Friday, December 29, 2006


Michael Hagmeier and I ended up rejoining a Thursday night drinking crew, one or two other Wanderers already there. Many views were floated, such as that Spike Lee became a much stronger director when he started collaborating with Martin Scorsese (this from Fred, our resident jarhead). Apropos of that Lew wanted to be sure Fred saw Bamboozled, and rented it on the spot from nearby Trilogy.

This morning I'm thinking about Saddam, in many ways the henchman of Americans, doing their dirty work, as a commie slayer, then as an Iran balancer. He got a lot of cues from State types, then overstepped, overestimating his clout in DC. The DC management teams turned on him and fought him in two wars, in both cases unfair fights, but war is never about being fair.

The trial was a part of the war, and hence unfair. Killing him by hanging, if it happens, won't be fair either. He was a product of his times, and his level of brutality was about par for the course. His counterparts outside Iraq were no less cut throat.

Wars often begin in disgrace. There's a kind of faux heroism that's all about compensating for a deep seated unfaced fear. Then there's honest to goodness heroism, which you find in soldiers absolutely, but not just in soldiers. War needs both kinds of characters. We celebrate the heros, but we learn as much about the characters of villains. The Gulf Wars will give future historians lots of raw material. Don't expect these stories to all be resolved in your lifetime (talking to myself here as well).

Lew and I both appreciate Tom Robbins novels, and he's eagerly anticipating a new one. I carry this one Robbins metaphor around in my head, just to give the flavor of his exotic style: "a smile flickered to her lips, like a seagull flying out of a bowl of tomato soup." Lew loved it, wrote it down.

Fred remembers his grandfather's story about getting kicked around by cops, his money taken, back in 1939, when he was out after curfew. Who knew at the time, that years later, the grandson, like Lew a descendent of North Americans' slaves, would be a developer of the very street corner where that happened, in cahoots with Korean and Jewish partners.

Also present at the meeting: Fred's and Lew's high school classmate, a Cambodian, who'd impressed them all by showing up sans any English skills, and morphing into an American, even making it look easy. Fred said witnessing that transformation put a whole new spin on what being human made possible.

:: mh @ 49 ::

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Study Center

Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (Ohio). The gold painted geodesic dome was crane-lifted over the older one in 2004 (story).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Action Figure

photo by Tara, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paramilitary garb: refurbished leather jacket (gift from G. Stockton), faded Oregon Zoo tiger T-shirt, Army surplus wool trousers. Quaker inside.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

American Dad (plot synopsis)

In tonight's new episode of American Dad, our CIA guy protagonist behaves in scroogey fashion, throwing the family Christmas tree out the living room window, in frustration over how shopping mall personnel say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," thereby ruining America.

He blames Jane Fonda aka "Hanoi Jane" for this lefty liberal state of affairs, so when a Ghost of Christmas Past (the Tooth Fairy in a new job) takes him back to his 1970s boyhood, he resolves to shoot Jane, then filming Klute (1971), only to discover that costar Donald Sutherland is the real culprit, having politicized her with a lot of vile schmooze.

The tooth fairy and Mrs. Dad (Francine) intervene before Stan can shoot Sutherland, but upon returning to the present find America is now under the Russian boot, Mondale having caved to the Soviets upon winning against Reagan in 1984, and all because Hinkley failed to see Taxi Driver (1976), develop a crush on Jodie, and attempt to assassinate the commander in chief, thereby improving the latter's poll numbers and ensuring his re-election.

So why did Hinkley not see Taxi Driver? Because the American Dad, while stalking Fonda, had talked movie director Martin Scorsese out of a drug habit during a random men's room encounter, thereby altering Martin's future career, such that this movie never got made.

Realizing he has unwittingly destroyed America, our protagonist ventures back into the past to make Taxi Driver himself, this time starring John Wayne. The movie bombs, Hinkley is unimpressed, and so our reluctant American Dad has to wound Reagan himself, to save America. This scheme succeeds, plus he doesn't shoot Brady, so no Brady Bill passes making it so much easier to buy a handgun in the present (our man Stan is exultant).

There's also a subplot wherein Roger, the noseless ET and future family member, finds a tape of disco hits (1974-1980) that had fallen from Stan's pocket in 1970, during his first time travel foray. The ET thereby "invents" disco and becomes a millionaire, then suffers financial ruin when disco crashes overnight -- which is why he's morose in the final scene, drinking Jack Daniels.

This quick recap of recent American history, piped directly into the brains of impressionable teenagers, helped bring them up to speed on some of the back stories behind today's shared culture. Thanks to creative screenwriters and the Fox Network, more kids now have a stronger grip on what's been going on around here of late.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Café Philosophique

coffee shop data
(click for larger view)
Nirel is flying up to Seattle to talk business with potential backers today, regarding her coffee shop dream. That's got me thinking. Here I am, in a coffee shop, using free wireless, sipping an egg nog latte, conversing with other people in chairs. What educational services might we provide to folks in such circumstances? My mind wandered, resulting in this piece at the Math Forum: Coffee Shop Math.

The flatscreen on a pillar, at the corner of the coffee bar, is partly to blame for my reverie. One widget I don't mention in my essay: the Cost of the War in Iraq ticker, somewhere around $350.148 billion, racking up hundreds of thousands between sips.

I'll snap a photo of this flatscreen display for later inclusion in this post.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More OnLine CV

I haven't read nearly enough Marx or spin-off Marxism to consider myself a Marxist, or Leninist either.

As a kid, I was more a Freudian-turned-Jungian, then got into Ernest Becker (into Otto Rank) and Norman O. Brown. I read (and really enjoyed) Potok's The Chosen in there somewhere, some Martin Buber (including some of Kaufmann's translations), but can't really advertise as a Jewish intellectual either, unorthodox or otherwise. Studied Hegel way more than Heidegger, got a big dose of post WWI existentialism in high school (IS in the Philippines, with some really great pinoy teachers).

I just don't have the credentials to hang a shingle in most walks of life -- can't do heart surgery either. On the other hand, via the Bucky stuff, other philosophy I've trained in, I am able to find bridges here and there, which help me communicate with counterparts in other traditions.

