Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bucky Revival 2020

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Energy Slaves

I'm going back to thermodynamics with its energy and power concepts, along with syntropy and entropy.

These conversations deserve more than fleeting attention, so I spiral back to them.

From Code: Law

The news story about the intel community using AWS type services for intel work is not surprising, as the "elastic desktop" has become the new normal.  Your front end API is to what back end?  The answer may change from hour to hour.

The "code is law" movement, such as it is, may have its roots in operating system design, as preventing users from sabotaging the kernel, or each other, is really the responsibility of the design itself.  The model anticipates bad actors, misbehavers.  However the operating system boots with a decisive advantage.

Even with root access, your new powers may not give you an ability to damage hardware.  Once you've deleted all the files and reduced the software to unrunnable, an external procedure, involving reinstalling a fresh copy of the OS, may restore everything to normal.

In the DIY studios at the schools, take Free Geek for example (Portland campus), students are in a position to safely explore root powers and to otherwise practice in a sandbox.  The hardware has just been rescued from the dumpster in any case, and the OS, if it runs, is now running in an educational context, like in a college.  A FreekBox starts out like a corpse in a medical school, and is reanimated for students and then for the general public (if and when it passes all the tests).

The job of the OS is to protect the integrity of running processes, and the memory they expect (have reserved on their behalf).  In user space, the users expect their own files to not be world readable unless they want them to be.  One has degrees of protection.  However, if the root is compromised, what might that mean?  Risk assessment, with respect to cyber events, features in a growing set of roles.

Speaking of roles, I've seen the roleplay and cosplay communities converging in various places around Portland.  The "silly job title" trend is sometimes dismissed by the suits, but that's exactly the point:  we're in the process of freeing ourselves from the suits.  Owning the dress code is a first step.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Another Entry Point (School of Tomorrow)

I'd call these a Two Part video, although it continues themes from before and after (regarding the war in Vietnam for example).

The second one (below) goes somewhat deeper into already introduced turf.

Filmmakers, and I'd say comic strip cartoonists (graphic fiction and nonfiction), storyboard artists, well know this format.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Making Memes

This series of three shows a process for making a meme, using side-by-side images in this case, and suggesting Before and After.

As we find out in Part 3, the Before side is actually flawed, and it's in attempting to reconcile the two tables (exercising a conversion constant), that I discover and repair the Before side error.

As we approach a roll-over from 2019 to 2020, it's customary to make forecasts or suggestions, regarding what we plan to take on in the coming orbit.

America in Philosophy sounds interesting.

The whole idea of a "new world" was quite revolutionary.  Some people imagined striking it rich.  Others fantasized about utopian communities, including idyllic company towns or campuses.

Some of that same kind of brainstorming goes on here.  Could we have public schools that are also (A) boarding and (B) same-sex in addition to co-ed? 

These options abound in the private sector, but what if you're training to become functional in democracy?

My science fiction speculations are against a background of no public schools, given the American Transcendentalism I'm showing here is Verboten Math as far as the administrators are concerned. 

However, when it comes to art history and schools of thought in architecture, for starters, there's less censorship (strict editing) to contend with.

That I'm casting this curriculum as "high school level" makes sense, but let's remember that level is incorporated within higher level mindsets.  To introduce the "concentric hierarchy" at the high school level is to make changes in a parent or superclass, to employ and object oriented analogy.

Ways to carry the momentum forward through university level studies, such as in philosophy and engineering (e.g. tensegrity, flextegrity...), or even in a philosophy of engineering (cite Bristol, ISEPP), were pioneered in previous chapters, making it easier to work backwards, laying track coming from a future syllabus.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Planetary Tale

Commentary:  In this little screenplay, Tribe might be construed to mean Intelligence Community (IC) whereas Enemy looks like Ukraine in some manner.

[ play opens, reminiscent of obelisk scene in 2001, but sans obelisk ]

Biden is like this gorilla, beating his chest. 

Biden:  I made that tribe do the bidding of my tribe, brag brag.... 

Trump: check into this gorilla about that tribe thing.

Tribe: Trump said this to enemy Tribe. 

Enemy: No, we're your friends. 

Trump [beating chest]: Me perfect gorilla!

Tribe: [ confused ]... 

Welcome to the T in PATH: Theater. 

Now showing: Told By an Idiot.

Friday, October 04, 2019

As Seen on Facebook

Kirby Urner
 As a clue to my political views, I'd like to assist a class of globally-minded trucker establish a route-swap service that launches them to higher status as citizen diplomats. Truck stops around the world will be the place to go for podcasts of great debates. I don't know any other science fiction author working as directly on this story (parallel universe), however the components needed for my narrative to materialize are all out there. I'm not waiting for any breakthroughs in technology, nor interventions from ETs. Either might happen, I just wasn't waiting.


I've been studying WW2 again and see Hilter spared Britain because he found the British adorable (me too) and wanted to split the world with them, not wipe them out. A lot of his military advisers knew hesitancy and all out war are incompatible, but then Hitler saw himself more in the hearts and minds business; he was hoping to win with propaganda. His court psychologists were promising the moon at the time.
An eye-opener awhile ago was Dr. Seuss's role, as an American propagandist (an effective one I'm told, right up there with Charlie Chaplin). More recently, I've been back to Disney's role during wartime: the army was poised to seize his frivolous and inessential cartoon studios, but he convinced the military the rank and file would respond to cartoons, let Donald Duck star in training films.
Even more seriously, Disney adapted a military strategy book about projecting air power, and turned it into an animation, narrated by the book's author. The story is Churchill saw it first, convinced Roosevelt to watch it, and a new approach to war in the Pacific was developed. I'm no West Point academy grad, so correct me at will on the details of this narrative.

Kirby Urner What Jim Henson and Walt Disney had so much in common was their fervent belief that their media (puppets and cartoons respectively) were NOT repeat NOT just for kids. They both wanted to break into the adult world big time with their forms of art. Looking back, I'd agree that stereotyping these media to "children and childhood" was a mostly Brit Victorian invention (where a lot of the "childhood" concepts come from -- not being critical, a great invention).

