Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wanderers Meet on Zoom

Wanderers Meetup

This was close to our standard Equinox Party, and in the absence of the pandemic, we'd be gathering at the Linus Pauling House around now.

We're catching up using this higher bandwidth technology, about changes in our lives since our last gathering, months ago.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Thursday, August 06, 2020

August Sixth 2020

August Sixth has special meaning around here, and for the world, as it marks the first time an atomic weapon was used by humans against themselves, with strong intent. Another detonation would follow, over the city of Nagasaki.

Humans were nuking themselves in various "tests" as well, irradiating themselves and their environment. Many thought nuclear war was inevitable, and many still do, so low is the average faith in politicians and the political process.  Religion was marginalized earlier.  What's left?  A sense of self preservation maybe?

Portlanders have typically turned out for a simple ceremony, emphasizing Japanese-American friendship, in a park with that moniker.  That ceremony has been suspended this year, has have most formally planned group events for the summer.

We're hoping that friendship stays strong and remains mutual, much though it may have been tested since that darker age.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Visiting Faculty (School of Tomorrow episode)

More about Kailash Ecovillage: 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Camp C6XTY


Leela and Melody got to social distance in my backyard, much like old times.  We had a breezy summer evening.  Naturally the conversation turned to the protests downtown.  Melody has been studying the emergence of private militias in her neck of the woods.  Privatization has come a long way.

I've been continuing to recruit future faculty who might work Martian Math into some already favorite set of topics. My approach is to keep my content Humanities flavored (that sounds somewhat cannibalistic I realize), meaning I'm not spinning my home base as a place within STEM territory.  

We bridge to STEM, over the C.P. Snow chasm, with our C6XTY bridge (there's a marketing angle). The point of casting it this way is to not make STEM, mathematicians in particular, the bottleneck.  Given their track record, we can expect little to no help from the Mathematics Department on this one.  Philosophy has had to step up to the plate, with links to Literature.  We're more in PATH (Philosophy Anthropology Theater History) than in STEM.

You might think the rap above would have nothing to do with the Rastafarian | Pastafarian combo I'd like to see center stage at the Justice Center, once there's some serious equipment.  

Why not a full sound and light show, impromptu?  Food carts?  I'm not saying I'd go, because of Covid.  If the actual downtown presence shrinks yet continues to stream the process, I'll have felt part of something.

Seriously, I'd turn the downtown scene into a reggae festival, given the Blues Festival was denied us this year.  The link is the importance of streaming, and the fact of a larger audience watching from home. That's how our school works as well.  If you were following Lattice Gallery last winter, in downtown Portland, you were probably doing so remotely, perhaps from Japan or Korea.

Portlanders are missing all their favorite summer events and have needed to channel some of that disappointment into an already frustrating push for social change.  There's a need to keep it real and focused and not just go for fluff.  My suggestions qualify as "peanut gallery" as I'm more kibbitzer than producer in this picture.

Dr. D. and Glenn were also properly ordained for the occasion.  I'll plan to invite DB for the next one. We're still keeping the numbers down.  Blue House has been through many chapters.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

About Racism (Lesson Plan)


About Racism (a lesson plan)

Me: memetic, ethnic, cultural, software
Me: genetic, physical, hominid, hardware

Memes are not just miniature billboards on Facebook. I'm stealing from Dawkins ("borrowing") and making memes mean a lot more than commercial jingles or fragments from films. Memes comprise the "daydream" of what one muses about, considers. Memes come up in meditation, sometimes from deeper levels than Surface Me. A lot of memes come through television and other social media.

Genes do not always translate into visible traits and they don't define character, personality, moral qualities, other attributes of a soul. That's all epigenetic stuff. DNA does govern eye color, skin color, nose shape, physical features (inside and outside) more generally, and because physically inherited, is not nearly as transmissible or alterable (flexible) as memes or culture.

What is Race?

A given race is usually a mixed up soup, a mishmash, of both memetic and genetic traits, sufficiently memorable to form stereotypes, a kind of default mnemonic typology (like dwarves and elves). Racist cultures encourage thinking in such racial terms (by definition).

The notion of race closely relates to "breed" in animal husbandry, including the language of mixed or mongrel, versus pure (perhaps with pedigrees to prove lineage).

The names of the races and the stories behind them, form a kaleidoscopic, ever-shifting tableau, made from memes. The Book of Genesis is a good place to start, if looking for conceptual roots (i.e. memetic content), at least for some people.

We will be reading the stories of Noah, and the Tower of Babel to get a sense of how people thought (or even think today). We'll also be watching various animated and live action versions of these narratives. We will discover what forms of racism might be traced to this part of scripture by studying a variety of curricula.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Twilight Zone TV

General Assembly

We're aiming for a format Hollywood knows well:  a dedicated studio audience, providing a feedback loop, and in this case talent, as in a classroom where all are on tap to do Show & Tell. That was my Coding with Kids model when doing in-person classes in the local nearby schools.

If the plan is to keep going nightly through August, producing free content with lots of volunteer security, e.g. Wall of Moms, then the least we can do is corporately sponsor a nicer sound stage.  The idea of writing over the graffitti with other temporary graffiti, simply by slapping up a blank canvas, is being tried elsewhere in town.

The major audience, also taking in advertising, other current events, is what we might call the TikTok crowd, although of course many geezers are following on Facebook or one of those.  Social Media.  The camera people are likewise the audience self organizers. I've been one of the geezers, staying put in my own zip code and wearing a mask in public.  Except when I'm walking by myself or with a trusted-to-be-safe other... anyway, you know the code.

The melodrama spikes when the soap opera turns to images of the president gassing his own people and all that.  Not with lethal gasses.  Deep, long-lasting injuries are authorized. 

Public sympathy is with an underdog and if vandals are mobbing the monuments, per the Dork City narrative, then the federal marshals are underdoggy. 

The Wall of Moms removed some of the fencing getting in the way of the future sound stage maybe.  Bashing soccer moms is a symbolic way of hitting the insecurity button, which tilts the public the other way.

Our corporate sponsors will want to make it clear they're not encouraging tacky S&M (sadism + masochism) complete with costumes. Other banks are lending to that group. 