As I've footnoted elsewhere, the name Urner is Swiss, and I'm proud of that heritage as well, sometimes milk it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The New World (movie review)

I thought this film was somewhat boldly experimental, mixing an apparently big budget commitment to sets (the extravaganza genre), and a more interiorized soundtrack, focusing on the mixed thoughts and emotions of the principals (the intimate stage play genre). There's remarkably little outward speaking, and not just because of the language barrier, which is slowly overcome.

Another liberty taken by this film is it doesn't insist that you hate any vertex in this love triangle: two Englishmen and a Natural woman (they call 'em Naturals in the script -- I had a hard time deciphering a lot of the verbiage). All hail from strict societies, so the possibility of simply eloping and moving to Arizona or whatever remains remote. The navam princess and captain guy are both hamstrung with prior commitments, encumbered with strings to family, tribe and king.

Our princess goes through the longest and deepest journey I'd say, though her first boyfriend has steely adventures off camera to which we're not privy. Her second boyfriend is not a disappointment in the end (they launch a new life together), proving that true love has its sequels. But in another sense, the original two lovers died in the forest, their longer term happiness together simply not in the cards, and when they meet once again in some English garden, it's already the afterlife for both of them, surreal in its continuity amidst the discontinuity each has experienced.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Another Day in Rose City

Gene Lehman died last night, peacefully, having come home from the hospital with that purpose in mind. Don, his long time friend, stopped by earlier for a good visit. I'd planned to swing by maybe this morning. I've got some candles going. Gene was a strong writer in the Catholic tradition, self-published a journal called LUNO. I offer my condolances and sincere sympathies to his wife and family.

Dawn and I went shopping for winter clothing, anticipating it'll be colder in New Mexico than here. Tara is at an athletic club elsewhere in the city. Quiet Saturdays are the best.

We enjoy spotting the new bubble-like cable cars, Made in Switzerland, and still undergoing testing. I speculated to Tara and Rose that maybe some future James Bond movie'd feature 'em, though we wouldn't really make one fall onto a speeding truck on I-5 -- that'd be one for the special effects department.

And speaking of Switzerland, mom reports her misplaced laptop was located and is presumably in transit. We shall see. I'm less skeptical than before. Followup December 12: she received it by courier to her door at 2:30 AM this morning. I'm impressed.

This evening: fine conversation at the corner Peet's with Nancy Scharbach of Mt. Angel, Johnny Stallings the actor, and Nick Consoletti, world game bard and/or busker. Walt Whitman was among those featuring in our chatter.

:: johnny & nancy ::

Friday, December 08, 2006

Special Effects

:: billboard on Hawthorne ::

:: remembering Thanksgiving ::

pix by K. Urner
Olympus Stylus 720 SW
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back on Belmont

Trevor and I stumbled into this new kind of coffee shop on Belmont this afternoon. No cream or sugar, each cup ground separately, with a lot of attention to precisely which bean. I mentioned liking a Trader Joe's brand from Yemen.

The proprietor said some infrastructure failure, more so than bad weather, argued against importing from Yemen this year, but he often featured African and Mesopotamian samples. I didn't see Celebes Indonesian either, but I can get that from Coffee Merchant on Hawthorne.

Anyway, the point is to have a few good ones, not to try being some Small World After All everyone to everybody.

Then I spilled an OSCON bag load of MITEs (x2 quantity Cube-Its!), and we played around with 'em, while discussing various subjects.

I mentioned working on a Math Wars editorial (now finished), other projects.

Trevor'd been reading up on parasites, told the story of this village of die-hards in Africa, determined to protect their sacred lake from the toxins that'd wipe out last vestiges of Guinea Worm disease. It's a tough call, prime directive wise, whether to interfere over ethnic resistence from elders. I suggested a long-running quarantine and/or a mandatory border health screening might've been the way to go, as in "OK, keep your stupid lake infestation, but don't venture to spread your disease beyond your own local neighborhood" (shades of Invasion).

My policy might not 've been practical though. I know better than to take my armchair generalizing too seriously. I have to respect what people on the ground think. Trevor thought maybe just telling 'em about a dead dog, versus actually using one, woulda been a better way.

The stranger to my right, working a laptop, was only half listening, talking to his chum, but chimed in now and then with allusions and references, including this blogged picture of Pecan Pie from Make:.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Today's Highlights

Re getting more mathcasts on Youtube and elsewhere:
I, on the other hand, have direct and immediate needs, given my sub- and/or counter-culture doesn't get much of a footprint in K12, thanks to a closed minded math teaching ethnicity.

I need vidclips communicating the angle/frequency distinction (4D vs 4D++), A & B mods assembling polyhedra with specific ratios, vector arithmetic, Couplers, Fuller Map unfoldings, global data within hexapent overlays, octahedron-tetrahedron space fills as used in architecture and crystallography, geodesic spheres (and domes), sphere packing arrangements, figurate and polyhedral numbers, concentric hierarchy of polys, T & E mods, Euler's Law for Polyhedra, Descartes' Deficit and so on. The stuff of basic numeracy in other words. [1]
Re vouchers (i.e. using taxes to support private sectarian religious schools):
Where I see vouchers I'd hope to also see a massive tax revolt, as patriotic Americans protested the misuse of the state's power to tax on behalf of religious and other private sectarian institutions. Paying taxes to such a regime would go against everything in our founding documents. Such a regime would be treasonous by definition and should not be permitted to use any of the signs and seals of the United States of America. [2]
Then there's this gem from Al Jazeera:
For his part, al-Maliki denied that Iran had any influence over Iraq or any part of the embattled capital Baghdad.

He also said Iraq will never allow any foreign control of his war-wracked country. "We have repeatedly said, and we reaffirm once more, that we will never allow anyone to control any part of Iraq," al-Maliki said, when asked about alleged Iranian interference in Iraq.

"There are [foreign] interferences but any talk about [foreign] control is exaggerated."
I'm sure intelligent readers won't miss the irony in having this be about Iran, given which country is currently rolling tanks through the streets of Baghdad.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Seattle Center, Early 21st Century

We had lunch in the Seattle Center's Center House, according to local mythology the original indoor food court, then copied to all the big malls (Seattle's Northgate serving as a "big mall" prototype, as did Portland's Lloyd Center).

Dawn had a berry smoothie, which Tara and I shared, along with our pizza slices and bread sticks.

