Sunday, December 30, 2018


In the movie reviewed below, Vice, we have a scene wherein they install offices for the veep all over town, which I found appealing.  People do that when they move around a lot.

Anyway, my two main perches are Blue House bound, in the sense that I have an outpost on each of two floors.  I have some work stations.

We're talking about a residential type of place, nothing unusual.  "Work station" is normal parlance for a home office and workspace, where a guest might have a laptop with WiFi.

I've bounced around a lot and had a lot of offices, but as a single individual, I'm bound to a sequential trajectory.  I'm not in all places at once, unless we all are, in which case what point am I making?

Guests have departed.  I visited Peter's model train setup, which is truly cool.  Lots of pictures taken.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Vice (movie review)

Movies that strive to make some sense of the recent past should be in high demand, if only as a source of mnemonic touch stones, memory devices, which this film is filled with.  The events come in as a jumble in time, and we piece it together through flashbacks (afterimages as we sometimes call them, in real life scenarios).

Clearly there's no way to reliably penetrate the cloak of secrecy that surrounds a high office that keeps mum.  The movie deals with uncertainty by breaking the fourth wall and otherwise reminding us of the impossibility of an omniscient viewpoint.  How does a dead man organ donor narrate a film from beyond the grave?

Clearly no cameras were present to document the intimate details of the Cheney bedroom, and there's a Lady Macbeth aspect to Lynne Cheney's role.  Having them break into Shakespearean dialog is a sure fire way to remind the audience they're watching theater, movies being an evolved form thereof.

Scenes are designed to tell a story.  During 911, Dick and Lynne head for the underground apartments and, from there, Dick insists on consuming raw, unfiltered intelligence.  Powell gets strong-armed, against his better judgement, into making his famous pitch for war to the UN, which in retrospect had the effect of lowering public confidence in so-called "intelligence".

DC has never really recovered its reputation for knowing what's going on in the world.  Justifications for recent cruise missile attacks against targets in Syria have met with derision outside of legacy media.

From Cheney's angle, however, the challenge was to capitalize on 911 in order to improve the prospects of the energy companies, with whom he liked to meet in secret.  The goal was not tit for tat, but to demonstrate overwhelming executive branch military power in conjunction with its power to shape pubic opinion.

Much of the innovative legislation, post 911, was focused domestically and internally, on building a surveillance state, although the movie has only limited time to explore the ramifications of these developments.  Hollywood is still free to make and distribute questioning films like this, which put the inner workings of the White House under a critical director's eye.

At the time, mid-career, I was one of those critical of the raw intelligence, such as we were privy to in the internet newsgroups (lots of spam), and questioning the rationale for "shock & awe".

My focus (then as now) was preventing hanky-panky with nuclear waste products, with webcams and the like, about which science fiction planning I posted fairly frequently.

This wasn't my paid day job, as a coder and skills trainer with CUE, so much as my volunteer service as a Quaker, a sect opposed to acting out with outward weapons.

But then we don't control the world now do we, and our views are easily dismissed as irrelevant by the outward war minded.  I'm used to being marginalized.

Saturday, December 22, 2018


I'm putting a positive spin on "ethnocentrism" here, which may surprise some readers, but I think it goes with education being "place based" which I also favor.

Also, I see a lot of nuance when it comes to ethnicity, as one may easily adopt a fusion approach and combine several layers.  I tend to differentiate based on what's slow moving (slowly changing) versus what's potentially more fleeting, easy come easy go.

For example, in educating myself about Portland, I'm always encountering its Asian aspects, and consider that a part of my ethnicity.  "Ethnocentric" need not mean conforming to some stereotype, in other words.

Negative vibes around "ethnocentric" stem from how people foist ethnicity on one another, insisting upon conformity to this or that norm.  People don't like being coerced, so the ethnocentrism of others may leave a bad taste, to say the least.

However, one's ethnicity includes one's profession and the professions often require a lot of background and training.  Those resisting a hostile takeover of their corporate culture are unlikely to rise through the ranks of the invader.  You never know though; lots of fiction celebrates those who do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

More T4P

The idea of truckers as citizen diplomats is not new, as camel trains, and ships' crews, were always a medium of two way traffic, diplomatic and otherwise.  The technology has changed, certainly, in that camels were not equipped with ELD devices providing a log of the driver's up time, down time, sideways time.  A kind of quantum physics.

The driver's upkeep and well being are not necessarily those of a truck's.  True, the custom is for a given driver to haul the load from end to end, but there could be a switching yard, where the driver gets to rest (as mandated), but the truck continues with nothing more than a refuel and driver-ready check / inspection.

Again, I'm not being original, just borrowing from the airline companies, which vector crews and airplanes on different circuits.  Even the cockpit teams have their own autonomy, such that a given airplane my enjoy a lot of turnover in staffing in the course of a single day.  Truckers and pilots have always enjoyed many similarities.  I don't know if commercial routes are called lanes ever, but they could be.  Namespaces overlap a lot like that.

In GST, the cockpit or truck cabin tends to meld with what we call the "personal workspace" or PWS. Sure, it might be mobile, even hurtling through space.  The PWS is distinct from the Control Room, as a place, in that the latter brings many people together to monitor the same stream of events.  They provide overview, or what Quakers call oversight, and with supervisory powers come greater responsibilities for keeping aircraft safely separated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


In the process of dropping out of the middle class, upon dissolution of the partnership, owing to the death of the partner, I gave up heating the whole house.  I had a hole in the roof, and that took priority, as well as other bills.

However, with a lot of company expected and Carol (mom) incapacitated, I was able to dedicate earmarked funds to a worthy line item:  resurrect the old Honeywell in the basement with a tune up ($229), a new master control board ($242.25 including labor) and of course fuel (200 gallons for a start).

