Thursday, February 04, 2016


I think a lot of us are putting down our soup spoons to listen to NPR hype the future of women in combat roles, a new freedom and liberty they've long been begging to have.

Now that women have equal rights, is the premise, it's time for them to start paying the ultimate price more often.

The Selective Service must be feeling the pinch of only half the should-be-eligible population getting registered and this media campaign was long in the making.

Patriotism, common code words (they kept saying "existential"), and stellar examples of that  unquestioning attitude that makes a good soldier, get strutted out on what sometimes gets called "liberal radio", and we pause to listen, noticing this new voice of a next Pepsi generation (perhaps coached by some oldsters).

Of course the US is composed of diverse ethnic groups, not all of whom celebrate combat roles as the higher service.  Diplomacy takes a lot more skill and isn't for everyone either.

When it comes to "special operations" the military has no monopoly and what's more, never will, as thinking and acting in that unquestioning way exacts a price.  But we have real talent at the top, that's true too, so best of both worlds then?  Too pollyanna?

Anyway, those women who've been chomping at the bit to prove themselves in this all American way (since before the Revolution at least) now have reason to celebrate.  I advocated years ago we give them their own submarine (fleet?).

Whether some possible future world will have the smarts to not always be holding a gun to its own head ("weapons of mass suicide") is debatable, but we may still hope.  Submarines without WMDs are not unthinkable.  Women might prove braver in that sense, less self-destructively trigger-happy?

The spin is this is a victory for feminism.  The real question is are we seeing equal pay for equal work in a statistically meaningful way?

If women are still getting the short end of the stick in civilian society, yet are being rushed to the front lines, that bespeaks of human rights violations.  I look forward to the analysis.  Women and minorities have a long history of abuse in America.  I recommend Kindred by Octavia Butler on that score.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Seventh Seal (movie review)

This much-written-about classic by Ingmar Bergman is embedded within every film school curriculum and overview documentary I would suppose.  The Story of Film:  An Odyssey, certainly cites it.  For all that hype, had I ever see this movie start to finish?  Not for credit certainly.

The plot is set in medieval Sweden and appropriately follows a formula, popular at the time (and later), of a small troupe on a pilgrimage, eventually braving dangers together, and in this case, witnessing a witch burning in progress.

The fragility and ineptness of the entire belief system of the day is exposed, almost to the point of comically, in a somewhat Monty Pythonic (satirical) manner ("bring out your dead!").

Ironically, they are being punished by God, for being so forgivably clueless.  Fools are not exempt from the laws of nature however, and Death reaps souls aplenty.

The pilgrimage begins with the Knight and Squire, just back from the crusades, soon joined by Death, who stalks the Knight throughout the film, playing him at chess.  The Squire turns out to be the most learned and free thinking of the bunch and challenges the Knight's belief system in a teasing manner.

The Squire is chivalrous in rescuing a Damsel in distress, from a wicked thief who used to be something of a church authority, the one who encouraged the Knight and Squire to venture abroad on their crusade in the first place.  The Damsel joins the party, as does a troupe of three actors:  the Clown, his beautiful young Wife, their Director, and the baby Michael.

The Clown is perhaps closest to God in having visions all the time, which make him seem the most foolish, though his Wife listens and loves him.  The Clown is in good physical shape given he practices his moves all day, though his juggling is pathetic, what we see of it anyway.  He hopes Michael, their son, will grow up to become a juggler too.

The Wife is not so sure that's a good career choice for their boy.  Maybe he could be a Knight?  The Knight warns that's not much fun either.

The Knight is beset with existential concerns.  He wants answers.  What was the point of his pointless crusade, at the end of the day?  Helping the church burn women at the stake?  The Squire is especially repulsed by the whole business.

The Knight is initially open to the idea the "witch" might have some answers, given her supposedly close relationship with the Devil.  Then he sees she's just delusional, shaking her own faith as well.

In challenging Death to a game of chess, he delays his own demise long enough to win a reprieve for the small family he comes to care about.  The Clown, his Wife and Baby, escape Death for now, thanks to a combination of the Knight's nobility and the Clown's psychic powers.

The world (Sweden) is not a nice place, beset with the Black Plague.  Many are sure these are the End Times.  When Death arrives at the Knight's castle, where our party (minus the Clown family) has gathered, the Damsel seems most drawn to her next world, meeting Death with a look of anticipation.