The Koreans held center stage, providing dances to music, with lots of young Seattleites in on the act.

Nearer the entrance: a large scale model railroad set in some idyllic Norman Rockwell style urbia, closer to the Horseless Carriage Era (which we're still very much in, but no one calls 'em that anymore).

I keep thinking the Bubbleator started its career in this building, but it's the other way around: it moved to Center House after KeyArena was remodeled into a sports stadium.

I just ran a fact check on the Bubbleator's story over the web, a 21st Century asset hard to foresee as recently as 1962 (when the Seattle World's Fair opened, myself a visitor at age 4), although Vannevar Bush aimed pretty well in his 1945 MEMEX prophecy, As We May Think.

Anyway, we rode an ordinary elevator to find free eating tables on the 2nd floor, one up from the crowded Food Circus. Families were pushing giant chess pieces in the alcove next to ours, while strange-talkin' vets with laptops availed themselves of free wireless.

We chose Center House after discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls were booked until evening, and figuring we didn't have time for the whole science museum. Some Food Circus food, and a quick tour of the Space Needle satisfied our craving for some Seattle high culture, having already seen Bodies on the trip north, plus we'd stopped at Math n' Stuff earlier that morning.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Learning the Ropes

I'm in the role of city slicker, learning about life on the farm. Today was Electric Fences 101.

The fibers are mostly nonconductive, but with a few strands of metal woven in, as a part of the spiralling.

A strongly biased circuit gets shorted to ground by extraneous foliage, triggering arcs across gaps, as electrons rush to fill the void. Such shorts waste calories, plus add annoying ticks to the TV.

The horses, stubborn pony or whatever, will presumably wise up after testing their freedoms (perhaps a simple sniff communicates the presence of high voltage), but foliage doesn't revector itself so easily in response to the threat of shocks, isn't really the intended target of this fencing.

So after Élise stretched some new line, Les went around with the pruning shears, redefining the intended circuit.

Many farm engineers cut away all foliage to at least four feet on either side, but here they allow fencing to plunge through some smallish thickets, in keeping with the "less manicured" look, closer to wilderness perhaps, but still quite usable by the so-called civilized.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ritual Meal Prep

stokin' the smoker
wrappin' in foil

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Flushed Away (movie review)

Being an Oregonian, I especially loved the slugs (our state bird ya know).

The animation technique pays homage to claymation ala Wallace and Gromit.

London sets the stage for exaggerated class differences, with the Kensington Rat (Tony Blair type) finding his familial roots in the sewer (sexy girl rat).

As Dawn commented, you need to be up on your movie allusions to fully track some of the humor.

For example, the "daddy, I want a pony" meme is something of a joke around our house, ever since the Willy Wonka makeover (Johnny Depp & Co.). That meme pops up here with a vengeance at one point, as we satirize the villain, a Toad of Toad Hall type, and his spawn.

The behind-the-scenes puppet master toad is stereotypically driven by some crackpot scheme for world domination, which all too predictably includes "ethnic cleansing" in some dimension (i.e. let's get rid of the sewer rats).

Everyone wants to deprive the UK of its native street smarts it seems, including the French (the mime frog was a nice touch).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ethnic Diversity

:: recruiting in Jersey City ::

:: recruiting in Portland ::

Friday, November 17, 2006

About Secularism

I believe there's been some confusion about the Great Seal and its significance. Some people think "seclorum" means "secular" as in "new secular order", which is wrong. "Seclorum" means "of the ages" or thereabouts.

A theologian might say "that's what I meant: temporal, i.e. fallen from God's grace" presuming God has a hate feeling for Time or vice versa. But in my judgment that's wrong too.

I see it more as a Tower of Babel relationship: as you get higher in your Pyramid, you get greater overview, sure, but you're also more alone in your angle on things. As we Quakers say, communing with God is not about getting everyone else to think the way you do. You individualize or individuate as the Jungians put it. Don't expect to sound just like everyone else when you do this.

So my translation of "secular" is more like "friendly to individuals" which might mean "characters" i.e. these one-of-a-kind, unique specimens. By definition, we're not all on the same page.

But that hatred of "different" is refreshingly absent, and that's what I'm getting at. The Great Seal is a promise, of acceptance, of many religions, many creeds and philosophies, many ethnicities. The Statue of Liberty is in keeping with this message.

You the Individual have this special privilege of ascending this Pyramid to achieve greater overview. We enshrine that viewpoint as a Presidency, in our temporal model of intelligent government.

But it's really each of us with this power to internalize a virtual president, as long as we don't expect to become tyrants at the top (as if that'd make any sense to anyone).

:: the great seal ::

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Synergeo 30549

L11383.wrl by Jim Lehman
viewed with Cortona VRML viewer by Parallel Graphics
in Mozilla FireFox on Windows XP
(click for larger view)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Borat (movie review)

Borat is something like Candid Camera meets All in the Family on steroids, with bigotry, other shocking attitudes and behaviors, on parade at every turn, amidst a lot of inspired clowning.

The question is: how candid is this camera, which can't be hidden, given the angles, but still pretends it isn't there?

The film pokes fun at this news reel and documentary motif, by making Borat's traveling companion a camera shy TV producer. When the two have a falling out and the producer absconds with the bear (a long story), Borat is "all alone" (but how can that be?).

The camera is strongly an omniobjective third person, and yet Borat talks to it, confides to it.

The candidness of those playing themselves in this film is what makes it so comical, so if The Making of Borat on the DVD discloses lots or rehearsing and/or retakes, that'll detract from the sense of spontaneity and improv, by turning "real people" into comic actors (like Borat himself, a top ranking professional clown).

Our sense of it, in the audience, is that the Borat plus cameraman combo, with lurking producer, must come across as believable to these North Americans, who see themselves as if on TV anyway, from having watched it so much. So their unselfconscious on-camera behavior does come across as completely candid, especially on that TV studio set, where the talent is quite used to living on screen.

In disrupting the weather report, Borat exposes the invisible rules by breaking them. The weather guy finds this irrepressibly funny, in keeping with the overall tone and technique of this film.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Back to the Silicon Forest

:: bud's house ::
I'm high tailing it back to the stormy Pacific Northwest, having chauffered family to/from Bud's southeast of Orlando, leaving Dawn, Tara and Alexia to enjoy a couple more days of fun in the sun. I have a class to teach tomorrow morning, part four of a five part Pythonic Mathematics for Saturday Academy, so no Shamu for me this trip. S'OK.

