Friday, March 30, 2012

Engineering Yammering

Koski had been kicking around the middle states again, Michigan mostly.  There's a routine the nuke plants go through, like what you would do for a car at maybe 60K miles (yes, I used miles).  Maxi Taxi is set to go in, as she'll disintegrate otherwise.  Speaking of which, Glenn's Integral Design is now out of the box.  I helped him send a mug shut to a NavAm conference Milt is involved with, where such knowings are shared.

I phoned Free Skool this morning on the Martian Math front, having done four new sketches for the Scenarios Training (a kind of Esozone workshop).  The content is actually quite easy, a distillation, so it's more about andragogy (where adults are concerned), new pedagogy.  People who think we don't still invent new teaching techniques this late in the game are wrong.  The technology keeps changing.

Tara phoned me from Indiana, having a good time.  She relays light switch commands regarding Barry-the-snake.

Melody is feeding Sarah-the-dog.  Someone found it funny recently that we gave our animals people names.  But then we think of people as animals, some of us do, not really a separate category when it comes to their physicality.  When I do object oriented programming, I'll subclass a Human off a Mammal as readily as a Monkey or Pig.  Or Dolphin (thinking of Sean's spanking new Wittgenstein class at the moment).

How does Free Skool relate to OPDX if at all.  Did I mention the call failed to go through?  It's unusual, these days, for a number to just ring and ring.  Before voicemail, which was often a table top box, new life for cassettes, we had more of those "endless ring" scenarios.  People harassed each other with those, clever mammals that they be.  A lot of high tech is about restoring privacy, backing off, mainly through the technique of asynchronous routing.  Reflection required.  Text me.

Using the $ symbol in tandem with kwh is not new -- that's how an electric bill reads.  It's the "energy has shape" dictum which takes use to space-filling phenomena, such as photons and protons.  These can be metered and a charge attached to each one.  The idea of a dollar as an energy amount is no stranger to the General Systems Theory crowd (smart mob).  The sun floods us with energy, most of which is reflected back into space, luckily for us.

Currency Units

I'm with Dr. Nick at the moment, Bagdad Office, pizza on order. He's showing me A Fuller View, among other things, new book by Lloyd Sieden. Predictably, Frank Z. jumped back in my inbox when I turned another corner on Synergeo.  I can't count how many times I've lapped that guy.

How to connect Dan Suttin more with Andrius Kulikauskas -- one of the day's conundrums.  I submitted a followup to Pycon for the work blog.  Presumably Ms. Beck is giving it a once over (which I'm glad of, skillful editor).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thai Food


I told Tara over Thai food tonight that my writing is a lot like basket weaving.

I have these fronds or themes.

She drove us both ways, at night in the rain.  Good practice.  Not far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wanderers 2012.3.13

:: marianne presents ::

Our Python group is meeting tonight but having just come from Pycon, I feel my internalized OS is saying Pauling House.  So here I am.

The topic is antisemitism, one could say.
Wanderers welcome Wanderer, Marianne Buchwalter, at 7:00 PM on Tuesday evening, March 13, at The Pauling House, 3945 SE Hawthorne, who will present and discuss her experiences of her family's departure from Berlin four days after kristallnacht, in 1938.

Her uncle had arranged to exchange houses and belongings with a Nazi sympathizer who lived in Portland.

Marianne documented this story in her 1995 book: Memories of a Berlin Childhood.

Hope to see you there!

I tried to get a word in edgewise, but we've got a full house and lots of people with stuff to say. Fortunately, I have my blogs and am happy to resort to asynchronous commentary. My new self-discipline is to only answer when asked (one of Fuller's too as I recall).

I'm fairly optimistic that Judaism has made good enough friends in Asia, among Buddhists especially, that there's really no danger of another upwelling of classic Hitlerism or one of those.  When it comes to highly literate, scholarly cultures that control lots of assets, the Jews are not alone.

How much total fissile material do we need for nuclear medicines and so on?  This is a side conversation I'm trying to have while blogging at the same time.  I assume Iran is aiming for the medical market big time.  A Japanese version of Global Data might have some figures (Japan has a lot of interest in health care).

The conversation has somewhat gone off the rails, but that's OK.  Wanderers are known for their meandering style.  Google Drones?  Lots of interesting chatter.  Some visitors here tonight, not just the usual crew.