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Wonderful Life

I found this to be a really fine documentary. Haven't I seen it before? Some scenes seem quite familiar, and yet as a whole, I didn't recognize it.

Over on Facebook, I'm taking this opportunity to meditate on my own mortality.  I'm but a year younger than when Wittgenstein passed, plus I've been watching lots about Walt Disney and Jim Henson, both of whom went rather suddenly.

They say our culture is in denial about death, doesn't handle it well.  That's a cliche in a way.  Why not turn the Halloween season into a time for embracing mortality.  To say it "sugar coats" death is an obvious truism.  What better excuse then, to add a dimension?

Regarding Wittgenstein's biography (above), I'm sure it seems dreary to many, given is ongoing depression, loneliness and suicidal proclivities.  On the other hand, he lived through two world wars. The world itself was objectively a dreary one.  He worked hard to make a serious contribution.

His story has finally come together in my mind.  The fact that he became a recluse in Norway before the outbreak of WW1, is a detail I've always needed to pin down.

I've gone back to my Princeton days in some ways, when I focused on his later philosophy and wrote a senior thesis about it.  I dashed out a kind of recapitulation of my thinking on Medium this afternoon.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Gallery Time

I've been spending some hours in Lattice Gallery, as an apprentice to the maestro, Sam Lanahan, who is orchestrating a whole series of happenings and events.  Flextegrity is the focus.  My curriculum content has for some years capitalized on my having access to Flextegrity, in its various iterations, as an educational supply.  You'll find lots on Flickr, as well as Youtube.

Glenn has an amazing collection of books, many of them on matters mythological and archeological.  He's well versed in a lot of this material, and admires Sumeria especially.  Therefore I'm smart to consult him as I continue to explore specific stories, looking for raw material for contemporary storytelling.  These days I'm focused on the Pythians of Pytho (later Delphi).

New to Glenn's collection: an amazing science museum gift shop type tome, featuring a plastic tarantula presented in layers.  As one turns the pages, the central spider is built, plastic parts fitting ingeniously into place, held to the pages by plastic.  The whole thing is somewhat delicate.  A rowdy kid, prone to throwing things or stepping on them, might soon destroy this work of art.

Regarding tarantula anatomy, I don't want to call it "simple" exactly, but it's a fine on ramp to the human system in any case.  The heart is single chamber of that pushes blood by peristalsis (the way I think of it), whereas the lungs simply interleave hemolymph with surrounding air. The transport of oxygen is accomplished using a protein that's copper-based, instead of hemoglobin.

You may be wondering at my choice of topics here, a seeming blizzard of non-sequiturs.  But then that's what hyperlinks are all about: providing context, where it might be needed.  I've been looking at protein folding lately, rejoining the Linus Pauling generation in terms of my narrative.  J. D. Bernal was a focus across two Youtubes.  His lab was about using the techniques of crystallography to make headway on the problem of folded proteins (how does it work, what does it do?).

How I get to crystallography is through these "lattice meditations" (lattice in the sense of matrix and/or honeycomb) and all that somewhat Platonic geometry stuff I'm into.  My work with Flextegrity is symptomatic of these fascinations.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tech Talk (need coffee?)

I like that Wikipedia helped propagate the term "disambiguation" as indeed we have a need to disambiguated a lot of the time. From all the press given "machine learning", if you have that wired up with "AGI" (artificial general intelligence), you may be thinking we're on the brink of the Singularity.  Or you may think more as I do, that a radio hasn't a chance of inventing radio, no matter how sireny the songs.

The science fiction world we each live in, really matters, to each one. But as a fish to water, so we are, to this ocean of ours.  Expressing it is nigh impossible in some ways.  That sense of a bubble with limits is still valid, however much we've turned to foams (cite Sloterdijk).

Perhaps your world features immanent AI takeover of human affairs.  Or maybe it features old people suckering for expensive "we'll upload your intelligence" schemes.  We've seen all these plots in the movies.  I'm not suggesting either world is original in the sense of widely unshared.

I'm back to a full teaching load and want to give my Youtubes more time to just sit there and undergo fusion, or fission, or whatever metaphor.  Translation:  I'm not making one today.  I've been on a roll lately, churning them out.

Am I positing a mental process out in rackspace somewhere?  Not exactly.

I'm suggesting more stochastic energy patterns, thanks to random search engine activity, with researchers wanting to track down some supposed factoid.

That there's a stash of Youtubes on all that "Bucky stuff" already out there becomes known, whether watched or not.  Nor is mine the only stash.

In my science fiction, we feature "grid talk" a lot, which includes appreciating California's commitment to open source (peer review).

Once a secretive security state thinks it's in charge, and responsible for covering up all hint of scandal, we've lost public oversight of a public utility.  The open source liberal arts were not about altruism first and foremost, so much as omni-triangulation and integrity.

You don't want to put all your eggs in a no-bottom or weak-bottom basket.

I've been going over some of the Youtubes about the prospects for AGI in the future.  What I look for is honesty about where we're at today i.e. I have little patience for hush hush "secret labs".

Regardless of where you stand on whether electronic circuitry might support consciousness, implicit endorsement of deliberately misleading science fiction doesn't look good in the rear view mirror.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Sunday Morning

I was awake at 7 AM to catch CBS Sunday Morning, which I'm not saying is my routine. I teased myself with the prospect of bopping over to Quakers', hopping on the 8:30 "slow-moving" (like a train, figuratively), an "adult discussion" (free-wheeling, worship-sharing format usually?).

I'm not one of the regulars these days. Loyal conductors see it through.

Speaking of loyal conductors, I caught the "exit interview" by outgoing DoD boss Mattis, an interview spread over two segments (commercial chopping block).  He'd been a skeptic on invading Iraq but when you're part of the manpower, following orders is the rule.