If you follow the money, we just wanted a better soundstage and some replacement graffitti, with volunteers doing most of the programming ala the public cable TV channel model.  Except we're more reliant on social media. 

We see and process the clips the next day e.g. the Wall of Moms being charged with MacArthur like forces (I'm referring to the attack on the Hooverville in Dork City that time -- Smedley wrote about it).

As with Occupy, I'm wondering where to take it indoors as the weather cools, summer's longest day behind us in this northern hemisphere.  

We didn't have covid in 2011.  I ended up moving the Ministry of Education into Washington High School.  Long time readers might remember that story. WHS was abandoned at the time, but for art colonies. 

In a later chapter, the revamped venue showcased the Buckminster Fuller Archives at Stanford University, set to music by Yo La Tengo.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Gothamite Bizmo

I know not whose bizmo this is.  American Gothic.

Thanks to social media, a lot more imagery flows across my metaphorical desktop (which is also literal in being a GUI desktop).

Friday, July 17, 2020

Part 2: Thinking Out Loud

Steffan makes the point that thinking about equi-distance arrays, either 2D or 3D, is likewise to think about social distancing in the abstract.

Six students in six hexagons around a central teacher.

In volume, twelve around one, at the corners of a cuboctahedron for maximum omni-symmetry.

Even without a literal arrangement, we're still thinking about compression and tension i.e. what strategies help keep social distancing more relaxing?

Packing people in a room and asking them to practice safe distancing is just creating a lot of stress, obviously.

Parts 1 & 2 appear together in Coffee Shops Network (CSN).

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Campus News

Hey there patrons, investors, alums, future students, faculty...

I'm sure you're all eager beavers (Oregonian expression?) and want to learn everything about the roof of my house.  

That's been the order of business this morning, as in:  why doesn't it leak?  The High Powered Homes says it's three tab, common in the 1990s.  Not what's called "architectural" which is more the standard today.

Underneath though, is an older higher grade shaker.  Like they don't make anymore.  That accounts for why I've gotten away without re-roofing for this long.

The remodel to make this more like a Linus Pauling House, non-profit owned and operated, open to sojourning faculty, students, would include a new roof with more ventilation, other interior changes. 

The old metal and vinyl kitchen is still fully operational. What would the 2 Dickinson people do?  

I learned some of my adult livings skills at 2D.  The group home scene.  At Princeton University.  Lets do that again. 

So the estimator is sitting out in his truck.  We've been through the different grades of roofing, economy, performance, and high performance. 

The Owens Corning solution, backed by a transferable warranty, is an entire construction system. Their platinum installers get high marks for durable solutions.  High Performance Homes is one of those platinum installers.

I'm saying: hey, where's the university in this picture?  

Housing Services kinda sucks when you add all the solutions and divide by eight billion.  Let's talk about Food Services.  Welcome to the Global U, right?

So at the other end of Blue House would be these (sometimes remote) learning center experimental communities of tomorrow, that work with future prototype high tech and invite tourists, inspectors, auditors, critics.  

We're not trying to disappear behind some occult fog here.  The goal is transparency, more than you're used to perhaps.

The job would be in the ballpark of $20K < re-roof < $30K.  However, before tackling the roof, I need to get the trees and shrubbery cut back from the house.  Another stimulus might be needed.

Me on Facebook:
I had the roof looked at today. It's not leaking, just I lucked out that it has a good cedar shake roof under the 1990s 3-tab (I learned some new jargon). Just collecting numbers. I'm jealous of the Pauling House being owned by a nonprofit. How do I get to be a nonprofit too?

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Happy Holidays!

USA Icon
:: PDX ::

Lots going on!

July 4 was of course a somewhat muted affair, but a full moon, and I exercised what liberties I had, to goof off and stuff, but also to do some serious housework, and to accompany Carol on a supervised walk around the block. I was on a family call earlier.

July 5 is of course X-Day, big on the Subgenius calendar, and is my sister's birthday.  On X-Day, the cult members pray to be abducted by the flying saucers. When that doesn't happen, there's a ritualistic explanation, in terms of misinterpreted scripture. Great excuse for a picnic, but this year it's a virtual picnic.

And then, there's Christmas in July.  Long time readers of this blog know about my "king who came late" mythology. He has a name now: Mitra. He's a Friend in some way.  The other three kings have come and gone. What gift hath this new king brought?

The Xmas in July meme has been blatant about its commercialism from the beginning. The Santa Hat is Mithraic in origin as is as the Statue of Liberty crown and torch (like Columbia's). You may see where I'm going with this:  Quakers venture back into business ("feel their oats" as we say).

Not that they ever left entirely.  However the book Quakernomics makes clear that Quakers enjoyed something of an economic heyday in the age of early industrialization by means of steam and steal, electricity would come later.

Quakers had been a persecuted minority but were now enjoying their reputation for business integrity.  Lots of companies gave themselves a Quaker spin. Barclay's Bank. Lloyds of London. Cadbury... Nowadays Pepsi carries the banner forward, with the oats guy.

I'm not suggesting there's some way to make history repeat, only that Christmas in July is an opportunity to shape not just a specific date, but a season, almost an ethos.  I'm looking forward to more commercials that capitalize on this idea, although I know I won't become a fan of all of them.

Back to Subgenius, no I haven't seen the new Kickstarter funded movie. I know it's out and has been in theaters, and I've seen a trailer. My guru Rev. Onan Canobite has traveled I believe to Austin, TX for an opening. This was all pre covid of course.

We're on lockdown protocol per company orders and if I do anything it'll be from a social distance. However that's not as dire as it sounds. I have a small patch of land, big enough to accept delivery of another 92 C6XTY balls, with the expectation of doing a 3-frequency this time (I have a 2-frequency 42 baller already assembled in the staging area).

Quakernomics Talk
:: Quakernomics Talk, Linus Pauling House, 2014 ::

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Police Story

Yes, I tell the same stories over and over. I meet with new listeners. Like on Facebook.

