Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food not Lawns

bamboo tetrahedron


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Four Years Later

From this blog (BizMo Diaries), March 23, 2006. Addendum: Wayne Bishop, mentioned below, is a huge Jaime Escalante fan, and on Math Forum I proposed we continue sharing about his contributions as well. Both Fuller and Escalante received high awards from then USA president Ronald Reagan, in 1983 and 1988 respectively.

From some airport departure louge, via wifi:

I continue to post to the Math Forum, albeit in a somewhat redundant way, trying to get more Fuller School memes accepted into the surrounding culture -- an uphill battle per usual (I'm very used to this terrain).

Like here (link) Wayne Bishop pooh poohs the idea that there's anything novel within the scope of K12 geometry, since his day in a one room school house some decades back. I again (for the maybe 200th time?) share what's new (link). And again, silence. Laziness? Complacency?

Whatever the logjam, USA civilian culture appears so not ready for this stuff. I'm hoping the computer science folks in Baghdad (aka Algebra City) will find a more receptive audience in the Pentagon, given all the close collaboration that's going on, in a more difficult military context.

Updating from a position near Fort Campbell (March 25):

I'll probe a bit more (link). Wayne replies: this Fuller School geometry (concentric hierarchy) is "absolutely, unequivocally" irrelevant to the general student population (link). His reply brings into sharp, crystal clear relief, my differences with his Mathematically Correct organization and its ideological fellow travelers.

Related reading:
Boosting Bandwidth
Revisiting Geometry (May 26, 2006)
Pentagon Math (June 22, 2006)
Geometry Text (March 28, 2010)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Campus Household

We're a long way from Animal House, in terms of our role in the Global U. This is a really studious crew.

TM took herself to the main Multhnomah County Library on the bus, to get books on the American jury system, jury nullification and Constitutional law being foci these days, as well as the impact of new technologies on Supreme Court decision making.

LW was immersed in a video on the violent labor history of Colombia, the role of paramilitary groups. She also cooked some ethnic dishes, getting creative with our spices.

I finished cleaning the freezer in the basement, and pumped out more Rad Math, cuing for an Alice in Wonderland reference on math-teach. Much earlier this morning, at the hospital, I did some programming for a client, or should I say studied some programming a client had done. This evening, I read up on Python 3.1.2, some of the new features.

I'm not sure what NC was up to, but then scholarship is his way of life, even when he's camping out somewhere.

We're not entirely in our own little worlds.

TM and I talked about the Internet and Wikipedia. She's quite aware of how shoddy and poorly organized are so many Internet sources, compared to what you might find in books. She appreciates blogs for being better than average, because here people put their names on the line and tend to want to be taken seriously, do more homework. I recounting some of my travails writing for Wikipedia, on that Synergetics article in particular. She was happy to hear Lionel had been involved, remembers his visit fondly.

I watched most of the Colombia video with LW, with TM catching part of it.

NC and I discussed the Iranian situation again, more of the usual global grid talk (we're both World Game veterans from when RBF was better appreciated, another radical we've both studied).

I consented to run the heater for a short while, cleared the idea of mowing the lawn with LW. Other household decisions happen collectively.

Given the nightmare of history, I'm eager to spread a knowledge worker aesthetic and keep to a highly civilized standard. The state of Kerala, discussed during our Wanderers retreat, might be a role model in some ways.

Better policies arise from more informed participation, not from leaving everything to titular leaders.

TM misses our not having any TV at all, misses CBS News in particular as do I, though we still have it on the Internet.

The Global U idea is poetic, like Spaceship Earth. Affiliating with actual campuses, such as the Pauling Campus, is what houses like ours should be up for.

A circuitry of exchange might then be more formalized and computerized.

Imagine large numbers of households wiring up to schools as a part of a new design pattern. The devil is in the details of course and I'm not saying I have all the answers.

Seeking alternatives to violence through citizen diplomacy might be one of the stated missions for this program. Scholarships might come through the State Department in some cases? I know this guy in Indonesia eager to study Python. This could be bigger than the Peace Corps, with Portland an administrative hub why not?

Tourism has been one way to lower xenophobia around the world, but the most scholarly are not the most likely to frequent leisure class hotels. Future diplomacy will be more effective in proportion to the level of realism people bring to their positions, versus stereotypes and crazy-making projections.

Friday, March 19, 2010

World Lifestyles

You may have seen those books, where people stand, usually outside, in front of a dwelling, surrounded by possessions and/or foods, supplies, the stuff that they go through at some rate. We all go through stuff, one way or another.

A common misconception regarding Wittgenstein's philosophy is that it was about somehow purging ethics or aesthetics from the mix, by isolating empirical science and keeping that as "positive", with everything else "negative" (e.g. religion) slated to fall by the wayside. This story then becomes the "linguistic turn" for these believers, another bedtime story.

What we discover about lifestyles is they seek to make sense against a larger backdrop or cosmology. If humans are indeed information harvesters and problem solvers, have that in their nature somehow, one could say by design or by roll of the dice, then it stands to reason they would feel discomfort or judge inferior, a lifestyle wherein harvesting didn't happen, and problems were not tackled, sometimes solved.

The war colleges are cranking out the science fiction again, about the temporary bases, still in Korea after all these years, or in Japan. Those of us old enough to remember the Peace Dividend and Beyond War years may recall the rhetoric of "repurposing". Perhaps the "mad men" of today (those experienced with psychology) realize that military units wish for continuity as units, as specific groups or wings with lore and pride. Civilians have those wishes too. Nor is it either/or. At least bases make more sense that aircraft carriers, some say.