He'd been at loggerheads with two "hat-shaped office" holders.

The "loyal conductors" of SMAD (Sunday Morning Adult Discussion) would include Marson and Wish for sure, and also our friend Richard.  As we're of the liberal, unprogrammed persuasion (Quaker jargon) there's not as much interest in belief-system wheel-spinning during actual worship.

SMAD is a place to exercise a more systematic approach.  We use Meeting to build strengths we'll need in civil society.

As things turned out, I caught the interview and then tuned out, turning to various other social media for continuity (and fewer commercial distractions).

A faction of the voting population plans on supporting Tulsi independently of CNN-DNC apparently, banking on her Wonder Woman appeal.  I'm sensing "Russian bots" in the area, meaning an intelligentsia into ersatz samizdat has developed a keen interest in so-called "progressives" (always a volatile term of fuzzy meaning).

Speaking of words with fuzzy meanings, I mean to search for websites telling us whether ancient Egypt was more socialist or capitalist.  Do we assume Rome was fascist then?  I sometimes say "neo-Roman" with reference to some of the Manifest Destiny memes.

As I've mentioned previously, conducting debates in terms unlikely to hold persistent meanings, because historically not well-established enough, may prove too time-wasting.  Risk assessment gurus keep testing the waters, regarding whether to brand as more socially responsible.  The character of the various corporate personhoods is being tested.

GST (decoded elsewhere) looks to engineering and design science a lot more, leaving political science to get more inventive if that's what it needs to do.  Customary namespaces have ways to provide continuity to their customers, while making room for noob discourses.  Or maybe not so noob, just a bit other-worldly.

Speaking of other-worldly, Glenn Stockton and I had an interesting conversation about abduction stories in the UFO literature, over a couple IPAs at the local supermarket oasis.

For those of you just joining us, "Abducted by Quakers" is one of my jokey bumper stickers, with a Spaghetti Monster icon (perhaps in silhouette) in the background, connoting a "friendly to atheists" vibe.  I'm also allowed to drink beer.

The "good without God" demographic is quite capable of Friendship we've found, including when it comes to the more ouija board parts (not a seance) wherein we allow for movements of the spirit.

Contemporary depth psychology has explained how "woo woo stuff" may still happen in a post Nietzschean world (i.e. strongly secular, with fewer fairies and angels).  Jungians presciently predicted "abduction by aliens" episodes might become symptomatic.  Today many abductees have their own Youtube channels.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Random CCP Tetrahedrons

These three videos form a series, and a rather simple trajectory. First, I show what a theorem about CCP tetrahedrons actually means in practice, by randomly generating CCP-vertexed tetrahedra and showing they have whole number tetravolumes, within the limits of floating point accuracy.

But why settle for the limited precision of floating point numbers?  In the 2nd part, I dive into using an extended precision number type from the 3rd party Python module called gmpy2.  We go from 100 bits to 200 bits in precision, confirming our tetrahedrons are ever more closely approaching whole number volumes.

The third video serves as a synopsis by bringing the first two Jupyter Notebooks side by side within JupyterLab.  I review how to make changes to the content, fixing a typo and changing an embedded Youtube in the derived copy.  I insert the above Youtube into the Notebook itself.

Also, during Part 3, I launch into a bit of a Quaker rant about how my curriculum is "more American" than that of the competition, in that I'm including, not censoring, the "Bucky stuff".

Buckminster Fuller was the USA's premier futurist until LAWCAP decided it wasn't quite ready for GRUNCH yet, and hit the brakes.  Those of us who were ready, kept moving forward and took the lead.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Place Based Education

In place-based education, we typically frame lessons (teachings, dharmas) against the backdrop of a kind of tourism: exploring a geographical area, providing both timeline and trajectory.
Hyperlinks to focal topics, presuming we have some, may play off environmental features, such as architecture as a link to geometry (octet-truss) or Earth's rotation (pendulum) or literature (Narnia, C.S. Lewis).

Accessing entirely "other" worlds is often accomplished not by "zooming out" so much as by "zooming in": a specific detail (perhaps a flyer stapled to a phone pole, a restaurant menu, a free newspaper, a festival booth) takes us off on an instructive tangent.

Yet we have our place to which we return, thereby anchoring the narrative to a contextualizing (and increasingly familiar) context.  Sesame Street (a TV program for children), but also many other TV shows, are "place based" in design, although the "place" is often fictional.

Fictional places are OK too, however consider the possibility of leveraging whatever reality you actually live in.  Investing time in studying your own environment (for real) is a big part of what place-based education is all about.  Students will benefit by gaining traction within a non-fictional viewpoint, which may yet seem "otherworldly" or "alien".

Place-based education is both a way of learning, and a way of sharing or teaching. Learn the stories of your place, then weave those in, with your own spin and interpretation, as you share your place with others. I'm providing examples.

Note that place-based education does not require touring far afield. If your lifestyle features a lot of travel, the place may keep changing. However rooting yourself in a specific place (e.g. both these slide shows feature Portland, Oregon) is perfectly legit and will, over time, take your students deeper into the lore, while facilitating omni-triangulation (connecting the dots) regarding your locale.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Euler's Formula (Part Two)

 Would you like to see Part OnePart Three?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Self Updating

I play in the ML / DL playground sometimes, however I'm not the dedicated machine learner this guy is, on Medium.

From him, I learned about CatBoost, which I hadn't heard of.

Time to update my terminology.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Map Wars

This is a "back to school topic" brought to you by... The School of Tomorrow.

The Descartes stuff enters in because it's that difference between flat and curved that he's talking about. Now lets go back to what scares people away from the Dymaxion Map: grid talk.

Such talk was typical in World Game workshops, but went nowhere much after that...

... until the Paradise Fire in California, which helped motivate Cal Tech (and California more generally) to open source more of the thinking and planning process (I learned this at OSCON 2019).

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Synergetics for English Majors

In having Synergetics be directed to English majors, I'm helping journalists see they don't have to sit around waiting for some verdict from STEM professionals.