The Knight rejoins a loyal spouse, who tended the castle all these years, awaiting his return, and yet he is far from overjoyed.  He's too tired to be capable of much emotion.  After his epiphany over cream and strawberries with baby Michael's family earlier, he has become exhausted.  He knows this small party is doomed (the chess game did not go well) and so remains emotionally distant.

There's a subplot with the Director, seduced by the Iron Smith's spouse.  These two, the Iron Smith and his unfaithful Wife, also join the party, rounding out the characters and providing contrasts.  Compare married life for these two versus that of the Clown and his significant other.

The different personality types, at different places along life's journey, all travel together, with Death on the heals of each one.  Like a medieval audience, we learn from these characters, confronted with challenges and adventures.  We feel called to contemplate our own life's journey.

Closing on the theme of Life as Chess (a strategy for winning over death for an interval), let us hear from Benjamin Franklin circa 1750 on the value of learning it:
“The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn”  [ source ]

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cultural Illiteracy

Special Type

When businesses moved from file cabinets stuffed with mostly typed and hand-written documents, to digital media, most adults got left behind.  Basic reading and writing was relegated to SQL and/or noSQL, which in turn lives behind web forms.  Spreadsheets are "what if" or "read only", like most web pages, making cube farmers the new peasants, illiterate and outside the bastion, not part of the 0.01%.  If a spreadsheet is also writable, then it's too mutable to matter (unless "what if").

In other words, if you're ignorant of SQL, you're incapable of even the most basic clerical functions associated with our current global / local civilization.  You're a peasant (cube farmer?) in the older sense, not like in Cuba where an agrarian engineer might use NumPy on Linux to map out the plantings and compute the return.  Not all peasants are digitally challenged.  But in the USA, where public schools usually share nothing of SQL, the depth of ignorance is deep.

Case in point:  I've always used CenturyLink for Internet access, including as an ISP back to US West days, then through the Qwest period.  I recently upgraded from DSL to optical fiber, but guess what?  I'm treated as a consumer of Prism TV services and no static IP is available in my network.  They don't expect me to host a computer or serve web pages from my house?  Why?  Because I'm just another dumb American who knows neither how to read nor write (in the business sense).

If you're just another dummy, then what you want piped to your house is News Weather and Sports so you can lie there like a couch potato, get fat, and die.  Woo hoo, what a great life that was, right?

Back in the day, the ancient Egyptians had a pyramid society (pun intended) with peasants at the base, then craftsmen, then military, then finally scribes and inner circle courtiers surrounding the Pharaoh.  Switching to China, we imagine the Emperor, surrounded by eunuchs.  The scribes were the ones who knew the SQL of their day.  To peasants, record-keeping was what it seemed like to us, a lot of cryptic hieroglyphics.  But the eunuchs knew the power of clerical work (clerking) when it comes to effective admin.  Fast forward:  So why do you think they call it "Unix"?  That's a joke for insiders.

We've returned to such a society.  The cube farmers who just use Microsoft Excel all day are piss ignorant with no scribe-level business skills.  They're mostly kept alive in meaningless jobs (feeding pens) so they'll consume and pay bills in a service economy.  The economy depends on pointless shopping and meaningless services.  If your life develops enough meaning to where you can't be trusted to mindlessly consume then you're a threat and a good-for-nothing.  Preventing the spread of static IP is a first line of defense against literacy making a come back.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Techno-Morality: A Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture


How is techno-morality different from morality more generally?  The virtues Dr. Vallor ticked off sounded familiar:  courage, humility, wisdom, magnanimity... I'd add fortitude, the ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

For example, when I tried to upgrade my copy of PyDev recently, the Python developers' plug-in for Eclipse, the screen dump showing error messages might have demoralized a lesser version of me.  But with the right mental attitude, I was able to focus on the documentation and "just do it" as they say around NikeTown.

Being a geek requires cultivating a kind of athleticism, along with a kind of self-congratulatory mechanism that are together conducive to making repeated attempts.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try (and try) again.

But who said being a geek was what Shannon was interested in?

I'd say she is one though, interested or not, that much was clear.  She mentioned liking to study the The Walking Dead for its philosophical insights, and I can see why.  That show pushes us to vicariously experience "life at the limits" as Walter Kaufmann would say.

