Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jamming Scammers


Another signal we cell phone users get daily, regarding the demise of FDR style socialism, is that cowardly capitalism is able to bombard us with robocalls unfettered and unregulated by any Big Brother.  I'm sure the Business Plot Congress (named in honor of the Business Plot) is pleased with this outcome, as it means scammers (their sponsors) have free rein to attack their constituents (their victims).

As someone relatively tech savvy, I downloaded an app from Sweden that says "insurance scam" every time a robocall tries to sell me Blue Cross.  The reputation of Blue Cross, like that of the White Helmets, is tainted and diminished by this degrading format.  We in Cyberia simply associate "health insurance" with "scam" after a few hundred such robocalls.  They still fill my inbox with their robot messages.  I have to go in and clean it out. Added drudgery.  Thanks Congress!  Thanks FBI!  Do I sound sarcastic?  Maybe not, as here's a fast way to signal the diminishing power and influence of already broken institutions.  "Too big to fail"?  What about "too late to fix"?

Saturday, May 26, 2018


:: success! ::

I discovered the hard way today that blithely installing geopandas from the conda-forge repo, atop a default repo version, is not a tastey recipe. I had to toss my original default Anaconda out the window and do a clean install, good exercise, but not how I'd anticipated events flowing.

Following best practice, I'm now installing a geopandas in its own environment.  But do I have the repo issue sorted out?  After this fresh install from the Anaconda website, I went [Warning:  don't do this, read on!]:

$ conda create --name geopandas python=3.6 geopandas

leaving it entirely up to conda to decide which repo I meant.  Even I don't know, but there's Fiona and all the rest, so I know I'm getting some gigabytes.

Upgrading the Anaconda navigator (in process) will give it a chance to see the new environment I just created.  Will geopandas import successfully this time, or crap out in Fiona?  That is the question.

We're going from Anaconda 1.7.0 to 1.8.5 -- OK, done, lets see if we have a new environment, yes I do, and I don't even have Spyder 3.2.8 yet, in the new one.  I'll go out to the command line, activate the new environment, boot python, and see if the import works, take a screenshot...

Not so fast, say the conda gods. I still have PATH issues.  Fight, fight, fight!  "Fighting Quakers" is a meme, cite Earlham College, also Franklin High School here in Portland, just blocks away.

Caution: Fighting Quakers Ahead

However Franklin High School recently dropped the Fighting Quaker mascot recently using the rationale of not wanting to offend Friends.

Friends I know were forgiving as it's true Ben Franklin never overtly tied himself through membership to any Meeting, that we're able to find the record of.

So no, even with a clean environment, without a force to conda-forge as the repo, don't expect a working geopandas.  Fortunately, there's a one liner to wipe an Environment.  I'll do that, after some coffee (looks like a late nighter), then do a conda install of geopandas with conda-forge the forced repo.  Can one set a default repo per each Environment?

Skipped the coffee, bashed on.  Then took a break.

Good thing I did as the pinto beans were done, just in time to turn off the crockpot.  Reheat some coffee in the microwave.  So where are we?

Navigator sees its environment is gone.  I'll recreate geopandas and then install with a -c conda-forge, meaning I specify the channel and don't leave it up to conda to decide.  Will that go any better?  Lets find out:

conda create -n geopandas python=3.6 geopandas -c conda-forge

That gets me:

That's looking promising.  Will fiona slay me again?  Lets proceed.

Thanks to the way operating systems facilitate multitasking, I'm able to turn my attention to other matters.

Earlier today, the FBI was asking small business owners in the USSA (inside joke) to at least reboot their routers if not install actual firmware.  The Disney Parental Circle option has been added for the Netgear R7000, I discovered, upon fully complying.

Don't question Big Brother, right?  I'm sure many Russians will be equally interested in obeying, as no one wants malware on their routers, whatever the source.  Here's a screen shot.

That's after hacking in to the Netgear on I think it was, which is actually the router behind the router facing the public internet.

This all came after my exploring the geopandas possibility earlier this Saturday.  Yes I often work on the weekends, entrepreneur that I am.  Do I keep the sabbath?  I'd welcome a conversation with rabbis about that sometime.  Netiquette has a lot in common with Jewish law?  I'm not the authority.

I'm still installing in another process.  We've put a lot of hours into spatial data management today, what with the summit meeting in Cedarhurst.  I should update the CTO.  Damn, too much on my plate!

