Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Yes it's a First Day and so in theory I shouldn't be working. However, yesterday, Saturday (Seventh Day) was pure entertainment: an easy drive from closer to Canada along I-5, and time with Matt and Lindsey watching Michael Hagmeier and his band, opening for a really good Blues bunch. This was at Roots on 7th in their bigger venue. Oh yeah, and I cut my face.

So today I need to keep getting it out there, lobbying to upgrade Earthling Math with something more palatable, spiced up a bunch, like with a little Dave's Insanity Sauce (a popular kitchen condiment in this household, in small doses).

If T-modules seem boring to you, that's probably because we don't have a lot of good quality geometry animations about them yet, much as I've been agitating for same for commercial purposes.

We also have the E modules with h=1, really close to T's radius 0.99948333226... as computed by Python just now and obtained by scaling phi/root2, which latter radius gives us a rhombic triacontahedron of 7.5 (in tetravolumes). That's what's showing in the screen shots below.

So here's a little Show & Tell with links to the cited graphics for more background, also source code:

:: lengths AC, BC, OC from linked figure 986.411A ::

:: using Python's Decimal type, setting context to 31 digits ::

:: T-mod plane net using turtle.py in Python 3.1 (WinXP) ::

:: controlling a standard library turtle ::

Cited Figures: Synergetics Constant; 986.411A T-Mod Edges; 986.411B T-Mod Angles

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Thanksgiving

Mirage hasn't been off her feet in like four months, even when sleeping. Today she lay down and dozed off, lots of twitching. Mirage is an adult female horse. I am off of I-5 enjoying staying with our casino boss and horse masseuse family.

Casino Math balances Supermarket Math in providing a special case institution for anchoring generic math concepts. We get inside the business of X, as a way of learning math associated with doing X's job.

We might have gone with Banking Math but that takes some of the edge off, is less nakedly suggestive of our probability themes, lacks the entertainment value to compete on today's TV.

Supermarket Math
is prosaic enough. Too prosaic? We might have said Mall Math. Bazaar Math could be good (yes, opposite Cathedral Math perhaps).

Mirage is back on her feet, pacing about in her paddock. I'm not far from Camano Island, where I met up with Roz Savage that time, a day and some years ago.

The tribes in this region were suffering homelessness, were in need of methadone clinics. Today, many more are in line for academic degrees. The casinos have provided the modicum of prosperity needed to jump start other enterprises, will continue to provide seed funding.

Another theme of Casino Math is that what goes on under that heading (of risk taking or gambling) is not a constant, despite the persistence of old favorites. Not only do the games themselves change, but so does their ostensible purpose.

Many USA states use a lottery to fund some of their education and prison systems. Many churches use bingo. The tribes are no different in this respect. Indian gaming is about playing world game effectively, and that's not a bad thing.

One axis for further development involves pushing the decision-making to a more democratic micro-level, letting anyone register their philanthropic model by donating proceeds (one's winnings) to worthy causes (registered beneficiaries).

"Approved causes" doesn't necessarily exclude one's self (the traditional worthy in old school casinos) but also allows character building in the sense of investing in the qualities and traits of one's avatar. Play your heart out to raise funds for your school, not just yourself personally, and win more kudos thereby.

For readers just joining and wondering WTF, I am referring to some modules on WikiEducator: Martian Math, Neolithic Math, Casino Math, Supermarket Math. One may envision this as a tetrahedron of six relationships and then discuss each of these relationships.

In this blog post, I'm mostly harping on the Casino-Supermarket edge, being defensive about my choice of "Casino" by providing some historical context (a Neolithic Math spin). I'm also reintroducing my Coffee Shops Network open source business model, which revolves around philanthropic game playing in a relaxed ambiance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

This would normally be a Wanderers post, especially given Keith Lofstrom is doing a formal presentation on ServerSky, much more polished since the last time we saw it. However, I was at parent teacher conferences at Cleveland this evening, came in to a packed house. Rather than disturb the assembled (except for a glass of wine), I planted myself in the pantry, or whatever we call this room between... Don just summoned me to the "great hall" again. Keith's pictures shore are purty. LW can fill me in later (she's an engineer, been here the whole time with a front row seat).

