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 PĆ³lya'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.