Lindsey and I walked up to Belmont earlier today, as I made good on a belated birthday gift to get her some lenses, based on an up-to-date eye exam.  She lost her specs shortly after we met and has been doing without.  As she ventures forth into the world, those lenses might come in useful.

What I'm interested in knowing is whether Marianne has as high an opinion of Chaim Potok's writing as I do.  The Chosen was a big influence on me, helped get me into Freud and psychoanalysis as a future discipline, with the move to philosophy in the 1970s (there's a lot of shared lineage, through the Vienna Circle and Frankfurt School, to name a couple relevant switchboards).

Yes, I checked out Portnoy's Complaint but wasn't that big a fan.  Woody Allen fits in here somewhere.

We had snow on the ground this morning.  Portland is definitely in a different bioregion than Santa Clara.

Lew us here.  He'd been to the Quaker Men's Group.  I've gone in years past.

Wanderers Presentation

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pycon 2012 Day One

US Pycon 2012 help define the life of the Silicon Valley today.  That's what our second keynote speaker said, some kind of venture capitalist (Paul Graham, Y Combinator), though not with much experience in the medical field by his own admission.  His list of ten possible startup ideas was interesting.  He's in a mood to compete with universities, give them a run for their money.

Paul steered clear of my philanthropic games with profiles, an open business model, possibly because it's not really in startup phase as a concept -- the ideas are all ancient ("potlatch economics" an influence).  I imagine the specifics of game design, coffee shop floor plans, locations, aesthetics, gift shops (Avalon another influence), will emerge in different frequencies (tied to ethnicity).

Stormy Peters from Mozilla challenged the developers in the room to keep the Internet open and free, by which she meant opening sharing how personal data is used.  Transparency doesn't necessarily mean a lack of privacy, but does mean a more equitable sharing of what's being collected in some cases, especially where the general public is concerned.

I just came from the PSF members lunch in Magnolia Room.  Michelle was there, the first member I've sired, having been nominated and elected in relatively recently myself.  I sat with Eric Jones of Enthought out of Austin, and a guy from Google / Amsterdam responsible for deploying Python on Google's machines.  A guy from RangeSpan was there as well.  This was just one table of a great many.

The PSF has way more corporation members than the AFSC does already.  Both are non-profits with international reach.

I'm hitting some of the most introspective talks meaning focused on the language itself.  Raymond Hettinger looks a lot like George Clooney I think.

Jack Diederich's Stop Writing Classes was awesome, as was Interfaces and Python by Eric Snow.  Sorry Jeff Rush was out sick.  So was Jesse a lot of the time.

Quite a few new babies this year, some of them with us.

The imams and rabbis I attended to were looking at the depths of the language.  Learning how to create synthetic functions, classes and even modules on the fly:  the subject of Walker Hale's meta-programming talk. The previous talk on writing decorators and context managers was also helpful to me in my work as a teacher.

These talks should be coming out on video later.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Remembering Baryard Rustin


The family story here is that my dad was struggling with the mandatory ROTC program.  He'd helped staff a troop ship to Japan and stuff the year before, but now he was in his junior year at University of Washington and having moral qualms.

Bayard Rustin came to Seattle to talk about conscientious objection and that helped crystallize a lot of Jack's ethics.  While he stayed quiet about religion most of the time (he was a rather quiet man, though not out of shyness), he soon became a Quaker.

The documentary about Bayard was really good.  Lots of excellent archival footage, good editing, clear sound -- a professional job, and a valuable review of the civil / human rights movements.  The Rufus Jones room was packed.  The panel discussion afterward was quite intelligent and featured Walter Naegle, Rustin's partner later in his life, and Hal Weaver.

My question was about Freedom House, in the news lately vis-a-vis Egypt.  This brought up some discussion of what groups were getting CIA money at the time, leaving open the question if Bayard was aware of some connection there.  I also wondered if Bayard was friends with Kiyoshi Kuromiya, also a gay rights activist and an associate of Martin Luther King

The occasion here, in part, is the AFSC Board has recently restored Rustin's name to Speak Truth to Powera publication he'd helped write.  His name had been removed earlier because Quakers were having a problem with his gayness back then.