Underground comics have been for ages a place to study the philosophical implications of a society gone off the rails or pushed to extremes in one dimension or more (Batman's Gotham is another paradigm use case).

Lets put it this way:  when the Internet first hatched from its dinosaur ARPA egg and started to reach the teaming masses, a need for "netiquette" or "Internet etiquette" was born.  But etiquette is so much lesser a word than "virtue" or "code of ethics" or even "code of conduct".  Netiquette includes such style guidelines as staying away from ranting in all uppercase letters in one's communications, a practice derogatorily referred to as "shouting".

Etiquette connotes manners, civility, not making a fool of oneself, whereas Ethics goes deeper and reflects character in a more telling way.  We all see a need for Netiquette, i.e. rules of the road, noticed if broken, so how much more so, then, should we accept a need for techno-ethics more generally.

To answer my opening question, then, what Dr. Vallor was acknowledging and addressing is the exploding set of possibilities, hitherto science fiction, technology might realize or has realized already.

Our decisions, vis-a-vis our technologies, are having more complicated ripple effects such that our powers of judgement are called upon as never before.  An ethical sense is what stands between a life worth living, and everything turning so ugly (as in The Walking Dead) that going on has become of questionable worth.

Fermi's Paradox is that we just aren't seeing many signs of intelligent life out there, and this becomes hard to explain given how hard we're looking.   "Where are all the people (intelligent life forms of any kind)?"

One possible explanation is developing high technology is almost always a prelude to a kind of crisis or singularity that removes said civilization as a source of positive radio noise.  Are we seeing evidence (in the silence of space) that species of our abilities are fated to be short-lived?

Shannon is ultimately in the business of risk assessment or even triage.  Looking ahead, at possible threats, such as a cosmic body smashing into the planet, what does it make sense to fear most, fear a lot, fear less?

Having a "fear profile" that maximizes one's chances takes discernment and homework.  For example she didn't think AI robots were about to stage a coup as the more intelligent / entitled half.  Much more likely, our cavalier reliance on silly algorithms would take us out.

We're more likely to perish thanks to machine stupidity than smarts, in other words.  We'll shoot ourselves in the head, figuratively speaking, i.e. start a nuclear war, simply out of carelessness.

The future is seemingly more opaque given complexity which is where the humility comes in.  Even as Vallor was outlining some of her own chief fears, she was quick to back off claiming that her perspective was the last word.  She made no claims to omniscience (refreshing, in a philosopher).

The audience was very engaged as questions of ethics with regard to technology are prevalent and galvanizing.  She had been to a middle school earlier that afternoon and the kids were eager to articulate about the issues.

We can all point to use cases, such as a doll that records what children are saying to it so that adults might listen in later.  Is that an invasion of privacy?  What is "right sharing" as Quakers might say?

What is characteristic of philosophy when it comes to ethics is there seems a less well-developed set of pathologies where an absence of ethics is concerned, in comparison to what the medical profession has crafted.  When it comes to the anti-virtues, what has philosophy to compare with DSM V?

What shocks many a virtuous adult about the Internet is its lewdness and carnival atmosphere, its peep show / freak show aspects.

Such noir aspects of cyber-life are as likely to attract the attention of psychiatrists as philosophers.  But then spin doctors of all stripes are attracted by extreme phenomena.  For every virtue, a host of sins beg for our concerted attention.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Critical Path


I'd join this reading program, hosted by the BFI, led by one of its board members, however I'm booked for a gig of my own that same evening.  Malesh.  Another time maybe.

Critical Path comes between Synergetics and Grunch of Giants, and follows the Hegelian pattern of some Pure Logic giving rise to History (a narrative telling, with a point of view, or many, polarized, and partially overlapping), which latter telling seems pretty twisted, leaving us worried Synergetics might not be the last word in the logic department ("ongoing corkscrewing" more likely -- it's not defining itself as a terminus).

Or is complaining about "weird and twisted" a deliberate miss-framing of a poetically licensed work?

Like what's this about humans specializing towards Idiocracy, passing monkeys going the other way, towards Planet of the Apes?  How did we get beamed here as information again?

Fuller's stars don't just shine at night, they program, for lack of a better word.  Lets at least agree their information is structured, if only spread out over signature frequencies.

The elements "talk" (broadcast) and why shouldn't they?  Spectrometers pick up information on what stars are made of.  Clearly the stars do inform the planets, in ways more than just by helping to drive photosynthesis.