I'm gonna get another bowl of beans and salsa and write to the NetDispenser group.  That's open source and uses the Raspberry Pi as a router, which is what I want to ask about.  I'll check on my geopandas experiment in awhile.

All right!  I document my success with the top screen shot.  A -c conda-forge on the end kept the Environment integral.  Compatibility was achieved!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Global Grid

Surprising how little discussion of a global grid we've seen in the 21st Century, in light of Peak Oil. 

"Historians will write:  The building of a global grid at the beginning of the 21st Century was one of the key elements in the rise of the prosperity of the civilization that we know today."

The video below pointedly skips showing the most lobbied-for grid I'm aware of: Alaska to Siberia, for inter-hemispheric transmission.  I left a comment.

The main cause for skepticism?  That humans are unable to get along.  That's kind of the point.  Global grid talk is for grownups, not for TV viewers trapped in their mostly-fiction media bubbles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Putin Files

I watched the whole thing, after a rather grueling data science class. Like I'd developed my Jupyter Notebooks using pandas 0.23 but left the teaching computer at 0.22 -- that was part of it.  The differences were subtle but when a demo doesn't work, I have to flounder and find out later what went wrong.

We were done by 10:30 PM and I started into Youtubes.  Now it's almost 4 AM.

PBS has a huge number of hours on Putin I see.  I'm never going to have time for them all, but I'm glad I watched this one.  I've sampled others as well.

It's a little bit self-contradictory, not what I'd call unbiased, but this is Frontline, so we know it's leaving it to viewers like me to draw our own conclusions, which may be different from those of Frontline.  Free country.

As a veteran of Portland Occupy, I know these youthful movements to take over squares were indeed somewhat organic (I wasn't paid) and they occurred in North America as well.  The entrenched political sphere does not go unchallenged.  Oligarchs are everywhere.

One of the contradictions is she accuses the Kremlin of paranoia regarding paid protestors, then tells a story of protestors getting paid.

Julia confesses she goes cross-eyed when it comes to cyber stuff, but a few minutes later turns out to be something of an authority on Russian hacking.  As of today, there's still a lot of speculation about the Fancy Bear stuff.  I see no reason to speak with such certainty.  Yes, we all have theories.

What's illegal about Russians using Facebook anyway?  But that's a different story from what's in the DNI report, which is not about Cambridge Analytica and UK meddling either.  Pretty selective.

The Kremlin doesn't believe in organic protests, Julia says, but then the protests against fracking in the west show all the signs of the conveyor belt turning the other way, i.e. the invisible hand of Moscow is behind the anti-fracking astroturf.  So we agree there's astroturf.  What happened to "organic"?

Thanks to Oliver Stone for contributing as much to any "Putin files" as Frontline's lineup.

Americans love revolutions Julia tells us, because theirs was a success.  And democracy.  The line that all these wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya (undermining Allende, imposing the Shah...) and so on are motivated by purely "good guy" ideals makes for an ideological simplification and rather one dimensional storyline.

But here's Frontline sitting at her feet, lapping it up, no tough questions, as that's not what this is about.  The interviewers are mainly there as fans.

Lets hope they're doing at least as many hours on someone domestic. Taking shots at foreign leaders is fun, but there's more to being PBS than that we hope.

But wait, Congress is always threatening to pull funding.  PBS is more like RT than CNN in that regard, an arm of the government.  Youtube says so right under the video, with a link to Wikipedia.

The Putin Files is more likely to endear PBS to Congress, which needs its old enemies to stay sane.  Not much GENI talk around DC these days, quite the backwater (aka swamp).

What's fun about this interview is Julia actually mentions The Americans, which I've been watching recently.  Where science fiction ends and reality begins is always hazy in this world.

Me on Facebook: 
Interesting interview, long. Frontline has hours and hours in its Putin Files. Her dad grew up in Moscow. Julia has a somewhat simplistic good versus evil worldview. Americans are idealistic and just want to spread democracy, making the world a better place. Putin will never understand will he?
We can project on Putin all we like, claiming he's influenced by his background in spydom, but how are we not all in that world at this point?  "Intelligence" is a very generic term and it's not all about being a next Einstein (who was spied on).

Paranoia is not something specifically Russian, duh.

Welcome to the noosphere then.