Fortunately, this winter is being very mild, with dips into the 30s.  We've gotten this far with only a few rooms heated, two downstairs and one upstairs.  The kitchen and (usually) main living area stayed in the 40s at least.

Portland, Oregon is close to snowy peaks, but is not itself at high altitude.  Our surrounding bedroom communities get more snow than the CBD (CBD = central business district, in case you didn't grow up in a planner family).

The First Call company inherited my account from Montag, which came with the house, as did the Honeywell, when we put money down on this place in 1995.  We had been renting just around the corner and despaired of again finding affordable digs we could invest in, as we knew then this was a trendy neighborhood.

Laurie, Dawn's first friend in Portland, showed us a property just going on the market.  We lucked out.  I've lived here ever since.  Dawn (partner, DWA) died in 2007.  We still celebrate Hanukkah at Laurie's place.

I tried to keep DWA (the partnership) alive, not realizing a partnership with one partner was totally an oxymoron.  IRS was seeing double.

The H&R Block down the street helped me back out of my mistake and fly solo as a sole proprietorship.  I continued with the DWA sourced DBA:  4D Solutions.  That part stayed by the book.  DWA held the business checking account.

Around then I met LW who was looking to anchor a career as a Portland-based musician, having given up a whole lifestyle in Savannah, Georgia working in high tech as a manager.

She had a lot of good ideas for dropping below the poverty line and still surviving, having been saving all her money herself.  She was working at living on next to nothing when we met, and had a car she would no longer drive, because of her evolving ethics around Peak Oil.

Razz had been totaled. I was driving a loaner at that point.

Fast forward, I got used to eating for free at Food Not Bombs servings, and also provided kitchen space, storage space, even freezer space, for the network, which meant having some inventory at home.  I'd fully entered the barter economy and started cutting back on any use of the furnace.

However, somewhere in there, Steve Holden came to my rescue in putting my name in the hat as highly qualified to teach his Python 3 course, then in the making for the O'Reilly School.  I was hired, and for the first time since the 1980s I had a salary with benefits.

I'd been winging it as an independent contractor, then partner, ever since.  Given Dawn was a skilled bookkeeper, that wasn't as hard as it sounds.  I could focus on programming for my many clients, and fine tuning my skills as a skills trainer.  My resume is online.

By the O'Reilly School (OST) closed its doors, some years later, I had paid to have my roof fixed and had helped a strong student through college (with help from her Quaker institution).

I was looking at once again waving good bye to such middle class benefits as furnace oil heat.  Space heaters would have to do, and did.

I don't know that I'll be able to sustain this highfalutin lifestyle.  Will Earthlings want to learn Martian Math the way I teach it?

Will my productivity stay high?

Last year at this time, unbeknownst to me in December, I was just weeks away from an emergency room visit and lots of concern about my longevity.

A year later, my vitals are looking like those of an overweight sixty year old, mas o meno.  My next doc appointment is six months out, which says something I hope.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Physics in the First Person

"First Person Physics" was a meme I started using on some listserv of physics teachers. Dr. Bob Fuller saw what I was driving at, including and especially the so-called "energy slave" concept.  The idea here was not to get rid of slavery but to not enslave humans or even mammals, but machines.  Don't make a horse lift the stone, let a diesel engine do it.  You enslave things like toasters and microwave ovens, which working humans in tandem with robots need to make in the first place.

Bucky Fuller was asking humans to pause and look around and see how many calories were being expended by machines every moment on their behalf.  But instead of reckoning in horsepower, lets take this opportunity to convert into work units humans could more easily relate to (< horses).  Some positive conversion constant might apply, and there you'd have it:  a small army of robots (non-animal energy slaves) all working on your behalf.

You may need some assistance, at least at first, seeing where the work is being done.  Photons don't weigh much, and wiggling fingers over a keyboard is not a fast way to spend calories.  Better get up and make coffee frequently if that's your gig.  Lift weights.  Stay in shape.  Yet the internet is a vast energy slave army that produces lots of heat.  You, the one sitting in that chair, burn at about the rate of a one to two hundred watt bulb, which is the figure we were trying to get at, in place of horsepower.

Think about forklifts, warehouses, trucks on the freeway, stuff in your possession.  Non-slaves are allowed to possess (not be possessed), and humans typically think beyond their being 150 watt bulbs, to being this whole internet of things that burns, such as cars, trucks, trains and jets.  The internet of things comprises their lifestyle, which they value, whereas a "daily bread" of 150 watts burning 24/7 is no more sexy than enjoying a metabolism.

Your body heat needs to stay at roughly some level, pretty warm but not too hot, and just breathing and maintaining body temperature spends energy, which is work.  That's right, in physics just staying alive one second to the next is considered work, and it's paid for.  You get about what you need to stay lit, or you don't, but in each case the requirement is in a bell curve between extremes. Getting enough calories to people is the bread game.  The truth is everyone requires about the same, even accounting the difference between babies and athletes.

Aside from measuring units of work in terms of humans (watt burners) replacing horses (also watt burners), First Person Physics is about being in the "controller seat" oneself (which doesn't connote omnipotence) as a "first person" (a viewpoint and presence) and experiencing acceleration.

Riding roller coasters helps make acceleration real, but then many roller coasters in life are not in the XYZt dimensions.  Precession is omni-dimesional.  We experience those deltas, as we traverse a less literally topographical phase space (a primordial soup), in a mix of Eulerian (spatial-visual) and Gibbsian (tactile-visceral) dimensions (more on that later).

In lieu of demanding a steady supply of expendable slaves, we harness the big calorie spenders such as the wind and downhill flowing water.  The sun is what lifts the water up again, and keeps the gases roiling.   Humans tap in to big dynamos to keep their wheels turning.  They burn stuff.