In later chapters, Fuller definitely plays the Cold Warrior, moving his chess pieces around his global World Game board.

But then isn't "cold war" just more "cryogenics" in a synergetical sense, something meticulous and computational, like game theory?

How much of this is more smoke and mirrors?  How much enciphered?  Is "explorations in the geometry of thinking" a little bit like living through Lost?

They're always taking us down blind alleys, these tale-twisting bardic old people (Tribal Elders).  Some level of suspicion is not out of place, if only as a defense of a personal namespace.  We each give voice to a Universe, Carl Sagan a case in point.

Bucky shares lots of good inventions.  Like that's a really cool idea for a Geoscope in view of the UN building in NYC.

His plan for the US Expo Pavilion in Montreal was similar but ended up featuring the pure geometry of the dome (a slice of a geodesic sphere actually) instead.

The District of Columbia (WDC) crowd grew leery of Expos after that, given their fall from sophistication in some new cycle of American thought.

The USG peeled off from the Worlds Fair organization, following a different drummer, following Orlando perhaps i.e. Disney's EPCOT would be the permanent tribute to America's exceptionalism.  Or did America vanish into the singularity of Tomorrowland even before the USSR did?  Let historians debate such questions.

The Geoscope / Mapparium now have their software incarnations ala Google Earth and Terraserver, with ESRI providing a Dymaxion-skinned view, not a requirement, where global data is concerned, but certainly a nice-to-have.

Some schools of hermeneutics consider it impossible to have "literal truths" about the uber-murky past or future, not because we don't know the literal truth so much as our language is not designed to express it.

The box we think in is pretty strict and quickly stops makings sense when outside of.  These schools see myth not as a substitute for truth, but as an encoding for which no key is yet available, but yet may prove decipherable to some degree, to professional oracles and others similarly predisposed.

The stuff about humans and dolphins inter-twined is meant more as a friendly arm around a fellow mammal, a set of species the seagoing have long spun yarns about.   

Critical Path has its whales, required in any oceanic myth aiming to spring up from first principles, embracing at least some of what we know.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Home Economics

A pattern for me, when thinking about concurrency, is to gravitate to cooking in a large well-equipped kitchen with multiple chefs.  I should thank Dave DiNucci for connecting these dots for us at a Wanderers presentation.

I folded laundry while watching the "wicked smart" CBS Evening News (alluding to the last story about seeking the authentic Boston accent).  Meanwhile, I shouted to my dog downstairs that I'd be back down shortly (she gets lonely, and can't walk, let alone climb stairs).  All multi-tasking.  Reality runs in parallel even if we imagine "now" time slices in sequence, integrating the differences.

The Gathering of Western Young Friends was also influential, in developing my appreciation for an institutional kitchen.  This group of Quaker-Pagans sought out remote retreat center camping facilities that would allow the customers to take over logistics in a big way.

We brought in our own supplies and orchestrated the meals.  It helped that a few of us (not me so much) were serious foodies, the kind with their own knife rolls.  Some had cooked professionally.

Fast forward to Food Not Bombs.  When one joins a food prep team as an anonymous stranger, with others on the team also unknown to one another, with the ingredients for that day also somewhat luck of the draw, then collaboration powers inevitably get developed (unless there's a breakdown).  People have an ability to self-organize, given optimum conditions (e.g. the prospect of a healthy meal as a reward for task completion).

I was able to book our Quaker meetinghouse on Stark Street for a year of such experiments.  We pulled it off every Thursday.  My house was a hub for bicycle trailers coming and going.  We had some room for inventory, both at my house and in the meetinghouse basement (just a single box in the latter location).  My blogs chronicle this chapter and suggests one's habits have a way of perpetuating themselves, have a kind of inertia of their own.  Isn't that why we call them habits?

The most powerful habits are habits of mind, which may encounter the least resistance.  Physical habits maybe change, but in thought we have freedom, including the freedom to get stuck in a rut.  Learning to get free of thoughts that comprise a mental prison more than a path to liberation is a life-long challenge.

We need fast reflexes to get by.  Habits of thought are not in and of themselves "bad" so much as "potentially worth countering" -- usually with other habits.  We learn to consciously cultivate new habits as a way of dampening obsolete ones.

