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

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 Grunch.net 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

Friday, July 05, 2019

Postmortem


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

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.

Me:
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, Lila, 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

Codesters

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
        sprites.append(self)
   
    def draw_me(self):
        # sprite = codesters.Triangle(x, y, size, "color")
        self.sprite = codesters.Triangle(self.x, self.y, 100, self.color)
        self.sprite.event_click(select)

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

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

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

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

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

stage.event_click(move_it)



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

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.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Recent Studies

Lila is crashed on the couch, napping, here on a visit.  She used to live here, with a different name.  The new name is part of her business persona, as a kind of yoga teacher.  I refer to as a religious studies major, which she is, in this recent story on Medium.

I'm hitting the limits of an older version of OS X, wondering if I really need the latest Homebrew in order to get the latest MySQL.

What will the newer version do that I need?  I'm just a code school type teacher these days.  For the kind of stuff I'm doing, the older version should be sufficient, if I need it at all.

Seeking relief from my upgrade woes, I went back into perusing Youtube.

I've got a Jerry Kroth video playing in the background, introducing his new book, about crop circles. 
Dr. Kroth,  Associate Professor Emeritus (UCSC) is not afraid to venture beyond the fringes of accepted and/or settled science.

He's into spinning some theories, asserting some of these patterns need to be decoded, as they allude the specialized science.  One of these patterns, he claims, is a diagram of Vitamin A.

Are the aliens trying to be helpful, drawing attention to Vitamin A deficiency around the world?

He just put the new Youtube up today, and the Youtube recommender flagged it, given I've watched his stuff before. 

This morning, as I fixed breakfast for Carol (recently turned 90), I took in a PBS documentary on Andrew Carnegie.  The movie explores his relationship with labor unions and workers more generally.  Lots of details, talking heads.

Connecting these dots a little more, Kroth is one of those in academia who looks into UFOs as well. He goes in the same Venn Diagram circle as Daniel Sheehan in that sense.  Dr. Sheehan has his "octave of world views" wherein we progress to encounters with alien intelligence.

That same Venn Diagram circle might encompass the Thrive subculture, led by Foster Gamble.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Camp Crypto


We respect "jobs" and "work" enough to pay people to do them, but think "study" -- as in "work-study" -- is not work and therefore it's no one's job to get educated. Make studying paid work, and you've solved a lot of problems.

From current studies:

Verifying md5 hash in Python

My small campus tests should teach us a lot. We could have a cash-like crypto and credits in the more academic sense, which nevertheless have currency-like attributes. 

Could be that when you join the camp (which is not a prison camp) you put your usual wallet (with any outside currency), charge cards and phone in a secure locker. The camp cellphone will come pre-equipped with your wallet and apps. 

When you leave the camp in about three weeks (average stay for this facility) you'll get your stuff back while returning the camp gear (you probably get to keep some samples though i.e. a "swag bag" -- product placement is part of the business model).

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Black Mirror Episode?

Magnitsky died in a Russian prison being held on charges relating to working for this UK oligarch who was originally Putin's fan but later claims to be his greatest enemy. We all heard a lot about Magnitsky when that famous Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lobbyist occurred. She was not there to talk dirt on Hillary and everyone got super bored, as oligarch squabbles over big money and reputation backstabbing are too ordinary in those circles, where syndicates demonize one another incessantly (Hollywood is more friendly? Maybe all that Scientology is working for some?).

Browder says his lawyer was clubbed to death while chained to his death bed in prison, by the very people Magnitsky was accusing of financial fraud, as Browder's legal representative, or lawyer. But then there's a counter-narrative which is what makes this a rabbit hole, somewhat by definition (a vortex of contesting stories converging towards the same truths).

We heard about Browder again when Putin and Trump met in privacy in Helsinki and Putin offered to help out with the Mueller indictment of the GRU guys, in exchange for some interviews with Browder. No one would be in custody or under immediate threat of extradition. Maybe I'm wrong about the details of Putin's statesman-like offer (there's a treaty about nations giving each other mutual support in criminal investigations), as I was not privy to the meeting and back then had not yet connected the dots between Browder and Magnitsky. Trump comes out of the meeting saying this could work, probably knowing less about Browder (or Magnitsky) than I do at this point. Too boring. But he's soon told that Browder is Putin's number one foe and it all clicks into place. Who knows.