Regarding PT conferences, I found myself consumed with jealousy, as the State of Oregon has seen fit to make use of the talents of my comrades. My stuff, on the other hand, is "too avant-garde" even though it's like 30 years late, overdue. I paid into the system as a for-profit business, using my surplus to develop Oregon Curriculum Network (OCN), to brainstorm Coffee Shops Network (CSN), but both are too esoteric apparently, too hard to understand.

Geometry and philosophy just don't cut it with the masses anymore. We've all got better things to do. From each according to his ability, but not if he's a teacher (sneer), not a dymaxion didact, oh no.

That being said, I immediately got better insight's into my daughter's world. I was grateful for this and said so repeatedly. As a dad, I'm not trying to remain aloof in any way. If I seem passive and distant, I'm sure it's because I'm preoccupied about some grand strategy. Today it's Wikieducator and a possible geodesic dome class (Martian Math) at Reed College (Trevor?). Tomorrow... consulting my over the horizon radar.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Secret Honor (movie review)

This is a one-actor monologue, in that sense highly reminscent of the D.W. Jacobs play, going on here in Portland around this time last year, with Bucky played by Doug Tompos.

In this Robert Altman directed version, Philip Baker Hall delivers a paroxysmal almost epileptic performance, a Nixon of inter-connected seizures, of complexes. America has really wrought itself one helluva native son this time.

The contrast with the Bucky character (also fictive) is pretty obvious, but then New England Brahmans were Nixon's arch nemeses right? He brought more of that Havana-Vegas crime boss sheen to his office, given whom he looked up to (Bebe Rebozo and like that).

This rendition of Nixon is hilariously confused about recording equipment; he's in over his head with technology right from the get go. He's always asking the off-screen Roberto to erase this or that confession or outburst, and yet the security camera is rolling the whole time and he's on candid camera. There's something transparent about a man who tries so hard to cover up.

What a fascinating period, even when presented as fiction.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ignite Portland


:: ignite portland 7 ::

These Ignite events occur in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Phoenix, likely some others I'm forgetting, besides here in Portland, at The Bagdad. Budapest, other places in Europe.

Phil Earnhardt was our company MVP, 4D Studios his first stop off the 75 bus. He's somewhat the anthropologist of this Ignite phenomenon and had interesting insights regarding recipes for success. Mainly (and I paraphrase): if it doesn't all anchor to one solo individual, then personality conflicts, though sure to happen, won't have as much impact on the final result, which will be more sustainable and magical precisely because it's a Ouija Board (i.e. there's no one in charge).

That being said, though anarchist, this Ignite was tightly choreographed, with speaker wranglers designated to keep the workflow flowing. The Lightning Talk format was strictly held to. Our experiments at Duke's, in varying the segments, adding music tracks, need these more structured events for context and contrast. Phil's words for our Portland brand mix: authentic and eclectic. I would concur.

Presentations: I won't recount them all, except to say none of them fell flat. Some were spiritual journeys: an escape from a cultic gravity well, memories of a long lost friend, realizations from a hospitalization. When another pretty person takes the microphone, you won't guess she's been an anthropologist in Papua New Guinea, has a taste for road kill, wants to share about that doe, in an engaging and completely canderous manner. Phil's talk was on robot motion. He's of the school that musculo-skeletal matters have a "tensegrity" aspect and twitters as @FloatingBones.

Of course "tensegrity" is considered a "fringe word" in many vocabs (namespaces), even though it has clear meaning in the art world, where Kenneth Snelson staked turf. Another domain is architecture, where floating compression is a recognized technology. Micro-architecture, e.g. cellular, is more Ingber's domain, per a past cover of Scientific American. Then you have those focused on the spinal chord, on movement, which gets us more into First Person Physics the way I think of it, or into Carlos Castaneda country by another route. Extrapolating a more graceful kind of robot motion, with tension notched up, isn't too off the wall sounding, is already a hot topic for mathcasts per Gerald de Jong's Darwin @ Home clips (embedded below).

One of the talks, by Marcus, had a lot on expectant waiting, or active waiting, a way of engaging with the world common to many disciplines. He wasn't citing the Quakers specifically, but wasn't unfamiliar with them either (we talked after).

We were encouraged to photograph, shoot video, and to tag our media IP7 (as this was Portland's seventh such event).

