Monday, December 31, 2018

Education Automation

I've chosen the title of one of Bucky Fuller's books for a blog post title.  "Automation" sounds cold, minus the warmth of human touch and attention.

For those who've received a lot of grief from humans, mostly negative feedback, a little automation may be a godsend.  Household appliances have freed up many hours for time with family.  Without a posse of servants, a single human is able to keep up with a lot of tasks, even with one or more dependents.

However, I'm getting off topic.  I just saw the documentary Waiting for Superman again and wanted to weigh in with fresh memories, and before I reread my blogged review.

Here's director Guggenheim giving Bill Gates and others a vehicle to express their vision, which is pro school choice, anti teacher union, pro merit pay, anti tenure.

The myth (which has some truth in it, how much is a key question) that what's between life in poverty and a comfortable place in the professional classes, is "a good education" provides much of the premise for this film.

Define "good"?  Is it what rich people got?  Maybe not in all cases?  You can be a rich know-nothing with few skills and no ethical sense.

What I'm concerned about is students not having any management responsibilities over accounts and files in cyberspace, because they don't get a safe workplace.  Schools focus on herding from room to room, not scheduling quality time in study quarters. The "safe study space home base" (or PWS) become more the reality in college -- but why not before?

As an after school teacher, I drive around with a phone full of login credentials, sometimes Chromebooks, which I give out to my students.  These are for accessing such cloud-based learning platforms as MIT Scratch, Codesters, Animatron, and

We're teaching a lot of techie stuff, but a lot of it's arty too.  Arty / techie is what some call "design" and with enough science:  "design science".  Many generic skills.

Back to Fuller (a master of "design science"):  he worked to counter the Protestant myth that we only deserve life support if we agree to do "jobs" for the owner classes, and that those without jobs are without merit and unentitled to any life support.

He supported minimum income philosophies, as a way to help keep us out of trouble.  Engineering could distribute the sun's munificence, according to some Food Not Bombs philosophy.  At least no one would go starving.

If all you do is work, when do we study, and if study is work, why isn't it paid (compensated)?  Shouldn't civilizations reward behaviors necessary for their own perpetuation?  One might think so.

When do parents get to stay home with their kids and learn skills together as a team?

Using education systems to split parents from children in order to homogenize and dilute ethnic differences is likewise a big use of television.

A mixed use skyscraper or larger building is more like a village in that people get to sleep, eat, study, work, exercise, and so forth, without commuting across town.  Just take an elevator.  More like living on a Starship Enterprise in some popular TV show.

When schooling is better integrated into the local economy, with apprenticeships and part time roles, that can help too, in producing well-rounded individuals.

Saying you've "dropped out" to serve as a cashier in a small family store (or on a military base), is pretty extreme.  We need systems that let you opt in and out easily over the course of a lifetime.  Some people don't see the value in education until they've had more life experience.

Getting some work experience at a young age need not be some fateful decision that keeps you away from other opportunities forever.

I want kids to have opportunities to read and write programs, manage websites, make movies, tend to databases (not only SQL) starting from whatever age they have the attention for it, a mental age more than a physical one.  But when do they get an opportunity?  I bring them login credentials.

Developing these skills usually means tending to a file tree somewhere, a software workbench, and also having a work/study environment relatively free of distractions, like we hope students have when doing homework.

Kids need cubicles, study carrels, as much as the adults do.  All some get is a storage locker.

Lots of professionals, curriculum developers, engineers, have visions similar to Bucky's:  lets make advancing through a curriculum a paying proposition, even if only in terms of crypto-currencies.

Reward the work of study, with greater access to educational resources.  Compensation isn't always in terms of cold cash, much as anonymous currencies have proved, and will continue to prove, useful.

What we need to set up are pilot projects, staffed and developed by people willing to "eat their own dog food" i.e. those designing the lifestyle also need to enroll in the programs to find out what it's like to experience various brands of "education automation" from the inside.

No one size fits all.

Lets see some more sizes.

Mine these blogs for ideas.


T4P Studies

I'm reminded of my road trips in Bhutan.  T4P or Truckers for Peace is about giving people in trucking more opportunities to share gigs and learn about different cultures for credit.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Another Math Summit

Hannukkah Present to Me

This morning I got to meet Peter Farrell and his twin brother Steve at the local diner, Tom's, for ongoing discussions about pedagogy (teaching kids) and andragogy (teaching adults).

Peter has just finished Math Adventures with Python through No Starch Press and I've been pouring over an electronic copy. The synergy of coding and doing mathematics is an obvious draw for a lot of us, whereas another school of thought (represented on Forum 206) says coding and doing math should be kept far apart and tested separately.

The separatists pretty much won their battle, meaning the coding people have had to wedge their way, hour by hour, into K-16, without math curriculum writers and publishers lifting a finger.

Their track, the math track, is just fine as is, whereas the coders needed to start over from scratch and often ended up focusing on "games" because they're trying to appeal to their new audience.

Against that default background, you'll find an assortment of creative teachers, left any freedom to innovate, will keep mixing it up.

My hybrid blend goes by "GNU Math" sometimes, deliberately a pun on New Math (we do look at sets, but maybe not as a be all end all ala Bertrand Russell), given Stallman's encouragement of wordplay and cleverness.

"Digital Math" is another name for it.  We've had a lot of discussion of the genre over the years, in Forum 206 and on edu-sig (

In the middle of Digital Math, I draw this arching bridge over the STEM-PATH chasm (cite C.P. Snow), into literature and anthropology.  "Imagine a tribe" (as Wittgenstein would say) "which "multiplication" means this different thing".

We already have multiple meanings for "the product of" in the world of binary operations (two complex numbers, two matrices...), so my injecting some alternative sixty-degree-based geometric model of multiplying, from American literature, scarcely makes a ripple. Said operation (__mul__ in Python) is already over-determined.  What's one more meaning?

However, I'm not suggesting every secular (public or charter) and private school needs to include American literature.  That's a niche, and features such expats as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, back to Walt Whitman and before (Coleridge's romanticism informs both pragmatism and transcendentalism, and whatever Poe was into with Eureka and so on).

We see this graph of connecting authors against a wartime backdrop a lot of the time.

Studying poets, such as Bucky, takes us into History (the H in PATH) pretty quickly.

Math Adventures with Python leverages having powerful CPUs and GPUs at our disposal.  The halcyon days of the scientific calculator are in the recent past.   

Mathematica, or Wolfram Language, operates in the same domain as GNU Math a lot, and much of the PR from Wolfram's corner fits with the larger "learning math through programming" campaign's.

Peter and Steve

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Russiagate Update

[Jimmy] Dore's view is "yes Russians troll, so does everyone doing net stuff" and to gain a following you start dealing in juicy memes, becoming one of the thought leaders somehow (who knows how, that's where the "research" comes in; Cambridge Analytica had their OCEAN etc.). 

Then when you have a following you can spam them for business reasons i.e. sell advertising (turn around to companies and say "you pay me and I'll tell my following about your thing"). 

Whereas DNCers see Internet Research Agency dealing in political memes with an agenda to tip the election, the Dore crowd see "business as usual" where oligarchy is concerned, and which the Russian mafia plays along with everybody else, with more interest in getting or staying rich than in trying to directly play "king of the White House" (just be sure you have some access once the slug fest is over -- what an embassy is for). 

That's pretty much my view too: there's no need to risk exposure (e.g. FBI detection) hacking federal elections machinery, when social media already provide a legal means to play mind games with the public. 

I believe Russians actively engage in social media, most definitely, and echo the DNI report in saying RT is up on its game.
Voodoo Economics

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

First Person: From the Fleet

I sometimes watch first person chronicles shared by truck drivers.  Part of my T4P work, and of course anticipating more Bizmo action.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Notes from Bizmo World

Wow, they're not kidding at Steemit, when they say keep track of your own damn password. A lotta geeks dismiss that one, knowing reset with verification is a possibility, meaning you can just reset the password once you have the victim's cell phone.  Not so with this blockchainer.  You don't have the password in memory, which is too long to remember, and you don't get to reset it if you forget it.  You'll never access your account again, another waste of a great moniker.