Anyway, fascinating stuff. The Magnitsky Act sails through Congress on the basis of this compelling testimony from Browder, and becomes the convenient hammer, the justification needed, to turn the screws everywhere on the Axis of Evil, always shifting (remember BRIC?), based on whatever the public will believe. The public is infinitely gullible and has rarely applied the brakes. Now that more of the public is being coerced into homelessness and unforgiving debt, the political model is to drop them from the unemployment roles and make counting their votes harder, as your tent on the sidewalk is not a registered voter address, by definition. Problem solved re that democracy business, a pipe dream. Back to the oligarch infighting channel, the one we most love to sponsor.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Facebook Rant


When a Medal of Freedom winner publishes a book saying "the USA we have known is now bankrupt and extinct" and that doesn't make headlines, we know right away that journalism lacks integrity. Walter Kaufmann (Princeton University) warned us about journalism. I sent "headlines we'd like to see" to WaPo at the time. "Medal of Freedom Winner Declares USA Bankrupt!" I was living in DC back then, making trouble with my typewriter.

WIRED and such have little choice but to fall into the trap of calling him a crackpot (as he hoped they would, Brer Rabbit style ("please don't throw me into the briar patch")). When you call someone with that many patents, awards, degrees, published works a "crackpot" you pay a price, as what does that make the rest of us by comparison? Setting the bar a little high are we? Idiocracy ensues, with WIRED paving the way.

So now we're in the situation where a thinker advertised to the world for his positive futurism (officially) is not read in schools because too much of a threat for speaking truth to power.

Like how could one possibly claim to know or teach American History and/or Literature and not include that bit about a top celebrity turning a top subversive? How can we claim to have any "public schools" whatsoever when the geometry for which Bucky was explicitly given an award is not shared? If you don't read Grunch of Giants in high school, let alone college, you must not have had real teachers. Phony baloney is what you got. Oh, and now they want you to pay back those loans? For what again? For the heritage you never got?

Instead of indulging in outrage, I can just sit back and laugh, knowing privatization is complete, the public schools are all dead, and Bucky was entirely correct in his prophesy and proclamation (as close to a declaration as we'll ever need).

The corporate media need very much to prop up their tawdry version of Uncle Sam (an imperialist psychopath), lest we see through it all and make Exxon pay for its own team of goons, rather than tapping into a privatized mercenary force funded by unrepresented Americans who's heritage was denied them in their schooling. 


They don't even share Bucky with the military do they? Grunch of Giants at West Point? Probably only the CIA reads it (required) as it's mentioned so often.

After two generations of not teaching easy simple streamlining tetravolume stuff to 4th or 8th  or 12th graders (already certified useful by highest authorities), I think it's more than obvious we don't have a free press or a real public education system.

I feel free to endlessly mock the true believers and their pathetic substitute for real learning.


*  *  *

It's not like I'm saying that just because MF winner publishes yadda yadda, that we must all agree it's true, i.e. "yes of course the US is bankrupt and extinct, the great Bucky hath spoken." 

Not at all. No one has that kind of power. The book jacket calls it satire.

It's just a once-adulated, much-awarded, icon of positive futurism, did in fact write that, and gave his reasoning and context, and then was awarded the MF (not tossed in jail). 


It's the historical facts of the matter I'm underlining, not that we have to treat Fuller's writing as edicts.

These facts are what're so amazing and crazy-interesting, especially when you factor in there's a newfangled kind of geometry, and geodesic domes and... wow. Why not in schools?  Are we really that afraid of our own past?

Lets just share the facts. Then be skeptical and critical, say why he's wrong and so on.

But to just claim he's a crackpot, so we're justified in our silence, no that doesn't fly it all. 


Too double standard. 

If Bucky's a crackpot, after so many faculty positions, awards, patents, inventions, then what are we, who think that way about him?

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Redacted Investigation

I keep going back to this story. Why not pursue?

It'd be like that Skripal case, where the accused GRU agents, posing as tourists to Salisbury (as if there were anything there) smuggled nerve agent in a sealed perfume bottle, latter discovered by hapless dumpster divers. 

Brits saw through their cover story immediately, having grown up on John le CarrĂ© spy novels and knowing a "likely story" when they see one. 

Put all these GRU guys, who supposedly jumped to their feet when Trump said "get those emails" (Hillary's missing), on CNN (like they did for Osama). 