From Facebook:

Speaking of police work, I was contracted by a local police precinct back in the days of Napster because, get this, the police were tired of being used as the scary authorities asked to go into schools and scare the shit out of junior for illegally copying, like those FBI banners on VHS and DVDs that threaten you with higher fines and more years than manslaughter if you share what are in principle freely dupable digital assets.

The police had discovered they lived in the Silicon Forest, capital of open source, and the public schools were too fuckin' lazy to teach any of that stuff, just wanted to be mouthpieces for lawyers and big business, make the police be the enforcers.

Once the police put it together they said "fuck it, we'll teach Linux and stuff ourselves" and they hired me and this other guy to go into the police station to teach teens. They hoped to get a lot of Latino immigrant types because that's who was here for the American dream, but instead we got privileged white kids, really fun and smart I might add, who had less inherent fear of police.

So in that sense, the program failed. But I still say the police were thinking logically, and yes, the public schools are in many dimensions too lazy to be salvaged.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dome History

Shoji references the Kabul dome, discussed below by Bucky.

He also talks about the Montreal '67 dome, Fuller's Taj Mahal.

Earlier, he mentions the DEW line side of the business, which would have included Ed Popko.

Later, he mentions the Union Tank Car Dome, the subject of the brilliant documentary, A Necessary Ruin.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

More Esoteric Studies

I see Jason Reza Jorjani, the man being interviewed, got mixed up with the alt-right somehow.

He's pushing for a Persian Renaissance, as a globalist.

I'd link his thinking to Bucky's Humans in Universe, co-authored with Anwar Dil.

Related post at CSN.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

More Public Discussion

I'd recommend skipping the step where we use the draft to force social protest and instead open up service options wherein those conscientiously opposed to violence aren't made to jump through hoops. 

A national chain of farms, hotels, gas stations... not government takeover of whole sectors, but get in there and get your hands dirty with transparent think tank designed versions of these institutions, showing imagination in ways the private sector wants to copy. 

The brain drain from public to private has been such that governments have been left to die in the desert at this point, except insofar as they provide a thin veneer of legitimacy for the mass murder that goes on. 

As long as mass media's job is to inflame the kind of virulent patriotism that makes 'em mindlessly bomb happy, we'll need government and religious icons to whip us into a frenzy.

-- some town hall on Facebook somewhere

Monday, June 08, 2020

My Parents' Perspective | 親からの観点 (movie review)

I'm calling these clips "movies" whether they conform to the cinematic definition or not.  They move. This is my first Youtube review labeled as a movie review, which is why I'm bringing it up.

The storytelling here is superb in that her parents get interviewed while Tiffany interpolates her comments, tying everything together efficiently and compactly in ways a longer winded documentary could never accomplish.  As both director and narrator, Tiffany takes a highly responsible role, contributing to the effectiveness of her communications.

Lots is going on here, in terms of flashbacks and camera angles.  Autobiography with a complex subject at its best.

I came to Tiffany's channel from researching a few others, on the topic of Americans of dark skin tone living in various parts of Asia.

Here's my (highlighted) comment on the Youtube itself:
kirby urner
3 days ago 
Brilliant interview thank you. I'm stuck in English for the most part (the language) but grew up around the world (not missionary, not military) and empathize with these fun new identities we're getting, a privilege and good for getting people unstuck in their assumptions.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Commenting while Retweeting

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Mithras - Lord of the Cosmos

I've been studying Mathraism, exploring for memes we might use to glue together Quakerism (Amigos) and Sufism to form an interesting hybrid. Of course Nietzsche's Zarathustra might come into it. This isn't about fixating on only ancient sources, as if sources need to be ancient to be religious.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Debating Race on Q2

Thank you for your contribution to this discussion Aaron. I still brave coming here even though Chrome insists I'm at risk (some certificate configuration thingy). The red exclamation point next to the URI reminds me I'm here against Chrome's better judgement.
Anyway, I understand how human languages branch and fork into family trees.  Computer languages do that too (branch and fork, have ancestor influences and descendents). much as rivers do, and the notion that Semitic languages form one such family, on purely philological grounds, seems pretty plausible, if not outright indubitable. Sanskrit fits into this puzzle too.

Then you get a rather different concept, of Semite as "a race". That's crossing a threshold into new territory in my book, as we're no longer discussing communication codes.  Now we're talking animal husbandry, and family planning.  The stakes seem higher and the danger of animosity greater.  I'm heeding Ashley Montagu's warnings, about "race" as man's most dangerous myth, a myth going way back to before genetic science, or 

I've remarked earlier in this discussion how these racial undertones give off a vibe or smell that reminds me of Aryan supremacist ideology, so vested in notions of "super-race" (an ideology requiring of the concept of "race" in the first place, and therefore "pure" versus "hybrid" strains or classes, i.e "mixed race" or "mongrel" versus "pureblood"). 

Semite in the sense of "race" gets traced back to scripture (to Genesis) by many scholars, religious and not, who point to the descendents of Noah as the begetters of N races where N = Number of Noah's sons (a patriarchal reckoning is taken for granted). Bible School websites teach the story of Noah in the same breath as they plant the seeds of racism.

Then, after the Flood, in a following chapter came the Tower of Babel debacle, which ended up in these Races dispersing around the world (a first diaspora).  And so, children, this is how the Races of Man came to be.  

I don't believe contemporary genetic science has any corresponding theory of such a severe, near-extinction level cataclysmic event for all humans, let alone all species, although bottlenecks there may have been according to the mitochondrial record etc. 

Our species has certainly enjoyed its share of disasters (more to come), with many of them self inflicted, or so it seems to appear in some god's eye view, to which we are mysteriously privy (something about a shared "image"); certainly the Babel debacle was one of those. The disaster was our wasting time on single-mindedly building that silly tower, not the liberating solution that God devised for us.

Genesis gets to stay meaningful as a profound myth: the Tower of Babel story is quite powerful in my book.

[ I've seen the Youtube channel Genesis Apologetics, which seems to want to re-literalize those Bible stories. There's always the temptation to saddle the ancestors with our contemporary cosmology, seems comforting.  Manifestly, the "curse of many tongues" was never lifted (pssst: because it's not really a curse, praise Allah for our biodiversity and freedom from groupthink) ]

What I sense within some branches of Judaism is a strong interest in type concerns i.e. genetic heritage and lineage, which is something we can trace in geographic terms (genetic markers moving around on a globe). When you get to the age of jet air travel, the record gets more confused. 