I was pdx4d.  They generate the passwords for you.  They look like bitcoin addresses.  You're getting warmer.  I did find where I'd backed up the Steemit address, having followed protocol.

Steemit is but one of many social media the next geek generation has cooked up.  You weren't expecting the world to stop with Facebook were you?

I'm using Facebook, as it's not either/or, but as a columnist in Bizmo World, I'm expected to keep pushing to a next horizon.  Have you signed on to Meat yet?  Just kidding.

Lets make it real here and talk about malls.  Sears Discount is suffering from low attendance, another reason to go in, great customer service.  They had their two models of microwave ovens at really low prices, but with a Walmart right next door (next store), that wasn't saying much.

I came in like a robot, checked the LG, had my measuring tape, ended up with the Oster, about the same price but more swoopy or something.  Walmart had some other things I needed.  Then Fubonn, the Asian supermarket complex.  More ramen.  Kimchi.  Couldn't find the soy sauce, will solve it next time.

Portland's 82nd Avenue, an Oregon State road, is our homage to freeway gentrification everywhere, except it's not the freeway, but the business route running north-south parallel to I-205, itself the business route branch-off of I-5, that goes through the center, branching to I-405 to the super-center.

By "freeway gentrification" I mean the strip mall culture of one-story restaurant franchises and assortment of big and little box stores, supplied by truck, the premier vehicle of the I-net, from a layer of warehouses around any hub city, especially those with ports.  Portland has humble freight traffic, and that keeps us connected in a global economy.

You may be wondering what bizmo rig I'm driving through all these parking lots and you'd be right to be wondering, since a bizmo log or chronicle typically features such a vehicle, with its quirks and problems.

Instead, I'm in a four-door Nissan from the late 1900s.  Long time readers of these blogs may remember Razz, a Subaru, and Robin Blue even before that.  Cars get proper names much as we give variable names to other features in a program, including actors, agents, whatever observables.  Mars has a name.

The archetypal bizmo shimmers in the archetypal landscape, between the lines, as we're still busy constructing the lifestyle.  T4P only came along recently.  For now, I'm just blending in as one more noodle lover.  The Oster is working great, and sensed by itself when the baked potato had released sufficient humidity.  There's some real science going on in that appliance.  No Instapot yet, thinking about it.

Fubonn is on 82nd, like the two Walmarts I saw (the one I went into is further south, in Clackamas, whereas the second came after the Entering Portland sign, me coming north).  I go there more often, as it's closer and Walmart - Amazon might be my online supplier of delivered goods, where I'm not the one in the fossil fuel business.

Speaking of which, I have a work sponsor ready to heat more of my building so we've got a truck on the way on Monday.  I'm not a new customer, having been at my current location since 1995 or thereabouts.  Newly married with child.  We used to call Montag but their customer list was acquired by another company.

The microwave just decided to blow one day, kinda like mom's knee (though the latter had more of an excuse). The Magic Chef gave up the magic, after over a decade of service I'm reckoning.  My range is a Magic Chef too, avocado green like from the 1960s, came with the house. 

The antique stove fits with my overall decor, which is likewise vintage, lots of vinyl paneling.  We had the wood paneling in the living room removed, along with the shag rug.  Pine floors.  Looks like a ski lodge where the wood takes some punishment.

A skilled repair person could likely have identified a fried wire in the Costco-bought Magic Chef and made it good as new.  Our consumer culture encourages us to replace, not repair, these small appliances, though there's more of an aftermarket for the bigger ones, like washers and dryers.

I'm not the expert.  I'm the consumer, and some consuming I did.  Thanks to my knowing how to teach Python, I'm able to afford a building with replaceable and irreplaceable gadgets and doodads.  Python and Martian Math as a combo.  That's another popular dish.  We're like a food cart, in a town of food pods (lots of competition).

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

DIY Bizmo

Monday, December 03, 2018

Truck Versus Rail

There's a bit of an apples to oranges flavor to my Blogger post title comparison "Truck Versus Rail" as what corresponds to the rail system are not trucks, but the whole infrastructure of highways, freeways, toll pikes and yes, boulevards. Highways and byways.  Upon those, the trucks ride.  As do trains with engines on rail.  So the apples to apples might be: train engines to trucks.  Both diesel in many cases.

As a kid, I preferred rails to roads because of the added requirement for such things as switches, and switching yards.  Trains brought their own set of challenges.  Round houses.  Trucks had (have) their rectangular warehouses, sometimes solar paneled.

The forklifts run around inside, or even autonomous vehicles, routed to take stuff from here to there.  Switch around among trucks, go multi-modal to trains.  Truck and train actually work very much on the same team.  Both truck trailers (with wheels), and shipping containers (without wheels, stackable), are multi-modal, with an overlapping spectrum of modes.

In adult life, I began to think more about the trucking infrastructure, a prominent feature of the North American economy.  I'm no expert on trade agreements or substance control.  My focus has been university developed exchange programs whereby driver crews gain experience on routes usually considered to be beyond their scope.

Think "Peace Corps for truckers" but don't feel you have to thrust it into the State Department as some official government program.  We're giving analogies, not stating identities.  That being said, I could imagine the existing Peace Corps adding "trucking" to its categories, or maybe it's there already, I wouldn't know.

I did not serve in the Peace Corps however our family sometimes met with, even offered hospitality to, Peace Corps volunteers in the field.  "Volunteer" doesn't mean "unpaid" so much as "not conscripted" as joining the Peace Corps is not some obligatory form of public service, as serving in the military used to be for US citizens.  We were US citizens living outside the US in places where Peace Corps people often work, such as the Philippines (but not in Bhutan).

However, my focus on trucking lately hasn't taken me entirely away from trains.  The different ways to use a rail system other than for "high speed" go through my storyboarding.  Roads and tracks are not that different anyway, in terms of needing to obey constraints on grade.  Both steepness and curvature are considerations, though rail and road follow different constants.  Trucks turn very sharply compared to trains, which need a relatively huge radius to accomplish the same turn.

Imagine your university dorm and classroom is a four train car affair, and as rather button down.  Is this Princeton?  The keg party folks charter a different service, not that we can't serve regional beers, or whatever's local.  You're studying the region you're going through, learning the language, history, tastes.  You're getting academic credit -- as a lot of those truckers are -- from your time on the rails, often intentionally side-lined without an engine, per plan and schedule.

Hooked to all this is the idea of the Personal Workspace (PWS).  Trains might not always carry sleepers.  Most do not.  They could be modeled with offices, work and study spaces.  Ping pong tables make sense when you're parked.

The North American riding public in large degree switched to jets in order to minimize travel times over long distances.  Commuter hops were and are train and bus oriented.  Some American cities have invested lots in rail, Philadelphia especially.  Others rely almost exclusively on the "rubber" tire.

One might also experiment with trains that facilitate hopping on and off.  The moving sidewalk platform has been proposed, and used by Disney with some success.  The train slows to run at the same speed as the mounting belt and the passenger simply steps on or off the train.  Slower belts (moving sidewalks) run parallel and after a few transfers, the passenger is back to standing stationary at the station (why we call it that).

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lesson Plan: 2D Animation

My 2D animation course is somewhat minimal in that students are given a login to Animatron, and take it from there mostly, i.e. we emphasize learning by doing, hands on from the get go.

Today, like two weeks ago, I'm planning to pick a default theme and challenge them to develop their ideas in that direction.  The theme last time:  Thanksgiving.  The theme this time:  Landing a New Mars Probe.

InSight survived a suspenseful touchdown over the last few hours, with those tracking space events tuned in through various media.  We mostly watched the tense faces of the JPL team.

However, the idea of "Landing on a Planet" provides some unique opportunities for 2D animation, namely the idea of the 360 degree panorama.  As the camera turns through 360 degrees, we see the same scenery over and over.

Then there's looking more up and down, which turns the 360 panorama into something more like a bubble.  An important point here is we're able to show the vista, the current view or window, as a 2D scene, even through the premise is a camera fixed to a probe, looking around.

