across from Hood River.

That was one of the best view properties to which I've ever had frequent access.  The deck of Don Wardwell's Meliptus scores highly as well, at the other extreme (right on the Columbia, versus high above looking down).

To summarize, Bechtold is frustrated by how our Lower48ers just don't have much sense of history, or geography (they go together) and that leaves them naively vulnerable to others' agendas.  I'd agree, but also point out that Lower48ers have abdicated responsibility (one could put it that way) by giving moneyed interests a simple API (as we geeks say) in the form of the USG control panel.

If you know how to pay to play, you'll get the USG to do some awesome things on your behalf.  Most Lower48ers wouldn't know where to begin in that regard.  It's not their game.  They get to watch on TV as spectators.

Case in point:  some "bitch boats" (paraphrasing candidate Gabbard), pimped out by the prez, are currently heading towards Persia for the express purpose of stirring up trouble.  The civilian bozos have war on their minds and hope to pin the Pentagon in some wrestling position, where lighting a fuse is the only way to save face.

Public opinion has to be properly prepped first.  Which takes us back to Dr. Bechtold's thesis:  that we're a nation ever willing to be hoodwinked.  Been then, we're completely out of the loop anyway.  Portlanders haven't favored any of the District's great adventures since and including the Vietnam experience.  This wasn't Nixon country.  We boasted moderate Republicans, perhaps a vanished species I don't know.

Of course I'm oversimplifying.  Oregon's rural areas have a different take on world affairs.  They don't get to go to ISEPP lectures, or talks like the one tonight, which is too bad.

We always thought radio and television would do a better job of turning the airwaves into more of a public university, but the licenses mostly went elsewhere.  Universities got a few low powered stations is all.  But of course now we have the internet, and new forms of curriculum sharing.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Recent Studies

Lila is crashed on the couch, napping, here on a visit.  She used to live here, with a different name.  The new name is part of her business persona, as a kind of yoga teacher.  I refer to as a religious studies major, which she is, in this recent story on Medium.

I'm hitting the limits of an older version of OS X, wondering if I really need the latest Homebrew in order to get the latest MySQL.

What will the newer version do that I need?  I'm just a code school type teacher these days.  For the kind of stuff I'm doing, the older version should be sufficient, if I need it at all.

Seeking relief from my upgrade woes, I went back into perusing Youtube.

I've got a Jerry Kroth video playing in the background, introducing his new book, about crop circles. 
Dr. Kroth,  Associate Professor Emeritus (UCSC) is not afraid to venture beyond the fringes of accepted and/or settled science.

He's into spinning some theories, asserting some of these patterns need to be decoded, as they allude the specialized science.  One of these patterns, he claims, is a diagram of Vitamin A.

Are the aliens trying to be helpful, drawing attention to Vitamin A deficiency around the world?

He just put the new Youtube up today, and the Youtube recommender flagged it, given I've watched his stuff before. 

This morning, as I fixed breakfast for Carol (recently turned 90), I took in a PBS documentary on Andrew Carnegie.  The movie explores his relationship with labor unions and workers more generally.  Lots of details, talking heads.

Connecting these dots a little more, Kroth is one of those in academia who looks into UFOs as well. He goes in the same Venn Diagram circle as Daniel Sheehan in that sense.  Dr. Sheehan has his "octave of world views" wherein we progress to encounters with alien intelligence.

That same Venn Diagram circle might encompass the Thrive subculture, led by Foster Gamble.