Bud, aka Arthur Dix, contracted polio while in the military, made captain in the Civil Air Patrol in the 1940s, then made a career with Eastern Airlines in operations. Bud married Dawn's mom Glenys after she divorced Don and moved with her kids, Dawn and Sam, to Satellite Beach. Carla, the youngest, stayed with her dad.

They started building a new house together, which was left partially unfinished after Glenys died unexpectedly from what should have been a routine hospital procedure. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of her death.

Bud has two loving daughters by a previous marriage who live nearby and help him with the complications of old age. We all gathered for take out pizza last night.

My thanks to Continental Airlines, Alamo, UPS and Providence Home Services for helping to make this trip possible.

:: impala ::

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Election Day News

Bad news was the blaze in Orlando, killing two pythons and a gator. I've got Orlando in my headlights these days, of course hoping for zero road kill (sometimes weird stuff tries to cross the road in the dark around there).

Some New York Times editorial, Russian Maneuvers, American Incoherence by one John Vinocur, suggests Russia is the baddie again, trying to be soft on Iranian vaporware plus doing evil things around energy:
Senator John McCain, a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2008, wanted America to boycott last summer's G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg because it legitimized Russia's course away from democracy and its threats to halt energy supplies to countries like Ukraine.
Politicians need ways to strike manly poses I suppose, and I'm betting the Russians'll put up with it -- it's not like they're new to such fun and games.

I bought some new shoes, laceless, checked off a few other "to doozies" (sounds like what Simpsons' Flanders might do).

Although I'd planned to move Portland Knowledge Lab, unless liberated from pay wifi by now, I didn't have time to do more than speak with management about the issue -- and pay another month. I've got too much on my plate to undertake the hassle of relocating just now.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Monster House (movie review)

Starting with a falling leaf is a tribute to other films (Forrest Gump certainly, and I think A Bug's Life as well), plus establishes a bench mark, giving the flavor of the animation to come, in this case very competent.

The little girl on the tricycle establishes the humor level (quite high), and the preoccupied parents, plus baby sitter with boy friend, establishes our young hero's level of alienation from, and oppression by, his elders (also quite significant).

The plot is about an intergenerational bridge developing between someone just starting to connect with the opposite sex, and a more "been there done that" late in life guy haunted by past decisions. The older man is not entirely dead to this life, is just living a nightmare, brought about by his own sense of dedication to a lost cause.

The oldster, we discover, was trying to save a damsel in distress, but she was just too scarred by the teasing and cruelty of her own circus scenario, and she lashes out to her own detriment, resulting in her downfall and trapped "house wife" existence.

The old man is weighed down by the burden of his failed rescue attempt, and eyes all children with hatred and suspicion as the cause of his suffering, finding out only towards the end that they're actually a liberating influence.

Chowder is the brilliant Stand By Me dufus and sidekick who likewise overcomes obstacles, displays courage and loyalty, plus improved motor coordination, and therefore likewise matures through the arc of this film (albiet along a more comical trajectory).

And yet our ghost busting threesome are still children in the end, as are on some level the cops who came after them (but who were insufficiently believing in the reality of the dark side).

Having a girl on the team, likewise brilliantly played as stereotypically more adult-like than her peers, proves highly motivational to both boys. That crack about the uvula was hysterical.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Domestic Scenes

Tara spends a lot of time plotting to score an Aibo (discontinued collectors' item by Sony), has money saved and keeps watching the boards.

She bristles if challenged her robopet fixation entails turning away from biopets (Sarah-the-dog looking soulful), pointing out it's an AND not an OR proposition, plus they're really quite different types of object under the hood.

She's struggling with self-images about being spoiled ("Daddy, I want a pony" syndrome in Willy Wonka), knowing how many kids wake up to a day of scrounging through garbage, looking for a next meal.

But we both know appropriate and intelligent use of high tech, including robotic, might help mitigate these breakdowns in our Global U.

Dawn's physical issue today was hand pain and numbness stemming from her life extension regimen. We're gonna play around with an over the counter Costco solution, see if that works.

More metaphysically, she's whipping through novels at a mile a minute. This last one was about some future female DL (Dalai Lama) imprisoned in some tower, but this Shrekie like guy masters the art of mind-body exchange and saves her (I forget what happens to him at this point, plus I'm no doubt garbling it -- some nutty professor of Tibetan Studies came up with this one).

Did I mention liking The Iron Bridge, also science fiction? There're some Quakers in that one.

Alexia reports that Motorola Razrs, stylish for sure, suffer among the highest rates of heads breaking off, other annoyances (she's co-managing in a tech support bunker for a variety of cell model customers). Maybe these problems 've been fixed, I dunno (I've got a Motorola, true, but couldn't justify shelling out for such Tom Cruisey glamour (it'd be kinda unQuakerly, what with our simplicity testimony 'n all (on the other hand, if there were indispensible features...))).

I need a haircut myself. I look too much like Jack Nicholson in Anger Management (that look works for him, but I shouldn't be a copycat). Or maybe I'm that Back to the Future guy (no, not the handsome one, the mad hatter).

Tara is also ploughing through y'r standard elementary school Western Civ sequence, which lionizes the Greeks for their mental achievements, after which it's pretty much downhill until we get to Machine World and modern man.

Not much about Phoenicians, per usual, an ocean-based Kingdom (these tend to escape focus in landlubber accounts). Yes, the big-I Imperialists wasted Carthage, have been at it ever since pretty much (Bucky's "horse-mounted bullies" in Critical Path).

Carol is pin-balling around the US, soon to Geneva, having taught a mini-course at Earlham in Indiana (a Quaker hangout) and attended an executive board meeting of AFSC in Philly (she just called me from there). We'll be shipping some of her worldly goods back to the LA area as a part of her annual winged migration to/from sunnier climes.

Today is Saturday, so I'm putting on my school teacher hat. Last night I published another piece of curriculum writing about the kind of math teaching I'm into c/o math-teach @ Math Forum. I'm more in a reality TV mode than Numb3rs, which I explained to Tara is highly fictionalized (which is true of most cop shows).