When do we get to talk about telepathy?  Not on this show.  Switch to Esalen?  Tell us more about how the hippies helped save physics maybe?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Looking Back

From Facebook Profile


Time passes more quickly now, and not just because I'm getting older.

Accelerating acceleration is what Alvin Toffler warned us about.

Events of just a few years ago are already vintage, like old black & white pictures from ages gone by.

That scruffy looking box in the back, leaning up against the fence (behind the C6XTY) contained a gazebo, coated steel frame, 10 by 10 feet when assembled (how tall?). 

I finally passed in on to a young couple with kids.  The mom came and got in her pickup truck.  Freecycle works.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Turning Sixty


A milestone for sure.  I almost didn't make it given how the year began, with a sudden hospitalization. We tend to meditate on such things, as the odometer turns.

I'm a working dude, not a big income.  Python teachers like me operate in the "gig economy" meaning without health insurance but for Oregon's.  Plus I do a lot more than teach this computer language.  I get to be one of the Wanderers and so on.

Glenn Stockton was by this morning, starting work on his Global Matrix website (think "hexapents"), having gained a new sponsor. I've been typing up his letter of introduction, for a packet he's mailing, to a new contact.  The sponsor is someone he already knows.

Right now I'm cooking with wonderful leftovers that Melody prepared during her all too brief recent stint here in Portland.  She left Carol's room in great shape.  That's my mom, 89.  Dad died in 2000 in a car accident in South Africa.  Carol was with him and gravely injured, but stayed with us and bounced back.  We had a great time as a family, living all over the world.

Some hours from now, I'll be launching into one of my night school gigs, bringing another cohort of Python programmers up to speed.  I'm also working on a Rhino project.  The Mac version of Rhino is quite a ways behind the Windows version, and I've never heard talk of a Linux version.  For what I'm doing these days, this version of OSX is sufficient.

I'm blessed with friends (also Friends) and family.  The planet is still a nightmare, in the human realm at least.  The idea that Engineers, not only Priests, Nuns or Psychologists, or Philosophers, might have a big role to play, in improving matters, is one of those themes the Wanderers are into.

I suppose I'm more a Philosopher than an Engineer, but I do see the relevance of artifacts, logistics, workflows, to the whole business.  Economics is becoming more engineering-minded, and I think that's a good thing.

A stronger science is not "at the expense" of mature religion.  That being said, not all religious sub-denominations have much of a half-life, unless they keep morphing in response to continuing revelation.

OK, back to eating and getting on with my work.  I'll visit Rosalie and whomever shows up at El Mercado [ he wrote after the fact ].  Thanks for the TrimTab T-shirt!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Martian Multiplication

5 x 2 = 10

Earthians (Earthlings) start with a square, subdivided into a grid, and show multiplication as a matter of slicing out rectangles, n x m.  Martians, in contrast, start with an equilateral triangle, subdivided into a grid, and show multiplication as a matter of slicing out triangles, also n x m.

The above triangle, in two shades of green, represents 2 x 6 = 12 i.e. the area of the triangle under the red line is equal to that of 12 grid triangles, shown in tan with green borders.  If you mentally swivel the lighter green obtuse triangle about a vertex shared in common with a second such area, you may see how the result fills exactly 4 unit triangles.  Light green (4) + dark green (8) = 12.

Now lets add another edge from the common origin and multiply three numbers instead of two.  Below we see what a volume of 2 x 2 x 5 = 20 might look like.  Of course any number of tetrahedrons may have the same volume.

Multiplying inside the IVM, the way Martians do it,  provides a canonical OABC for any OA x OB x OC.  ABC is "the lid" and simply "closing the lid" is all it takes to define the corresponding volume.

Martian Multiplication

Friday, May 11, 2018

Go By Train

Bill @ Union Station, Portland Oregon

Uncle Bill, 93, bopped down on Amtrak again today.  He only left himself two hours, which sounds like plenty of time to "bend an elbow" as he puts it (have a beer with his grand nephew), but when you subtract all the driving to and from... too ambitious.  He missed his Coast Starlight going back and took a Cascades instead.

The former (Coast Starlight) is the double-decker that goes from Vancouver BC all the way to San Diego.  As a younger family, we got to ride in the sleeper once, from Union Station (Portland) to San Diego and back.  A gift from my mom.