Today's digital technology is making panorama and bubble imagery much more accessible to a wider public, both on the viewing side and the creating side.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mars Attacks

Friday, November 16, 2018


Edgar Applewhite was a Fuller fan early on, as a teenager, and worked with Fuller full time off and on.  He also had a career in the CIA which took him to Berlin and Lebanon.

Ed and I got off on the wrong foot maybe, in that I considered him a fictional character at first.  Dr. Fuller had this famous mind / brain distinction wherein the brain was the filer and collator of special case experiences, which it ordered according to intuitions coming in from a higher source (mind).

Cosmic Fishing by this Applewhite guy seemed to capture this relationship, and I wondered if Applewhite was a pseudonym and metaphor for Fuller's brain.  Later, reading a Futurist magazine, I saw his picture and talked myself out of my little fantasy.

When Ed and I later got to be friends, I explained my misconception and I think it worried him more than offended him, as he was thinking I could be a key player -- but not if I was into harboring deep delusions.

Later he coined the term "techno-invective" for a genre of writing I was into.  Looking back, I'd say anyone defending Synergetics is bound to get caught up in technical arguments, but if it's a debate one also needs zing, hence the term.

Fuller and Ed had a somewhat rocky relationship at times.  Even if one is conscious of the underlying psychology, that doesn't always mean smooth sailing.  Rocky relationships are sometimes just the ticket anyway.  I'm not suggesting Ed and I were always in sync either.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Uncommon Core

You may or may not be familiar with "uncommon core" (meme), depending on if we've lowered a rope in your zip code area.  That's what we've done in Portland, regarding spatial geometry especially.  The skeptics say there's no future in Polyhedrons, ever since Bourbaki mainly.  The Canadians have overtaken their neighbors to the south, in both AI and extended Euclideanism (ala Coxeter).

New England Transcendentalism, so-called, later simply American Transcendentalism, hooked its star to this Canadian memeplex, in the sense that the Synergetics "bible" (numbered passages) is dedicated to University of Toronto guru "Dr. Donald" as some affectionately know him.  Formerly a student of Wittgenstein's at Cambridge.  AI (ML) took some leaps and bounds at the same academy.

The Uncommon Core needs you to learn more about coding.  We'll compare and contrast functional with object oriented, but we refuse to abandon either in some religious war.  World Domination made sense for FOSS (another meme, needs a different word in Arabic).  It doesn't make sense for some subsect in programming to stake that claim.  So yes, we keep using Python, along with myriad other languages with a Jupyter Notebook like shell (or use JN itself in the case of Python, Haskell...).

You might think I'm talking college here, and I am, as Uncommon Core excels at that level, however I talked about "lowering a rope" which means to the littler people, the kids.  Andragogy meets pedagogy.  You may have read my Pythonic Andragogy essay on LinkedIn.

I'm not trying to make stuff happen in every zip code.  Oregon Curriculum Network is named that for a reason.  Yes, I have meetups with people not from around here, and we compare notes, trade memes and artifacts, help stock our respective inventories with educational supplies.  But I know better than to dabble in zip codes (shorthand for "micro-regions") where I have no clue how things operate.  I'm not one to just parachute in and take charge.  I'm into organic growth and all that.

However, given the Coffee Shops Network as another vector, less parochial sounding than Oregon Curriculum Network, you can find a cyber-footprint from pretty much anywhere.  If you have an LCD, we have the animations or ideas for storyboards.  You'll bring your own ideas to the table.  Synergy happens.  I don't need to leave my zip code to make the magic happen.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Philosophy as Therapy


Adding to this medical theme, of therapy, is the fact that this photograph was taken in a hospital, in one of the cafeterias. This is actually in the adjoining medical offices building, adjacent the hospital proper.  Both Carol and I had appointments there.

Lacking any informative dialog with ETs in this chapter, we resorted to inventing them, or extending anthropology towards science fiction.  "Imagine a tribe..." is how Wittgenstein would start a scenario. "... that multiples differently" I'm adding.  Then I go into a riff on tetravolumes.

The point was to demonstrate "paradigm shift" in a simple way.  The duckrabbit type gestalt switches convey one aspect of meaning, central to Philosophical Investigations Part 2.  But not all language games come with such convenient Necker Cube type branding.  That's where an XYZ versus IVM set of coordinates comes in.

Why don't I just jump in to having ETs teach me this alien thinking?  Because I grew up reading Asimov and Heinlein wherein the author doesn't have to develop a relationship with the characters other than by creating them.  The Martians or ETs I create have a pedagogical (andragogical) purpose.  If it turns out actual ETs also use a tetrahedron for unit volume, we'll say humans were anticipatory in this chapter.

Or maybe we'll say ETs were actually among us.  I'm aware of schools of thought that would suggest a military interest in the outward technology, but with much less of an interest in a Vulcan mind meld, if you know your lore.  Some television has explored more the direction of meme exchange.

Martian Math, as a genre of science fiction with math in it, suggests at least a Platonic relationship with these alt-humans, i.e. a shared fascination with Platonic forms.

Lets use the IVM-to-XYZ conversion (switch) to (a) demonstrate the idea of a "paradigm shift" in microcosm and to (b) explore what might be considered an "alien" mindset.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Zoltar Before
:: before ::

Zoltar After
:: after ::

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Speaking of Hiking

Talk about steep.

Siraj is a coach, for those wanting a workout.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hiking Trail

I recommend the Ezra Pound Trail into this thicket, or wilderness, and not because I'm expert in that country.  I just did another saunter and realized how little I'd explored before.

In a nutshell, right when we're discovering another Unabomber (FBI doing what it does best), and cogitating on how mental illness warps politics, I'm looking at the case of Ezra Pound.

Ezra was amazingly active, including politically, and saw himself as a change agent, helping to free his home country from crass tastes dictated by money.  He would reach them by true craft.

However, his hatred of the bankers behind the US side in the World Wars (1900s), because of how he saw things, had gotten him added to Hoover's "most wanted fugitive" list.  He was living in Italy.  When they caught him, they caged him, which would drive anyone crazy.

When Ezra was shipped back to DC to stand trial, he got to avoid the noose by pleading insanity instead.  He spent the next ten years penned up in an institution.

Conservatives sided with Ezra, not because of his Fascism so much as his lifelong commitment to freely speaking his mind.  He was the hallmark individual in the showcase of Individualism, which casts itself against the Borg, the hivemind, the groupthink attendant upon any Cult of Personality (these are the dragons we individuals must fight).

Right when he's in the middle of being committed and/or executed (the case is hotly debated in the rabid press), the Library of Congress decides he's a true American genius.

Londoners thought so too (he'd been living there a lot).  Ezra was admired around the world and friend of many a literary figure, from Robert Frost to T.S. Eliot.

The literati of that day wished Ezra to be spared the DOJ's wrath, and even the dimmest of wits could appreciate the bad light the "freedom champions" might be in, if they inanely gave the death penalty to one of their most celebrated rock stars.

This epic saga resonates so well in the current political climate that I'm surprised we're not seeing the movie already.  Hey, Hollywood!  Over here!  Start with The Pound Era for more context?  Who might we cast as Ezra?  Gump?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Since my bumpy ride (recent post), and my sense of wandering into a "CPU" (as a lone electron), life has indeed become computation intensive.

Mom's right knee, given ad hoc repairs after the accident in 2000, is no longer functioning.  We don't know if this change is permanent.  She needs an X-ray.

Just getting her in and out of the car could prove impossible.  I'm planning a dry run for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm glad I'm not commuting to some office every day, as I need to be on hand, in my role of caretaker.  I've been a caretaker a lot.

My wife suffered a long decline with her cancer.

Nor do I forget my dog.

I don't think Dawn would mind sharing this paragraph with Sarah. She was afraid of dogs at first, but developed a bond with said mutt.

Today I headed over to Glencoe, where I'm shepherding kids through an after school program.  If you dig around in my blogs, you'll find more.

Friendly Care has been supportive.  Maye Thompson let me in to borrow a wheelchair from the medical equipment library, founded by Alberta Gerould.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Bumpy Ride

Carol's leg gave way as we were standing there in the kitchen.  I turned to grab some grapes off the counter and boom, she went down.