They'd have to send a team to Russia and true, you're not in jail in America where the cowards threaten you even before trial. I don't want sleaze balls getting involved.

The reaction when Putin made this offer was "no fair, the president trusts Putin more than us". In light of what the president considered a "witch hunt" this was in no way surprising.

Still, it seems the Mueller investigation had nothing to lose by at least gathering more evidence. The GRU guys would be confronted with the same forensic evidence that convinced the grand jury. 


We could all learn a ton about the technology used to leave or remove fingerprints, as when trying to conceal one's own moves and/or frame others.

The public has proved that it has an appetite for this kind of stuff. Trump saw a way forward with potentially high TV ratings. Is it really too late?

I guess the FBI (special prosecutor) closed the investigation without ever caring to actually interview the indicted foreign nationals. They wanted to extradite first, get the alleged criminals into custody, where they could be put in solitary and otherwise mistreated (ala Chelsea Manning).

Obviously the Russians were not about to turn over their own military officers to a foreign power on flimsy charges, before ever seeing a shred of forensic evidence. 


Dismissing Putin's offer out of hand, after the US president said he thought it worth pursuing, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the president has very limited power. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Meme Spotting


The internet is abuzz with rumors, that Yang Gang is hoping to "steal" the mascot of the Trumpians, Pepe the Frog. The rumor is sketchy for a host of reasons, starting with Gamers who've adopted Pepe were not, to a player, loyal to that one camp to begin with.

Pepe grew up alongside Annoying Orange, after Evil Bert got too scary (mixed up with Al Qaeda, another story).  He needs to live on beyond the Trump Era, and so if he takes on some Yang vibe, is that really a radical transectomy, or more a re-shade and new slant?

A typical scenario for a Gamer is I'm doing well in a cool basement, holding down some part time work, underemployed but addicted to gaming anyway, and that's a lot of work in itself.  Youtubes show what a lot of work it is.

Then some foreign policy wonks from Groupthink Inc. come along, and whisper in the ear of some all-gullible Columbia (the name of a District, and a mythical figure), that she needs to yank our boys away from their computer games and deploy them in Middle Eastern deserts, to right some wrong that's being done. "Go shock and awe someone son" says the latest "brought to you by..." Uncle Sam.

Many troops witnessed first hand that "doing good" and "spreading democracy" had a lot more to do with spreading terror, and that families back home were paying the price.

The Tulsi Gabbard followers include an overlapping constituency, many stuck overseas to this day, and deprived of much representation.  No wonder there's a Yang-Tulsi meme going.

Having siblings overseas in harm's way is no way to encourage concentration in school.

These wars needed to have been necessary, in retrospect, to justify the continued allegiance of the eligible classes of male and now also female resident, whether citizens or in line for said status.  Keeping that narrative intact has proved difficult among the English speakers (the UK has gone through some similar soul searching).

When Yang Gang comes along with new Silicon Valley think, and a kind of economics relating more to the thermodynamics of Planet Earth than we're used to, and fully conversant with automation, then Wall Street gets nervous.  The financial capitals have their own economics which they understand, and which is less like electrical engineering (with a solar power socket).

Pepe might be safely symbolic in the traditional financial sector, which has gained control of governments on many levels, but Silicon Valley has its own metaphysics, inheriting as much from Asia as the European families.  The Empire State is more comfortable with a mindset it well understands, even if it poses as despising same.  At least Trump's main focus is the Middle East.

Yang is happy to discuss his race, and what it's like to be bullied, but how that gives him no right to say he knows what it's like to be black, and stigmatized for it.  That part of his banter is nicely worked out, and then race becomes more of a non-issue.

Sure we're allowed to notice people's "race" (whatever that means to us), and talk about it (somewhat differently).  He's not at war with the many vernaculars.  He's comfortable with colloquialisms.

In that regard, Yang is media-fluent in a way Trump surprisingly is as well (for someone that old -- but groomed by TV to be ratings-worthy).

I don't see myself as the answer man, when it comes to how Pepe will tip.  I'm purposely not reading a lot of opinions on this topic, as I'd prefer to think it through independently.  I'll be watching.

I do know that a lot of draft age youths would prefer $1000 a month to play computer games, some of which could be educational and rewarding in other ways.  Ditto their parents and siblings.

As a Coffee Shops Network avatar, with gaming for charity blueprints, I'm obviously not trying to fight the Gamer community.  Quakers Play Quake is one of my imaginary bumper stickers.