What I take away from this is: Show & Tell, a classroom exercise a lot of us got to practice growing up, is as important as ever. Today, show and tell involves slides, projected content. There's a darkened room much of the time. When we're outdoors, in the bright light of day, we have other formats less reliant on projection. LCDs as dashboard control panels (e.g. embedded in cameras, ATVs) still make an appearance. Add a smattering of XOs.

I chauffeured Phil back to his hotel by way of Circadia, corner of 47th and NE Columbia, though we didn't pull over, no Burn Out this evening. Back Stage at The Bagdad had a lot of great conversation during the informal gathering following Ignite. Bram (fonts fanatic), Randal Schwartz (Perl cruiser), Ward Cunningham (wiki guy)... lotsa luminaries, lotsa omnidirectional halos. Some adjourned to the eatery trucks around 12th and Hawthorne.

In the mean time, Tara was out with Elizabeth Braithwaite while mom was patched in to the 2nd world and Lindsey was chompin' on more Chomsky on some studio monitor (many miles of video).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spice Trade

By "spice trade" I refer to something positive, namely our bid to up the IQ around our spanking new C.P. Snow chasm-spanning curriculum. Getting the right wiring takes time, as we test the various subsystems.

To "spice it up" means to "kick it up" i.e. "to take it up a notch". These are idioms associated with adding more hot sauce to make a dish less bland. Another idea is you don't need a lot.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The World Without US (movie review)

Inspired neocon nuttiness; don't forget to watch the Latin America bonus, complete with commie takeover.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rethinking Afghanistan (movie review)

This documentary, directed by Robert Greenwald, ends on an upbeat note, showing how international aid organizations, doctors without border types, are making a positive difference in Afghanistan.

The LAWCAP puppet (or so-called USA (see Grunch of Giants)) has completely lost the war for hearts and minds, has no hope of victory whatsoever (not news).

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Spook Who Sat By the Door (movie review)

This 1973 classic came with a thumbs up from Dominic and I can see why. Not only do we get a kind of "aggressive response" movie, as the analyst introducing it suggests (he's giving background about the book version) but we get a sneak peak at this CIA business, a chummy frat house having problems integrating, succumbing to political pressure.

Freeman, poetically so named, is forever being told he's a credit to his race, as he rises through the ranks in the copying facility, duplicating state secrets. He feels some frustration with the glacial pace of change, which dino guy says'll be for 10K years or something geological. So he goes back to Chicago to use his CIA skills to incite his old gang, now a generation into shooting pool and floating hookers. Freeman fits right in and before ya know it, all hell breaks loose. The point being: you white guys had better figure out what to do around spooks in the paramilitary.

The movie is kind of old. Fast forward and it's not about breaking the color barrier so much as ending the "fraternity" mindset. Lindsay Moran has much more to work with, including a more bucolic training grounds, not just the urban game of dodge 'em, which this movie explores. There's still lots of bomb making, getting the wires right. Freeman has interesting skills, succeeds in scoring a lot of recruits.

In the real world, you had an epidemic of drug scandals involving Central America, with DCI Deutch showing up in that LA high school to confront parents over the issue, not wanting his agency to take any guff for these Rambo crack heads. He'd been like an MIT prez or something, was more into One Laptop per Child type thinking ala G1G1.

But Freeman couldn't be expected to know any of this (he's not some kind of Incredible, looks stupid doing judo), didn't get much overseas experience, had never seen the inside of any Banana Republic besides his own and Langley's bright whites'. All that being said, he's a smart operative and this movie probably did end up helping with integration, anticipating the later removal of any glass ceiling.

I'm one and a half times through, as I caught myself dosing off a few times during fight scenes, needed to go back. I admire the small budget, clever dialog. More attention deserved, when you've got time to come in from the cold and watch stupid spy movies (a term of endearment you understand).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game Night

Sometimes when Quakers want to share juice (coffee, whatever) they huddle around folding tables and play board games long into the night (maybe even to Quaker midnight, about 9 PM on the USA west coast). Yes, Monopoly is such a game, but I suspect they're playing something rather more clever, such as Scotland Yard, or Stratego, or even Chess?

Chess you say? Isn't that a war game? Are Quakers hypocrites then (snicker, sneer)?

Ever since our Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) embraced computer games in some editions, I've had an easier time explaining how metaphorical violence still falls under the heading of "not using outward weapons".