Christianity, as a latter day state organized and supported religion (historically speaking) of monarchs and emperors, satellite nobles, is of course all caught up in pedigree and distinguishing royalty from the unwashed masses etc., the animal husbandry derived genetic science of selective breeding, originally based in theories about "blood" (a lazy pseudo-scientific language perpetuated to this day among the common folk (smile)).

[ Christians who think Jesus survived the crucifixion to have children tend to have more focussed genetic obsessions, however said "Da Vinci Code" minority may be branded heretical. Likewise are Quakers (the sect) so branded by many a shocked flock. ]
I'm a fan of Isaac Asimov for his three rules of robotics, a way of talking and thinking about ethics, human to human as well.

Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek introduced the Prime Directive (a doctrine of non-interference), so much the opposite of colonizing or beaming down missionaries. Star Trek communicated a more secular / catholic / universalist / liberal ("live and let live") code of conduct. Mark Twain and Thomas Paine are in the background (more influences).

Given such hallmarks of Americana inform my thinking, I say "far be it from me to try deprogramming every cultish devotee I come across".  Like if you choose to believe in "races" (what I'd call a "whiteman concept" in my homebrewed vernacular given its Social Darwinist roots) go right ahead, free country.  Your bag of beliefs (worldview) is your cross to bear (karma).  Debate me if you want to.

However, even as I leave people to their bags of belief, I make room within Quakerism for a Planet Earth = Promised Land revelation (ongoing). We've been chosen by God to cherish or trash it, make it our heaven or our hell. A big responsibility, especially with free will. Lucifer's angels are betting we fail, and torture us with our own shortcomings.

Given the confusion of tongues (a gift!), we maybe thought (or at least some of us did), that some patch of land in the Middle East is what a few tribes of humans were destined to inherit, to be given the gift of, by our Lord. That was the whole point of those stories, those myths. 

However, in hindsight, some of us see it was more than that. We now have a more clear-eyed view of the species predicament, and we're are grateful for this opportunity to prove ourselves worthy.  Amen. Some of us might confess our convincement as Jewish, others not (without being anti-Jewish about it, in contradiction of what's been revealed).

Friday, May 22, 2020

From a Quaker Discussion List

Hi Rainer --
Thanks for your thoughts. Everyone says we need to be processing about "race" (whether we believe in such a thing or not) and we're doing it, in the context of anti-semitism no less, all red hot stuff in the eyes of many, yet we're just having a casual Quakerly conversation, very primitive and Friendly.
I appreciate your willingness to shoot the breeze ("even Quakers shoot the breeze" might go with my "Quakers play Quake" bumper sticker -- I sometimes wear a Stetson hat that says Gun Club inside, approved it through Oversight Committee, but said committee is no more, as that sounded too slavey, too antiquarian, for supervising taste testers -- I'm forgetting the new name).
My "math head" (a member of my "internal committee" aka politburo) says "pre science literate humans didn't just happen upon the eigentypes with their homebrewed notion of 'races'."

Do you understand him? Me neither, and yet he's one of my internal team (I like the committee approach taken by a certain Scottish Jungian I admire, also a student of P.D. Ouspensky's, one Maurice Nicoll:  we're all made up of many egos, none of whom you need to identify with if you're into doing the Work as he defines it).
Seriously, I get to teach data science online and I just spent a whole bunch of hours hearing Youtubers talk about "eigenfaces" which would be like the paradigm "template faces" of which all others could be mixtures. But has any science mag printed a few?  I think they'd say there's no way to render them as it's all numbers by then, nothing to see here, move on.
I think what my math voice is saying is that the superficial heuristics we called "the seven races" might have worked well at one time, long ago, for some people, and it's not the moral fault of anyone (not a tragedy either) that commercial airplanes and world travel (global wars, nasty fevers) messed that all up for good. Not everyone is caught up on that fact, but then people still believe in all kinds of dated stuff. What choice do we have?  Some would say waiting in silence for revelations.

The delicate fragile worldview based on the Biblical idea of a diaspora of Noah's kids at the Tower of Babel, didn't survive the 1800s intact (in depth psychology it did, as a myth, but not as history) and the subsequent Darwinism-meets-Bible hybrid, a Social Darwinism, likewise didn't stand up over the long haul. It has its half life as well. Bringing it back would require breaking the laws of thermodynamics.
That's not to say we're done with humans demonizing other humans (per Romeo and Juliet, Capulets versus Montagues).  We might have speciation on the basis of political party affiliation if things keep going the way they're going (joke).
Maybe before any genetic flip that makes reproduction impossible, there's just a growing antipathy in the sense of demonizing another group. That proclivity to demonize doesn't evaporate just because the racial sense of teams has disbanded. We still have teams.  We still have defectors.  Americans still have a problem with Russians somehow (fanned by years of profitable cashing in on said psychological complex).
I tend to zoom back and say "the human race" so I still use the term "race" myself.  But I don't mean subspecies by it.  I refer to people by their differences too.  That guy with the mustache, that black girl next to that brown girl.  I'm pinkish tan.  Where I was raised, saying "colored people" was discouraged as crassly  illiterate and to this day I hear "people of color" (same word bag) as not a nice thing to say.  But that's just me, I don't go around shushing people or writing to the editors or like that.