At first I thought the grape I'd dropped on the floor had scared her.  Was it a mouse?  It moved quickly.  But no, I don't think she even saw the grape.  When I turned back, she was on the floor.  She had hit her head on the doorjamb, or at least I think that's where she hit.

She squawked as she went down.

Since she was fully conscious and there was no bleeding, I urged her to scooch towards the basement steps, which is where she manages to stand, on the landing.  She's fallen before, but not because her leg gave way, nor had she hit her head like that.

As for me, the clock was ticking, as this was a lab period wherein students look at projects, do their own thing, for a specific amount of time.  I'm to resume the "broadcast" but here I am supervising Carol's attempt to get upright.  The timing was to the minute.

The next lab came soon, so I could resume assisting her more.  Indeed, she had a bump on her head, like in the cartoons.  She'll need to call the clinic tomorrow, standard procedure in case of a head bumping fall.  I found an ice pack in the freezer once class was finally over.

Carol and I went to Multnomah County Elections office several weeks ago to make sure her ballot came to her address here in Portland, not the one in California.  Today, I got ballots for myself, and for Tara (who has moved away), but nothing for Carol.

I'll call the elections office tomorrow if nothing shows up in tomorrow's post.  We vote by mail here in Oregon.  Before then, I plan to drive downtown for my colonoscopy kit, fun fun.  I might get to have breakfast with Alexia.

These were not the only bumps in the road today.  The assignment I'd been given said I'd have eight students and I went to all the work to create eight login envelopes.  However I only had three.  I found out later that the office had messed up and confused my class roster with another in Seattle.

However I'm saving the "best" for last.  Tonight was session ten of ten for my Introduction to Python class, and my usual practice is to reward those making it to the very end (we lose some along the way) with a camera view of the pet python sliding around on my arm and so on.

The python's name is Barry and he's well behaved, never gives me problems.  It wasn't his fault I left the lid off his aquarium (terrarium?) when I put him back.  After class was over, I watched a couple Youtubes, about the 3D CAD stuff I'm teaching, and when I looked up, he was gone.

I immediately closed the door to the room, hoping he hadn't made it out yet, and began a thorough search.  Fortunately, he was under the second chair I checked.  Good outcome.  He's safely back in his habitat.  Tomorrow I'll buy him his meal.

I've been under the weather myself.  I feel I'm back to 90%, but not 100%.  The head cold went to my lungs.  I don't think it's pneumonia this time, but I'll closely monitor (I have no choice).  Fortunately, I have no more classes for at least a week.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Virtual Expos

Grand stairway and lake front
Lewis & Clark Exhibition, 1905

The so-called World's Fair, sometimes called an Exposition or Expo, was a much higher profile event before the corporate donors decided they had nothing worth showcasing.  Expos were for sharing Big Dreams for the future.  Electricity.  Freeways.

Now that we're looking at Peak Oil and are facing the realities of atomic and plastic waste, a lot of it irretrievably mixed into the ecosystem, what's the Big Dream?  Universities may have degree programs in cleanup, but Earth Day and Expo were not originally planned to be the same.

The oil producing Arabians are among the most conscious of Peak Oil, given the oil boom happened only recently, to the whole planet of course, but especially to them.  Dr. Fuller referred to oil reserves as "starter fluid" somewhere.  We could use it to boot a sustainable global civilization, but not if we couldn't wean ourselves off the stuff in time.

Now that we have television, internet, phones as movie cameras, the idea of millions flying or driving to an Expo might be counterproductive.  We have Burning Man.

The idea of Virtual Expos might make some sense, and also ways to make global development scenarios more of an audience participation business.  Having people on street corners raising money is less imaginative than fielding roving crews of troubleshooters, with fans and contributors watching from home.  That's what Bizmo Diaries was a lot about:  fantasizing about those teams and the surrounding reality TV.

But don't business mobiles drink a lot of Peak Oil?  Are they part of the problem more than part of the solution?  I'm all for having that debate.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

First Stop on the Tour


I was just posting to Facebook that "bridging the gap" would be a great first tourist stop in the mathemagical theme park (we use Python __magic__ sometimes).

Here is where we familiarize ourselves with the concept of Zonohedra.

A zonohedron has faces with opposite-edges-parallel (picture a stop sign), minimally rhombi, as well as opposite parallel faces, like a cube has, or a rhombic dodecahedron.

The rhombic triacontahedron is likewise a zonohedron and our "gap" inheres here, between two of them.

Consider two RTs (thirty diamond faces each) of almost exactly the same volume, but the one is a little smaller, making for two sets of faces, one set slightly within the other.

Along each radial, from the body center, two diamond faced centers occur, towards the tip.  There's a tiny gap between the two.

Here's the ratio we go by:  the RT inside, the slightly smaller one, has a volume of exactly 5, relative to the reference tetrahedron of edges 2R.

The ball of radius R very slightly protrudes, at each face center, a small hump, a pitcher's mound.  The apex of each hump marks the center of a 5+ volumed RT's face.

Each RT has a "nice" property:  a volume of precisely 5, a radius of precisely R.  The latter, scaled up by Φ, becomes yet another RT of volume 20 * √(9/8).

When we scale the smaller volume five RT up by 1.5 or 3/2 as a scale factor, its volume turns into 7.5 (red), and its radius into Φ/√2.  It now shares a set of vertexes with the volume 6 RD (yellow).

Rhombic Triacontrahedron

The new face radius, of the 7.5 volumed RT, will be the 3rd root of 3/2 times whatever it was before (call it h), since to boost a volume by 3/2, the edges need to expand by the 3rd root of that number, or about 1.14471424255333.

The resulting face center to body center radius (believe it or not):  Φ/√2 where √ and sqrt mean the same thing, arithmetically.

In other words, the original h, for which the RT has a volume of exactly 5, is Φ/√2 multiplied by the reciprocal of the 3rd root of 3/2, or about 0.99948333226234344.

Another tad-bigger RT, has a radius of R precisely, just a tad larger than the volume 5 RT's of radius 0.9995, weighing in at about 5.00775803133283.

The tag-bigger RT's volume is granule greater than 5, of necessity, but look at how tiny the gap in radius:  0.000516667737 is pretty small, compared to 1 R, the reference length.

That's why we might pay you to pay some mind to this little difference.  Without concerted attention, it might be overlooked.  Attention means concentration means doing work (measured in iota perhaps).

Let's take stock of what juggling balls we get in the air with this exhibit:
  • 2nd and 3rd roots and powers
  • the golden ratio Φ
  • the power rule (relating linear to areal to volumetric growth)
  • two spheres (and a thin wall between them)
  • a pair of RTs (tiny difference in radius, volumes 5 & 5+)
  • an RT of volume 7.5 sharing vertexes with the RD of volume 6
  • an RT of ~21.21 embedding the Jitterbug icosahedron (as long diagonals)
  • five concentric zonohedra (six counting the cube of volume 3)...
  • one of which is the the space-filling RD of volume 6
  • the concept of tetravolumes
  • T & E modules (RT)
  • A & B modules (RD)
  • alternative powering models
  • scaling by Φ
For a first stop, that's not bad.

What schools have a mandate to teach this stuff?  Paw through Youtube?  I'm finding more researchers getting a clue.

We might call this exhibit Prying Open Synergetics as we're managing to suck some sense out of a hairline fracture that came to light only after Dr. Fuller already had put some years of concentration into his newly emerging discipline.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Bridging the Gap

Mind the Gap

What the humanities came up with, by way of anthropology, was a device for probing their sister STEM, regarding her meaning for "dimension" and "paradigm".

"Could you have a different number of dimensions for space, in a different paradigm?"

Rather than wait for an answer, the New English sprung upon us a new system, asking "there, is that the kind of thing you mean?".

By New English I mean anglophones in North America with their various nationalisms and other dreams, not to be confused with New Englanders, which more formally refers to a few of their "states".

Their English was different enough to permit publishing a positive futurism that was neither racist nor classist in conception.  This wasn't socialist realism.  Tractors were not core.

I've taken a different tack, having learned of these old schoolers in my early twenties, with four years of university behind me already.  I gradually worked my way into their network, attempting to find out more about their operations.  Where do the dome companies fit in?