The ripples in English are happening already.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

More Place Based Sharing

Does your place-based curriculum include sharing curated stories and exhibits with strangers who wish to orient themselves to your locale?  In recent videos, we've been exploring Hawthorne Boulevard between SE 39th and 50th.  In the humble episode above, we jump south to the next major thoroughfare:  SE Division.

Some communities have hosted museums about their own roots for a long time, having enjoyed an endless stream of tourists, assuming "enjoyed" is the word.  Others have no such experience and upon facing the challenge, are not sure where to begin.  Where is our common history archived?  With the newspapers?  With City Hall?

Sometimes the visitors (so-called tourists) are invaders, planning to deprive the locals of continued access to life support in their region, in which case momentos of the indigenous culture may be on the list of things to destroy.

History is a source of case studies.  I learned a lot from seeing life unfold in the Philippines.

The Oregon Curriculum Network doesn't have a budget for something like the Birmingham Civil Rights museum, an excellent example of a place based set of exhibits. 

However I'm more just into demonstrating the concept.  We have lots of local schools, each capable of hosting media in the process of sharing a place-based curriculum with the students.

As a local tourist, when you land in a new place, you might consider several institutions as sources of history.  They may actually have an agency geared precisely to the needs of tourists. 

However, to the extent that "place based curricula" catch on, one might expect the local schools to become sources of reference materials, in conjunction with libraries. 

A lot of these materials are online.  However physical galleries with exhibits may likewise be in the picture.  Check local listings.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Tractor Graphics

What you'll find in many curricula that take up coding, is code that builds upon itself.

Taking advantage of what we've done already, we branch this way and that, exploring different topics.

A rigid march through a terrain is different from exploring it. The latter job is for scouts and surveyors, the ones who map out a territory.

The marchers usually come through when preplanned routes have been paved, or call them roads.  We're bringing people through at high volume at a steady pace.  The route may have some known obstacles or rough patches.

Then you get the Roman soldiers and what not.

In Placed Based Education, we encourage students to learn about, and share about, their immediate neighborhood, looking for ways to contextualize what's local in contained scopes.

For example, in these videos, we're exploring Asylum District (centered around one Hawthorne Boulevard, named for the first doctor to run a mental asylum in the state of Oregon).

I use the local scene as a jumping off point to begin exploring more of American History, which includes Americans in the north asserting their Manifest Destiny over peoples (other Americans) to the south.

This pattern has a lot of inertia and we see more consequences of this ideology in our own time.

In the Youtube below, I get the wrong Roosevelt, saying "FDR" instead of "Teddy".  In the subsequent Youtube, I go back over that history, fix the mistake, and take a somewhat deeper look.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Bizmo Meme

This one gets deeper into the Bizmo meme, suggesting one of the hallmarks: institutional wealth (as in the military, but then universities have their fleets of this and that).

I'm not looking to privately own and maintain this one particular business mobile.

Rather, I would at least like to download some playlists and connect to work environments, to stay productive en situ.

This is a lifestyle I've been seeking to promulgate, knowing it won't work for me if it won't work for others, by definition.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Safe Campus Cities

Any talk of holding or detention centers (on what charge? for what offense?) sparks worries that cross the road to ignite corresponding concerns in our plans and storyboards for campus facilities aimed at accommodating people with only a few assets.

If you have a lot of assets back at home, you're not expected to store all these on campus, unless your goal is to contribute to the pool of recyclables.  Let people mix and match.

Large open spaces for assembly scare people, although the sound stage motif is very common. Corporate events, such as celebrating a new computer language, may use a sound stage and go for a "rock concert" look and feel.  Any lack of large open spaces for assembly also scares people.  You need those.  Thriving communities have those.

We're clearly entering Christopher Alexander territory in looking for the pattern language of the campus.  Occupy went here, exploring for models.  We didn't have a lot of pods to play with, wired to both receive and transmit.

I'm aiming for the "comfy carrel" or "cave" that's not locked from the outside.   You will say I'm avoiding designing prisons.  I'll say that's correct, not a proficiency.  However I'm a student of institutions and learn from fact and fiction regarding many.

The dystopian Black Mirror type episodes, around some cultural innovation, provide points of resistance and give people pause.  "Do we really want to go there?"  Oft times, we really don't, and yet there's somewhere else, close by, same neighborhood, we consider a worthy destination.  We need to aim.

Soylent Waffles

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Computing Surface Workouts

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Energy Slaves

The meme "energy slave" sounds very not-PC and against the grain of current engineering best practice.

It's from the 1940s as was meant to remind people, depressed about the industrial age, that all of this power working for each of them, was also a potential source of higher living standards.

Without the exploitation of actual slaves.  "Look ma!  All these robots make life easier" (more household conveniences and appliances would come after the war).

This last one rounds out the Polyhedron class implementation, adding more subclasses in the concentric hierarchy.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Summer Camp 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Project Renaissance

My long term readers will likely have run into Project Renaissance at my website, which this Youtube scans in to video memory. I've been doing such backups, with overvoice narration giving more context.

Here I'm talking about a synergy twixt R&D divisions and front-line field-testing not-for-profits, where you get a lot of scientists committed to advancing knowledge and standards, more than building up earthly goods. Engineers need some dare devils and are occasionally the same person (hence the "mad inventor" stereotype).

Case in point: any new stadium-shaped city on the model of Old Man River would need to document its flaws and failures, as well as its many wins, so that coming generations could improve the designs. This is hardly a new need. Scientists keep lab notebooks. Goes with the territory.

In Project Renaissance, we pay ourselves to do what's needed, versus funding a lot of expensive soaps. We still have dramatic lives, as how could we not. However we also get more work done healing the ecosystem. That would be the goal anyway. Trial and error, along with the element of surprise, have not been ironed out by "machine learning" or anything like that. On the contrary, the predominant storyline is VUCA-esque (life's chaotic).