Bases might have medical facilities, prototype and production emergency shelter options, various grades of transitional accommodations. Evacuees might be flown in. Sometimes the compassionate thing is to rescue civilians in large numbers. Bases could help with this. Large scale operations take a lot of logistics, strong organizational structures.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Academy Luncheon

:: zoo venue ::

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Radical Math Planning

a 10-frequency flextegrity tetrahedron

Fortunately for our latest media campaign, "radical" has a conservative, established meaning in mathematics. The radical sign designates the nth root of a number, by default its second.

Our zip code area, 97214, is cram packed with talent. The TV series would be fantastic, but off beat, more underground comic than Hollywood blockbuster. The birthplace of the Silicon Forest has its attractions. Hawthorne Boulevard used to be named Asylum Avenue according to the tableau at Fred Meyers.

Glenn Stockton has assembled the simple ways to come up with the key edge lengths you'll need, using just a compass on paper, to construct such as the unit-edge cube with body and face diagonals, of radical(3) and radical(2) respectively. The unit-edge tetrahedron slips right in, a smooth segue to our Concentric Hierarchy, core to our curriculum in 97214.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Saturday Morning

Long night at Laughing Horse. I went home alone early with the gear, had some business to attend to. The others came home later, shared tea with me in the kitchen.

We shared milk with the pets this morning, which seems extravagant, what was left in a cereal bowl. The bread was a cut above too. TV channels all blue still, since DirecTV pulled the plug. Have DVD and like that. Maybe a new sponsor will come along.

Let them sleep in. I've got work in my inbox, might get some R&R down the road.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Working the Lists...

Version 3

Math Forum
Re: Metric System (not the only)

Re: Math Anxiety and Work /Study alternatives (for credit)
Re: Tetravolumes as a proposed standard
Re: Story problems
Re: Physical Activity Levels (a variable)
Re: Calculus Mountain

Wittgenstein List: (these links unlikely to work)
Fwd: from a Fuller School list
Re: Family Resemblance and Mathematics

Re: DC June
Re: Gnomon Studies, school standards
Re: Operational Mathematics (meaning through use)
More Storyboarding (Digital Mathematics Curriculum)

PSF list:
members only

WQM / MG list:
approved sheepdoctor

By some lights, there's no "working" here, just goofing off (aka futzing around) on the Internet.

Then there's other stuff that I did today. Twenty blocks walking. Yemen a topic (I've never been there). Touched base with AFSC last night, not just about Haiti. A call about Africa (Uganda).

Our company's best cook is away on leave so I'm the chef by default. I'm making: an onion potato and broccoli topping (oil, water base), over brown rice and some kind of bean. I'll have some popcorn later.

Others in this radical household have already turned in for the night (that would include the pets). Nope, spoke too soon.

Is there a radical middle? Was Ben Franklin a radical? I'd call him a revolutionary certainly.

How about Mark Twain? Have you read his more satirical "adult" essays? His anti-imperialist invective?

Before these listservs (mail reflectors) became relatively easy to join, a group called Action Linkage encouraged people to run these by snailmail. I joined at least a few such groups from my mailing address on Rhine Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

I was also an early adopter of an IGC account, using PeaceNet I'm pretty sure, through dial-up access. This was pre Web.

I'd read Network Nation (Turoff & Hiltz) in Jersey City, along with Computer Lib / Dream Machines (Ted Nelson). These works spoke to my condition. When hypertext (http) finally arrived, I was hot to trot. The Zeitgeist was strong within me, some philosophers might say, although that's not something unique about me -- the very meaning of Zeitgeist in a nutshell (it's not about any one of us, we share in the spirit).

As a Quaker, I have other words besides Zeitgeist I might use. In Synergetics, the Holy Ghost is mentioned, probably not in itself sufficient to make it a Catholic title. I've seen Noosphere. Some speak of telepathy, with or without allegiance to a God concept (many namespaces == many ontologies). We often speak of Spirit or Light, preferring to attend to it than to define it.

Placing a premium on intuition is what it comes down to in practice sometimes. I know Applewhite relied on intuition quite a bit, which likely explains why he worked with Fuller as well as he did, despite ups and downs (we had those too).

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Wanderers 2010.03.02

I just finished my meeting with Patrick, who is looking hard at various psychometric issues around education initiatives.

That sense of young people running away from technological careers is haunting a lot of people. Recruiting is a concern. What would the commercials look like (in theaters?), what would be their aesthetics?

The National Guard has been facing this question. Disaster relief, after an earthquake, eruption, tsunami, flood or storm, have been realistic enough themes. The prospect of getting stop-lossed in Iraq isn't mentioned.

My mind drifted back to Journal Square in Jersey City, and the two big ideas I'd sought to champion, as a penniless individual:

(a) put IMAX in the Stanley Theater so area universities could assign for-credit viewings, in addition to serving the general public

(b) put a high resolution illuminated billboard on the back of Loew's, with a Fuller Projection as one of the display options.

Some of the IMAX films I imagined the universities would assign had a distinctly geometrical flavor. I was just starting my study of Synergetics at the time, plus had taught high school mathematics for two years.

Having an IMAX sized screen doesn't mean only using that format.

Back to Patrick's problem, he's definitely interested in 60-degree coordination motifs. You could think of bees, or hexagons, as symbolic here. The flavor is biological, organic chemical. Posting these remarks from the Linus Pauling House seems highly apropos.

An effective recruiting commercial helps one project oneself into some positive future, doing something vital (critical) as well as technical. Minus a credible curriculum, the PR comes across as hollow.

Having the futuristic backdrops be real, not just movie sets, adds credibility, but then is this a positive future we're showing?

Getting stuck in some tent in the desert, unwelcomed by locals and forgotten by an inattentive public back home, is hardly anyone's idea of rewarding community service. The movie Jarhead looks at this existential predicament.