However life is fairly quantum mechanical and one brings strong interpretations to whatever findings.  Facts under-determine what we believe to be the case.

The fun we're having branding "the gap" might be of relevance.  We're referring to a crack, a thin fracture line in the mathematics, between two volumes, relating to a perfect sphere which we may or may not require to "exist" in some namespace.

My "mind the gap" writings and videos give the flavor.  Of course we know about the London tube and the gap they mind therein.  These aren't so far apart.

The pun "GNU English" comes to mind and refers to "geek-speak" and especially all that computer science stuff as we call it today.

Computerizing the new paradigm had some number crunching aspects, especially around vectors and simple linear algebra, but mostly we're talking hypertext and what that added to the equations.

In hindsight, I'd say links to Canada stay important, and the University of Toronto in particular.  This is in no way a new development, I'm just saying it hasn't been fading.  Dr. Arthur Loeb was in New England proper, but the Eschers were and are Canadian, as was H.S.M Coxeter.  Today, we think of Hinton and ML and how Canada has embraced its heritage as a major contributor to Deep Learning.

I'm thinking Truckers for Peace, variously branded ("without borders" etc.), will continue gaining ground in Canada.  Opportunities to swap routes on a global basis are more likely to open intra-parent sometimes, meaning subsidiaries of the same directorship are more likely to collude with their own employees than are government agencies with bureaucrats, few of whom have any experience driving trucks.

What ties these threads together is of course the various brands and logos that allude to the shared "design science" ethos.  You see these in both hemispheres, and once you know what to look for, a whole ecosystem emerges.  Like when you first learn of the "octet truss" when learning about architecture; suddenly it's everywhere.  It was there all along, but it takes awareness to distill meaning from apparently irrelevant details.

For example, TrimTab Beer in Birmingham, Alabama, is definitely on the Meme Train when it comes to New English.  I've got the T-shirt at least.  I'm still not drinking beer, not because I'm off alcohol but because the Pacific Northwest has some of the best IPAs imaginable and I was turning into a real addict, flooding my system with unneeded calories.  I may get back to sipping, but have some goals to reach first.  I'm reconnecting with Wine World.

For my part, I went back to socialist realism and the tractors, finding them another type of "turtle" for moving around on a computer screen, in response to whatever instructions.  The tractor may plow back and forth, planting ASCII or Unicode, or follow a more CRT-like raster pattern, more of a spiral if you connect east with west.  Some of my Python students know what I'm talking about, or check my Github site.

Many Flavors of Trimtab

Thursday, October 11, 2018


The concept of "tweening" comes from ToonTown, the animation industry, to which Portland plays host.  Comics too, witness Dark Horse.  Manga and anime, for those used to a more Japanese spin.

The "in between" frames connect the "key frames" -- in hypertoons too.  I claim hypertoons to be my invention, where scenarios intersect through switch-point nodes.  With no break in continuity, your playheads travel through a "spaghetti ball" of toons (edges, segments, clips).

Where physics comes in:  are we able to connect key frames A and B with a set number of "tween" frames without breaking any physical "laws".  Physics is under pressure to provide guaranteed, deterministic results, provided one follows instructions.  No miracles required.

Calculus is all about expressing rules in terms of neighboring frames.  Some scientists flirt with the notion that each frame determines the next in some ironclad fashion, such that all the unfolding action is like clockwork, deterministic, including our own thoughts and feelings.

Believe it or not, such a notion is actually a comfort to some, as "it could not have turned out differently" is a kind of reassurance people sometimes offer.

In practice, the meaning of "determined" breaks down if the trajectory stays unpredictable, even with the benefit of hindsight.  "Given what we know now, we still could not have predicted what would happen, back then" is not that unusual to hear.

Sans any closed form formula letting us crystal ball the future, our only way to find out is to get there.  However, statistics still tells us about likelihoods, and that death, if not taxes, is certain.  Taxes remain highly probable.

All questions of determinism aside, marrying the language of animation to scenario planning and calculus is not a stupid idea.  We're always making recordings these days, to various media, of what goes on around us.  The study of trajectories, of particles in cloud chambers, is at the heart of quantum physics.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Lonely Lives

Some days I kick back and delve into Youtube.  Given what I pay monthly for optical fiber, to CenturyLink, I think of such R&R as getting my money's worth.

Besides, I'm not just goofing off.  Youtube is not a porn site after all.  Yesterday I was immersed in MIT's 8.04 Quantum Mechanics.  Today, I'm back to freakish humans and the lonely lives some of them have.

That I would go back to watching about Pi Guy, who recites some 20K digits flawlessly, is apropos given what I've been up to in Jupyter Notebooks.  You'll find a link to the above video in the For Further Reading section.  I'll take you there by way of edu-sig.

Brain science sometimes struggles to explain these phenomena.  Reality stays humbling.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Sputnik Day

I watched this documentary about the Apollo Era yesterday evening, without having consciously tuned in, until somewhere in the middle, that this was Sputnik Day, October 4. The movie started sharing about October 4, with a Sputnik 2 in November, and I'm thinking "hey, isn't that today?" Sure enough.

A big Our Backyard newspaper large format thing, color pictures, came from Metro addressed to Dawn Wicca.  I might not have given it a second look, but Carol plowed into it, spending the better part of the day with it. 

To her, it's a newspaper about the legacy of Dr. Jack Urner, who she say worked for Metro in the 1950s and 1960s.  I was only a toddler and grade schooler, so who am I to dispute.  I know he worked for the Portland Planning Bureau, I just don't know when Metro (a tri-cities thing) got going.

Jack went on to work for Libya, Egypt, Bangladesh and some others (I'm not ranking them), but Portland, in Carol's mind, still bears the imprint of his greenway and park oriented thinking.  When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you're automatically some kind of landscaper and gardener. 

He was not a Robert Moses type, looking for where to ram through a next freeway.  Indeed, he probably left the States partly to get away from the Robert Moses types.  But again, kid brain speculation maybe doesn't count for much.

Gamification:  I was thinking about board games and how we played them as a family.  Geeks stack them at home and sometimes get them down.  All adults.  Computer companies hope you'll play there.  Why go home when you can socialize in a state of the art rec area?  Then get back to work. 

You can say that's exploitative.  You can say that's how some people prefer to work.  The only downside is the dorm isn't right in the same building.

Board games:  I don't want to hear if it's capitalism or socialism or whatever ism, just run the simulation and show me the script.  Let me see the movie. 

Taxonomy can come during the postmortem.  An ism is what you die of.  In the meantime, lets play.

"Lots of little experiments, very few big ones" was my MTOD.  GST > Econ.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Me Too

I was falsely accused of sexual assault once.  We were stopped at a busy train signal, lots of cars waiting, in SE Portland near OMSI.

I was driving her back to her car, or thought that's what was happening.  All of a sudden she jumps out of my passenger side seat and jumps in the car behind us.  The gate goes up and I go on by myself.  Gee, I thought we were just friends.  She had a boyfriend in India.  I knew we weren't dating. She'd been a guest at Wanderers that time, which is how we met.

The next day I get a call from some policewoman saying so-and-so was registering a complaint or something like that.  I told the officer I was clueless and incredulous and had my hands on the wheel at all times.  She'd said nothing to warn me she was about to jump ship.

Why would I try making unwanted advances in the middle of a packed street while waiting for a train?  Headlights were shining through my rear window.

The officer advised me to think twice next time before driving a younger female around unaccompanied.  Meanwhile, my accuser texted me that any time we were in a public place together, such as a public meetup, she reserved the right to scream about it, stage major theater.

We'd been at a pro Jeff Merkley party (he was running for office) and she worked for Novick (likewise running, and competing), or she claimed to, so I always assumed her motivations were political.

She thought I might be influential and wanted to show me how quickly she could tarnish my reputation, spread rumors, and keep me away from venues she might attend.

She later moved away and changed her name (I found a public blog post where she talked about doing that).  I don't try to follow what happened after that. I posted something to my blog closer to the time.  This all happened over a decade ago.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Bizmos Meet T4P

Some of you may have realized that a fleet of bizmos (business mobiles) and a fleet of trucks, might serve in complementary capacities.  The bizmos need to pave the way for our citizen diplomats by visiting truck stops and talking up the program.