We're experiencing what Alvin Toffler presciently called "accelerating acceleration" (or "future shock" in his vernacular).

Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Black Mirror Episode?

From Facebook:

Asylum City was my overture to screenwriters to bring an alternative positive futurism to our screens. Americans in detention camps is a nightmare, so is Gaza, but do we have the engineering capability to handle refugees on a massive scale?

Engineers would rather we look at politicians as the ones in charge. They're the professional scapegoats after all. Yet Alphabet is planning new cities (Sidewalk Labs).

Big tech has the smarts and money. DC sells mercenary services and the tools of mass murder for a living. Yet we look to DC for solutions? Go figure.

Why don't kids in cages even get to watch cartoons on Netflix? Because they're being punished for daring to pursue happiness, life, liberty.

The soulless zombie corporations, engineered by lawyers long dead, will gladly kill us all in pursuit of profit. English (the language) encodes their personhood. No wonder they call it Voodoo Economics, the namespace of the walking dead (zombie corporations: we eat your brains).

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thinking Out Loud

Given my recent Youtube mentioning Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, which focuses on hyperspecialization as a species threat, you can bet I'm able to nurse those worries at OSCON, given this is where we preach about "open" and yet we're siloed in our many professions.  A lot of us are "cloud native" these days, which might as well be closed source in so many ways (or should we call it it "inner source")?

When I come to these professional geek conferences, I get overwhelmed on several levels.  For one thing, I'm aware that a lot of people are wanting to be inducted into this world (or "space" as we sometimes say).

The current speaker is from South Africa.  He thinks we're in a dire time, at a tipping point, and change is needed. Like the speaker before, he's putting a lot of eggs in the blockchain basket.

If I'm on a team going around in a bizmo, working at saving the bees, will viewers monitoring me through a video series be able to send me funding with proof of impact?  They see the beehives they're helping to save.  Instead of investors wondering where the money went, they see in micro detail how it was used.

I'm seeing consensus developing in a kind of science fiction language.  "Programmable capital".  The ixo platform I'm currently learning about has a fairly mature vision, expressed in software, for staffing up worthy projects.  React, MongoDB, Ethereum, Tenderman, cosmos... Humans, sensors, any IoT device, are "ledgistered" to transact on the blockchain.  The goal is to localize the "impact economy" and bypass slow-moving bureaucracies.

Politicians have no hope of keeping up to date on all this stuff, but then who does?  How do we pay people to stay home and learn, which is not the same as only watching fictional TV.  They always say democracy depends on an informed citizenry.  The idea a few years of schooling towards the start of one's life constitute an "education" (after which comes "a career") comes across as quaint in this day and age.

Something I learned from the sociologist lady:  the quality of attention we're able to give is declining, whereas the demand for our attention is increasing. Here at OSCON, the speakers are fire hosing dense and technical content, while listeners look at their laptops and smartphones, vaguely listening. I'm a case in point, tapping away on this Asus Tablet with attached keyboard, with a mouse pad that's driving me crazy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dimension Again

Two similar presentations.  Compare and contrast.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ethereum Tutorial

We're deep in the thick of things.  The tutorial leader gave us really quick instructions for grabbing some fake Ethereum after setting up a MetaMask wallet.

I got lost right away.  I was supposed to tweet a request to Rinkeby.  I used a hex number MetaMask gave me (I thought), but that doesn't appear to be my account.  It's fake money anyway, not real Ethereum.

The geeks are asking questions about crypto-currency in general.  Bitcoin swings thirteen standard deviations, says the professor, meaning it's considered high risk.  Is it really a store of value?  Ethereum swings by twelve standard deviations.

Libra, Gemini and some others try to limit volatility by pegging their value to something supposedly less volatile, such as a fiat currency.

We're doing more meta discussion of crypto stuff than coding.  Geth is the golang implementation of the full Ethereum node.  That's not something most people should run.

We get a lot of science fiction about crypto-currencies these days.  People have a lot of hope in their future.

Smart contracts in Ethereum are written in Solidity.

0xB4824D11AddB0c0a6f63ddb30ff601Fb9AB912b3 appears to be my account.  I sent a tweet with it, requesting fake Ether, but I sent another request earlier.  What was that?  I deleted both tweets.

Want to send me some Ethereum, a few wei?  I named it OSCON 2019.  Then email me maybe?  We're experimenting.

My ears are perking up as we're doing a marriage contract in Solidity, for a "decentralized city".  Asylum City?  That's science fiction I've invested in.  Science fiction is an umbrella term for me, that covers any kind of actual planning for the future.  Investment banking would be a subcategory.

I'm thinking of a currency that is meaningful within a city.  Lots of things won't work unless fueled by city crypto.  Dollar bills don't go in the slots; wallet cards do.

Is this a case of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Tokens cost nothing to create in Ethereum, and mean nothing in particular by default.   Don't confuse them with crypto-currencies.  Tokens are basically keys to a hashmap.

Tokens are fungible or non-fungible.  The fungible tokens have "face value" we might say.  NFTs include CryptoKitties.  They might represent credentials or merit badges.

Companies that recorded a lot of video about blockchain might be in trouble right now, because everything is changing so fast.  This ecosystem is very fragile.  I think I'll call it a day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More On Current Events

At the time of this posting, all eyes have turned to the sex trafficking circus, which I'm not saying doesn't deserve attention. We have the bandwidth for lots of threads.

However, before that Tucker Carlson rant fades from memory, I want to add my two cents.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

It Takes a Village

Friday, July 05, 2019


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Bridging the Two Cultures

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Truck Stop of Tomorrow

The indigenous Cascadian response to the need for new campus facilities (Global U / GST), including for asylum-seekers (e.g. homeless vets), is connected to the citizen diplomat pipeline, the arterial system.

In another recent video I suggest the Madras, Oregon area as a place to test "outdoor school" equipment, which I'm suggesting we may consider already furnished taking into account the shipping containers of Good Will type stuff.