Yang and I share an appreciation for truckers and trucking (the industry).  He doesn't know about Truckers for Peace (citizen diplomats, getting academic credit, with truck stops the new embassies in some ways -- including for the so-called "virtual" or "diaspora" nations).

Sunday, April 07, 2019

On a First Day

The downstairs office doubles as a guest room for Carol, who is more than a guest (she's my mom), whereas the back room with all the telecommunications doubles as a guest room.  That leave's the daughters' bedroom upstairs, vacated by both, to serve as a full time office (there's no bed).  I feature it in my taxes, if that still matters.  It used to.

Said Carol wants to meet and greet an old friend moving to Portland, however her sleep schedule is such that making it to Multnomah Friends is far from easy.  At the moment, the jury is still out.  We've missed the main worship, which starts in four minutes, but then there's still social hour.  This is Meeting for Business day, meaning they'll be having a potluck.

My long term guest Lindsey, since departed and part time in Nepal, pioneered using the half finished basement as digs.  The telecomm office was leaking back then (literally), as you'll find out if you explore my Flickr album.  We both had our relationships with other people.  Having a floor between us worked well.  Later Jen moved into Carol's office.  She lives in LA.

Both Jen and Lindsey, and later Melody, were my housemates when Occupy rolled around.  I'd lived with several housemates in college, and afterwards. That Harrison Street resembled my previous lifestyle (e.g. 2 Dickinson Street, Princeton University) is perhaps not all that surprising.

Our kitchen had long been a hub for Food Not Bombs, more for auxiliary storage than front lines prep (church kitchens are much bigger).  During Occupy, Melody and Lindsey help FNB establish a serving site, which later moved when all those paper plate and disposable utensil people showed up.  I never moved to a tent, and instead maintained my logistical role as a food deliverer.

If you've curious about the Occupy chapter, it's documented in detail from my unique perspective in these blogs.  As for the global phenomenon, I don't know that there was one.  Attempts to connect Arab Spring to what was happening on Wall Street, in Portland, in Syria... I wasn't one to see those as tightly connected.  I had my OPDX point of view.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Art School


I'm thinking "art school" in the sense that we're seeking generic fluency with shapes in space. Just polyhedrons is more Platonic than time/size nudes, but only by a tad, as they need to be rendered in time and space, or imagined. A use of "porn" in common circulation is "any core theme of some pictures" so like a collection of pictures about trains is thereby "train porn" and so on. We've seen this use among geeks since BarCamp at least.

So "polyhedron porn" is a lot of what Art School is about, in terms of exercising those CAD muscles you'll need, for 3D printing, perhaps for sports (downhill skiing requires good spatial sense).

The content I pick up on is "level playing field" for the most part in that just about any audience is equally unfamiliar, unless part of some literati digerati that's been silently following along.  You've known about the Jitterbug for decades perhaps.  In that case, a lot of this content is recognized.

What might be less recognizable is the "S factor" banter I've bolted on in part two, as this jargon arises from telecommunications among Synergetics Explorer Award winners, little known among artists either, although I claim a few big names in my circle.  David organized the trip to see Magnus Wenninger.

The "S factor" is just a decimal number, or use any base, a quantity, and ratio between two volumes, one named "S module" the other named "E module".  These, in turn, come from a small vocabulary of modules evolved in a prose work in philosophy, on the shelves since the 1970s.  Some of us were already involved in similar explorations but found common ground in Fuller's vocabulary.

For a long time, David translated his findings into writings about the T module in Synergetics, which is shape-wise identical to the E, but has a different surface:volume ratio.  Some decades back, he gear shifted as he came to see he'd been studying the E, less so the T.

We did have a breakthrough on the T however, which is bumping up the T module RT's volume by 3/2, from 5 to 7.5, brings its vertexes into congruence with those of the volume 6 RD.

However, these two videos don't mention the RD or RT much at all.  The RD goes by in a flash, whereas I mine the RT just to get the E.  I need to derive S/E (the so-called "S factor") in order to get my Python generator (named "Jitterbug") to spit back next values (a sequence of volumes, as you're welcome to discover).


Friday, March 29, 2019

Jackpot Junk (memo to Nodes)

I understand how casinos themselves might like to have some control over the machines I've been talking about.  Over on CSN, the discussion has turned more to hardware, the actual arcade or casino style gambling machine, modified to pump crypto to charities.  Church bingo.