Windmills turn large radius rotation into smaller blade defined rotation of sufficient umph (power) to light a lot of bulbs.  Instead of ordering a servant to make an omelet, we switch on a stove and do the job of being a cook all by ourselves.  Humans have a wide repertoire.  They can type, talk, tinker.  Cooking is a fun pass time for some, an onerous duty for others.  Lets talk about Stoicism again.

Finally, I was nudged by something Keith Devlin said, about taking film more seriously, as a way of getting at those deltas.  The "lights, camera, action!" call of Hollywood, with stress on "action" (as the content of each frame), got me thinking "action per time interval" which is mvd/t or mvv or E or hf, units measuring what I considered "energy buckets" (or quanta), frames of film.  When the film runs too fast (E/t = power), it starts looking surreal.  We know from experience at what pace time goes.

If you'll be the star (first person) in your own film of action packed frames, in a "scenario" then that brings us to another definition of Universe in the literature:  as a set of eternally regenerative yet simultaneously aconceptual partially overlapping scenarios.  This definition was embedded in the American literature feeding into what I was calling Martian Math, nothing conventional within physics, yet a bridge to some of the memes some of the liberal arts people were convergent with, if into reading said literature.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Occupy University

OPDX - Occupy Portland
Those of you looking for Occupy University (OU) have come to the right place.  I've been out recruiting faculty, as I did when we staged a non-virtual OPDX in downtown Portland, in the same place where WWI vets staged their March to Washington.

That led to the DC Hooverville which General MacArthur destroyed, in a misplaced show of bravado (a form of friendly fire).

In the faculty lounge, one discussion is whether animation, both 2D and 3D, constitutes a form of "coding" or not.  This are the kinds of nitpicky debate one expects in Faculty World.

Clearly the art of television programming, the sequencing of shows to fill dead air space, is a kind of programming.  Think "programme" when it comes to theater.

English makes a big point of not using "programme" to mean "program", obscuring the fact that source code scripts actually orchestrate and direct platform action, much as a play does, or a musical score.  English is somewhat (horse and) buggy, we all know that.

The word "code" is likewise ambiguous, as we have "codes of conduct" at geek events, which tend to be treated like Codes of Hammurabi, meaning they're enforced, with transgressions confessed or uncovered.  That's "code as law" one might say, where "obedience" is a keyword.  However "code" also means what computers execute directly (we could say "obey" but usually don't for some reason).

If you think the bottomline is "it's all semantics" you're correct.  "There's semantics, and there's nothing" is about as helpful as my other dictum "There's science fiction, and there's nothing."

Both are meant to emphasize the universality of the leading term, in contrasting them with nothing.  The dialectic goes away at that point, but then tautologies provide no traction.

Tautologies are more about emphasizing and underlining a grammar, and show more than say.  They're not about making empirical claims so much as delineating the boundaries of sense-making.

This is what Wittgenstein meant when he said his philosophy was not about stating theses, as if it did so, they'd by of the kind no one could disagree with.  In delineating sense, one borders on nonsense, by definition.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Martian Math

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Black Friday

Black Friday is a day of mourning.  We lament that Christmas has nothing to do with "peace on Earth" anymore, if it ever did.  Crass commercialism has taken over.  Tastelessness abides.

On Black Friday, we apologize to God for being a planet of spoiled brats.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Time Management

Fall Garden

People go to school to learn about scheduling in the software sense.  The operating system's primary job is to protect processes entrusted to its care, meaning it gives them each attention.  We hope the OS is not stretched to capacity, as might be USA OS version 0.2, or whatever that is still running in the District. A former image.

Here in Asylum District I talk to a leading expert in concurrency.  Synchronous parallelism with multiple CPU cores is distinct from letting a coroutine sit on the shelf in pause mode, because it has no new work.  A lot of your bureaucracy consists of people waiting for results, and not pressing the matter, because already working with earlier requests.

Case in point:  I'm heading down to county elections this afternoon, on behalf of my mom.  We stopped by in mid September to make sure her ballot would come here and not go to California.  It went to California.

If they try to mail another one today, it will also go to California.  No one in the bureaucracy has gotten that far in the queue.  The request is on file, but there's nothing immediate about updating the main database.


I was trying to strike up a conversation with other businesses on social media about whether gambling for charity is still gambling.  I see these restrictions against gambling over the wire, but in these games, the winnings go to the charity of your choice, and you get to be the one with a hero's profile.

People will commit to your potential winnings on the basis of your wise use (in their eyes) of their commitments.  I've spelled out all the plans and protected them for the public, in this sister blog.

Speaking of being a hero, I understand how people use the I Ching as a mnemonic device.  There's a pattern language to the hero's journey, and in being willing to have the I Ching be the labyrinth, one gets a well trodden, spelled out adventure.

Welcome to LARP.  Live Action Role Playing.  Your life. What's wrong with feeding your inner hero?  Isn't that what psychologists say to do?  Lets be consistent.

The empiricists and frequentists cry foul, saying it's "superstitious" or "magical" thinking to consult the I Ching or look at Tarot decks or whatever.  They're not thinking of how reinforcing a Memory Palace using the events of one's day is simply taking up the raw material of everyday living and applying that as a kind of glue language, to something worth holding together (a model). 

Having a Memory Palace is not in itself a bad idea.

So what if a random billboard reminds you of one of its many rooms?  Would you rather just obey the billboard?  Some would prefer that you would.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Volume Formulas

Martian Multiplication

As a young adult, I was adamant that I wanted a Web to publish within, meaning I was salivating for hypertext, just at the time of its advent.  I was a fan of the Web before it popped up at CERN, my Higgs.