Soon:  drivers and their apprentices will be coming through here, from faraway lands.  Some will be homesick.  We're not trying to make them suffer unnecessarily.  Perhaps we have movies in their native language?

Remember, the standard bizmo comes with an ability to download an image from the cloud, your image, such that, as a driver or crew, you get to pick up where you left off, with customization.  Your favorite music, language tapes, even screen savers, are all on tap.  A lot of trucks work the same way.

Sometimes we'll be using bizmos to transport drivers from one route to another.  You've finished your segment from that Chinese city to Pakistan.  Now we'll let your relax and talk with others while we take you to a next assignment.  Yes, like a taxi, but sometimes we need more bells and whistles.

As a bizmo fleet training supervisor, I might help orient new crews to their vehicles, in the process of sketching the program.  We could train up and down I-5, or I-95, before sending more seasoned crews to more challenging assignments in Asia or Africa.  Likewise, we're receiving drivers from those faraway locations and want to show them the lay of the land.

Orientation is the name of the game in a lot of contexts.  Do that right, and you have happy campers, up to the challenge.  Skip that step, or do it incorrectly, and you're inviting a lot of frustration, on the part of the insufficiently oriented.

I've enjoyed committing to the "boot track" for this program i.e. crafting some blueprints.

T4P == Truckers for Peace.  You can read more about that in my blogs and on Medium.  Or visit a truck stop near you.  Look for us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Integral Design


I showed up early today in hopes of crossing paths with Jon Bunce.  Don said on the phone he comes early sometimes, makes coffee.  No dice.

Being early has other advantages, in that I get to overhear the three ladies to my right chat with each other.  Nirel is here too, busy setting up two cameras to make a video.  We're waiting for the coffee to be ready.  It's ready.

Glenn is talking about what he's been reading.  He has lots of stories.  He enlisted in the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army.  Thanks to really high test scores, he got sent to the long program in Vietnamese, almost a year, at Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey.  He excelled at learning Vietnamese.  That's the only school he's graduated from, aside from high school.  That's when he learned he'd be serving in the NSA.  He received a top secret cryptographic clearance.

I was teaching Python last night, until 10:30 PM or so, then switched to watching more 911 videos on Youtube, this time through the LaRouche PAC.  I've tracked him for a long time, all of 96 years old by now. I checked Wikipedia.

Like many Americans, I've spent quite a few hours considering the events of those hours on September 11, 2001.  You'll find a smattering of posts in my blogs about it.

Back to Glenn:  he was studying the PT boat fleet and working on cracking the Vietnamese code matrix, which had changed right around when he got there.  As the new guy on night duty, he got out his colored pencils and managed to crack the code.  As the lowest ranking guy with an attitude, he got no credit for his feat.  He was also never asked how he broke the code.

In Vietnam they'd been under attack quite routinely (not from PT boats; they were on a base on land).  The guys were not in a good mood, this being an ill-conceived war.  Higher ups were actually thinking of sequestering the ammunition, not a popular proposal among the enlisted.

Rotating vets out ASAP was the better solution, the Pentagon had learned, so their anti-war sentiments would not affect the new recruits.  For the next year and a half, he was back at Fort Meade, at NSA headquarters. 

Upon completing his military service, Glenn managed to secure a scholarship position at Antioch College, which, given its work / study approach, lost a lot of its students to full time employment.  His far western background and military service made him a good diversity candidate.

He'd tried formal schooling before, before enlisting, and after leaving the electricians union, much to his dad's distress.  He worked 8 hour shifts in a commercial laundry, dealing with restaurant, hotel and hospital linens, in order to pay bills and sit in huge lecture halls listening to grad students with microphones.

Dropping out, yet continuing to go to school, was not an unusual pattern in those days, and Glenn followed it in the case of Antioch.  One could still learn, but without the overhead of a big tuition.  Attend class, keep the student card, just don't expect a degree at the end of the tunnel.

Through Antioch, Glenn encountered Helen and Scott Nearing who preached radical simplicity as a lifestyle.  Glenn absorbed these values and became more yet autonomous and self sufficient.  He learned to live off the grid.  He'd become one of those back-to-the-land anti-war hippies.

In a later chapter, he joined a Jerome, Arizona manufacturing outfit.  The company made some of the best mercury vapor detection devices anywhere, important in mining especially.  Thin gold mesh filters.  Better than most of the competition by at least an order of magnitude.

He learned to build clean rooms, wire networks (computer, electrical), do plumbing, while working at this remodeled high school.  With rent going up, they moved to another high school (this time buying it outright), and Glenn took on refurbishing it from the ground up, outfitting it to be the next factory facility.

A five day intensive workshop on integrative facility design, which he took in San Francisco, in preparation for the factory's move, proved pivotal.  Having already had years of hands-on experience, he was in prime condition to take advantage of the course, and see the value in its teachings.

Those with only college coursework behind them lived in a different world.  Glenn was coming more from a construction background.  The workshop instructors actually invited Glenn to join their traveling road show in the end, a high compliment.  However he went back to his dream job in Jerome, where he had a family and friends.

The Jerome instrument company was eventually bought up by a competitor, its people fired.  Glenn and his wife divorced, with Glenn retaining custody of the two kids.  His son was precocious with computers and already had a computer business before finishing high school.

Through his son, Glenn was introduced to the internet, which inspired him to unify a lot of his thinking, using a set of heuristics he calls "the Global Matrix".

By a global matrix he means what I tend to call a "hexapent" (not in the Oxford Dictionary -- at least not the shorter edition) as in HP4E ("hexapents for everyone"). His spherical matrix has layers, say 256 of them.

If the word "layer" gets you thinking of "data layer" or "drawing layer" in like Photoshop, you're on the right track.  GIS systems typically superimpose data layers to give us relevant visualizations.

The Global Matrix inherits from memes like Macroscope, also Geoscope.  These are animated globes, ways of displaying global data.

Glenn is inspired by the I-Ching's ancient octal matrix to think in terms of bits and bytes.

The global matrix is more like a computer, and octaves stay important.  This wasn't the technical talk.

My own path took me to "Global Data" as the name of a science fiction supranational, one hatched outside the whiteman jurisdiction in some N8V context (e.g. Warm Springs), managed by wise elders.

GDC, which I've often blogged about, was all about sharing global data as a service (DaaS), not unlike Google Earth does. When Glenn and I met, we found we had much in common, in terms of goals and aspirations.  We both think in terms of a public service.

I'd compare my relationship to Glenn with my connection to David Koski, who likewise was highly committed to a certain path that converged with mine in many ways.  I'd glomed on to Synergetics, not knowing some guy in Santa Monica was blissing out on recursive E-modules.

Glenn has written a synoptic outline of a book, with clever chapter titles.  He's passing that around now. He thinks a lot about history, ancient civilizations, logic.

The operations 'and', 'or', and 'invert' make more sense to him then 'and', 'or' and 'not'.  Negation and inversion have different connotations.  He got into triangles.  His two hour meeting with Stuart Kaufmann at Sante Fe Institute was another milestone.  Stu has been an ISEPP speaker here in Portland.

Sam Lanahan, another "blog character", has entered the story at this point.  He's been supportive, including by providing some color copies of Glenn's book, which has text on left pages, pictures on the right.  Two were passed around. Glenn and Nirel are working on a website.

You'll find a lot more about Glenn in my blogs.  I've told his story before, however today he's been doing a good job distilling it.  He's planning to do more technical talks as a follow-up. 


Monday, September 24, 2018


I thought I was delaying my trip, on foot, to the local market, in order to catch the CBS Evening News at 6:30 PM.

However I got caught up reminiscing about my Quaker ethnicity on edu-sig, and looking up at the clock, realized it was almost over.

I caught where Hasbro says Bizjet is now OK in Scrabble, but not Bizmo yet.  Then came a story about a loyal all American national anthem singer.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

A Next Peace Corps

We might take this opportunity to empathize with an emigre (immigrant) still proud of her or his homeland.

The reason for the change in citizenship had nothing to do with disloyalty or dislike, and now comes the age of national service (in this science fiction, it exists).  Besides, many have dual citizenship.  Triple?