Monday, October 30, 2006

Scrapbook Memories

:: dawn's scrapbook in progress ::

:: pentahead and punxsutawney ::

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Whiteboard Doodles

the birth of linux
A student wanted to know if Python might be used to write an operating system and, if so, what we'd use to compile it -- a kind of chicken & egg question (aside from Python not being a system language at this point).

Above you'll see my outline of a response, the real world story of how our operating system Linux (one of several) was compiled using Stallman's GNU project's capable and free gcc.

The rest of the doodling has to do with Vpython's cylinder syntax, which aims a vector from a pos in the direction of an axis. I'd thrown out the challenge to draw a tetrahedron, starting with a "make hundreds of randomly generated balls" script for clues.

accessing toyz
Chronologically earlier in this talk, but easily inserted later, was this overview of Python talking to graphical widgets libraries to get its windows, mouse-pressable buttons and whatnot, called "widgets" in the trade.

IDLE, our out-of-the-box offering, relies on Tk for widgets, via the Python module Tkinter.

Other shells such as PyCrust pull from wxWidgets, a C++ library accessed from Python through the module wxPython.

But keep in mind that other languages bind to these same libraries, explaining what Ruby and Perl are doing in the picture.

The blue snake icon is about "__rib__ syntax," my shorthand for Python's special name methods (e.g. __add__, __call__), which look like ribs, and snakes have lots of ribs -- a good mnemonic that helps with writing one's first classes (we did Dog and Mammal), and needing to define __init__(self).

Below that, I'm polling the class with my "simplest polyhedron?" question, getting back "three sided pyramid" and "sphere" (both good answers, though I define the latter away). Mathematicians call it a Simplex, in honor of its simplicity.

However, connecting any four randomly generated balls with six edges isn't as easy as feeding startpoint, endpoint pairs to visual.cylinder. Next week, we'll take a more formalized detour into vector arithmetic within Vpython, plus introduce some wrapper classes.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

In Favor of School Choice

I think it's definitely valid to demand choice, and a public school system is remiss if it doesn't offer much.

For example, a city the size of Portland, where I live, should have ample public schooling on the same-sex model, meaning all girls or all boys -- not exclusively, but in addition to the "more normal" (by today's standards) coed kindergarten through high schools. Based on recent government reports, I'm thinking that's actually a likely prospect.

But that's not imaginative enough. We could have public system alternatives that are radically different from the norm, to make diversity even more real. For example, what gets taught in the vicinity of tribal sovereignties aka Indian Reservations? Why shouldn't that content be altered to include optional flatscreen based math from Python Nation? That'd be a new choice for deserving, patient Americans.

Plus other public schools could subscribe as well (given we're talking cyber-assets a lot of the time, meaning duplication costs are quasi zero, and Uncle Sam likes being thrifty when the economy allows it -- this appeals to fiscal conservatives especially).

I'd prefer to see radical diversity within the public system, offered to satisfy the legitimate demand for choice, than see taxes leaking away willy-nilly, to private schools which might not have the same level of commitment to keeping the USA active and healthy over the long haul. When citizens pay taxes, it's to make our nation great, not to aid and abet raiders and looters of its treasures.

Originally published to the Math Forum.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random Thoughts

Yes, today's high frame rate video games -- a different challenge than rendering (used in hidef cartoons) -- if T-rated, may well contain violence far above what I recall CBS decrying back in the early days of rasterized V-games.

However, if meant to stay a cartoon, wrapped in a sports ethic, forbidding of animal cruelty, then we keep the psychological elements we associate with pro ball, other high stakes sports.

We like and willingly pay for this drama, and tolerate the trade off between risk and sports injury to our egos. Even less physical injury occurs among geeks, unless we count thumb sprains.

As an alternative to war, I think violent video games do have a bright future. Hence the bumper sticker: Quakers play Quake.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just for the Hard Fun of It

Now that we've let go of the math teaching cadre, when it comes to new curriculum writing, at least in a few flagship schools, at least on the drawing board, it's easier to see where we went wrong with those losers.

In English and Music, we don't say "a student should never read Shakespeare until she or he might write at that level, nor listen to Bach until he or she might sit at a piano and play like PDQ."

Yet those poor math students were shackled with this "math as a vocational subject" philosophy (hardly ever explicit), that forced one to sit through hours and hours of tedious exercises before they let one in on any secrets worth knowing.

Hardly any previewing occured. It was all "math in the rear view mirror" with a promise (often hollow) of major revelations just around the corner.

"No 'higher math' until you can do it yourself -- and that'll take years and years" was the silly premise.

Imagine if we taught English that way. It'd be laughable, a joke.

Yet that's exactly how they taught it, for the most part -- minus any really appreciative or interpretive gloss on stuff too advanced to just sit down and do, but otherwise quite accessible.

You don't have to be a circus performer to appreciate a good circus. You don't have to be a calculus whiz to get hip to a lot of what the calculus is all about, maybe starting with the ancient Greeks, not just Newton and Leibniz (the more parochial approach).

The traditionalists were just as bad. You had to follow in lockstep, with no fractals until you could do them -- and since computers were verbotten in traditionalist classrooms, that meant like never (doing fractals by hand was just a joyless waste of time, believe you me).

Another consequence of this latent vocationalism was students were only allowed to "solve problems." They were almost never invited to "just do something interesting" with their growing set of tools. Yet just playing with polyhedra is a way to exercise one's vector arithmetic abilities.

"Problem, what problem? We do math just for the hard fun of it." This attitude was practically unheard of back then. They preferred to keep you inundated with busy work, pseudo problems -- less fun than even puzzles or games.

The constructivists were a little better here, but still, very little appreciation for art or architecture, and the role of geometry through the ages, was manifest in their curricula.

History was suppressed, art was suppressed.

It was all about "weed and feed" i.e. kill off all but the die-hards, who'll be your next generation of hair-shirt killjoy.

Make them be problem-solver good doobies, never the more explorational question authority types, such as we breed in the humanities.

Math teachers worked for slave ship owners, not for freedom-loving krews.

So it's a good thing that's all so over and done with, at least in some of our better flagship USA schools.