We're able to get whole families outfitted with kitchen stuff without going begging to the "everything brand new" crowd for a slice of their shrink-wrapped just-off-the-shelf newer thing.

No, the whole point is we're showcasing what a less wasteful lifestyle might mean. We work, but not to endlessly duplicate the same stuff. Our "prop inventory" lets us change costume, and yurt internals, without necessarily needing a monetary transaction.

A new aesthetic develops: the nomadic monad. You have everything you need on your person, and the luxury of not needing to own all these yurts you'll be visiting. The campus has plenty of props in inventory, when you need those cups and saucers.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Welcome New Recruits

"Where's the beef?" 

"Here's the beef." 

"More beef."

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Citizen Diplomacy

We've been yakking on social media about Hindu truckers in North America, and the variety this brings to truck stops sometimes.
FB friend: there was an article in the economist about the disproportionate number of Hindu truckers in North America.
Me:  That's an editorial decision, to say "disproportionate" but they're Brits, disproportionately in North America from the beginning.
FB friend:  I think it's great to find Indian food at truck stops. Curry is better than burgers.
Me:  That's my vision of future truck stops: way more cosmopolitan in some hubs. They take over the malls, which are of dwindling interest to Amazon shoppers.
The idea of a truck stop as more like a food court, with multi-ethnic cuisine, might be catching on in some areas where the shopping malls are feeling the pinch of Amazon.  The truck stop of tomorrow might be more a mall than a gas station.

Silicon Valley is all about making trucks driverless, whereas the startups I'm looking at are taking up the real challenges that go with navigating the world's roads.  The driver exchange program I'm writing about on Medium, and elsewhere, gives a sense of the new possibilities.

Just don't make truckers queue for hours or days, as if cargo inspection and substance control is your concern you can do that in other ways, away from any border, like the airlines do (screening is at port of call, final destination, say Cincinnati). You have plenty of tracking devices on your average rig, it's not going to just disappear on you (the owners are watching). Maybe the driver is with a global company and its citizenship may be indeterminate as companies are not responsible for authenticating citizenship documents. Open border states aren't surrendering the right to monitor carriers. Let governments play border games while transportation flows smoothly. That's probably more how it'll shape up in Asia. Lower48 has enjoyed open borders internally but doesn't play well with neighbors sometimes. The world is covered in sore spots, with or without open borders.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Opting Out in Cascadia

I get around to talking about the BDS campaign versus Iran, eventually.

I'm not some official ambassador from Cascadia. I'm merely voicing my view that the population sample I'm in touch with is not at all on board with any kind of war against Persia.

On the contrary, Portland and Shiraz have been looking at becoming sister cities.  That conversation continues, as far as I know.

We have some real history with Iran, in terms of personnel. I'm thinking of Peace House in particular.

Somehow the "BDS" meme got hijacked to where some people think it has to mean something relating to Israel. I don't deny that some activists, based on perceived success in South Africa, in moving us beyond Apartheid, tried a similar strategy with regard to some Israeli companies.

Although I worked for AFSC in some chapters, I never stopped buying from Hewlett-Packard (big into biometrics used for border policing). That's because I don't have time to do the research, and I'm just the one guy. No one cares what I do. Even I don't that much.

However, the practice of BDS against Iran, Venezuela, Russia, is pretty virulent, and hypocritically sustained, even while Israel loudly proclaims it's somehow a primary victim. That's not believable.

Sanctions against Iran, with the threat of pre-emptive attack based on some flimsy shim-sham reasoning (cite the attack on Iraq, or Gulf of Tonkin), vastly outstrip, in scale, the tiny boycotts here and there, of miscellaneous goods from the squatter settlements.

My angle on Gaza is let's evacuate the place.  Rich people want the beach front property and don't care how many die to free up the real estate.

Remember that ghetto in Panama the Apache helicopters went after?  I presume that was likewise all about land values, clearing out the slums in a demonstration of lethality.

Humans are in the way. Nothing to do with nations or religions.  Everything to do with having fat bank accounts and a nice place in which to retire.  Caracas and Panama both look appealing, in addition to the Gaza strip.  More Miamis.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The "Dr. Who" Look

My test audience said things like "vintage Kirby" i.e. I make some broad points but then veer off into some world of my own, different planet maybe.

Did he just say "Planet of the Apes"? Why again?

Anyway, today was Gay Pride day (parade, waterfront festival) in Portland, a ritual and smoothly pulled off. My mood took me into a rather alien mindset but not in such a way that I couldn't share a sense of celebration. I wasn't being a party pooper.  I was adding to the diversity.

Thanks again to Patrick, Leela, Quinn (the dog) for their company today. And of course Carol, who sat on the porch through a lot of today.

As Seen on Facebook (restyled)

    Me: Impending war with Iran is what's most important to this voter (me). As long as America is bombing a lot of countries, I can't think of health care as a priority -- at least not for Americans.
    She: You obviously are a man and/or have health care and/or you're too young and arrogant to know better and/or you have zero responsibility for any other human beings or all of the above. Iran is important, it's not a matter of life and death for most of us. Healthcare is.

    Me: I see it as a choice between squandering resources murdering around the world, or acting with compassion towards people everywhere. I'm reasonably certain a country as sick as America is wholly incapable of truly caring for those in need. If we don't cure the mental illness (leading to wars) we won't get anywhere with the basics of self preservation.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sampling Facebook

[verbatim, posted as Public ]

My current position on political theater (a main gossip station):

I think I'm OK agreeing that the RT America crowd, at least, was impressed with Hawaiian presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, as various stories alleged.

She's anti regime change wars, pro legalized weed (anti Prohibition), pro bitcoin, free Assange and Manning, twice deployed, still active duty with the Hawaiian national guard. Serves in Congress. All good.

I agree with RT America: there's no one better. Ergo she has no chance in a "mediocrecy" (where media is mediocre).

On the theory that RT America narratives stay consistent with those of the Kremlin for the most part, I'll speculate that Putin and his cronies likewise admire Tulsi for her principles, despite her relative youth and inexperience.