In team sports, coaches strive to impart the habits associated with team work.  In my essay on Home Economics for MathFuture, I stress the similarities between athleticism and multi-tasking with others in a well-equipped kitchen.  Sailing a boat likewise requires working as a crew.

Every successful enterprise needs team players with an ability to work together, developed over time through practice.  Home Economics, as much as any team sport, might become a basis for infusing these skills more widely through what we call school.

Jay Rinsing Burley

Friday, January 01, 2016

Think Outside the Box

Those of us working in the neighborhood of Common Core and STEAM (STEM + Anthro, or Art in most accounts), might appreciate "outside the box" as a fine meme to build on.


What do you picture when you picture a box?

No doubt a rectilinear affair no?  Not a tetrahedron certainly.  But why not?

The tetrahedron is the paradigm container, with minimal edges and faces.

Forget practicality, think about conceptuality.

We'll get back to practicality, with the same Cube in a spanking new context.

We might spin it as "break free from the box" in the sense of the box's shape

We're free of our stereotype of "a box".  The blinders have come off.

What difference does it make, to be free of the "box shape"?  Think about it.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Human Experiment (movie review)

This documentary looks at the issue of toxins in our tissues owing to higher concentrations of various substances in our ecosystem (economy):  Bisphenol-A, PVC, asbestos... lead.

Flame retardants are a good thing in general, but the devil is in the details.  Efforts to change the mix in California have only incensed the flame retardant industry.

Other cases of this kind show the uphill battle being waged to get some kind of handle on poisons and/or poisonous practices.  Reducing the power of tobacco advertising, a form of drug pushing, was just the beginning of a long slog.

The fact that the USG, presumably a "superpower" is rather unfairly helpless against Big Tobacco, Big Asbestos, Big Killing You Softly in general (Obnoxico) comes through loud and clear.  Uncle Sam tends to go toothless where Cowardly Capitalism is concerned.

Lets face it, democracy is a fairly new invention, and as an average human one is a disposable item, to be milked for money in the interim, and maybe thereafter, in the form of ongoing payments from the estate.

Using the courts against Obnoxico is next to impossible as the legislation (rule making) may be so obstructive as to make court battles irrelevant.  Corporate personhood means giants among us set the rules, with ordinary humans relegated to steerage as 2nd or 3rd class.  Our monsters have us on the defensive already, yet most scientists still project our battle with AI robots in futuristic terms.

Our own conditioned reflexes have proved robotic enough, to threaten our continued survival as humane / sapient human beings.  The post-sapiens will still be good at shopping however.

Consumers still have the power to vote with whatever remaining purchasing power, though institutional buyers may be beholden to specific arrangements, through board members perhaps.

Sometimes "specific arrangements" are a good deal for all concerned, so I'm not casting aspersions on optimization as a concept.  Indeed, free market capitalism has this last resort optimizing capability:  the freedom of consumers, even without top-down organizations, to set up what amounts to a boycott.

Some ingredients get on the black list, as do some companies.  Legislation may bring up the rear in that case -- or not.  Public taste and opinion may lead legislation by a decade or more, as we've seen with Prohibition.

Lets remember the power of women, whom the USG is these days thinking to draft and send into combat, without first passing any ERA (Equal Rights Amendment).  Women look forward to having children with every advantage, and become health nuts during pregnancy, a lot of the time.

Their concerns about radio-toxins in the ecosystem thanks to reckless testing by Iron Mountain's minions, motivated Uncle Sam to clamp down on atmospheric testing, by negotiating with others to do the same.  Mothers everywhere were up in arms, more conscious than most of front lines biology.

When breast milk starts ticking, there's the thought to be more careful with our one shared planet.  Dr. Evil types need to be countered.  Have we no heroes anymore?

I think environmental engineering or engineering with ethics, informed about agriculture, conscious of human and non-human needs, is going to recruit a lot of top talent.  Movies such as this one, rather weak on science specifics, set a bench mark to move beyond.

Contrary to one mother's lament, that one shouldn't need a PhD in biochemistry to have a child, that's something we're all going to need, at least informally.  Taking care of life requires a lot more understanding of biochemistry than simply wreaking havoc, which requires few skills.