So once HTTP was in vogue, I published to that "medium" (i.e. to cyberspace).  However, my peers in academia were schooled to channel their thinking to subscriber audiences through specific journals.  These were not using hypertext for the most part.  I felt my thinking required hypertext.

Fast forward, and a lot of interesting mathematical results are rattling around in a volatile medium.  I say "volatile" because Forum 206, where I published over a decade of writing, was taken over by the NCTM, which appears to have killed the entire Math Forum website [Followup: it was kept].  The Web is more of a war zone in some ways.

For example, there's a lineage through Piero della Francesca to volume formulas for a Tetrahedron given only its six edges.  Euler came up with something like that too.  On Synergetics-L, a listserv that's gone belly-up, Gerald de Jong came up with something simple we could implement in code (see below). A lot of my tetravolume computations come from there.  Just today I was doing these:

Volume Checks

Koski is on the other end of the line doing some work around the S-factor.  He fed me another test to try, which came out as expected.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018



Yes, I went to Princeton, so maybe you think I've been steeped in Marx, given current stereotypes of what universities are like, cite Jordan Peterson et al.  However way back in the late 1970s, my thing was Freud and Jung.  Even in high school, psychoanalytic literature was my bag.

I found the whole idea of "mental illness" rather fascinating, and I don't think in a creepy way.  What a vast landscape, this inner world, and how weird it could become.  Very Tantric (is how I sometimes think of it).

So yes, when I got to Princeton, I dove into Jacques Lacan, some Adorno, certainly Marcuse.  It's not like I didn't do any homework whatsoever.  I looked at the Hegelian system as a precursor to Marxism. The whole idea of Logic versus History seemed pretty special.

I do remember students protesting the one-sidedness of the Economics curriculum.  We used Samuelson for a textbook in 101.  Stagflation was a problem back then.
Those hoping to get some Marxism in the mix were to be sadly disappointed, or so I gathered from the raging debates, which were printed in various issues of the Daily Princetonian.  I was housemates with the editor.

I do recall roaming the open stacks in the reserve reading room (is that an oxymoron?), and coming across collections of old high school textbooks.  Some of them were so biased, when it came to mentioning Marxism.  Having seen museums filled with textbooks from Nazi days, I've taken to studying the history of ideas through the lens of what we share with kids.

I was focused on philosophy as my long time readers know.  I felt I had a chance at international relations and applied to the Woodrow Wilson School.  However, during my interview I expressed some ambivalence.  I was talking myself into philosophy instead.  Dr. Kahler was disappointed.

My early fascination with psychoanalysis and the inner world is likely what predisposed me to choose philosophy over international affairs, but then I've never really seen these as all that separate, from psychology either.  I learned about James Hillman from Sue and Bryan.

Process Work, as developed by Arnold Mindell, somewhat expresses my own sense of unity in this area.  Logic & History...  Like Alex says, mathematics is everything.

People sound Marxist to me when they see someone getting public sector benefits as being supported by taxes, and in turn by their work.

"Only the work of the working provides any value, so if others get value and aren't working, they're gaining at my expense."  Missing from this equation: (1) the great bounty of the environment, starting with the sun; (2) the fact that we're all working, regardless of our title and job description in whatever role playing capacity.

I'm not saying taxes don't make a difference (I just wrote a check for $4,831.28 for property taxes). I'm saying that World Game is not zero sum and public sector wealth owes more to the sun, wind and rain than to any issuer of debts.  Banks may pretend to loan us our cosmic heritage, but we're only gullible to a point. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

All Thumbs

Stanley Theater

I'm still all thumbs when it comes to CAD.  I have Rhino3D on a Windows tablet, thanks to C6XTY, and I'm sharing a 3D Animation curriculum through Coding with Kids.  Between the two of these, I imagine my skill set will improve.

When colluders conspire in Buckydom (as one might name it), what do they talk about?  In the case of Koski and myself, last night on Verizon, the topic was the four RTs in Sesame Street Synergetics.  RT = a diamond-faced (rhombus-faced) zonohedron.  I've been writing about it in recent blog posts.

Rhombic Triacontrahedron

Why don't we have IMAX or 4K or whatever large format films going over the basics of a concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons?

Koski's idea: We could go with a Greek motif and employ retro aesthetics, say those of a scrolling slideshow from the 1960s, where you get a cassette in the same box.  When the cassette goes "beep", you advance to roll to the next slide.

Make each frame come alive using contemporary CGI.  A message we're sending:  we've known some of this stuff for a long time.  Lets connect to the near and distant past, as we establish our heritage.

I was writing about such IMAX movies in the 1980s, even before I had any clear conception of a volume 7.5 RT sharing vertexes with a volume 6 RD (rhombic dodecahedron).

I had the Stanley Theater picked out in Jersey City.  Jehovah's Witnesses would buy it later.  At the time, it had no mission and I thought I might insert myself into JCNJ politics.  I phoned the IMAX company, wondering if an IMAX version of Koyannisqatsi might be in the works.  They sent me a PR packet.

Actually, my Stanley Theater idea was more embracing:  students would come by PATH from NYU and other Manhattan-based institutions of higher learning (high schools too, why not), to see these movies for academic credit.

Learning to navigate around "Cosmopolis" as I called it, was part of growing up (the maturation process).  I've continued the theme of having public transportation systems, both the study and use thereof, be a part of a "placed based" curriculum.

Later, my Princeton and Jersey City housemate Selma would work on precisely such a "maturation" program for NYU students.  Help them overcome their fear of New York.  They didn't come over to the Stanley on the PATH though.  That project never materialized.