I listen to how English (the language) mixes "race" with "competitive running event, or anything involving a competition involving motion" (chess is not a "race" to checkmate, nor are card games "races" -- interesting, English is so buggy, so packed with exceptions).
With humans, I'd happily go with "breed" as a kind of loose Venn diagram on the fly talk, and yak about the NRA breed or the golfer breed or the TV wrestler breed (e.g. Trump). What channels you watch and what brands you buy is more interesting to the monster machine learning algorithms than whether your ancestors were slaves in Imperial Rome (although that could be interesting to discover, I admit). I tend to collapse "subculture" to "cult" for short, to short-circuit all those morally superior holier than thou types who don't regard themselves as cult members (nor ethnocentric in any way).
Remember The Time Machine by H.G. Wells? In that science fiction, racial bifurcation does occur, but not at all along the racial lines (pseudo-eigentypes) as "we the Social Darwinists" think of them. The engineering-savvy, number crunchy subterranean-janitorial Morlocks, split off from the more melodramatic crybaby politician surface dwellers, the Eloi.  Morlocks actually ate Eloi for lunch in the Wells dystopian nightmare.  His War of the Worlds is front & center in Martian Math (a math course I've pilot tested at Reed College). 

You could see it as satire, based around C.P. Snow's great divide (later bridged by American Transcendentalists) but then: Edwin Abbott's Flatland was likewise political satire and people still take it seriously as mathematics (one dimensional beings... hah hah, that's us for sure (hello Marcuse)).
I'm thinking speciation might happen around "wanting to live underwater" i.e. in those future cities where you have to scuba dive to visit friends. I imagine an assortment of gingers, dwarves, albinos, normal people, skiers, mathematicians, autistics (lots of overlap) all joining together to live under the sea, and pretty soon (in geological time) a few mutants sprout lungs that can breath underwater. Like fish! No need for expensive scuba (I used to scuba). Looking back, we can find the gene sequences that made this feature more likely to express in some people, but correlation with our "races" of 2020 was very low. 
It's only with hindsight that we see what the real races were (as you might put it, the proto-species).  We just don't see them today. We don't see the future.
Another species starts off with the Mars venture of 4230 CE. Those people can't return because of the G forces, we already knew that.  Meanwhile, Earth falls silent in 6798 (self nuked or something, the Martians have no way of knowing for sure) and so the Martians live on, but don't look like us after awhile (pretty quickly, like by 90874 given help from genetic engineering).  Some of them have black skin, or Asian features, some have white skin, others green, others orange.  They roll around like pool balls, as they're almost perfectly spherical.  Just kidding, I think...
Just saying: anyone can come up with these pleasant fictions, and the racist taxonomists of Old Europe, spreading their memes by missionary and school teacher to North America, had theirs. They promulgated their stories everywhere (talk about fake news!). We live with the consequences, North Americans among the most dumbed down, yet still struggling to breathe free of such dogmas.
South Africa was really more the laboratory, as it sits on a primarily black continent, so the whites were in no position to get that uppity, unlike here, where uppity whites are allowed to drive cars (just kidding again, a lot of them have been forbidden to drive, based on past violations).
South Africa worked through it and although not problem free, is nothing like the race war snakepit a lot of people were predicting for it.
I've lived in Southern Africa myself in the Kingdom of Lesotho, where my parents took up residence. They were planning to retire there, as Quakers uninterested in supporting the so-called United States (per Medal of Freedom winner, already bankrupt and extinct by the 1980s -- but the crybaby Eloi know nothing, bless their hearts). I'm a big fan of Die Antwoord BTW (punk RSA group, see movie Chappie for context).

Rainer Möller said:
I must admit that the theory of evolution (i.e. evolution of new species via racial differentiation) is a mere theory.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Comparing Two PR Films

Greetings Friends. I may have embedded this one before, in an earlier blog post.

The theme is related to "bomb shelter" i.e. we're here to weather some kind of holocaust -- and strike back if necessary, is the undertone.

To "declassify" is to add to the authenticity of something, i.e. "this was once too important a secret to share with the likes of you." An attention getter.

However, over time, the secrets tend to come out and the narrative gets updated.

We call that "learning from experience" and it's often a slow process.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Data Science and Statistics: different worlds?

How do we share data science in place of any high school stats course?

Addendum (follow-up thoughts), copied from Facebook:

Kirby to CJ:
I think Polya's point, that inductive reasoning is no less prevalent in pure mathematics than anywhere, applies in the case of many of these Ramanujan formulae. They work out to some arbitrary precision negating any likelihood they could be wrong, and yet... the absence of proofs in some cases may be inevitable, according to Godel right? But if you manage a proof, so much the better. That's what mathematicians strive for, over conjectures (though even the latter may be plenty valuable).
CJ to Kirby:
I think Pólya's point is deeper: if we want to learn from experience we need induction. To get to any mathematical truth (whether one that is new or a rediscovery), we need to inductively explore the situation before we can find a proof. Indeed our inductive work frequently may suggest a proof, if we are attentive. Even if we cannot devise a proof, we may find good evidence for the conjecture. We can keep searching for more evidence or a proof as we have free time and interest to explore one question or another.
Chapter I in the book is excellent.
Kirby to CJ:
I agree he's making that broader point, and may not even reference Ramanujan, I haven't found yet where he does if so. That mathematics is replete with inductive structures, unproved conjectures, is definitely worth pointing out. Would these be synthetic judgements a priori ala Kant? We don't really know they're a priori unless proved, but the question remains where or how intuitions might give rise to such equations (as Ramanujan's). What muse "induces" such insights? Thanks for supplying that link, and the other to the video of Polya.

Covid Camps

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Recycling Historic Slides

Oregon Historical Society

The situation is I have hundreds of embedded slideshows using deprecated Flash technology, which the browsers are warning they're discontinuing the supporting of. So I try going back and fixing them, updating to the new method. The slides are still there, organized in albums. At the time of this writing that is.

Gus Frederick is a curator of Homer Davenport cartoons, as a fellow resident of Silverton, Oregon. Davenport worked for the Hearst publishing empire among others, long story, achieving fame and glory for his talent and influence. He was a horse nut, imported some Arabians from Mesopotamia.

As something of a curator myself, why not revisit this history? Gus is a skilled videographer and also satirist. I admire his work.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Curriculum Development On Fast Forward

Given the covid crisis, there's more of a push to get some innovative high school level curriculum out there, where people can see it.  That means "open on Github, in a repo" to a lot of people.

I call it Camp MightyMoose, remembering my fascination with Mighty Mouse as a rug rat.