Mercutio and Tibalt
have their face-down on Facebook, playing Mafia Wars, don't "take it outside" in a blood and guts kind of way, too messy for real theater.

The audience doesn't seem to mind that the actors get up and live to act again another day. Since Greek times, we've gotten away with that, although some Roman audiences got greedy.

Speaking of board games, what about games with playing cards? Like War for example (sarcasm)? Do Quakers smoke, drink and play poker then? Chuckle. "What kind of religion is that?" asks the Church Lady?

If you're a Puritan, then maybe the whole idea of religion for you is to prohibit stuff, prove your soul is saved by how you're able to avoid the temptations, which include just about everything except reading the Bible while rocking back and forth and muttering curses.

As a matter of fact, many Quakers consider smoking an unhealthy, nasty habit, don't need to blow a lot of money on expensive drugs and alcohol (unless you count fine wines and cheeses... and chocolate), and always lose at poker on principle, and so won't play (wisely, saves pennies).

Quakers in our Pacific Rim clime have been known to shake and shuffle the Mahjong tiles quite a bit, lots of clicky noises. I've played that in the Philippines and would consider it identical to a playing card game. Indeed, playing cards are no more than a poor man's Mahjong chips.

So by this (dubious?) reasoning, yes, it is obvious to me that our Faith & Practice permits the use of playing cards, though only in moderation and not while wearing too much mustache wax or lipstick (there's what I'd call a bias against cosmetics, if not an outright prohibition -- more about banking on natural beauty and saving pennies, less about moral condemnation of those who do happen to love tattooing themselves (which some Quakers have done (though sometimes only discreetly))).

Speaking of game nights, 4D Studios set up at E-Room on Division last night, where the main hall is sometimes given over to bingo or whatever. LW did her podcast recording from the anteroom, a busy enough venue where customers have some screens to ogle at as well (our first TV ad?). She got through the whole thing on one pint, saving the 2nd for schmoozing. Sometimes, with enough vodka, even Freedom Train derails, however tonight was not about goofing off.

I took in the final minutes of the Blazers game in Minneapolis right before show time, a victory for Portland's team, then read the interview with Gorbachev in The Nation, before queuing Howard Zinn. That's life in and around the Laughing Horse Collective, where you've got access to Dominic's professional grade video library. Lots of Chomsky on earlier, some Michael Parenti.

After the show, LW huddled with some special guests, inviting them to our "private party for prototyping" in our bat cave or sandbox, where we'll notch it up a bit with the multi-media (experimental), looking ahead to future venues around Gotham. That's Saturday. Pssst to Wanderers, Pythonistas, Intel friends... videographers. Tonight: another gig, at the Roots place on SE 7th, check web site for details.

Egyptian Room

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PPUG 2009.11.10

I'm rejoining my tribe, tip of the iceberg in a 16th floor big room with round tables, coffee robot (fixed position), Jason miked. He's been using his "all you can fly" JetBlue pass, ever since DjangoConf just about. He's announcing about us.pycon in Atlanta, for those not eskeered o' Georgia. Then there's always apac.pycon for those of us on the Pacific Rim.

Gotta check into Nedspace more? There's one above Back Space, and another downtown. Co-working zones.

Robin Dunn is here next to me, popped over from Vancouver, got caught in the sudden downpour twixt the garage and here.

News: Guido's PEP 3003 Language Moratorium has been accepted. Pretty soon, the language will enter a kind of ice age where the focus is on something other than changing the language. Make it run faster, create new virtual machines, add libraries, APIs to modeling engines, while accepting the language itself as a constant, a fait accompli.

Lecture on the subprocess module, another on Pyflakes & Pep8.py. Pyflakes in svn trunk is abreast 2.6. Pep8 is under new management and lots of bugs have been fixed rather recently. Jason showed us flymake mode for emacs, which will let the coder run both of these checkers in real time and apply highlighting. Better than Intellisense? I'm an emacs virgin almost (just a little bit pregnant).

The longest talk is on Mercurial Queues, however my daughter and her friend were locked out and I needed to duck out to make some calls, missed some details on this one. Thanks Bret. About 22 of us: 21 xy, 1 xx. Rowley out ill, Pelletier just plain skipping.

