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.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Ammo for Philo

"Ammo for Philo" sounds like a contradiction, as "Philo" means love and is short also for "Philosophy" or "love of knowledge".  The "sophy" comes from "sophia" as does "sofa" (I made up "sofa" but I'm thinking of a kind of love seat where two are engaged.

The loner philosopher, perhaps a hermit, is stereotypically (and archetypically) not completely alone, but in a relationship with an otherness we might call Sophia.

They named an robotic doll "Sophia" recently, and made her famous.  The of course there's the movie Her.

However, I'm eager to get away from all male or all white when we talk philosophy, though I want to stay inclusive of same.  For starters, Grunch of Giants (important in my syllabus) is dedicated to three women: 
  • Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy;
  • Margaret Fuller, a Transcendentalist and contemporary of Thoreau (and Poe); and
  • Barbara Marx Hubbard, for whom my dad volunteer, briefly, when she ran for the Office of the Vice President (US).
Speaking of cliches and stereotypes, there's been this common wisdom that the US vice presidency is a mostly ceremonial position, right up there with First Lady.  Would people say First Dude in the case of a married-to-a-man president?

Not that First Guy or Gal is a fluff job either, but it's not constitutionally defined am I right?  A president is not required to have a spouse.

Anyway, in the case of the Veep having a nothing job, that was pure deception:  it's a covert operations gig, most typically.  Dick Cheney was not the first to stove pipe or traffic in state secrets.

Hubbard was pretty brave in running for that office directly, hoping a wannabe prez would pick her (I think she was hoping for John Glenn as a running mate, based on their mutual love the the space program).

My Oregon Curriculum Network is just a storefront, not even a nonprofit.  It's what I do as a business, with any time/energy I have left over, and then some.  I get no tax breaks for it, as I never tried to make it a standalone nonprofit.  I pay it (in the sense of fund it), not the other way around.

The OCN has been pumping out these videos, and in the philosophy department the theme is the foundations of mathematics, in connection with what a certain dead poet society considered a breakthrough, a gear shift, and game changer.

Professional mathematicians were cool to the whole idea and the society went underground, there to be discovered by the Religious Society of Friends, in the person of yours truly.

The RSoF already looked at Kenneth Boulding and Rufus Jones as heroes (more white guys).  The former was a pioneer of General Systems Theory while the later helped get American Friends Service Committee off the ground.

Rufus Jones was connected to Haverford, a college founded by Quakers in Pennsylvania (Penn himself being Quaker, and the state named after him at one time envisaged as a kind of Quaker utopia).

Anyway, OCN also brainstormed CSN (Coffee Shops Network), another "faux business" in the sense that it couches its philanthropic model in the form of a science fictional network of coffee shops.

Would I like this network to exist for real?  Of course.

The CSN is a puzzle piece that helps fund some of the other puzzle pieces.

So what's the "ammo" I'm talking about?

My hopes for philosophy have to do with its relevance.  In a world where religion proves divisive, might philosophy provide bridges?  We don't have to agree about what or whom is divine before coming to grips with the prospects for humanity (one of Bucky's favorite topics).

We have colorful polyhedrons, high definition screens, and a wealth of worthy themes.

Synergetics Hypertoons may not be a reality in your zip code just yet, but that can't stop you from sharing in the dream, regardless of gender or genetic profile.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Dymaxion Videos

Friday, March 01, 2019

Hello Blogosphere

Does anyone still call it that, the "blogosphere" I mean?  Wikipedia has an entry.  We wouldn't call the term "dated" yet would we?  The notion of "blog" itself is pretty recent, and bloggers still abound.

Anyway, I like how the term has "spheric" in it, which describes "a land without borders" as in "never coming to the edge".  A world that abruptly ended, at some cliff or river, would be not a sphere in that sense.  A sphere lets you stumble every which way, and still be on it.

Speaking of stumbling around the planet, I read and watched about the summit meeting in Hanoi, twixt the DC civilian team and DPRK.  I was happy enough with some side results to not be especially disappointed with a holding status quo.  Part of how nation-states establish their longevity is by moving at a glacial pace.  Be the hour hand.  Live forever.

Deeper things are going on in Korea that outsiders will appreciate, is what I'm thinking.  What Americans think and do about Korea is not what matters, or at least that's how it should be.  Americans should feel so relieved when the weight of the world is finally off their shoulders.

Is it because Plymouth Rock was all about Puritans, or for other reasons, that Americans are so prudish?  We burn through presidents on the basis of their peccadilloes quite a lot in seems to me.  The home folks want morality plays, another term for soap opera.

Congress is seeing new potential there, in hold highly televised hearings.  Are we finally getting somewhere, in terms of stirring voters out of their apathy?  The Kavanaugh hearings were like a pilot.

I understand:  the heroic partisans aren't really that offended by what's outwardly touted as the sin, but the less superficial reasons can't be prosecuted.  We keep it shallow on purpose and so on.  Didn't people vote for a playboy, a Hugh Hefner type?  That was a way to reassert a kind of male dominant prowess no?  Hawkish Hillary wasn't that different in some ways.

Forgive me if I get bored.  I'm just thinking we could have a lot funner planet with different screenwriting.  I didn't really like soap operas either.

They say it's not really about sex outside of marriage (with Clinton either, or with Kennedys), but the lying.  I've grown up with presidents lying all my life.  It's what they do.  So?  Goes with the territory.

Prohibition is and was interesting.  When government aims to be "secular" that's a way of saying the different ethnicities can regulate "what's moral" to some degree, that's not our business.  If your religion says it's OK to drink alcohol, then go for it -- as long as you're not a legal minor.

But this hands off attitude only goes so far, as we've seen, and the boundaries keep changing.

Secularism includes the idea of rules, and therefore of breaking them.  But does one follow rules to be "good"?  Does one play chess for the halo?

Marriage is a secular institution as well as a religious one.

Speaking of which (screenwriting), Patrick was full of great ideas today, regarding how Truckers for Peace (an academic program) might model itself after massage therapists who do the same thing (swap jobs and places to stay).

Which reminds me, I thought a genius piece of the Standard est Training was the "needs a ride or place to stay" segment.

Uh oh, I'm likely to veer into Scientology next.  Talk about segues.

Right when the Academy Awards were on, it turned out later, I was back in the old feud between the British BBC guy and the various factions of this powerful church, catching up on the movies (genre: documentary, expose).

You've gotta admit, it's a pretty gripping drama with all the elements, including families split down the middle, at the highest levels.

When will someone run for US president with Scientologist on their resume?

My rude and crude Youtubes (I'm proud of some of them) keep me cycling through the Virus Meme, somewhat by design.  I'll do another Medium story on that maybe.

I've been contributing more Youtubes (U2oobs) to the meme pool.  I mentioned some recent ones on edu-sig.  I collect them here and there in my blogs.