Copyleft by Kirby Urner, Oregon Curriculum Network, feel free to republish with attribution, edit only to fix typos.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Playing with Blocks

David Koski's dissection of a cube
into phi-scaled T-mods + remainder tets
David brought some cardboard models along for the Portland Knowledge Lab to play with, including his dissection of the cube into blue, yellow and green T-mods, plus a few remainder tets.

Scale any T-mod's edges by phi (about 1.618) to get the next larger size, or by 1/phi (about .618) to get the next smaller size. Volume changes as a third power of the scale factor, surface area as a second power.

The remainder tet is what's left when you build a T-mod recursively from phi-scaled smaller versions of itself. The T-mod is 1/120th of a rhombic triacontahedron.

Note on nomenclature: the E-mod has the same angles (shape) as the T-mod in Synergetics, but a different surface:volume ratio as it's slightly bigger. The T-mod has the same volume as the A- and B-mods in Fuller's concentric hierarchy (1/24). David does not feel bound to use this accounting system however.

a PKL tableau
From PKL we walked to nearby Lucky Lab for brews then headed back to Meliptus for a higher tide experience, which included an interesting tour of George's decommissioned army tug boat (George, a WWII pilot, is 81 and lives on this tug).

David and George discuss
mechanical matters
aboard George's tug
New Era

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Ah yes, Urban Dictionary to the rescue re "wuh" (plus cite "at wuh dumb" as a reminder, to not be).

Above is what Koski just sent me, as part of an album he's compiling, of wuh-dumb soccerballs, thrown together by merchants & cartoonists who never learned about hexapents -- OK let's not all finger-point at the same time.

Kirby to Pam (from earlier today, spelling fixed):
But hey, it's a complicated challenge. Kids are drilled into thinking very qyoobishly very early, then grow up to drill their kids the same way, and so on down the line. How does one break in to something like that?

For sure you'll come off as disruptive -- yet the more global goal for the Global U is a smooth transition, not another blood 'n guts horror show (why can't we just upgrade for a change? -- I'm not going for rebooting at too low of a level (just some mo' betta television should do the trick)). [click here for more context]
My HP4E campaign, named for Guido's DARPA-funded, is going pretty well I'd say, but when are we gonna see those cartoons?

The Portland Knowledge Lab wants to know.

party favors with no pentagons

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wanderers 2006.10.17

Glenn Stockton is covering the basics of Sacred Geometry for a packed Pauling House, flipping through butcher paper and drawing little symbols using a purple pen. He brought a ton of books to the venue and piled them in a pyramid on the table in front of him. Terry is running a camera.

Basic SG includes using the Egyptians' golden vessels to diagram earth, water, air and fire, within their universal container, a pentagonal dodecahedron (not quite Synergetics, but that's for my talk).

By showing us all of these books, many by respectable authors (including an upcoming ISEPP speaker), he's helping us realize that this sacred geometry stuff is not too weird, not too scary. A lot of the basic math is actually very familiar and elementary.

People have forever mixed geometry with psychology (we do the same), brewing up whatever flavors of rationality.

Get a good mix, and you've got the ingredients for a flourishing civilization, weather permitting. Dumb it all down, and expect a lot of low quality trauma and drama.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Technoinvective

I seem to have evolved a specialized namespace for use primarily in verbal sparring, often in a public congress, such as an egroup or listserv. "Technoinvective" was Applewhite's word for it, coined almost ten years ago.

Like, today I was going off against BDTs or "big dummy textbooks," the kind you feel like a dummy for lugging around in your bag, while day after day they don't teach you about the A & B modules.
I use the A & B modules to fight the control freaks, who also don't like that the Internet (based on tcp/ip) has freed geeks of all ages, and from around the world, to collaborate on open source cyber-curricula that put our dino tree-killer BDTs to shame. [1]
And on the Synergeo list, same thing: the prospect of yet more traffic jamming in some godforsaken red light district drives me wild:
What's to be afraid of is continued dumbing down and no Synergetics in any university philosophy departments, because arrogant physics heads pose as gatekeepers and can't fathom an alternative namespace wherein "4D" would *not* be under their control. [2]
It's not like I want a career in pro wrestling, wearing some spiderman suit. There're just some corners I need to see turned, before I'll be able to simmer down and remain more quietly brand loyal.

These days I'm liking Dido's White Flag for an anthem.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

In Retrospect

John (SUNY professor),
Amelia (industrial designer),
Elizabeth (BFI director)
Noguchi Museum in Long Island City,
Queens, New York
October 8, 2006
photo by K. Urner

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wanderers 2006.10.11

Our featured presenter needed to absent himself, owing to illness, so ISEPP president Terry Bristol, ever looking for the opening, seized the occasion to polish his talk, which he recently delivered in Salzburg (I'm not clear on the details).

For the first hour at least, he gets rapt attention from our ilk.

I only showed later, per my Wednesday morning routine, and helped out with some curious allusions to prajnaparamita (a little Sanskrit goes a long way with engineers) and Avogadro's Law (he was doing Boltzmann's), plus a few jokes.

I also milled about in the kitchen near the coffee maker, chatting up the possibility of a Wal*Mart in Pyongyang with Jon, perhaps with an announcement as early as November 2nd? Later, I made some snide and sarcastic remarks about "sitting duck" aircraft carriers like the USS Eisenhower, rumoredly preparing for battle in some dimension.

Per these sitting ducks, you have to read Critical Path to understand how we Fuller Schoolers identify them with the moronic element that makes bad policies worse out of greed and its consequents, guilt & fear e.g. we can't "cut and run" because some of these outraged civilians are justifiably angry at being murdered for their oil, and might take their beef to our highest courts and win.

More power to 'em. That'd be democracy in action.

Anyway, I'm brainstorming a movie wherein we expend unneeded cruise missiles against no-longer-relevant aircraft carriers. Why use mockups and CGI and you have a lot of spare hardware just sitting around doing nothing useful?

Terry's talk is getting a lot better. He's bascially using Chaos Theory to help the more retarded among the Physicists understand why their "fundamentalism" (aka reductionism) isn't philosophically all that interesting or alluring to big money investors any more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NY Sojourn

Saturday, October 07, 2006

WQM @ Mt. Hood

Our Quaterly Meeting is in session, a little up the slope of Mt. Hood, just off 26 towards Government Camp. Kids did an easy challenge course for fun, with Tara practicing her camera skills. She took this one of Rachael.

