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.