In which nation's service does one serve?  Wouldn't this be an excellent time to go back and tie off loose ends by serving the old country?

Fast forward and we're in a world where you're welcome to commit your years of national service to the nation of your choice.

How is this different from the US Peace Corps for example?

Woah, that was pretty fast!  How do we get there from here?

Individual families won't agree with some policy-making body -- such as the US Congress -- on who the enemy is.  The Trumps don't hate Russia enough, a big problem for some in Hicktown, USA (not for others) and their elected representatives.

That's but one of many examples.

The bottom line is junior wants to serve in the military of an avowed enemy of the United States.  That's how it looks to the president.

New this Fall, on the TBD network i.e. what a soap opera.

Right, I get the point:  if the "service" is pointing guns at one's fellow human beings and threatening to pull the trigger, or even pulling it, that's not really the kind of service we mean.

The youth wishing to serve in Japan might be a dog lover, but she's not there to hurt Japanese, much the contrary.

And how do we know?  Because Japan manages the service wherein foreigners serve Japan.

This isn't outsiders reaching in with their institutions, so much as families allowing their loved ones to make a difference on the planet under the auspices of cooperating services.

Will this ever happen?  That's a matter of translation.

Foreigners flock to US based universities, as students, faculty, administrators, technicians, janitors, health and food service workers, the list of roles goes on and on.

The technicalities of paperwork, whether these be people on visa, green card, citizens, obscure what is consistent across many psychologies:  a loyalty to the US and/or a subculture therein, and the values thereof.

Perhaps it's really Harvard they care about?

It's all in how we apply filters, as to who shows up in our samples.  Which is kind of my point:  the patterns I'm suggesting are already evident, just under the guise of other namespaces (they're described in other terms).

The context required for such programs to make sense is one of mutual advantage and symbiosis.  We all benefit to the extent humans are prospering in a sustainable manner, not at the expense of an exploited group (i.e. of one another).

Trading young people around, of their own volition, and not only young people, in a context of their committing to national service, is a shared investment in greater mutual understanding and compatibility down the road.

That's a pretty-enough sounding political speech (the stuff & fluff of world diplomacy); usually a good sign when it comes to bridging the bright light of actual day, with movie theater science fiction aesthetics.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Front Door

Anaconda3 Submenu on Win 10

In this day and age, if operating in compatibility mode with USA OS (more elsewhere), there's a way to do it in Windows.  You need a friendly front door in the Citizens' Desktop (not its real name), which is part of Homeland.

Jungle-ware (multi-species), such as Anaconda/Python, need to obey rules of the road, starting with Start Menu aesthetics.  The above screen shot shows that happening, with Spyder also along for the ride.  Spyder is another IDE (interactive development environment) for Python.  Python is a computer language.

One of my pillar tenants is both pedagogy and andragogy benefit when the needle wavers between two extremes, we might call them left and right brained, but don't have to.  I waver between (1) storytelling, lore, and (2) deep dives into the details of syntax, getting technical.

Contrary to stereotypes, computer programming does not require shutting down one's imagination, draining one's fantasy life, fighting one's propensity to daydream.  On the contrary, keeping story lines in mind and visualizing theatrically, like a movie director, helps glue together what one is reading and writing.  Programs have a plot.

Stepping back from any specific drama and considering one's possibilities in the abstract, is what it's like to focus on the language itself.  We might want to code up a Supermarket, a Casino, an Observatory, a Spaceship.  What these have in common, in Python, or in any computer language, is their grammar.

In mathematics we face something similar:  a need to keep the imagination fired, and abstract at the same time.  Here is where polyhedrons enter the picture, in the form of one's own visual and tactile environment.  We're in a scenario already, with furniture, with sets.  Lights, camera, action.  "Camera" means "room".

Virus Story

Unifying computer programming and polyhedrons is another pillar aspect of my curriculum writing. The stereotype around polyhedrons is they're a topic in computer graphics, first and foremost.  However consider leaving visualization to the imagination and coding only numeric changes in surface area and volume as a function of changes in radius.  Using @property, we may inter-relate all three.

Yes, I'm talking about scale, which is turning out to be an important source of generalizations.

Through Windows, I provide a front door into PATH and STEM.  Anaconda creates a space, after which Jupyter Notebooks kick in.  We learn Python in connection with its ability to sort polyhedrons in order by volume.  The focus is on grammar, however in a way that fires the imagination rather than damps it down.
Unicode on Windows

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Groundhog Day

Today's Ground Hog Day (film allusion) ascent of Mt. Tabor was a wide departure from the norm, statistically speaking: I took the bicycle.

I've been riding this sturdy metal beast to one of my meetups, some miles away, not too challenging terrain.  The route up Tabor is far less distance yet a lot more of a climb, and I decided "walk mode" would be permitted once inside the park.

I have a hard time writing "park" without Westworld resonating, having just plowed through Season One start to finish, special features included, a Warner Bros. DVD. I'm between gigs.

On my way to returning it, I stopped over at Glenn's and shared the first two episodes, which he enjoyed.  He knows where to rent it:  where I returned it.  We have one of those hard to find video rental places in our neighborhood.  I got it back before the deadline.

That was yesterday.  Today, having made it to the mid-level reservoir, I stood overlooking the city and marveled at the small birds frolicking in the foreground.

As fortune would have it, Glenn was on his way down so we walked and talked our way to Chavez, me wheeling the bicycle. Once across Chavez, Glenn staying east, I locked the bicycle to a rack and carried the helmet, doing a full bag's worth of supermarket shopping.   I lashed the bag to the back with tight bungies and managed to mount and ride back.

My day since then has been less of a physical workout, unless growing out my beard counts.  I'll shave that today, and spend a few calories.  I do appear to be slowly losing pounds as I continue the No Beer Diet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reciprocal Base Agreements

From Facebook profile:
Is it time to talk about inviting some foreign military bases to North America, in the name of reciprocity? So many US in Okinawa and Guantanamo. Oregon might be OK with a couple bases. They're mostly used for joint marching band exercises, sports, practice using crowded airways. We'll bring back the cavalry and make movies.
Chögyam Trungpa had an army going as I recall. They'd drill and stuff. Oregon could host a Tibetan military base, except the weapons would be metaphysical (like incense).

Monday, September 10, 2018

Who Gets to Be a Mathematician?

Responding to an essay on Medium:

Given trends in AI (machine learning), humans are coming to appreciate that in constructing and internalizing any Reality Model (the process starts before birth) one is performing intensely mathematical operations, updating new “priors” (synthetic a priori judgements) in some Bayesian feedback loop, complete with cybernetic back propagation though many layers of perceptron.

As Kraftwerk so eloquently put it: “we are the [mathematicians]”.

Dr. Keith Devlin showed biological life is at bottom a form of mathematical computation. Humans claim to do it consciously, as a brain activity, on top of a 99% automated metabolism.

Sure, universities want their name on the bottle, when the math smells and tastes like the real deal. They’re like wine merchants. However I’m always willing to accredit the mathematical abilities, properties and practices I encounter in so many walks of life. Fine wines come with many labels.

English majors studying New England Transcendentalism come up against a lot of architecture and geometry these days. Their PhD may be in American Literature of the 1900s, but that means knowing what the “isotropic vector matrix” is all about (1970s metaphysics), and of course “tetravolumes”. No, this isn’t mathematics necessarily, but when it comes to Reality Modeling, such concepts have utility.

Friday, September 07, 2018

On Saying More with Less


I hiked up Mt. Tabor this morning, which sounds impressive, however I might have used the word "stroll".  Some steep parts.  I almost turned around at the Narnia Lamp Post, but then decided to press on.

Coming down, I came across some interesting construction site activities involving a crane lifting heavy objects onto a flatbed truck.  I paused to take pictures.

What was going through my mind a lot was how I could write some new essay on Medium about Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics and quadrays, a coordinate system apparatus I've been yakking about since the 1990s.