The RT and RD didn't make it to the big screen.  Nor did my proposed Fuller Projection made of tiny lights ever make it to the back wall of Loew's (also part of my Journal Square environment -- just outside my front door).  Instead, the internet took off, a decade later.  Fuller's stuff would go online, with no need to leave one's dorm room to gain access.

I was fascinated by the internet back then too.  At the nearby New Jersey Institute of Technology, they were testing an early version of an electronic communications system.  I'd read A Network Nation by Starr Roxanne Hiltz & Murray Turoff and even managed to score a guest account on their prototype system.

I didn't have a modem at home, but I could visit St. Peter's College down the street and get on.  This was all pre HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), the protocol later invented at CERN.  However I'd read Computer Lib / Dream Machines by Ted Nelson and was fantasizing about hypertext already.

My larger "Cosmopolis" idea had to do with extending PATH to connect with EWR, the Newark Airport.  NYC was already opening a "Train to the Plane" from WTC to JFK.  I was thinking how passengers might have a seamless rail connection from EWR to JFK and vice versa.  I sent out some letters.  I was continuing in my dad's footsteps, thinking like an urban planner.

Mom and Son

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Learning Modes


When we're all together in a room, that's a time to help each other, if we can.  What have we gotten good at?  Maybe nothing so far?

You can just try stuff, read the docs, watch the instructional Youtubes.  Once you have mastered a skill, you're ready to demo your mastery to someone else.

In practice, "homework" is often reading the docs and watching the videos.  Time helping others directly is a variable.  Sometimes the people we call "teachers" are the ones spending more time showing others than learning himself.

I might be a teacher and student at the same time, which is the work / study picture in GST, the assembly language of the Global U.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hammer Man

What does it mean to develop a meaning "operationally"?  I first answer:  is there any other way?  Sometimes what's hardest to define is that for which we have no counter-example.

Let me switch topics and mention the "hammer man" in Synergetics, whom I tend to think of as an art deco Olympian, somewhat cartoon-like.

He hammers, as when pounding some metal towards greater flatness.  We read about the molecules sliding around in response to these blows.  Sometimes, he hammers it thicker.

He swings his hammer, as an Olympian would, meaning he's to develop a lot of angular momentum as he swings the heavy device in a circular path, himself at the center, and then lets go in the direction of some eigenvector whereon every expended calorie counts for the most.

He sometimes is at the center of a gyroscopic device of many hammers, all radiating in a giant wheel, as he turns in place.  Tugging on the axis of this apparatus tilts the radial path into a dive, meaning the axis yields more at 90 degrees to the direction of your tug.  Such is precession.

The hammer man sees precession everywhere as he tucks himself in, after a long day.  Hammering, anchoring and letting go, getting hammered... time for some rest, before tomorrow's big adventures.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fed Up (movie review)

This movie is in alignment with SuperSize Me and Got the Facts on Milk?.

The vital organs of the USG (Department of Agriculture, FDA, Congress...) are as assaulted and degraded as the vital organs of any hooked-on-nachos-and-fries school child.

A weak and pudgy USA was a pushover when it mattered,  yet it still pretends to be a player, "winning wars" for its donor controllers.

The Smedley Butler era Business Plot against FDR was long ago successful, at least since Reagan's term.  Thinking some porky establishment in Washington DC is going to save us this late in the game seems pretty dated, not to mention unrealistic.

What world capital has that kind of power?  Against Coca-Cola?  Again Nestles?  You've gotta be kidding me, right?

One idea I've clung to over the years:  why don't we have private sector companies that specialize in edgy advertising, employing counter-intelligence the way we need,  and the production of which propaganda the USG is apparently incapable?

I'll keep buying your coffee, and subscribing to your on-line games, if you promise to keep hitting out hard against junk food culture.  Deal?  Why can't it work?

The status quo is we somehow expect private sector media news companies to exercise their juice through channels.  But which such media have such juice anymore?   Who takes up the cause of youngsters against Diabetes Inc?  Pediatricians?

Obnoxico rules the roost and it's hard to see who has enough muscle to challenge the pervasive ideology of a soulless corporate personhood.  Not the World Health Organization it turns out.

Uncle Sam?  Is he still on life support?  Seems to me he flat-lined some decades ago.

I'm getting a strong Morlocks versus Eloi vibe.  A predatory intelligence, some Bell Curve's upper half, is quite willing to exploit its trusting victims, by means of cartoons.

"Eat lots of sugar and become a basket case" say the immortal cartoon characters, not physical beings themselves. We have the makings of a horror film here.

Did you know that FDA nutrition guidelines mandate no upper limit on calories from sugar?

That North Americans are among the most malnourished anywhere is raw ammo for those hoping to suggest some alternative wiring, experiments with other approaches.

Could we experiment more with how we do food in schools?  What about those cooking shows, saved to the school server?

Various talking heads tell us that a foreign power and declared enemy of the USA, hellbent on its destruction, would be hard pressed to do as much harm as the junk food and junk science industries.

The logical conclusion is that some alien ideology is indeed entrenched.

Fed Up offers some hope, but as long as the answer involves looking towards DC for leadership, I question whether that hope is misplaced.

Expecting USG politicians to regulate from on high, to protect citizens and guests against predators, is expecting too much.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Animation Classes

The curated clips of high schoolers walking out in protest, in the Michael Moore film reviewed below, gets me thinking more about possible high schooler lifestyles.  I'm thinking beyond such questions as to whether to arm the teachers.  I look at the role of firearms in other writings.

Lifestyle and curriculum content are not wholly separate, by any means.  Suppose you learn at home three days a week, visiting community school buildings less hours.  Does this make you a "home schooler"?