Meanwhile, adults packed the Lodge to hear three panelists, Lisa De Vaney, Ron Marson, and Tina McMahon described their cosmic arcs against a mystics' star map. All of them learn from dreams, not all of them hear voices (except maybe in dreams).

I doodled at a table, drawing sacred geometry toons in my school notebook, using these stories for inspiration.

Dawn had meant to draw the Seven Circuit Labyrinth for Children's Program, but another guy had the skill and chose exactly the same place for it. Off that hook, we left early. We still have a long day. Dawn also found an Eleven Circuit to finger walk.

Trevor and I met at Peet's for another Grand Opening. In the change for my Pumpkin Spiced Latte, I got a half pound of Colombian beans.

Trevor updated me about Robert Anton Wilson, and the outpouring of love and support for this famous author, apparently in his final days on this particular earthly plane and/or level (Tina has questions about levels (don't we all?)).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


There's a lot of televized chatter about forgiveness in the air, in the wake of that insecurity dad's taking of innocent lives, then making a cowardly exit.

Of course the hounds of hell will pursue him for an age, that can't be helped (if you think you can control the boss, good luck with that). But Amish, modeling on Jesus, have already worked through to forgiveness, thinking very much of the man's family and children (also innocent casualties in this melee).

What if this insecurity dad had been Yemeni and the school on a US military base? How quickly would the love have spread in that context? But Amish are more expendable right?

Yemen is an easy target after all, quasi-defenseless, unlike these truck-driving insecurity dads, who pretty much run the Pentagon, at least in their own minds.

In the meantime, there's a lot of energy to be had from righteous wrath (that I'll own up to), though when stupidly expressed and squandered, that energy drains away pretty quickly, perhaps taking one to a low ebb at an inconvenient time.

Vengeful anger is a high risk investment, best grounded and thereby dissipated in polemics and debate (Dixie Chix a good model, film and television among the worthy media).

express yourself sufficiently effectively to distribute the load far and wide to empathetic others. Don't bottle it and sell it as self-amplifying hate literature to your self-chosen inner circle, trying to enflame them into committing atrocities, suicidal or otherwise.

So yes, I myself have invested in stridently unforgiving polemics from time to time. I let those speeches stand, as reflective of my state, and likewise pray Bob'll cut me some slack.

I'm not one to go back and censor the historical record too much, although I do assert my control over personal content (I'll rewire links, add or drop web pages -- you can check for what my stuff used to look like). Plus a lot of stuff just breaks (entropy is ongoing).

I liked the way Bucky did it: small staff, no paid publicist, directly handled the mail. Nowadays, with the Internet, I have further freedoms: world readable publishing, mail washers and spam filters -- plus a lot of the same affiliates Bucky had (even if I've managed to alienate a few).

Of course my Global Data Corporation sounds awfully big, not easily controlled. But like HP4E, it's mostly into open source business modeling, meaning we advertise our ideas, educating the public about ecosystem sciences and synergetics (e.g. my T-mods commercial).

In the literature, Global Data is a lot like the Economists' XYZ Corporation: a generic paradigm widget maker used to advertise the concepts of economists, quasi-fictional yet doing real work in the real world, as a template, usually spun as behaving innocently, if awkwardly.

Global Data is correspondingly into screen widgets for World Game players, other relevant eye candy, and advertises general systems theory (GST), in competition with the economists' less scientifically informed self-discipline. We have many enlightened sponsors.

Esoteric bumper stickers:
Global Data: an IVM Corporation (XYZers welcome to apply).
Global Data: more mirrors, less smoke.
Global Data: Better'n Enron's Bull.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

News Article (satire)

In a newly leaked memo obtained by this news agency, we've learned of a conspiracy of silence around keeping young children from understanding spatial geometry.

"If they're that smart, that young, we'll never be able to control them later" one official is quoted as saying.

Apparently, this conspiracy stretches over several decades. The memo is on Department of Education letterhead, although it is unsigned and we're assured untracable to any particular cubicle within the building. However, forensic analysis reveals it's been in circulation since approximately the mid 1970s [editor's note: isn't that old, please factcheck].

Agreeing to speak off the record, an additional source in the White House provided further details about just what is being suppressed. "There's this really easy way to teach the kind of thing the Greeks were into, like polyhedrons 'n stuff, which in the current political climate are deemed just too subversive for impressionable young minds to be exposed to."

"Some even speculate over exposure to polyhedra can make you gay" he continued, "and how much is too much? -- better to err on the side of caution."

This "really easy way" another source revealed, involves dividing a regular tetrahedron (a kind of three sided pyramid with a triangular base) into various other proportional shapes with similarly greek names, and organizing everything "concentrically" (mathematical jargon for "around the same center").

Our news agency is so far unable to obtain any pictures of the geometry in question, which are apparently still deeply classified. Until further details are learned, this obscure conspiracy may continue for some time.

There's just no easy way to decipher just what these anonymous officials are really talking about. We'd really need to see something.

Oh wait, this just in: an anonymous fax from North Korea. The picture is somewhat blurry, given that nation's backwardly Stalinist phone system, but for what it's worth, here it is:

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Terminal (movie review)

A retarded guy handicapped by a war torn special case language, is in an unacceptable state, and so gets frozen into a holding pattern within the isotropic vector matrix, the realm of generalized principles, here projected as blue meanie enforcers, mostly male-hierarchical, and quasi-omniscient (lots of security cameras).

Our hero's freedoms are strictly limited. However, by working at various language games, including the solution of love triangles, he ascends in rank and worthiness, becoming more of an American icon. His war torn state is healed and the icey totalitarianism of the IVM gives way to an incommensurably free expression of personal individuality (symbolized by the jazz-playing saxophone).

Having fulfilled his destiny, our hero returns to his home country (somewhere close to Borat's no doubt), leaving behind the austere, unforgiving integrity of this alien Vulcan world and its intertwined male/female energies.

The Planters and Ramada Inn brands get the most focus, with Sbarro a distant third. New York itself remains in the background, somewhat ghostly, as do JFK airport (from the outside) and Napoleon, another retard on the eternal chessboard of life.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Blue Dino

Monday, September 25, 2006

More About Santa Claus

He's been coming up a lot lately, Santa has.