Jason on Mercurial pbranches. Lots to know.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Go Humans Go



I attended Quakers' Adult Education session this morning, Bridge City Friends Meeting. We had a large group, including some out-of-towners attending a steering committee meeting at the Annual level (Quakers rank their meetings in terms of their business meeting's frequency, from yearly (like NPYM) to quarterly (like WQM) to monthy (BCFM being a monthly meeting)).

Our topic was Witness, sections thereon heading into our new Faith and Practice (rewrite in progress). I was pleased to show up with this crumpled and creased "Quaker guts" poster, thanks to Dan Stutesman. We explored our Beanite beginnings, as diagrammed, with Miriam Laing showing me a more swoopy (less swampy?) version from another text (she's quite the scholar). I sat between Larry Ferguson (happy birthday!) and Rocky Garrison during the meeting.

I mentioned at one point being a student of marketing and realizing from my hours of research for that Youtube survey, that the meme complex centered around that Quaker Oats guy, a kind of figurehead known as "William Penn" in some blogs, is widely associated with our practice and so it'd behoove Friends to pay some attention to the various marketing campaigns launched by that company.

I congratulated them on the non-misanthropic tone of their latest Go Humans Go slogan, as tacked on at the end of the above commercial. Ron Braithwaite cited Jerry Garcia for inspiring his practices around kindness.

Yes, you could say Quaker oats was our idea: Floyd Schmoe's grandmother gets the credit -- see Lives That Speak, ISBN 2-888305-32-0, pg. 116.

Our discussion was expertly clerked (not be me -- I retired as clerk of Adult Education last cycle, have only the AFSC liaison role these days, plenty time-consuming).

We filled the white board with notes, which I'm chronicling here with two shots by my Olympus Stylus 720SW, uploading to my Photostream for Jane Ewert's expert note taking (another serious scholar on our most talented and gifted crew).

Those two shots then: [1][2].

Hello World

Friday, November 06, 2009

More On Textbooks

[ fixing some of the typos in the original, adding hyperlinks... ]

On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 5:19 PM, Robert Hansen wrote:
> Kirby, you haven't really made an argument for why online would be better than text books. The only argument I have seen so far is that they would be much cheaper. I am all for giving text books some competition, but if a district went online entirely the parents that could afford them, would buy text books for their kids. And then people would cry foul because yet again the affluent get ahead.
>

I'm skeptical that your model would hold true in every district. Many in my neck of the woods are down on harvesting trees for trivially wasteful activities such as toilet paper, newsprint and textbooks. Of course the lobbies come in and explain about recycling (a responsible activity), plus toilet paper is a tremendous convenience, so the average tipping point is still "lets waste lots of paper".

However the peer pressure to be cool, to walk and talk like an environmentalist, is pretty keenly experienced here in Portland, YMMV.

Affluent kids put their textbooks on memory sticks as PDFs, read 'em on Ubuntu Starling-1s from System76 running Karmic Koala or, in my case, Jaunty Jackalope. I need to check if there's a fix for the wifi glitch (or troll, gremlin) along the upgrade path.

> They have been testing the Kindle in some schools and it is bombing. And I know you are talking about something better than the Kindle but text books are going to have the edge for some time for subjects that require more than a vocational glancing blow. That is what makes your career academically based or not. Whether you only got a vocational understanding of the subject or an actual understanding.
>

The deeper questions revolve around the school intranet and whether the server is robust enough to store edited versions of last year's football games and theatrical performances, the occasional lecture, some instructional cartoons, lots and lots of student work.

We should remember our history: textbooks arose when industrial standards were still new and could not be taken for granted. States had this idea of a centralized Paris time or Moscow time and everyone was to march to the same drummer, get with the same beat. You hear echoes of that from national standards people of today, most of whom we feel it's safe to ignore.

Fast forward to the age of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears and you see we're glued together not by shared textbook boilerplate so much as our electronic media, and these include so-called "infotainment" as well, not just 1-800... Ginsu Knife commercials but Discovery, History... And then there's simply having a DVD player and access to stores of videos, such as Laughing Horse Books (lots on the Spanish Civil War, for those beginning a study of the early modern period e.g. Pan's Labyrinth, Into the Fire...). Read about Ernest Hemingway, with a look back at Mark Twain (likewise not into sorrows of empire).

