Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Insurance Story

Torture Taxi

I've been putting off yakking with my car insurance lady, about an accident over a year ago by now. Exactly what was I paying for in terms of damages?  

We'd pulled over and talked, I didn't see any dings, everything looked fine and she agreed.  Then comes the call from her insurance about something that happened on a Saturday.  That's not when it happened.  Yet my account was dinged.  I need to follow up on that.  Scrounging around for a number...

OK, we had an excellent therapy session. We talked about 2017, and how the date of the accident is wrong. But no big deal. That's what I needed to hear, and what got charged (claimed and approved).

Now I'm in line to get a tracking app that will measure my mileage and adjust my rate accordingly. I'll be one of the guinea pigs.

What would Medicare for All really look like?  I still think GI phones, which you won't want to use in subterfuge because it's designed to track. Keep a private phone for other purposes.  At least poor kids at the border get the apps, because America is for Americans.

I also talked to customer support. If the rooster sound in the distant background was added, for texture, much as people on Zoom stage their heads (audio version), then brilliant.  I much prefer the "rural setting" picture of customer support.  Relaxed on a beach somewhere, with a data helmet?  Lucky me someday, right?

I know it never happened on a Saturday, since I was driving home from Sellwood Middle School. Probably a Friday then?  I gave her my business card for contact information.  I'm glad everything got settled.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

History Repeats

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Moving Targets

Tram to OHSU

I'm experimenting with high bandwidth self brainwashing techniques by tackling a series of difficult topics, but not ones for which I need a huge amount of prep.  MIT chemistry, with a focus on orbitals, was a good starting point, given the Linus Pauling House is such a topic (search these blogs?). 

But my resume shows I'm more an applications developer than a chemist.  Instead of chemical reactions, or nuclear reactors, shouldn't I be grokking React?  You read my mind.

However React hasn't been just sitting pretty, nor has Vue.  Both these Javascript frameworks, favored by Web developers, have their successive versions.  Hence the title of this blog post: moving targets.

Where to jump in?  

In high bandwidth brainwashing, our approach is not so linear.  Get a lot of dots on the sphere, even as you connect them.  We can think about the "best sequence" on a second or third pass.

PDX Code Guild was using JQuery when I started visiting.  By now they're using Vue, with a Django back end (another moving target).  Newbies should do well starting with Vue3, if jumping into web development through a Code School.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

High Bandwidth Brainwashing

Back in the early days of the internet, I used to campaign for higher bandwidth formats. Sometimes what's hard about school is not that the teacher is going too fast.  The teaching is meted out at an agonizingly slow rate, aimed to last about twelve years. The teacher is under no obligation to keep pace with students.  It's a one way street.  Stay with the pace of the teacher or get singled out as too slow or too fast.

As expected, with the sudden tsunami of alternative channels, those wanting the higher bandwidths could produce and consume at their chosen frequency.  It's not like a given student always consumes at the same rate.  Per Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics, one adjusts to match the content.  Other reading comprehension strategies pertain.  

I scored 790 with my best combined SAT scores.  Both times I was consistently high on both scales.  Add that I'm living in the Philippines and I'm easily interesting material, for whatever student body a recruiter might be building that year.

However all of the above doesn't mean I adore brain teasers and crossword puzzles. Nor do I esteem myself as a master of trivia.  My Go skills suck, Golang whatever.  However I enjoy movies and lectures about what I'm not good at.  Where I'm low performing, I look for complementary instructors and entertainers.

Of course we say "brainwashing" is bad, because what's implied is an involuntary reprogramming. However when studying or cramming, wanting to get good at something fast, we actively seek out effective shortcut or time-saving techniques. If the connotation is "I'm brainwashing myself, with stuff I really need to know" then the innocuous meaning is you're seeking like a PhD in something.  We all wish for the magic pill that gives us Spanish, or Devanagari or whatever. 

Friday, October 02, 2020

Cosmography for Teachers (School of Tomorrow)

My arc in the Youtube stash as been towards integrating Synergetics into the philosophical literature. I've been announcing this as my project for some time, however announcing is not the same as doing, so inevitably, if into walking my talk, I'd have to do some walking. I hope my accounts come across as fleet footed and not overly pedestrian.

"Target acquisition" has ironic meaning if depicted as someone getting a target (e.g. "kick me") posted on his back. One may appear to purposely enter the crosshairs of others, trained to shoot at specific signs, by disguising oneself, on purpose, to get their attention.  In taking Harold Bloom on board, in my latest Youtube, has the School of Tomorrow painted itself into a corner?

My wiring diagram is pretty simple:  extend New England Transcendentalism through No More Secondhand God to Synergetics and its "geometry of nature". Technology is hers.  Automation is hers. Humans flail about in their Earthly Kindergarten, yet we see have gained traction, to the point of bearing some responsibility for the biosphere as a whole.  We are the Borgosphere already.

Back to Harold Bloom, he presages Jordan Peterson in bemoaning a turn of events within University, where ideological currents now run counter to his tastes.  Taste, like smell to Nietzsche, means a lot to opinionated scholars.  Dr. Bloom makes it clear that for him it's all about time management.  You have only so many hours to read, so why waste your time with not the best?  That's a compelling argument, unless maybe you're doing anthropology or natural language analysis.  Perhaps you're into observing, or seeking, some operational dialectic, Marxian or otherwise.  "Whence this 'taste'?" in other words.

Indeed, I've used the A where PATH crosses STEAM, to mean Anthropology, not Art, because I'm willing to subsume Art.  That's my heresy, shall we say.  Philosophy, as practiced by Wittgenstein, is in many dimensions turning the arts of Anthropology upon one's own matrix (subculture), thereby setting up some recursive vertigo in some disciples.

Back to Bucky, we need to remember one of his working assumptions was nationalism, a new kid on the block to begin with, would certainly morph in the face of jet travel and globally embracing telecommunications. He lived from the 1800s to the dawn of the internet, and was already fully into hypertext when he died.  Remember Dr. Vannevar Bush anticipated search engines in the 1940s.  Technology expresses through us, the invisible hand moving us, inclining us, by means of invisible chessboards, using pieces the ranks of which we scarcely guess.

In other words, Bucky was looking for signs of demise, among sovereignties, in the very concept of sovereignty.  When nation A carpet bombs nation B, that's an obvious sign of no sovereignty, i.e. that's not a relationship among coequal kingdoms, free to make their own alliances.  

The nations haven't really gelled, given the disrespect of sovereignty we have all witnessed.  Furthermore, the USA had proved itself incapable of passing an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for women.  Those of us getting The Graduate Review (for esties), saw Dr. Fuller's essay foretelling the USA's demise as a likely consequence. By the 1980s, the Grunch had completed its "tunnels under Disneyworld" takeover, per Fuller's Grunch of Giants subversive narrative.