Maybe some of your time is in a studio for making videos, doing cooking shows.  Video editing, camera work, health and nutrition, kitchen procedures (recipes and algorithms), all mixed together.  Store the videos to the school server.

Not every video has to go to Youtube.

I'm picking up two animations classes this week, 2D and 3D, in two different schools.  We think in terms of age levels and running in parallel to existing curricula.  The early grades seem to be plane geometry intensive whereas later we go spatial?  That's a rough approximation.

In 1997 I attended the ISEPP-organized Math Summit at OSU.  There, I heard a talk by Dr. Keith Devlin encouraging more connections between movie-making and calculus.  A tiny delta t is like a frame of film, encapsulating some action.  Literally, action per time frame, in mechanics, is mvd/t, which is energy units (E).  But then how fast is the film playing?  Enter E per t, or Power.

Integration means accumulating small differences as governed by the changing variable, the dx or dt. I think of how Fibonacci numbers are accumulative.  What continuous curve fits those, I forget?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9 (movie review)

Michael Moore has been following Flint, Michigan through all of his movies.  It's the saga of a city gone bust, amidst rulers who don't have much hope, given the priorities of their higher ups.

The timeline Moore follows starts with the 2016 US election, then jumps over to Michigan in 2010, when the state governor invokes emergency powers in several cities and replaces their local leadership with his people.

Around Flint, the engineering goes south when a working water supply gets monkeyed with.

Television did not turn out to be that medium for public debate we used to hear about, given who paid for it and why.  Will social media be any better?  There's a quick cut to Facebook, suggesting grassroots organizing but the internet and cryptocurrencies are not the order of the day (Alex Jones makes it in, but I was confused about what he was saying in that clip).

Mostly the tech giants get left out of this telling, and there's no attempt to dive deep into hackerdom. Leave Putin another bad guy strongman, the way Trump likes his leaders, and move on.  This isn't Oliver Stone driving.

Anyway it's jarring when we remember this lead poisoning is all happening during President Obama's time, the last great hope.

The Trump presidency is already well established in the movie before we switch to Flint, which is deliberate, as the story is one of "paving the way".

The larger picture is pretty bleak.  Young people need to do their own organizing, and are.  The adults aren't particularly able, when it comes to keeping democracy going.

One of the wise elders reminds us the US only started to experiment with democracy in the 1970s, with on-paper enfranchisement of non-whites and women, and that experiment may have reached its conclusion, in the wake of 911.

The flavor of the film is wistful.  Wouldn't a United States be a good idea?

Filmmaker Steve Bannon says on camera he appreciates Michael Moore's craft, though is at odds with his politics.

It's not Moore's fault that destiny would put him in the eye of the storm, nor Flint's either.  He has already looked at school shootings.  He's trusted to observe the high schoolers in action.

Sure he's heavy handed, because he's expressing his worries in strong terms.  He says out loud what a lot of people are thinking.  Lets get those thoughts on the big screen.  Yep, there's Hitler, buoyed by some of the same vibes; his ghost still haunts us.

The school teachers of West Virginia get a lot of recognition, for trying to hold together the fabric of their society in the midst of an opium crisis and infrastructure bled dry.

The Bernie Sanders campaign, and its call for social programs, gets a lot of focus as well.

Moore is weaving a lot in.  He's curating many "Kodak moments" assuming an audience in the future.

I'm not saying I'm Moore's mouthpiece and would tell all the same stories he does.  We're on rather different trajectories.  That's not a criticism, just an observation bordering on a truism.

Here's another provocative film that is sure to provoke many.  I felt updated on many happenings.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Home Schooling

Probably a lot of kids are staying home from school, with parental permission, because said guardians are persuaded that Coding Train is providing a more personalized experience, in more useful skills, than the local commuter schools.

That sounds paradoxical because how would Youtubes over the wire be "more personalized"? Well, it's not the student teacher interaction that's one-on-one, so much as the task at hand: to customize the personal workspace. Build your own file system.

Students herded from room to room, with or without a locker, don't get the same opportunity to outfit a workspace.

The homeschoolers are telling Dan to try pipenv instead of virtualenv.  That's good feedback for me as well.  I'm one of the home schoolers.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Party Time

Hey, I'm pleased the Idlib scenario didn't go straight to blood, like some shoot out in Westworld, or should I call it the Park?  Remember Punishment Park?  Now there was a dark movie.

I have some Proseco to celebrate, no not especially Islamic of me, but many ethnicities stand to gain, if we're able to move the Global U towards a more constructive set of rivalries.  Congratulations to everyone working on the rebuilding of Aleppo, especially that central mosque.

I'm also celebrating the Fall Equinox.  ISEPP hosted Wanderers at the Linus Pauling House.  Terry explained his research into the history of the philosophy of engineering.  He's on a first name basis with Sadi (Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot) and Lazare Carnot  (Sadi's dad).

The latter was smeared in some circles because of his loyalty to French Republicanism.  Nietzsche respected him for his sticking to his guns.  Laplace was smeared too.  This happens to intellectuals, as their power and influence, including postmortem (especially postmortem), gains them enemies.

Russian and Turkish commanders are working on the Idlib scenario.  Erdoğan and Putin had hours and hours of meetings.

Speaking of Turks, I've been picking on the Gulenists a lot, expecting them to advertise a future-friendly STEM through the charter schools, in tandem with the Quakers.

However that's putting a lot on their shoulders, given they're transplants in many cases.

Raising the flag of some Verboten Math is just going to attract the spotlight, when they've already been the subject of any number of FBI investigations.  Wading blindly into American politics is a recipe for getting in too deeply i.e. "in over one's head" as they say.

I think I'll give those Sufis a break and switch my focus to the Jesuits for a change.  That's another religious sect with a commitment to education.