The growing crop of weapons inspectors will be a subcategory of environmental engineer.  There's nothing healthy about those stockpiles of WMDs, neither physically nor psychologically.  Humans are reduced to idiocrat post-sapiens when over-exposed to radio-toxins.  Protective measures, beyond just the haz-mat suits, are a job requirement.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Deep Cleaning

I've been in overdrive deep cleaning the kitchen, still have a ways to go.  I have original 1950s style pastel yellow, pink and light blue vinyl wall paneling + a stainless steel counter + painted metal cabinetry + an avocado green Magic Chef stove.

All this 1950s stuff is quite vintage at this point, and it shows.  The cabinets are tinged with rust and corrosion, indicating "well used".  Properly scrubbed, they're still shiny though, even if not "like new".

Our family moved in twenty years ago, taking over from the Kinglers, whom we suppose installed the wood stove in the middle of the living room (we gave that to Dawn's brother).

I popped in a VHS tape showing us enjoying life in 1997, about two years after we moved in.  Sorting through VHS tapes was another holiday project.

Blast from the past:  cleaning in a consumerist culture often means discovering interesting appliances that have fallen by the wayside, such as a WelBilt Bread Oven Model ABM600.  I don't find anything wrong with it (so far).  I got some yeast and dry nonfat milk, bread flour, to test it with.

Tara cleaned her room when she got here, to make it more suitable.  She's been resting between social engagements by taking in old episodes of Star Trek Voyager.

Lindsey has likewise been deep cleaning in preparation for the big move to Corvallis.  She officially moved out some months ago, but went to Nepal.  The next move entails actually evacuating the basement, where the bulk of her music equipment has been stowed.

I use a stiff brush with 409 on the vinyl and metal, after clearing off all items held with magnets.  Two 24" florescent tubes had gone out, which I replaced.

I'm wondering if the personal frozen dessert maker, a hand-cranked one-portion cooling device, could be re-purposed into a Martini cooler.  I forgot to buy olives for the test.  Next time.

I'm not a big Martini guy, have probably had fewer than twenty of those in my fifty seven years of life.  However, I'm open learning new things.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Listserv Posting

From: kirby urner
Date: Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: Presenting misconceptions detrimental to learning ...
To: The Physics Learning Research List

On Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 12:43 PM, [ JD ] wrote:
In particular, many of the most important concepts (in physics  and elsewhere) are so fundamental that they simply cannot be defined in terms of anything more fundamental.  One place where you see this with particular clarity is in Euclidean geometry, where the fundamental objects -- points, lines, and planes -- are emphatically and explicitly *not* defined.  The words acquire meaning from how they are used, and not otherwise. 
I'd like to riff off this paragraph a little in order to draw a distinction between "misconceptions" and "alternative conceptions".

My approach to the latter w/r to non-Euclidean alternatives is to start with Karl Menger's 'Modern Geometry and the Theory of Relativity' [1] wherein he suggests a "geometry of lumps" in which points, lines and planes are distinguished not by "dimension" (Karl was a dimension theorist) but by shape (topological characteristics).

I combine this with an alternative model of multiplying two numbers, where the two lengths A, B are posited at 60 degrees in alignment with unit-area triangles, such that A x B is the area closed off by the origin O, and segment AB. [2]

This model leads to an analogous treatment of 3rd powering (or multiplying any 3 numbers) that goes to a tetrahedron, not a cube.  "Three to the third power" is not a cube but a tetrahedron.  This is well known from the 1970s writings of geodesic dome architect Buckminster Fuller. [3]

Given the pronounced 4ness of the tetrahedron (4 windows, 4 points), and no distinction in dimension twixt points, lines and planes ("infinitely thin or small" e.g. "depth without height or width" are handled by a concept of "subfrequency" instead), we get a "pre-frequency" Platonic world that is considered "4D" (tetrahedron = concept of "container" i.e. that with inside/outside concave/convex aspects), with Time / Energy added as additional dimensions. [4]

That's all an opening into a philosophical investigation of what's permissible, in terms of having different namespaces.  Are these moves "allowed"?  It's a different way of talking.  I cast it as "Martian Math" to acknowledge it's alien, but not necessarily "wrong".

Challenging the efficacy and utility of Euclidean geometry is not the point.  Pointing to another way of connecting the dots that likewise holds water is the point.  One needs a limber mind to tackle slippery concepts (like "dimension") and getting too stuck in a rut is not a good way to stay limber.


[1] in Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist , The Library of Living Philosophers VII, edited by P. A. Schilpp, Evanston, Illinois, pp. 459-474
[4] (a "4D" coordinate system)