We've got Sesame Street as an on-ramp, then shows for older kids like Bill Nye the Science Guy (dated yet timeless material in many ways, as basic science hasn't changed that much). The screen has been competing with the live performance educator for several decades by now and it's looking more and more that the screens won, and in the process have liberated future generations from needing to synchronize their schooling on the backs of some fleet o slave ships (aka the public schools), which newly unburdened institutions will now be more free to "roll their own" in the sense of coming up with a "place based" education (one sourced by local experts and faculty, in cahoots with private industry, not beholden to anyone "back east" as some still say, (sounding retro), not waiting for the next edition of some mass published textbook offering (yawn, not interested sorry)).

What your affluent kids are learning today is how to explain parabolas to each other (as cross-sections of parabolic dish antennae -- that was a bad idea to lose focus on a principal application of those 2nd degree curves) on the school intranet, or simply via YouTube if your school is liberal enough to provide unfettered access (some Portland schools are).

In sum: because our culture is now glued together outside the classroom, by electronic media, the classroom is free to localize more and make the math story problems be, you guessed it, vehicles for teaching about the local infrastructure and history.
"The aqueduct from Bull Run to Mt. Tabor is x miles long and on June 1, 2011 see y gallons per second holding steady for five hours. How many gallons of clear, clean Bull Run water did the Mt. Tabor reservoirs receive in those five hours, neglecting to factor in evaporation or leaking?"
I realize many math teachers see real world content as a drag on the subject, as math is supposed to point to this Ivory Tower world wherein the concerns of the reality-minded have been left outside the gates. The outsiders are, by definition, not privy to some inner circle set of abstractions (aka "pure" math -- versus "dirty" is the snobbish implication).

But it's not that either/or in this picture either, as the abstract stuff still comes across better if you work with Java applets, watch Flash movies, listen to competent narrations of spheres turning inside out (a two part series on YouTube featuring input from Bill Thurston, one of my profs), and otherwise partake of your electronic heritage.

Schools that stay based in wood pulp are quite literally "dark ages" comparatively speaking.

> I would like to see some better quality videos and smart board presentations out there but it is hard to create classics that fit everyone in that medium. That is why good teachers will always be an asset. You have to reach the kids.

Maybe we don't want anymore "classics that fit everyone"? We already have so many, under-appreciated. This may be the sea change some still haven't grokked.

Out here in the Silicon Forest, the math we want to teach is simply not in any of the textbooks, period. We simply have no choice but to go somewhat cold turkey, because we have serious economic concerns which involve knowing more discrete math and having more software literacy than is anywhere available from the big publishers you may be thinking about.

But hey, we have Intel, Nike, Wieden + Kennedy, Spirit Mountain... PPS, 4D. So that's a lot of talent and even funding.

We invite the State of Oregon to join us, to help us compete with other states, but also collaborate (as we've been doing with Alaska).

We could leave the State of Florida to organize its own internal affairs why not? You've got The Mouse, NASA, shouldn't have any trouble keeping your schools up to date, at least around Satellite Beach.

We don't think Obama is on the hook to deliver anything, not even stimulus checks, although we do like the WPA as a model and think Public Works ala the Roosevelts were going somewhere constructive before the derailing occurred (aka WWII).

Those of us using the Litvins text know there's a PDF version. That's on my other Ubuntu laptop which is mostly just a carcass, though I could still use that hard drive... anyway, just saying we appreciate it when a publisher just makes an agreement with the district, lets the district apply its own logo, other watermarks. Then at least if there's unauthorized redistribution, we'll have some sense of the source.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

4D House


:: by Trevor Blake, Synchronofile ::

Related viewing:
About Habitats
More Adult Education

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Socialist Victory (satire)

Although dubbed the USS White Elephant by some skeptics, the fact is our people have inherited a glorious and spanking new floating city, suitable for volunteer staffing and operating, not to mention perpetual refueling.

This communally owned property further bolsters the psychological power of our mostly-male, world-dominating USSA socialist hierarchy and its veneer of nominally "private sector" companies at the service of our hive-mind collective.

The Empire State is suitably thrilled, according to all patriotic news sources. Making payments for the foreseeable future, against a billion dollars and counting, to whatever Chinese banks, will not be a problem. The floating city itself is ample collateral.