I've worked quite a bit around Catholic schools (and teaching hospitals) and don't doubt the high level of commitment.  The decision to keep a tight lid on the Bucky stuff must trace to the highest levels.  Surely pure inertia can't be the explanation.

I've taken up the investigation (inquisition?) on for the time being.

Terry has discovered some engineering literature we might have taken for granted would already be translated into English, but has not been.

Take Coriolis for example.  We may have learned about the effect, but what do we know about the actual guy?  A lot of his writings have never been published in English.

I've never been put off by skin color, and mostly get along well with the dead.  I'm not averse to learning more from the "dead whites" (and will soon enough be joining their number -- not to sound morbid or anything).

A long time ago, scientists argued about "vis viva" or the motive force.  They considered it a property internal to a moving body and akin to its inertia.  How to account for it mathematically, in symbols and computations, was a question for that day.

Mass figures into the equations, most certainly, but then so does velocity, and perhaps to a second power?  Is a projectile with twice the velocity thereby empowered to do four times the work?

Jean Bernoulli contributed some clever reasoning showing why E = mvv was more likely to get us somewhere, and indeed it did.

Nowadays we have E = mcc (Einstein), as well as E = hf (Planck).  E is for Energy, v for velocity, m for mass, h for Planck's Constant and f is for frequency.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Random Responder

Youtube's AI recommended I see this, and the reporter was hoping I would share the free information.  Here's me sharing it.

North Carolina was undergoing intense flooding, with the Brunswick Nuclear Reactor in the way of the storm.

Shades of Fukushima.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Big in Japan


Kirsten Dunst 


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ironclad Logic


Proposals to make Idlib a "West Berlin" met with scant attention, as no side could see a way for dissenters to maintain an enclave.  With casinos.  The airstrips would be for humanitarians, and diplomats could make speeches from the permanent outdoor Woodstock style sound stage. Mix in some Arab Spring vibe, some Occupy, and keep the Syrians free of invaders from the sky.

The Syrian refugees are being pushed out by people who covet their lands.  We learn simply by seeing who takes the vacant apartments.  Make everything too violent for a middle class to tolerate, and take over.  That's the streets of New York.  We saw it in Aleppo.  Just arm everyone to the teeth and stoke hostilities and you're in business.

No one suggests turning it off at the spigot, where the factories spew arms by the box car full, day after day.  To pay a fortune for an arsenal and not use it, not need it?  The public needs theater to justify the expense.  They need to see themselves being the good guys.  It's a lot of expensive fireworks, but what else works?  If shareholders are going to stay in the money, we'll need to showcase why our products are truly worth the expense.  How's that for ironclad logic?


Monday, September 10, 2018

From the Sidelines

Originally shared on Facebook:

RT is way better than CNN. After Air America closed, a lot of my fave broadcasters moved to RT America. The DNI report talks about RT too.

The problem is, Russians have every right to "meddle" in the sense of sharing opinions, so the key thing is to find (A) something illegal e.g. GRU hacks into private servers and (B) link that to a strategy of the Trump campaign.

It's easy for me to believe the leaks to Wikileaks, whether from Seth or the Guccifers or whatever, were fortuitous for Trump, but not something his extended family could bank on in advance. None of these nefarious doings were in their control.

Sure, Trump could joke about going after Hillary's missing 30K emails (grin), but the notion that GRU hackers took that as their cue, and in a "lets roll" moment sprung into action ("after hours"), hacking Hillary, is a fictional genre stretching to embrace a few measly bread crumbs, an attempt to turn them (the bread crumbs) into a thick juicy plot (a soup). I'm only sensing a thin gruel so far. Got more thickener?

Conservation of energy laws are against this over-reaching ever succeeding. Something from nothing on that scale is too trick or treat, too sleight of hand. Our sense of credulity is over-strained. The idea of GRU hackers glued to their TVs waiting for Trump's secret instructions (encoded as a joke in a public speech), and not even letting it wait until morning (it's not like the DNC would be suddenly competent), appears ludicrous to me.

In other words, the indictment as it stands is too flimsy to base heavy history on (like impeachment), so far.

What the FBI is lacking, is gravitas.

The Theresa May government finds itself in somewhat the same position with its Novichok and White Helmet story lines. Neither are going so well, at the time of this posting. MI5, or is it MI6, is looking silly.

For further reading:
PolySci: A Look Back at Russiagate

And now, with a little help from Alphabet (Google translate):

RT лучше, чем CNN. После того, как Air America закрылась, многие мои любимые вещатели переехали в RT America. В отчете DNI также говорится о RT.

Проблема в том, что русские имеют полное право «вмешиваться» в смысле обмена мнениями, поэтому главное - найти (A) что-то незаконное, например. GRU взламывает частные серверы и (B) ссылается на стратегию кампании Trump.

Мне легко верить, что утечка в Wikileaks, будь то Seth или Guccifers, или что-то еще, была удачей для Trump, но не то, что его расширенная семья могла планировать заранее. Ни один из этих мерзких дел не был под их контролем.

Конечно, Trump, возможно, пошутил, что HRC пропустит 30 000 электронных писем (ухмылка), но мнение, что взломщики GRU взяли его в качестве своего реплики, и вскакивают («послезавтра»), чтобы найти недостающий тайник HRC, это вымышленный жанр, чтобы покрыть несколько крошечных сухарей, попытка превратить их (хлебные крошки) в густой сочный участок (суп). До сих пор я чувствую только тонкую кашу. Получили больше загустителя?

Сохранение законов о энергии противоречит этому процветанию. Что-то из ничего в этом масштабе слишком трюк или лечить, слишком ловкость руки. Наше чувство доверчивости чрезмерно напряжено. Идея русских хакеров, изучающих их телевизоры, ожидающих секретных инструкций Трампа (закодированных как шутка в публичной речи) и даже не позволяющая ей ждать до утра (маловероятно, что DNC будет внезапно компетентным) кажется смешным меня.

