Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Diversity Statement

Фонд Программирования Python (Python Software Foundation) и
международное сообщество программистов Python приветствуют и поощряют
всех участников. Наше сообщество основано на принципах взаимоуважения,
терпимости и взаимопомощи, и мы стараемся помочь друг другу следовать
этим принципам. Мы хотим, чтобы наше сообщество стало по-настоящему
разнообразным: кто бы Вы ни были, с каким бы то ни было опытом, добро
пожаловать к нам!
With thanks to the Python Software Foundation members list.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scatter Brained

I've been disciplining myself to keep track of my toys in conjunction with this leather satchel I carry around, but that discipline broke down yesterday apparently.

The new Nikon Coolpix has been a joy, purchased in March of last year.  The last picture I took with it:  Sick Jokes (a collection) and my quad shot latte, at Fresh Pot adjacent Powell's on Hawthorne.  Presumably I threw it back in the satchel at that point.

However there's no indication (so far) the camera ever made it home, although that's where I went next.  Maybe it'll turn up.  Probably it went to the same Negative Universe as my Paul Kaufman hat.  I find it disturbing when I can't put my finger on just when and where the sleight of hand occurred, me that dupe of my own legerdemain.

I still have the Olympus Stylus as a fall back.  Those 14x zoom shots and richer colors will be absent from the Photostream for awhile, looks like.

Actually, I'm so attached to this camera that, finding it on sale for only $207, I grabbed another (free shipping).  If I find the other one I'll make it, or the new one, a gift to someone.

I learned from Math Forum that Dr. William Thurston has died at age 65.  He was one of my professors at Princeton, for honors calculus.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

From a Gothamite

"Gotham" is supposed to be "any city" as you know, but there's that "Goth" right in the name, and the Dark Knight might be portrayed as a goth comic in some ways (yes, I'm referring to Batman, see post below).  But then "Gotham" fades into "metropolis" as in "metropolitan" which tends to mean any concentrated urban area, a CBD (central business district) especially.

The word "business" is fun as it contains "bus" as in Magic School Bus, or that bus on a motherboard that conveys data, perhaps in parallel.  In the urban center, things get "bussy" (pertaining to buses and business).

I'm in such a place now, one of those open inventory caverns, air conditioned, where people flock to take goods, to each according to her charge card allowance.  I conveyed a shopper here, from the bank, not by bus but by motorcar, in the 4-wheeler sedan I've called "maxi taxi" or "torture taxi" depending on mood and lighting.  She's an older Nissan, the successor to Razz, the raspberry colored Subaru.

Lloyd Center Mall:  I've posted from here before.  Back then, I was being cynical about the wifi and the nickle & dime me approach.  Nixon:  America's answer to communism.

Hey, I'll give a pro-capitalism speech why not?  First, let me explain how I tend to use the word "capitalism", even as I struggle to bring it back to everyman's way.  I think in terms of capitals, i.e. major cities, or mover and shaker places, hubs, key players.

Like when they say "London believes" in some propositions, as if cities could have beliefs.

"Portland agrees with Tehran" on some issues.  Phrases like that bespeak "capitalism".

Another meaning is "using one's head" as in "thinking cap" as in "being one's own boss in the 'what I think' department".

I'm in a vast (OK, big) mall, and people just help themselves to goodies.  Yes, they have to pay for them, sometimes (often) on credit.  But it's a layaway economy that one designs for oneself.  There's latitude for self expression.  You prefer the Ikea look?  That's fine.

There's a sense of choosing for oneself on a level it makes sense to offer choice, rather than a sense of having a thing meted out, preferentially awarded based on impossible criteria.

In a relative distopia, you'll never get that pair of shoes, because you're not allowed to just pay for them.

In a fixed price (same price for all), catalog-based economy, you don't have to do it for favors or quid pro quo.

You do it because you put your time and energy in, in some other way, in some faraway land.

You are not beholden.

You walk away from the merchant, goods in hand, not owing that merchant.   Now it's between you and Visa, and that's how you want it to be.  There's just a lot less karma, or lets say freedom to create your own karma.  It's back to Alaska or whatever, to one's own adventure's, not some state's, though you may be a state's agent.

That being said, I came here, used the free wifi, and moved on.  My intent was consumerist though: I was thinking to upgrade the phone, from this hand me down first generation Android.  But this branch of Verizon doesn't stock HTC 1x, just Incredible and Rezound, so it's out the door and off to a blogging place.

My shopper is shopping.  She doesn't always get to be in such a large metropolis, with its many charms and wonders.  Bridge Pedal was today.  I stayed home and caught up on some studies.  I also am reconnecting with Free Geek thanks again to Holden Web / Open Bastion, a great web of connections.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (movie review)

If you'd forgotten all previous Batmans and just walked in on this one, you may not remember how Bruce had fallen in with this cult in the Himalayas that plays "angel of death" to a moribund humanity. The theme, as always, is misanthropy.

Bruce is paradoxically a philanthropist, but he's enough in touch with the dark side to know why it wants Gotham to be gone. His own wasting away, in the wake of past trauma (PTSD) is taking its toll on Gotham psychically. He is thrown in a pit of despair and we dare him to climb out of it. He's just another sick and twisted little kid like all the others.

Like Pee Wee Herman for example?

There seemed to be some references to Occupy, but not many. The rich are always having that fantasy about the mob rising up, and batman films always feature Gotham going crazy, by design of some Dr. Evil type, or perhaps a dynamic duo of Evils.

Actually, it's a whole cult that's evil, with the Himalayan cult a kind of reverse Avengers, here to squelch, once and for all, a disgusting humanity, undeserving of God's love -- not forgiven, a narrative at variance with the Christian myth on the surface, but then Christians plan for an end of the world Judgement Day as well, so not that different really, more like Rosicrucians perhaps?

Law enforcement gets to be "the good guys" in Batman, which is how it's supposed to be. If you're on the police force and want to take your daughter to a film that doesn't demonize police, this could be it.  They bravely follow orders.

The guys in blue only fall down when they give up, or when they fail to rethink those orders and upgrade their performance with plot developments. The power of intuition plays a big role in bat space.  The commissioner and the bat are attuned psychically, the meaning of that beacon (the bat is awkwardly close to being the commissioner's "secret friend" -- he's somewhat lucky it's a mass psychosis or he'd have a hard time holding that job).

The reason Robin maxes out of the ranks, by way of detective (private eye), is he sees the blindness of "just following orders" as an only fall back.  There's a rule that you need to give the grunt on the ground, the man in the street, the woman salonstress, a strong sense of the big picture.  They're supposed to have deeper motives than "I just wanted to be a robot, so sue me" (the usual war cry at the war crimes tribunal).

There's the suggestion at the end that he (the bat man) has learned to become much more invisible than before. Bruce Wayne still alive was high profile, even when a waning millionaire or billionaire or whatever (the fall is as fascinating as the rise). Bruce Wayne as only seen by a chosen few is "back to the bat cave" in some ways.  The theme of Resurrection is just beneath the surface, after an ultimate sacrifice.

I guess I'm thinking the darkly gothic Batman, of all the superheros, is perhaps doing the most for a kind of old time Catholicism. He's a role model for all of those in the pits. He knows deep disappointment (like Pee Wee). He is our champion and our defender, little men and women that we be, the Gothamites, so looked down upon by those show off lofty Himalayans.