Retrofitting an old arcade game with the necessary internals is easier than getting a casino classic, most likely, though ironically.  The machinery of payout has been simplified, even in the classic setting.  Here, payout is to those fintech thermometers, or to this or that QR code.  You may actually "shoot money" out of a gun in some games, giving health and happiness to your cute and cuddly targets.

Yes, I'm talking about old junk and garage based experiments in some cases.  You need your own internal crypto to play with, the money of the house, the currency by which parents pay their kids sometimes, redeemable through the parental bank and/or catalog.  Do the dishes and you're credited with this or that cartoon.  Smart houses already include these, don't they?  Hey, Alexa!

Play pinball, get to a level, and your winnings start meaning real money from the coffers of Big Company, with its Good Will line item.  The circuit diagrams make sense to electronics engineers, who understand about amplification already. 

If you've designed the games to be fine tunable, then you'll be able to excite performance as a way of valving "ions" (charged particles) to charity, leading to repeat business and reputation building.

I think of a cryptocurrency as "ions" (includes "anions") meaning particles with the ability to do work.  That's just a shorthand for "battery" i.e. a source of power or revenue on the chip. 

If you want your CPU to do its teraflops, you need to feed it, power the motherboard.  We seem a lot  less clear about people, whether to power them, despite their evident godliness (NIH -- not invented here).  We're suspicious.  Indeed, a lot of companies sell the implements of people slaughter (like Home Depot but focused on mayhem and demolition).

The CSN nodes are not about recruiting vast numbers into the people slaughter business, lucrative though that may be.  We have our standards. 

That being said, causes you'd willingly fund may also be causes you'd support by other means as well, such as by traveling to a work/study site.

Obviously the authorities don't want crypto to fund armed and dangerous organizations, which is why I'm leveraging my Quaker background to get out ahead with a brand that's clearly not about weapons trafficking. 

I'm not advertising a lot of other prohibitions though.  There's no ban in principle on serving boozes, such as rums.  Whiskeys.  In some regions, I understand local laws prevent such sales, however I'm just making it clear where the restrictions are coming from (i.e. not me).  The Nodes ("shops" in shoptalk) need morphological capabilities, and biodiversity.

Speaking of guns (implicitly -- we were talking about weapons), the North Americans treasure their privacy and private property rights as much as their right to bear arms in public places.  But what about on private property, if the owner has rights?  Can't Farmer Jones, a Quaker, keep all guns off his property?  The litigation piles up.

The etiquette of the West was to respect the wishes of a church, such that gun nuts would leave their pieces in the carriage, with the driver.  Naturally that's an invitation to cowards in search of unarmed victims, and some churches might post armed sentries at the door, assuming local police respect the practice.  Hotels.  Theaters.  Zoos.  Theme parks.  Not all of these belong to the government.

Am I saying Nodes will be "invitation only" and more like speakeasies?  Am I suggesting airport style screenings to get in?  No, not in general.  Those would be special case.  Think of night clubs you already know.  I'm not reinventing every wheel here. 

Remember the prototyping chapter.  You don't want the general public working your machines until you've had a chance to work out the kinks.  Every industry has its skunk works, its test pilots.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Business Concerns

Sometimes I drive around Oregon imagining where the campus facilities might go.  Something that's part of a wind farm and already hooked up to take care of power generating, makes it useful to staff from the start.  Add cultural radio (mixed bag).  If there's anyone in radius that is (sometimes I'm far off the grid, in ranch country -- you'll still have windmills though, if along the Columbia Gorge).

If you go back in my blogs and on Medium, you'll see where my head is at, as some kind of Sam Hill principal in some School of Tomorrow (experimental, prototype).  But would my expensing all that driving as "for business" make sense?  In a Quaker Meeting sense it might.  Warm Springs reservation was on my circuit.

I talk more about casinos in Casino Math, obviously.  That's a topic area in my Digital Math curriculum, established on Wikieducator and then put into practice (experimental, prototype) here and there, with willing risk takers.

People who march off to camp to try something new may be risk takers.  What needs testing might not be weapons of war, in my Civilian Service scenario, but in terms of getting outdoorsy, there's lots of overlap.  "Math is an Outdoor Sport" say my virtual billboards.  Using GPS and/or following a treasure map, takes some trigonometry.