The latter (Cascades) is a different design, built to go faster, but Americans are having trouble with their infrastructure, as they exhaust their resources on adventures abroad.

Americans could have an amazingly fun set of tourist routes, where the point is the trip as much as the destination.  But infrastructure takes money and the public sector doesn't have any.  Private enterprise backs the war effort, filling the void.

A lot of us miss the old USA of course.  RIP Uncle Sam.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Nukes Suck

As my long time blog readers know, I don't believe the Persians are hellbent on getting nuclear weapons.  On the contrary, the political rhetoric coming from these religious leaders as that holding such WMDs is highly immoral and unethical.

The US Christians don't usually say that.  Evangelicals tend to be pro atom bomb, as an expression of God's love for them.

Protestants are especially bomb crazed and explosive ordnance, along with horror films, are principal exports of those infecting the urban areas, District of Columbia especially.

Loving the bomb is right up there with meth and heroine addiction, or addiction to an especially reprobate form of kinky porn.  It's not in the DSM, but it should be, as a possibly treatable mental illness.

A typical symptom of severe mental illness is uncontrolled projection.  If you secretly lust after so-and-so, then it may seem everyone around you is driven by similar secrets.  The lust for nuclear weapons becomes universal, in the mind of one who's been taken over by the meme virus.

That's what I see happening vis-a-vis the Persians (I don't say Iran because I'm not a big believer in UK imperial globes and their hastily drawn districts, silly anthems and flags, and nutty alliances between their "royal" spoiled families).  The nuke heads can't imagine losing the moral high ground, and compensate by playing king of the hill as they wallow in their addiction.

I don't have nuclear weapons, never have.  I came to Nuthouse Earth in 1958 and found it to be a place of great potential, but fearful idiot warmongers have been making this place a hell the whole time I've been here.  I get it.  The species is deeply flawed.  Great religions have worked to address these flaws, with some success, but there's a ways to go.

Actually, human nature may not be the core problem.  Growing pains entail many changes and that's why we need finite life spans, so that humans replace themselves with humans able to come to grips with the new realities, whatever these may be.  Even if there's reincarnation, we get to shed a lot of the debilitating beliefs we build up over the course of a lifetime.  There's that reset button, for back to factory settings, with true learnings collectively preserved.

In our time, the UN General Assembly has bypassed the UN Security Council and come up with its own treaty banning nuclear weapons.  Of course the nuke heads are against this treaty, but they're dying of aging and making last gasps.  The youth are more realistic and understand their careers as weapons inspectors and environmental cleanup agents are beaconing.  Dealing with messes the nuke heads made is already full time work for many people.

Iran (there, I said it, when in Rome...) has much more to gain than to lose by choosing the moral high ground and helping the world rid itself of weapons of mass suicide.  The Iranian religious leaders have embraced the UN Ban Treaty and proposed the whole region be nuclear free.  The whole globe, one would hope, would move in that direction, as a matter of religious faith and respect for whatever deity or deities.

Given the religious nature of Iran's anti-nuke weapon position, discovering a secret program such as others, suffering from their horrendous addiction, have no choice but to imagine, would be especially devastating psychologically.  Such hypocrisy would be hard to fathom.  That's like when gay bashing pulpit imams are found guilty of gay affairs.

A much more promising approach is for Iran to continue growing its alliances within the anti nuke weapon network, which includes the mayors of most cities.  Portland and Tehran are on the same page for example.  Oregon likewise suffers under sanctions from the dinosaur Federales and their military junta dictatorship.  We're friends with Iran.

What we want to stop is all the ethnic warring, deliberately inflamed by so-called special operators who make it their business to sew discord and distribute outward weapons.  Some of these operators pretend to be working on behalf of some "intelligence" agency but we've exposed that form of corruption many times.  Any drug dealer and half-wit criminal can come on TV or Youtube saying they work for the CIA.  Some of these people then get paying jobs working in media.

Remember, anyone who says "our nuclear weapons" or "when we bombed Japan" is likely an arm of some "we" that no longer has integrity or legitimacy.  These people need treatment, medical care, and are not ready for responsible offices or important duties.

Lastly, I don't want to promote ageism by saying older people can't continue to upgrade their thinking.  That's what American Transcendentalism is all about, what with its mind / brain distinction and focus on divine grace (intuition, Holy Spirit, zeitgeist).

