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.