Just when I got hooked on TV by 2nd grade, the family unhooked at moved to Rome, Italy, a conservative Catholic town with RAI deferring broadcast until people could get home and watch it. Housewives had plenty to do without gazing at all these good looking guys in the soap operas, or whatever -- why not speculate?

Maybe they just didn't have enough content, not having their on LA (an entertainment capital, and TV savvy early in the game).  Spaghetti Westerns would be filling the void on the big screens.

So from TV addict, I went what felt like cold turkey.  I'm sure it was good for me.  I did a lot more reading, listened to the same few records over and over. One was Bob Newhart doing comedy. Another was just sound effects.

TV is a firehose of interesting content these days.  The allure of living out one's life vicariously in the matrix has never been more feedable.  Cocoon and bliss out.

Atop the early internet of passive asynchronous reading writing and viewing, the layer of live streaming has been added.  These pycamps I'm leading are a genre of live streaming.

That genre, in turn, depends a lot on talk radio, which in the old days was less often prerecorded. We shouldn't neglect the board meeting format, as another popular form of people-to-people live streaming.

When I do long format gigs, I look to artists such as Unirock and other immersive talk radio Youtubers.  They create an environment of immersive listening with constant chatter, some using musical breaks.  How campers chime in depends on group dynamics.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Wrong Again!

As we were ramping up towards the apex, of the novel coronavirus pandemic, I took advantage of a teachable moment and went over the Synergetics relationship to Virology and its contribution to our understanding of the morphology of the virus.

Although depicted as perhaps vaguely icosahedral, my understanding is this is one of the helical viruses, with its RNA all curled up inside a ball of fat with spikes on it.  The lipid ball, scavenged from a hapless eukaryote, naturally assumes a spherical shape, like a bubble, but the idea of "capsid counts" is somewhat out the window.

How it works in Synergetics is the 1, 12, 42, 92... growth pattern of the cuboctahedron, is likewise the pattern of the icosahedron.  The two relate through the Jitterbug Transformation.  Viruses that are icosahedron shaped, made from capsomeres, will sometimes come with these numbers, which is what got Fuller mentioned in the New York Herald Tribune (1924 - 1966) -- not the New York Times I don't think, as Bucky mistakenly recalls in some interview on Youtube.
"All of these numbers are in fact found in actual viruses, 12 for certain bacteriophages, 42 for wart viruses, 92 for reovirus, 162 for herpesvirus, 252 for adenovirus and 812 for a virus attacking crane-flies (Tipula or daddy-long-legs)" - The Natural History of Viruses by C.H. Andrews (W.W. Norton R Co., 1967).
Another link:  Synergetics is focused on the question "what is life?" in some contexts.  Dr. Fuller's collaborator, E.J. Applewhite, later wrote an entire book on that question, entitled Paradise Mislaid. As we hear in countless stories these days, "you can't kill the covid virus, because a virus is not alive".  But then let's remember anthropomorphism has always extended to natural forces.

If I understand Fuller correctly, he didn't see physical "meatspace" as the same as life, which latter he tended to equate with the metaphysical in his U = MP equation (M for metaphysical).  20th Century science was never comfortable with anything but U = P i.e. the universe is entirely physical.  That the virus is a kind of biomachine, or biorobot, was for Fuller an indication that whatever life is, it lacks physicality.  Does U=MP suggest a mind-body dualism?  Philosophers will have these debates.

I'll reproduce my comment on Ed's book:
E.J. Applewhite was a friend and I was aware of his process, albeit vaguely, in writing this erudite investigation into "what is life, really?". Having been a loyal collaborator on Synergetics, he was ready to contribute a magnum opus of his own. These chapters of his life were not disconnected, as the fact that a virus is just as much a machine or robot, informed Buckminster Fuller's view that the physical universe was not in itself alive. Discoveries in virology had proved there is no distinction. Life, then, was weightless and metaphysical. Per the review above, such thinking resulted in banishment. While Applewhite includes Fuller's views in his survey, he does not follow them blindly. He's content to invite us to the debating arena, and catch us up on the points that many have made.
Michael Goldberg fit more data points with the capsomere counts, using a formula more elaborate than 10*F*F + 2 (* for multiplication). 1, 12, 42, 92... was not the whole story.  Virology moved on, adding to our knowledge at a furious pace, as one of the most interdisciplinary of studies (especially once we factor in epidemiology).

I might get around to correcting myself on the Youtube channel, which is where I was bringing up these counts in the first place.  OEIS linked to my website ( under Links, and I like to show that off, by following the link to my virus page.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Flakey Fragment

David Brian Koski on FB thread:

Two SYTES make a KITE, which Fuller says are two, KAT and KATE
(2) RITEs make a KATE
(2) BITEs make a KAT
(2) LITEs make what we called a KIT

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Snarky Comment

Me on Facebook recently:
When I put on this figurative pair of glasses, in which I want my prez to be a dark comedian, I see talent. Biden is definitely a contender. I'm ready for a space case, over President Id (GWB was Alfred E., sorry Mayor Pete).

Also under discussion:  "McNamara's Morons" a desperate wartime measure by the losing side. Some vets involved in the conversation (asynchronously).

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Welcome to Chaos High

Communications experts sometimes speak of the "8th grade level" as a kind of gold standard, as in an age post knowledge explosion, there's an on-ramp into any discourse and "8th grade" maybe means "in layman terms" (i.e. I'm not yet an initiate, nor may I ever be).

That mantra or rule of thumb has "trickled up" in that I'm seeing "high school" as that semi-uniform sampling in which few prerequisites are required.  You're starting with a white belt in whatever.  If you were back in high school as an older adult, this might seem like a threatening reset, as if you'd suffered brain damage.

"Why would I be in high school, I'm a doctor of (master of) whatever!?" and of course that's an understandable sentiment when HS is regarded as "once in a lifetime".  However I'm positing that, with longer lifespans and a faster pace, the need to "reset" is perennial.  If you live long enough, you might go through "high school" a few times.

To take a concrete example, my generation went through high school when hand-held calculators were all the rage.  In a generation before ours, people understood slide rules, and therefore logarithms a lot better.  I'd say people were a lot more practical about approximation in some ways.

At the other end of the spectrum, I push into arbitrary precision territory, partly to break more of us free from using calculators.