I see nothing wrong with the Kremlin having and expressing a preference through their state-sponsored media channel on Youtube. I'd say it's pretty obvious that's what's happening, judging from what I've seen so far.

With all eyes watching social media for cyber-manipulation, the best policy is just to state one's views plainly. But then clearly Putin doesn't get to vote, the American people do, and Americans are the ones who are pushing Tulsi off stage at the moment, because she's a peacenik and for other reasons.

Americans are also the ones who elected Trump. I don't buy for a minute that a few clever memes on FB or even Podesta emails on Wikileaks, could have countered the complacency of the "she's a sure thing shoo-in" crowd. I expect less complacency in 2020.

If we can agree the Russian government would prefer Tulsi, then we can immunize ourselves against the still virulent "Russians prefer Trump" meme, which is a kind of cop out surrender on the part of Lower48ers who watch too much fictional Netflix about the spy world.

The Trumps were bored at that meeting in Trump Tower, about the Magnitsky Act. The Russians wanted adult conversation, but the campaigners wanted gossip. Most Americans know next to nothing about the Magnitsky Act. That's one of those adults only topics, not a good fit for the current White House.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

American Literature 101

One of the core subcultures emerging in California was that of retired Theosophists and other fellow travelers.  Some of them gravitated to Ojai, to be closer to Krishnamurti.  Esalen was not directly connected, having strong ties to Stanford University, however there's no getting away from the many Aquarian conspiracies that riddle Cascadia more generally.

Physics World (the "new physics"), saved by hippies, made a big influence in literature through science fiction at first, and then by providing more direct commentary on "consciousness".  Sir Roger Penrose was one of those leading the pack, in picturing the Mind as a quantum device, making use of the quantum effects of Universe to transcend more deterministic forms of logic.

Bucky Fuller, connecting to American Transcendentalism by virtue of his ancestral roots on Bear Island, in addition to his Aquarian credentials, preserved a Brain versus Mind distinction, in case we wished to differentiate on the basis of function, between a storage/retrieval reflex machine, and the Zeitgeist, a shared phenomenon.

Remember that Spiritualism achieved a relative apex around the time of Thomas Edison, contemporaneous with the investigation and industrial exploitation of electricity.  That extrasensory abilities, strongly believed in by many Theosophists, might have a physical basis in energetic phenomena is what made "ESP" seem scientific, to the Esalen people as well.

Of all the philosophers, Bucky Fuller probably did the most to restore "metaphysical" to our vocabulary as a synonym for "intellectual property" (so-called).  If we subtract the "who owns it" bit and focus on the commons, we see humanity gaining competence over physical phenomena as evidenced by a "more bang for the buck" over time.  The military was especially impressed by the "bang" it was getting, in the form of weapons of mass suicide.

However "metaphysical" is more a literary term that goes with the territory in post-911 Cascadia.  We teach Bucky Fuller in the context of American literature, not as physics.  Both literature and physics have permission to discuss "consciousness" or the lack thereof.  We're free to bridge to STEM, but we don't come from there, when adding Synergetics to the syllabus.

I mentioned Edison above:
It was 1884, the year the people of France presented the United States with the Statue of Liberty. Tesla had with him twenty-five cents and a letter of recommendation addressed to the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847−1931). When the inevitable rift occurred between these two Promethean inventors, Tesla began to frequent the fabulous Palm Room at the Waldorf. It was here he would mingle with the giants of American industry in hope of finding the venture capital he needed to launch an independent career. Eventually, he did.  As soon as his personal situation improved, he took up residence at the Waldorf. Of all the strange twists and turns and turns his long career took, Tesla admitted at the end of his life that there were only two things that gave him the hope he needed to fulfill his dreams, his American citizenship and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
That's from Paul Laffoley's website.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019


sprites = [ ]

def select(sel):
    for s in sprites:
        s.selected = False
    for s in sprites:
        if s.sprite is sel:
            s.selected = True

class Triangle:
    def __init__(self, x=0,y=0, color='blue'):
        self.color = color
        self.x = x
        self.y = y
        self.selected = False
    def draw_me(self):
        # sprite = codesters.Triangle(x, y, size, "color")
        self.sprite = codesters.Triangle(self.x, self.y, 100, self.color)

    def move_me(self):
        self.sprite.glide_to(x, y)
tri_one = Triangle()

tri_two = Triangle(-100,100,'red')

tri_three = Triangle(-50, 50, 'yellow')

tri_four = Triangle(100, -100, "orange")

def move_it():
    global x, y
    x = stage.click_x()
    y = stage.click_y()
    for s in sprites:
        if s.selected:


Monday, June 03, 2019

X Man's Burden

If you know your Rudyard Kipling, you may be thinking X = White, but we're not so clear what that means anymore, ever since the Noah hypothesis was deprecated in favor of the dinosaur one.

We may still imagine some sub-species of overlord, tasked with taking on the great burdens, but lets not pretend to go by melanin content in the epidermis.  Are they reptilian?

Taking everything literally is the fastest way to close doors on most possibilities.

Remember hallway monitors?  If you went to a large school, you might have had experience with the role.  The hallways of academia, like many hallways, have their monitors.

Do they look for inappropriate cartoons posted on doorways.

Professors often showcase humor at the entrances to their sanctums.

Some people profess about philosophy, having "doctor of philosophy" degrees.

However the PhD degree has come to signify proficiency in high degree, minus any stipulation that philosophy is involved.

One could say the PhD degree is fiat currency, in becoming divorced from the "gold standard" of what it originally stood for (proficiency in philosophy).  That's pure speculation on my part.

Today was a religious holiday of sorts in my pandas DataFrame of special datetimes.

A "datetime" is a type of Python object.

The religion in question:  Church of the Subgenius.

That's the church of Bob Dobbs, who only appears to look normal (what with that pipe and all).  Is he really an X Man?  The church of slack is not about glorifying toil.

