Saturday, January 02, 2010

Omega Party


:: omega party ::

I'm no expert on the history of this place, having just set foot in the door a few minutes ago. Obviously this used to be a neighborhood church and was designed with that purpose in mind.

Buzz and I met at Laughing Horse this afternoon. He wanted to learn more about tensegrity, having come across it through my blogs. I showed up with Kenneth Snelson's newest book. We stood on a street corner with his daughter, about Tara's age, thumbing through it, while waiting for her ride to show up.

In his authoritative Tensegrity, R. Moto says he's not crowning Kenneth the Father of Tensegrity only because he's not a kingmaker, hasn't the power to bestow that title. This seems a diplomatic communication of his sentiments.

Speaking of Kenneth, I was pleased to read about his recent in-studio meetup with Gerald de Jong. Good news. Gerald has been a Snelson fan for many years.

Gerald was our house guest in the 1990s, during which time we drove to the Kasman-Chu residence in South Seattle for a geometry confab, followed by a rendezvoux at Karl Erickson's to learn more about elastic interval geometry and Gerald's emerging Java application (Karl was an early power user, as was Russell Chu).

Even back then Gerald was committed to using a cigar shape, like a shiny balloon, for his elastic intervals. Darwin at Home, his more recent EIG application, still reflects this aesthetic.

Gerald had come from the Netherlands to attend JavaOne in the Bay Area. We would meet again at a party in Santa Cruz, after another JavaOne, with Bonnie DeVarco, Joe Moore, other scholars and luminaries.

These in-person meetings were infrequent. However we'd been meeting in Cyberia as avatars, in Bonnie's virtual high school, or in that other "world" devoted to matters geometric. ActiveWorlds had come online long before Second Life and we were among the early adopters, investigating educational uses for this shared communications infrastructure.

Speaking of neighborhood churches (Kenneth pokes fun at me for any "church of Bucky" vibe), I've been preaching to the choir on Synergeo again. My welder friend darmraj is pointing out that practically no one on the planet devotes any attention whatsoever to our friggin' MITEs, their tripart dissection. We're just a bunch of crazy die-hards at this point, floundering amidst the flotsam and jetsam of unused nomenclature.

Quoting myself preaching:
This all seems kinda backwards doesn't it. A rag tag crew of buckaneers, scattered around the world, is stuck knowing more about primitive space-filling shapes and crystal lattices than most people ever wanted to know. That's a natural consequence of taking Fuller seriously and is proof that this curriculum works, in terms its of students developing higher reading comprehension, better powers of concentration. You'd think that'd attract some attention?

Preaching to choir, talking to self.... blah blah.
Buzz and I then adjourned to the book store. The collective was holding a staff meeting, so we kept our voices muted, hung out in the foyer, running our laptops, connecting to Facebook. Buzz shared about an already up and running Pacific Rim manufacturing concern with an active R&D division. He was yakking about shelter solutions, polyurethane fabric. Like tents? We'll see where he goes with this.

Over on the Wanderers list, I came across this sad blog post from one of our global university students, shared by Gus Frederick of Silverton. Hossein is like the Dick Pugh of Iran, an award-winning science writer studying astrogeology on his own dime. The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology has offered him a scholarship, would be happy to get him, but he can't get a visa from the US authorities.

Bucky Fuller considered nation-states a cruel holdover from those divide-and-conquer great pirate days. They encouraged parochialism and self-destructive behaviors. A more supranational mindset was emerging, thanks to telecommunications and decreasing misinformation, so humanity was in a race against the clock in Grunch of Giants (1983). World Game, with its focus on the global electrical grid, would help reorient and anchor the new thinking in this brave novus ordo seclorum.

Lindsey has started her set. Burn Out seems appropriately apocalyptic under the circumstances. It's closing time at Liberty Hall, a final performance. "The curtain's coming down, and everything is gone. The banquet's left the hall, the d├ębutantes are bald, there's nothing left to do..." The acoustics are excellent, her performance bold, to my ears flawless. Portland is blessed with a truly vibrant music scene.

Other bands have arrived and stacked their equipment along both sides of the room. Only another eight hours to go. I'll be exiting shortly, wandering off on foot to find Michael and Matt. We're celebrating Michael's birthday today.

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