Here in 2020, on the other side of the free open source community ethic, I'm seeing the PWS (personal workspace) as the focus, or what we might call a "cubical" (except that divorces office work from other work).  A personal workspace should come with more than just slide rulers and calculators I'm thinking.

Utopian literature from the 1960s comes to mind, Education Automation in particular.  That was Buckminster Fuller, always seemingly the wide-eyed optimist, telling us we were needed at home to study, in personal workspaces that didn't drive the people in them crazy.

The Dymaxion House was about taking drudgery out of housework, and financial concerns off a family's back, such that raising children and domestic chores could be relatively stress free and enjoyable.

When my daughter took drivers' ed, the instructors led a session with the parents, explaining how what we were taught, and what was currently taught, had somewhat changed over the years.  The sideview mirrors would be further apart now, and you were to have headlights on at all times.  That's right, it didn't used to be that way.  Welcome to the new high school.

Now look at literature.  Somewhere in there, we're going to run across a tight little geometry we don't want to just bleep over, or at least some of us don't.  We'll need our embedded vista viewpoints.  We didn't gaze at high definition 360 panoramas from Mars (Curiosity) either, when I was a kid.  Nothing like the "Martian Math" I like to riff off today.

Where will Tomorrowland's teachers take this stuff?  I look for signs, as I know it's all about feedback cycles.  The stuff my generation has been feeding in, will come back to us in some new way. Steering into chaos was ever thus.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quaker Journal

A journal used to be a diary, which maybe, one thought, might be discovered and published.  Many Quaker journals did see the light of day in that way.

Once blogging was invented, and world readable text, I'd say the practice changed a bit.  More people could see the point of journaling.  But what was the point?  Advertising?  When what you write is potentially public, that changes the rules a little.

But maybe not by much.  A diary or journal has another function, more Jungian, which is to process or work through, something language seems to be for in general.  Some of us just need to write, and the journal format, nay blog, seems like something we prayed for.  Why be ungrateful then?

The technology keeps shifting though.  I've used a Flash widget programmed in Shockwave to share slides, but I gather that's something 3rd party.  The browsers are phasing out Flash.  Will I convert everything to another format?  Or let it go?  I converted Xmas 2013 tonight, just to assure myself there's a process.

Taking pictures has been another part of holding it together for me.  My way of creating some syntropy in the face of entropy.  But is it that my pictures really matter that much?  An opportunity was afforded me to enjoy them while they lasted, and share some while I could.

Now I'm thinking of the whole Peter Janney story.  What might be found of interest?  James Jesus Angleton apparently had the same question, according to sources, poking around Mary's studio soon after her murder.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

More Science Fiction

Supermarket Math
calculator of tomorrow: government issue

When I try to imagine civilian socialism, versus the corporate military socialism we have now, I think of government issue smartphones and laptops to any students who don't have them. Use them from home. Other GI swag includes backpack and water bottle, first aid kits. Be prepared.

Free education will show you how to use both, fight off malware and spyware. 

The laptop comes with lots of great free open source stuff like the DARPA supported Anaconda. You won't need a calculator now that you have one of these. Calculators aren't forbidden of course, slide rules either (learn about logs).

The GI smartphones come with the apps you need to navigate government bureaucracies.

Socialist bars charge only $3 a pint with no tips expected.

Asylum cities, waystations for refugees, dot the globe, thanks to world organization.

Do we still have a private sector? Of course. Mom and pop businesses, private banks, airlines, restaurant chains. We're less of a ghetto though, thanks to a lot of the smartest most compassionate people wanting to work in government.

Imagine a school that actually sets aside time to share about specific smartphone apps. The school's crypto-currency, good inside school, used by alumni too, works thanks to specific apps.

Various games (language games) pay out, in credits good against several catalogs.  Academic work has its immediate rewards, perhaps in the form of more time on the internet, slacking, exploring, checking out stuff.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Cloud Native Programming

This talk was helpful in that it took me back to my "thick client" early days, pre web browser, when my Visual FoxPro stack, ODBC to big servers, was dealing in read-only health procedure data from the Cath Labs and operating rooms (CVOR). My RDBMS tables mapped every artery of every patient affected by stenosis or other coronary pathology. Complications led to procedures and their outcomes, some of which might be the inherited complications of a next procedure and so on.

The scene has changed since those days, as data turned into big data, and as analysis tools started combing over larger server farms, using map-reduce (Hadoop) and a host of Apache projects (Spark, Flink, Kafka).  The speaker takes us from those old days to how we do things today, assuming the need to scale up without falling over.  How does one deal with the pressure to grow?  That's like sails to the wind if you have a seaworthy craft.

The other revolution in cloud native ecology is the growth of containerized microservices ala Docker and Kubernetes.  Get a lot of producers and subscribers messaging one another, in response to the streamed data onslaught.  Push all the end user rendering cosmetics to the clients, with their web browsers and visualization tools.  Customize their dashboards.  Some workstations monitor, some upload new data, some report on trends and so forth.

I go around with my little laptop, like a guitar, and strum my sound, these days involving visualizing Flextegrity in a Jupyter Notebook.  I learn about cloud native environments from OSCON proposals and Youtubes, and O'Reilly Safari Online when I can afford it.  What would be the Python API to Kafka for example?

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Asylum District Lore

A long gone mental hospital, run by one Dr. Hawthorne, is now memorialized by a food pod, a set of food carts, named Hawthorne Asylum. I focus on those local geographic and historical details for awhile, before jumping into a discussion of Man X, seemingly dodged by Joe Rogan.

Towards the end I mention my Quaker heritage, as I'm linking general systems theory (GST), a sometime subject in Quakernomics circles, with American Transcendentalism, a literary movement.

Although Edgar Allen Poe pooh poohed transcendentalism, lets not forget his Eureka essay.

I weave in Col. Prouty in other videos as well, as well as the war in Southeast Asia, around the start of which the OSS found itself supporting the resistance.

You'll find more high school level American literature memes championed throughout my channel.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Old man Werner reminisces about people he's worked with.