Does "America" want to finally become a country?  With the border situation that open, with Canada, chances are slim, according to some criteria.  But all talk of fences aside, doesn't becoming a first world nation imply some degree of caring for one's citizens?

The Cowardly Capitalist crowd is hoping to get Uncle Sam to protect them, both from competition abroad, and from citizens agitating for social services.  The burden the C3s imagine assuming, should they be required to demonstrate social responsibility, just seems too unAmerican to them.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Codesters with a Class

House of Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wanderers 2019.5.28

I'm filing this under Wanderers, however the weekly meeting at Linus Pauling House was short, as only three people showed, and quickly dispersed. I had intended to be on time, 7 PM sharp, but got caught up catching up on Brexit videos.  This Memorial Day weekend was simultaneously a big election time across Europe.

I joined two of the remaining Wanderers at a different location, where I learned about alloy-making and lathes, especially when used to make screws, or, more accurately, threads.  Barry is an accomplished machinist and blisses out using tools every day.  I should visit his maker space again sometime.

I've been taking in EU videos (a genre), thanks to Youtube.  Ted Turner's original vision for CNN included playing news shows from around the world.  In the era of broadcast and cable, you had expert editors connecting the dots for you.  What we have nowadays is video on demand, but it's not like we only get the raw intelligence.  Editors make Youtubes too, and help us weight whatever else we're watching.

Presumably, if we're responsive to feedback, some sort of gradient descent will occur.  I just slipped into machine learning language, but lets remember those "perceptrons" were designed to emulate us. Chelsea Manning would understand.

In contrast to Barry, whose dad was also a machinist, my experience with large metal-working machines is mostly janitorial.

One summer, I did cleanup around the various gigantic tools used to build a Tokamak fusion reactor prototype.  This was at the James Forrestal Campus off Route 1, near Princeton, where I lived at the time.  I mostly used compressed air, to blast metalic residue from hard-to-sweep places, and a squeeze bottle of soap and paper towels, to make the machines shiny.

What I notice from the EU videos is how so-called supranationals show up in debates as virtual nations. They may not have contiguous land masses, but they do have private control of many buildings and campuses, warehouses, docks, ships.

The psycho-sovereignties in question (mental complexes, outwardly expressed) feel they're getting locked into a larger military-industrial system. Locals feel they're either helpless victims (of more global forces) or are at least fighting, by organizing, to regain some control over the local situation.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Teaching Python with Codesters

I started my day doing a longer version of the above, but then realized I'd referred to the Peters Projection as a Phillips Projection throughout.

I didn't feel like patching it and started over, after doing my afternoon stint as a middle school teacher.

The content covered in that stint is what most of this video is about.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Anti BDS

Let's do CarrotMob instead!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Peace Program Meetup

By "Peace Program" I'm not referring to AFSC's, which closed shop in Portland awhile ago.  That particular 501(c)(3) has had to morph over the years.  I used to serve as one of those flown to Philadelphia every year, for the annual meeting.  In my case, the Yearly Meeting footed the bill, but in other cases, the Quaker delegates get reimbursed.

I'm referring, informally, to the Linus Pauling Center for Science, Peace and Health, on Hawthorne Boulevard, and the talks that it sometimes hosts.  Yes, ISEPP is another 501(c)(3) I've served with, my wife the bookkeeper before that.  A well-known and much beloved lecture series, organized and staged by Terry Bristol, funded by generous donors, kept Portlanders way more in the loop than one might presume, for an "out west" town.

Dr. Peter Bechtold is outside both those circuits (Quakers and ISEPP) yet he appears at the Linus Pauling House rather regularly to update us on what's going on in the world.  Oregon / Cascadia, in joining the Union, surrendered its foreign relations (one might call them) to those writing the official narrative of the country in the District of Columbia.

Peter knows officialdom quite well and is highly traveled.  He was showing a map of Libya when I walked in, then Sudan, then Iran.  He's been studying these places for decades, has briefed diplomats and two star generals.  He's been a fixture around the State Department, and later Portland State.

My closest connection to Portland State was through Dr. Charles Bolton, still active duty when I moved back to Portland in the 1980s, and lived in his basement.  He later became an emeritus and loved to overlook the Columbia Gorge from his two story "cabin" (small house), across from Hood River.

That was one of the best view properties to which I've ever had frequent access.  The deck of Don Wardwell's Meliptus scores highly as well, at the other extreme (right on the Columbia, versus high above looking down).

To summarize, Bechtold is frustrated by how our Lower48ers just don't have much sense of history, or geography (they go together) and that leaves them naively vulnerable to others' agendas.  I'd agree, but also point out that Lower48ers have abdicated responsibility (one could put it that way) by giving moneyed interests a simple API (as we geeks say) in the form of the USG control panel.

If you know how to pay to play, you'll get the USG to do some awesome things on your behalf.  Most Lower48ers wouldn't know where to begin in that regard.  It's not their game.  They get to watch on TV as spectators.

Case in point:  some "bitch boats" (paraphrasing candidate Gabbard), pimped out by the prez, are currently heading towards Persia for the express purpose of stirring up trouble.  The civilian bozos have war on their minds and hope to pin the Pentagon in some wrestling position, where lighting a fuse is the only way to save face.

Public opinion has to be properly prepped first.  Which takes us back to Dr. Bechtold's thesis:  that we're a nation ever willing to be hoodwinked.  Been then, we're completely out of the loop anyway.  Portlanders haven't favored any of the District's great adventures since and including the Vietnam experience.  This wasn't Nixon country.  We boasted moderate Republicans, perhaps a vanished species I don't know.

Of course I'm oversimplifying.  Oregon's rural areas have a different take on world affairs.  They don't get to go to ISEPP lectures, or talks like the one tonight, which is too bad.

We always thought radio and television would do a better job of turning the airwaves into more of a public university, but the licenses mostly went elsewhere.  Universities got a few low powered stations is all.  But of course now we have the internet, and new forms of curriculum sharing.