Your heritage as a human is to have access to continuing revelation.  So if you're already older than thirty, hang in there and remember to pray for wisdom.  Don't end up like the walking dead.  Become reborn, over and over.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Data Science

Basic Skills

I get these analysts hinting I should see them as part of Capitalism's Invisible Army, but then I have my own litmus tests.  "Are you familiar with Grunch of Giants?"  Thom Hartmann uses an epigram from that book in his Unequal Protection.  He's had a show on RT off and on, lives in Portland.

Also "do you know how to use Jupyter Notebooks?"  As an analyst, I'd expect at least that much literacy.  Especially among the new hires.

We've got a lot of old farts running around pretending to be "intelligence professionals" but in many cases I see no tell tale sign this is the case.  I point out to my peers what to look for.

From Facebook:

We might come away with different conclusions based on whether we watch RT or MSNBC, but a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma in April either happened or it didn't right? That can't be left as open ended. What I've seen, based on several sources, is that it didn't. We see the video showing where and when the victims were supposedly treated, then go back to the exact same location, same room, same hoses, and interview some of the very same people we saw in the original video. They're fine. They say the White Helmet people were shouting "chemical attack" and spraying cold water on people. I'm not so relativistic about reality as to think "it happened" and "it didn't happen" at the same time, as if we were talking about Schrödinger's Cat.

Where I come down in my investigation of the concept of "gaslighting" is it's important that a "perpetrator" has to be knowingly deceiving e.g. if RT hired crisis actors and meticulously recreated the original scene, all to give us these fake interviews that made us question our reality, doubt our sanity, that would be gaslighting. 

Those who believe the Moon Landings were a hoax think that some core people, such as Stanley Kubrick, were gaslighting, i.e. knowingly participating in a ruse. On the other hand, someone who naively believes in the hoax (a whole-hearted dupe, such as myself), is not gaslighting. 

If you sincerely believe X and seek to persuade others of X, that's by definition NOT gaslighting. You have to know that you're lying and deceiving. Like if you've committed murder and want to hide your crime.

I've been watching postmortems of the invasion of Iraq trying to figure out if Dick Cheney was gaslighting or if he was simply inexperienced in intelligence matters and couldn't fathom that documents such as the yellow cake from Niger memo might be forged, or that exile expats might lie. 

My current hypothesis is he was dangerously naive and inexperienced and actually believed the misinformation he was being fed. I think most analysts believe he was knowingly lying i.e. gaslighting. 

Either way, the lesson learned, it seems, by those eager to prosecute their war, was that pausing to discover the real facts of the case are an impediment and could end up derailing the war plan, so the new technique is to respond without pause, because waiting to discover facts is considered weak. To me, that sounds like a form of insanity and/or like a case of gaslighting (intentional deception).

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Horror Stories

Friday, May 04, 2018

Back to Work


I returned the balance of The Americans unwatched.

"It was getting too addictive" I told the librarian, who empathized.  I've got school work to keep up with, and a job to teach what I've learned.

Anyway, I got the idea.  My respects to the entire cast.  I hope to get back to it sometime.  Maybe on an airplane flight somewhere.

No more time for any binge-watching of clever screenwriter fantasies.

Speaking of which, a film crew was out in force half way up Mt. Tabor.  Glenn knew immediately which house I meant and said crews have been there on numerous occasions.

Why do I doubt it's just a commercial then, like that guy said?  They pointedly don't have any signs out telling us what they're filming.

I was reading The Economist this morning at Common Ground.  Sounds like DC is at it again, the rogue city with a grandiosity complex.

That gross attack against Syria reminded me of Clinton's cruise missile attack on the veterinary medicine plant, but on a much huger scale, in terms of folly.  Too Cuban Missile crisis.

Havana and Puerto Rico should talk more about trade.  DC imposes sanctions everywhere it looks of course, on its colonies especially (Guantanamo, Okinawa, Kwajalein ...).

The macroscope is a lot about gases in the atmosphere and their sources.  Methane tends to be a mystery these days.  It's rising, but why?  Quadrays look like methane, but I don't think that's it.

The satellites are on it.  Detective work needed.

To those saying the "secret" Michael Pompeo meetup with Kim Jong Un is DeepFaked, I say what does it matter?  Saves on jet fuel to use avatars.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Phi Spiral

Koski & Forscutt