Golden Oldies

The embedded Youtube is Part 4 of a five part series, which I've watched before, and viewed again yesterday, before sharing it to Facebook.

Fuller is adroit in thinking metaphorically, but for most of us, science is a literalist affair, with the true grounded meanings. Metaphors are for embellishment, not for supporting weight.

However, Fuller's Universe is light and airy, highly tensile, remarkably devoid of brute force strength or forcing more generally.  He flits about, always resecuring his own technology, a synergetic language as dense as Heidegger's.  Equilibrium is the name of the game, but in a Universe intent upon success for its humans.

I've been endeavoring to shed some light on what Fuller branded as "the geometry of nature", a claim for which he takes flak. Does XYZ ever make such a claim?  Is the counter-position that geometry is merely a human invention? 

His scaffolding is the IVM ("octet truss"), a pattern found in nature for sure (CCP, FCC), with volumes 1 and 4 respectively.  Rectilinear patterns don't go away, as we've seen in C6XTY (another IVM-related space-frame design). His paradigm cubes have volume 3.

By some reckonings, synergetics offers but a small tweak at first, with this shift to tetravolumes, resulting in some simplifications (more whole number volumes).  Where that leads next is the next question.  Fuller points to intuition, but has intuition served him well?

Does 90 degree precession really pick up where 180 degree gravity ends?  He seems to think the Earth's orbiting and axially rotating are resultant behaviors given the Sun's pull.  Textbooks suggest a primordial kineticism for which "gravity" should not be blamed.  "Critical proximity" is where the changeover occurs.

Stuff "falling in" is not the usual thing with gravity, according to Fuller, as the whole-unpredicted-by-the-parts is more like stuff "wandering" (not "falling in").  The effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion seems chaotic and complex.  Is he seriously questioning Newtonian dogmas?

I get the tetravolumes meme and have taken that to heart, and when it comes to "metaphysical gravity" I see "precession" as Bucky means it.  Metaphysical == Metaphorical? 

He dives into speaking very specifically about literal gyroscopes.  When you tug a pole towards you, it yields in a different direction, thanks to its spinning disk.  That's precession for you, I agree.  But the initial spinning did not result from the tugging, right?

In always shying away from "cult leader" status, Fuller is free to exercise and share his private language, fact-laced and interdisciplinary.  His relative success as an inventor, his track record, becomes his evidence that his thinking outside the box (which takes courage) is what more of us might want to try.  "Come on in, the water's fine" is what echoes between the lines.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Fear and Longing

Chris pooh poohs that technology will save us, deus ex machina style. I agree technocracy sounds hollow if the only mantra is "learn to code" in the face of lifestyles vanishing.  A work/study lifestyle might have some coding in it, and you're not taking charity (sitting idle) by studying hard.  We need more serious students, not addicted to fantasy genres.  Like forget about coding.  Read Chris's books.

A safety net that features study (and not amassing huge debts in the process) is about taking care of a population and cultivating diverse skills.  Study includes places to practice, to develop technique.  My friend Glenn has all the makings of a makerspace (a term he despises) yet real estate is so dear in this town, there's no room left for "creatives" (spaces in which to create).

As Bucky Fuller pointed out, if you take away the technology, you have mass starvation and uncontrolled outbreaks of disease within days.  Civilization grinds to a halt.  Technology currently sustains a population of billions.  Take away the politicians ("send them around the moon in a spaceship"), as during the recent government shutdown, and the crisis is relatively less dire.

Chris has been a war correspondent in Mesopotamia and in the Balkans. He shares a bleak view.  He's not in the habit of turning towards American Transcendentalism and seems relatively oblivious to Bucky Fuller's teleological post-nationalism.

Fuller is always quoting Einstein to the effect that human psychology boils down to a fear versus longing axis.  Chris's audience is wondering about hope, longing for a brighter view of the future.  Hedges is focused on ending tyranny by inspiring fear among the would-be tyrants. He has little patience for what he considers "hope mania" minus concerted resistance.

What is the positive future vision after that?  What would winning mean? Where's the science fiction?  A clear view of a more positive, yet attainable, future is ultimately subversive vis-a-vis any status quo dystopia, especially when the pathway forward is nonviolent.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Changing a Lightbulb

Changing the headlamp of a car is not supposed to be difficult.  It's a consumer vehicle.  Simple repairs, like changing a light bulb, don't require a mechanic.

That was my experience today, though it wasn't the headlamp, but the front turn signal, underneath. I knew that, but tackled the wrong bulb in any case.

But then it looked like it might've needed changing.

I rationalized the two trips to O'Reilly auto parts (not be be confused with the O'Reilly School I used to work at).

Earlier in the day, Flickr was down and my Youtube was a lot about that, figuring out it wasn't "just me".  Then service was restored and I was back to taking it for granted.  By the end  of the day, I'd decided to give up on that Youtube.  No longer relevant enough to be worth all the post production.

I made it to El Mercado, where I went with Dr. D. for Solar New Years.  Last night, a went to Laurelhurst and saw Knives Out with Dr. T., but I've not reviewed it yet.

Yesterday I tested out the collision detection exhibit I yakked about in the Youtube from a day earlier.  I'll likely use it again tomorrow as the curriculum is pretty much the same across the two zones (regional and anywhere).

Monday, February 03, 2020

Happy Chinese New Year

At the end of this one, I wish people Happy New Year on the "AD/BC calendar", an idiosyncratic name for the proleptic Gregorian.

Then I look ahead to "Chinese New Year" (now sometimes referred to as the Lunar New Year), which has since passed.

I'm linking here to a Chinese New Year video (scroll to end, after fanciful history).

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Grunch of Giants

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Quaker Curriculum (American Literature)

If you're paying to get your American Heritage, all the more reason to not bleep over Synergetics, for which Bucky Fuller received a Medal of Freedom from president Ronald Reagan.

If you don't know that piece of history by now, consider yourself pretty clueless when it comes to American History and/or Literature.

Our high school teachers will make sure you're not left in the dark.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

American Literature (genre: spy novel)

Part 2 of my Recent American History for high schoolers.  Click here for Part 1.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Saturday, January 11, 2020