One of our Wanderers isn't welcome in his daughter's home, or something like that, because he tries to disabuse his grandkids of any Santa Claus nonsense. He has that wound up with religion, and how "all twelve" (?) can't be simultaneously true.

Today at the Bagdad, Trevor was talking about this artist who planted live crabs with Barbie Doll ™ parts strapped on, in a place where kids lined up and asked for stuff from Santa. The point was to subvert the department store's moneymaking, "asking Santa" being management's clever gimmick for getting customers in the right mood for shopping.

This was considered a disruptive maneuver, even for an artist, but one bystander said "I'm glad someone is finally doing this."

I think it's the spectacle of luring we don't like (ensnaring, baiting and switching). But the truth about Santa Claus isn't supposed to be disappointing, even when we deliver the punch line, that mom and dad love you, as do your friends and relations, and they express their love through this multi-faceted story, which says more about their love than mere physical things under a dead or dying tree could really get across.

Telling stories is not in and of itself criminal, but the life blood of a culture. This is why we hate seeing children lied to, by this target of Fuller's Obnoxico meme.

Like, I understand this guy's integrity, about Santa not being real and all that. But the rejoinder is "reality isn't the whole story around here, and never has been."

So what's so "anti-science" about this attitude? Science is for compentently managing the reality part, and we take that very seriously, don't believe in being stupid about it.

We want awake and alert scientists, want to be them ourselves, doing intelligent (and we hope mostly safe) experiments that teach us important and valuable lessons. Endlessly repeating the same mistakes is not what we signed up for.

So let there be no doubt where I'm coming from at least: I think empiricism is a valuable ism.

It doesn't follow that religion needs to get in the way of this pro-sciences agenda. On the contrary, many a religion is augmented with a set of sciences and vice versa.

Our mythical awareness doesn't have to go to war with the literal truth if it doesn't want to, i.e. the operator in U = Meta*Physical (a Fuller School teaching) is meant to be both/and inclusive, not the sign of an internal contradiction.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


photos by K. Urner,
w/ Olympus Stylus 500
click for larger views

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Focal Points

I think I'll swipe the "focal points" lingo and smatter a few for the benefit of our cadres (not a word I like, right down there with comrades -- probably a translation thing).

Addressing my coworker competitors then, I have the following four focal points to propose:
  • Pascal's Triangle, with appended ethnography, tracing it wherever we find it (like in Lost).

  • The Concentric Hierarchy (you knew that'd be here, now didn't ya?). A & B modules in other words. MITEs.

  • The NCLB Polynomial, tying algebra to geometry, with lots of connections to the art world and design science.

  • The Mandelbrot Set, perfect for learning about convergence and divergence in the complex plane (valuable in precalculus in other words).
I realize this seems to leave a lot out, but bear with me, as I'm going to explain why this constellation will help our cause -- and forgive me for choosing Python if that's not your forte (let's get with the cross-training -- I'm always polling for high quality HDTV Rubycasts (not much of a selection these days)).

:: Pascal's Triangle ::

Pascal's Triangle will give us sequences, the starting point for our Python generators segment. Right after we visit Functions, we look at these "state remembering engines" that fire off cyclicly, and remember state between cycles.

Here's a Pythonic way to generate Pascal's Triangle line by line:

generating Pascal's Triangle
(also known to Chinese)

The triangular and tetrahedral numbers are column-wise side by side; our first generators in other words (a little easier than this one).

So here's our link to the cuboctahedral (aka icosahedral) growth curve i.e. to 10 * F * F + 2 (F = Frequency) -- the formula of Fuller's that H.S.M. Coxeter liked so much (provable with high school level math). Sloane's Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences becomes our friend at this point (e.g. cite A005901).

1, 12, 42, 92, 162...

:: The Concentric Hierarchy ::

The concentric hierarchy sets the stage for so much later science that we have to not postpone. This is "without further ado" material that any gnu math teacher must master.

The A and B mods themselves might come later in the intro (I teach 'em in sixth grade), but the basic nomenclature around polyhedra, plus Descartes' Deficit and Euler's V + F = E + 2 need to be there from the beginning (OK to postpone Descartes until you've gone over the Babylonian stuff i.e. 360 degrees, planar triangles having 180, tetrahedron having 720 (the deficit)).

Basically, this is our launch pad for computer graphics careers. You've got XYZ embedded (with optional Hypercross), and our unit volume Coupler right at the origin, at (0,0,0) -- or at (0,0,0,0) if using Chakovians -- thereby giving segue to our four IVMs (R.Z. Chu et al).

Yes, these are abstruse college-level topics, but they all have the Concentric Hierarchy in common (OK to say "Cosmic Hierarchy" at least among hippies). And yes, we're still working on your toon library, stocking it with goodies.

:: The NCLB Polynomial ::
"pentagon math"

The NCLB Polynomial, a quadratic equation with two real roots, is a jump off point into both algebra and geometry. On the algebra side, we meet up with Pascal's Triangle again, and Newton's Binomial Theorem (since rediscovered by other whiz kids his age at the time).

"generating a bell curve"

On the geometry side, we get phi, which also has many interesting algebraic properties. To further tie things together, Pascal's embeds the Fibonacci Sequence (a first Python generator) which sequence converges to 1/phi as follows:

"converging to pow(phi,-1)"

From here, you could jump to any number of connected topics, including to Ramanujan's Pi Engines for more advanced generator drill and practice (e.g. consider using Python's Decimal type for extended precision, for Phi as well).

:: The Mandelbrot Set ::

Kids have a natural curiosity about fractals, as do some adults who still remember the pop art explosion, come across the great artwork on the web.

This is unabashedly eye candy, yes, but exploring the Mandelbrot Set also reinforces key concepts we want our graduates to take with them into their college experience: convergence; divergence; and the complex plane.

This is what'll make 'em ready for Calculus, which, per UCSC's Ralph Abraham's disciplined pioneering, should now probably be taught with a strong dynamical systems bias (there's a similar trend in statistics, undermining the status quo).

Once again, you can use a Python generator for your converging or diverging sequences:

"generator at c"