I've been doing fly throughs of neurobiology on Youtube, the better to stimulate my hypertoon receptors.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

More of My Story



Saturday, March 16, 2019

Road Scholar


John Driscoll:
Nice history around Nick! A sad tale in a lot of ways. I remember one time I was trying to help find Nick a place to crash and I felt like I couldn't let him stay at my place because my landlord in Bolinas CA was pretty concerned with strangers coming around being in Bolinas so Nick ended up asking me just to drop him off basically along the side of the road headed to Petaluma. It was bitter cold that night and in retrospect I can't believe I left him to sleep under the stars on such a night but I did. Sorry Nick. It was nice of you to give him a crash pad when he was in Portland. However, Nick was incredibly strong. He used to hitchhike around with an enormous number of heavy bags (probably full of books) and his dulcimer which I never heard him play. The world knocked him around but he was a tough dude. Definitely not the lifestyle for your run of the mill road scholar.

Bob Quinn:
I picked Nick up hitchhiking the day before Thanksgiving 1988. Candy invited him to come for Thanksgiving dinner. He came by the next day and was a fixture in our lives until the day he died. I still remember driving home on Naito in Portland and fielding the call for theHillsboro police informing me Nick had died. In August under a blue moon rising over the hill in Pacific City I put his ashes in the ocean. The wind kicked up and I ended up inhaling a good bit of his remains. Blessings on him.
Click here, for a continuation of Nick's story.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Systems Science


Glenn and I hopped a bus 14 to join Portland State faculty and students at a brown bag lunch event.  We call it that, but no one was eating that I can recall.  We sandwiched into the Harder House meeting room, pretty much every seat taken, John Driscoll standing and delivering his presentation.

John took full advantage of his time, launching early into preliminary material about Hausdorff Dimension as computed with a "box counting" algorithm.

Applied to facades, or floor plans, generic grids, one may compute its fractional dimension d, or, conversely, create such vistas with d as input.

What would it mean to extrapolate random buildings within a fractal space, determined by a few hyperparameters?  John is exploring this question.  Could such a font of detailed fractal structures provide a kind of clay, which an architect could then sculpt?  Iteratively?

Given my obsession with spherical planet simulations, my imaginary invisible landscape was of city-like planets.

What if Roman Civilization were to be spread, by algorithmic generators, to create realistic vistas of cities never built?  Where would the aqueducts go?  Portland has some, from Bull Run.  The terminal reservoirs were Roman-Victorian in flavor.  I haunt the ones on Mt. Tabor.

Now try another civilization.  Add or subtract a technology.  The models would seem crude perhaps, yet educational.  Start with a river valley.  Now picture it urbanized.  Let the computer do the work, under the supervision of those with a strong sense of Feng Shui.

I'm always in classrooms where the students want to enter into a multi-user domain together, while they're all in the same room.  The game development platforms we use don't allow for this, but the competing commercial platforms do.

My math teacher brain, in the meantime, is thinking "why not harness this desire to socialize through game playing (remember bridge? remember card games?) and let us play something closer to SimEarth?".

That was a real game by the way, in addition to SimCity.  In SimCity, we got to think about power plants, grids, city taxes, city services, property values and so on.  What would a Henry George version of SimCity be like I wonder?

John has a kind of Machine Learning dynamic going, wherein software tools generate building after building, or block after block, with humans, perhaps licensed architects, registering aesthetic preferences.  "I like this one better than that".

In this way, human judgement and algorithm-developed architectures each play to their own strengths.  Algorithms generate a cornucopia of possibilities.  Human judges cull the field, leaving only a few noteworthy finalists.

Machine Learning algorithms know how to reshape themselves based on feedback, in the form of some error function to be minimized.

The idea that architects and movie directors could interact with fractal generator city simulators sounds completely realistic if we're talking about the movie industry.

You want to fly around on such planets, but not necessarily build them, nor even draw them by hand.  They provide context.  They provide game boards.

John and a long time colleague joined us afterward for lunch at Rogue Hall (Ione Building), part of Rogue Nation (the brewery).

I took many pictures and was looking forward to folding them into a next Youtube (I've been doing them daily), only to find out my SD card was acting up.  The computer wouldn't read it, nor would the camera after that.  Unusual.

I ended up reformatting, losing all the pictures.  Fortunately, John's colleague got it all on video.