However, around noon, before beginning said essay, I did a quick search and found these two postings, both with hyperlinks of their own:

On Ludwig Wittgenstein's Contribution to a Pragmatic Philosophy (April 3, 1997)

Investigations into the Linear Algebra Concepts used in the XYZ and Quadray Language Games (November 20, 1997 Last updated: October 1, 2005)

Wow, that's a lot of what I'd planned to write today.  Do I really need to write it all again?  Probably not.

A better use of my time might be to hack in to those ancient web pages and add some new hyperlinks to them, to more recent writings.

I found my materials using Google, just searching on Synergetics Wittgenstein as my two keywords.

Ravasio writes in her autobiography about finding out these high tuition schools for which loans are needed, not bothering to share New England Transcendentalism in the form of the Fuller corpus.  The math goes there too.

Academia will learn to "get off it" with the Bucky stuff, or it won't.  I'm thinking I won't lift a finger, as I want to see wheels turn without my input.  My goal is to publish less, not more.  Time to wrap it up.

Sure, I'd help as a consultant on the 3D movies about the Concentric Hierarchy etc., but for those to happen, the Global U would need to strengthen its curriculum.  There's a chicken and egg vicious circle here, or maybe a "down the drain" vortex? Time will tell.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Discussing a Documentary

In case you don't have time to watch the movie, or can't get your hands on a copy, the National Geographic documentary about the Gospel of Judas is pretty interesting.

Yes, National Geographic was a sponsor of the project, as if it turned out this was an authentic document, then kudos would accrue to the documentary makers.  For sure this whole operation would need to be memorialized using state of the art film techniques.  One doesn't mess with such heritage without making highly detailed records of the enterprise or project.

The two main puzzles were:  to decipher the badly decayed content of the recovered papyrus book, written in Coptic; to figure out where it came from exactly and how old it was.  Carbon dating was applied and an expedition to Egypt ended in caves with many traces of Coptic culture.  The dating put it around 280 A.D. with some decades plus or minus, suggesting it be treated much as the other so-called "Gnostic Gospels".

The film explains that "gnostic" was a put-down, a lot like "truther" and not a label self-applied, and that it was already a term of opprobrium by around 200 AD by which time Christianity had started to solidify, after taking many turns.

Bishop Irenaeus had railed against some Gospel of Judas way back then, but no one since had been able to snag a copy.  Leave it to some treasure hunter to get it on the black market, where it languished and almost turned to dust.

Judas was thoroughly demonized, yes, but more generally the Bible was being whittled down to Four Gospels with the others best forgotten.  But most especially oxymoronic would be any twisted "Gospel of Judas".  Revelation would be less confusing, in terms of making the Bible cohere.

Two often made points were echoed in this film.  (A) Jesus and his disciples were of course Jews and weren't really into questioning that and likewise (B) the Romans administered "justice" in that region so the irony of Rome's Christians later demonizing Jews for being Jesus killers seemed somewhat like a pot calling the kettle black (an English idiom meaning "who are you to call me that?").

I'd say "Mahayana Christianity" sees that humanity as a whole killed its own God when He came among them, a display of poor judgment which well explains why God, on previous occasions, took some pretty severe actions towards His creation.

Gnostics were to be disrespected for teaching the local God had indeed messed up, but that Jesus was pointing back to a greater God away from these unworthy humans, or something along those lines (considered heresy even today).

The narrower form of Christianity has taken on the mantle of "Chosen People" (us versus them) characteristic of those not thinking in terms of "humans on Planet Earth" (an Astrological conception).  Jewish shepherds were not schooled in esoterica with its cosmic vocabulary.  The older forms of Christianity also have less Greek metaphysics, or so I've been told.  The Coptic people I've hung out with were in Cairo.  But then Alexandria had the works of Euclid.  I guess my point is it took Christians a few centuries to get super educated, especially in light of their early persecution, by the Romans especially.

These last two paragraphs were me rambling.  The movie itself doesn't self indulge having bitten off a huge chunk. In addition to piecing the document together and determining its history, the film gets some character actors to tackle some really challenging plot lines that will be heavily scrutinized.  Agreeing to star in these sequences took some courage in case the film attracted the ire of some offended orthodoxy.

Fortunately, the seminaries have already done a good job of disseminating the historical and archeological approach.  The Gnostic Gospels had already carved out a space in consciousness, thanks in part to Carl Jung, who worked on saving this literary heritage.  I'm not a super expert on all the details but have done enough homework to feel some gratitude to all involved in salvaging such remnants from our human past.  So much ransacking goes on, or sometimes deliberate defacing on ideological grounds.  We want to respect new findings and update our narratives as creation continues to reveal itself, a process some might call God while others would prefer not to.

The two points I mentioned above were to counter the anti-Jew sentiments that were cultivated by those casting themselves as victims of Jewish globalism and/or loyalty to only themselves.  These patterns of thought already had Judas epitomizing Judaism, but in a bad way.  According to this rediscovered gospel, Jesus relied on Judas to turn him in and maybe save the others.  One may debate whether we're talking actual history, but it seems well established that the story of Jesus was taught with this plot twist at least in that one lineage.  Several other gospels were floating about, including those of Timothy, Phillip, Mary Magdalen and so on.  Again, the existence and intelligibility of said texts does not constitute a proof of facts.  These stories don't actually require fact checking to go global, we know that from many other storytelling traditions.

Anyway, I assume a lot of this stuff is old news to the Bible hounds among us, and to the archeologists, some anthropologists.  The literature since this movie must have grown considerably in the meantime.  We have also enjoyed many breakthroughs in getting to know the ancient Mayans.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wanderers 2018.8.21

I haven't been chronicling Wanderers meetups at all frequently, in contrast to ages past. They're always datelined in that same titular format, so feel free to search, should you find intact infrastructure.

Our practice as Wanderers is to practice "open session" wherein the conversation wanders and no one is obligated to stick to the topic, as there's no topic per se.  We sometimes take a vacation and turn the evening over to a leader, a presenter, thinking of ourselves as good guinea pigs, but then we go back to earning our name and reputation, as those with no fixed agenda, just a coffee fund.

The more formal story of our beginning is Terry Bristol, President of ISEPP, needed a stable of trusted conversationalists should a big wig come to town, meaning a top science & engineering practitioner and/or writer-journalist on the book selling circuit.  The cast was eclectic to say the least, with the guest often staying at the Heathman, then lecturing in one of Portland's swankest venues, either at the Schnitzer (old school theater palace) or the Christian church one door down (pews, gallery, organ), on the Park Blocks.

So say Jane Goodall shows up.  Everyone would like to meet her, but rather than mob the poor creature (actually quite self possessed), Terry could have a party, serve refreshments, and the Wanderers could instantly create the suave / sophisticated surroundings such a celebrity would have come to expect.  We were the proverbial intelligent laypeople, not peers perhaps, but from neighboring walks of life.

Tonight we practiced yammering about (a) the big bang (did it have a center) (b) whether any good could come of our grave circumstances (c) near death experiences, such as almost-drownings (d) paranormal phenomena (e) the non-existence, or existence, of extraterrestrials and why we haven't detected them yet (no one present argued that we had, but each meeting is a random function of who happens to show up).  We had some jokes and puns.  We were a sampling of genders and generations, I won't claim random.

I want to mention in particular that Peter Sloterdijk came up and we debated the pronunciation of his name.  Francher has been delving into his most recent writings whereas I'm still stuck in the trilogy, Bubbles, Globes and Foams.  We are not of any special religious denomination and I would say we're mostly a haven for those who don't espouse any mainstream religion, or religion at all, but with numerous exceptions of course (we're riddled with true believers of one kind or another). 

Francher and I are especially fans of Buckminster Fuller, whom Sloterdijk writes about quite a bit.  I'm also into the Wittgenstein stuff.  Larry knew the Trimtab meme. Later I posted to Facebook, in the spirit of what I'd said then:
When I look back in history it's like Alexander Bell (telephone, "kites"), container shipping, the internet (more than just Al Gore)... i.e. I don't place my hopes & dreams [tm] in the hands of prima donna actor-lawyers who claim DC as their Hollywood-like universal studios (many well-known backdrops). They're entertainment, at best a simulation, but these days sing off key. My focus is on the artifacts, like the cars and trucks. Highways. Bridges.