Другими словами, обвинительное заключение в его нынешнем виде является слишком хрупким, чтобы основывать тяжелую историю (например, импичмент).

То, чего не хватает FBI, - это гравитация.

Правительство Theresa May находится в том же положении, что и сюжетные линии Novichok и White Helmet. Ничего не происходит так хорошо, во время этой публикации. MI5, или это MI6, выглядит глупо.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Close Encounters

Thanks to Dr. Fuller's actively cultivating his network while alive, something my dad did really well as well, a lot of us never knew each other, even though we closely identified with his agenda, at one time or another.  I'm not surprised that I keep encountering new people who count big time as friends of Fuller.

Patricia Ravasio is such a person.  Per her recent autobiographical The Girl from Spaceship Earth, we know quite a few people in common.  I only met once with Lloyd Sieden, at a Bellvue coffee shop, whereas D.W. Jacobs and I have crossed paths more than that.

Ditto Foster Gamble, who sings Dr. Robert Gray's praises in one of the Youtubes.  Bob and I were both at the SNEC founding, at Russell Chu's rented place in DC, some October as I recall, but what year?  To date, that's the only time I met Bob in person, that I can recall.

Yasushi Kajikawa came all the way from Japan for that SNEC summit.  Applewhite joined us, and Dr. Joe Clinton.

Even though Foster and I both went to Princeton, our scenarios did not intersect.    I learned about his work from Alex, in my Philosophers' Circle.

So instead of "small world" (a cliche of sorts), let's say "big world" for a change.

I stopped off somewhere in the Southwest to visit Dr. Amy Edmondson that one time.  Matthew and I were driving my sister's car from Montclair NJ to Greater LA, visiting Applewhite in route (that's when he gave me a Synergetics Dictionary).  Harvard Business School was still in Amy's future back then.

I also met up with Dr. Arthur Loeb, her mentor, on a hitchhiking trip up to Cambridge, when still at Princeton.  He was friendly.  We had a good talk.

In terms of where I come down regarding energy, I consider World Game a context for facing our energy needs as a species and making some hard choices.  The terminology is maybe messed up, but that's Tower of Babel for ya.  The point is to keep talking about it, in some detail.

I'd think those most interested in phasing out fossil fuels, among those accepting climate change (I accept it), would embrace the language of Peak Oil.  Whether we shift our weight or not, it looks like we're over the hill in that chapter.

We don't have the option to endlessly guzzle, even if the climate didn't matter (which of course it does).  Is commuting smart?  People living campus-based lifestyles don't need to drive as much.

Synergetics Dictionary has no entries under UFO.  I don't think Fuller was banking on any new sources of energy we didn't currently know about in the 1970s and 1980s, not even cold fusion.

He did place a lot of faith in humans staying inventive, however his thesis regarding humanity's possibly attaining a new homeostasis, one we might consider successful, did not critically depend on such deus ex machina Jodie Foster like plot twists (thinking of Contact, a fun movie).

Patricia doesn't talk about UFOs in her book, I wasn't meaning to imply that.  She thinks about C60, and why not.

Foster is wide open to the possibility of a truly alien intelligence and the science that might represent, and I'm not against such speculation.  Fuller speculated too, as was his prerogative, as did Stephan Hawking. We're free to make mistakes.  As a species, omniscience is not our forte.

Patricia's autobiography reminds me of Valerie Plame's in that both writers feel they're undergoing extreme vetting, and choose to be unflinchingly honest about a lot of personal details, giving us insights into their characters to help us assess their respective stories.  Lindsay Moran also takes that path in her retrospective.

By this time, Dr. Fuller is so invisible that bringing his stuff to light really does have the flavor of a spy novel, with a hint of the paranormal now and then.  That's in keeping with Fuller's spirit as Telepathy is in Synergetics Dictionary quite a bit, along with "only the impossible happens" (cue "synchronicity").

Patricia is vetted by a psychotherapist and the whole book seems like a lie detector test.  Did Bucky really say those things?  Weren't her notes lost in a basement flood?  She's not nearly as self erasing as say Carlos Castaneda, who left everyone guessing until his wives wrote their books.

Her psychotherapist doesn't see anything crazy about her wanting Stanford to make better use of what's in its archives (that's where Fuller's papers ended up, much as the Linus and Ava Helen Pauling papers ended up at OSU).  None of Stanford's course offerings took advantage of this fact.  Even Princeton did better.

I'm looking forward to continuing to meet new people with karmic connections to the Bucky stuff, as well as meeting again with the many I've met (Allegra and I had breakfast that time in Portland, when the D.W. Jacobs play was in town).

My continuing to camp out in this area has been a gift that keeps on giving.

Also, I'm pretty autobiographical as well.  None of us are pretending to be objective disembodied narrators like in those old know-it-all documentaries that simply told us what's what.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Archiving Stuff

A followup remark to the post below:  business English is going strong and "Amerish" (emphasis on "mer") was Gene Fowler's moniker for the not-actually-English the Americans have going.  Both of these might co-exist without the LAWCAP emphasis on the King (some private person) owning everything by default.  We shall see.

I'm using Cyberduck FTP client to suck down a snapshot of my website, which has some unused (unserved) content.  I'll probably stash this 255 MB to a thumb drive for safe keeping, but then how "safe" is a thumb drive in the rough and tumble of someone's personal collection? 

As I work on tying off loose ends, I think of Kenneth Snelson and how disciplined he was about archiving.  If our correspondence survives, it's likely thanks to him more than me.

The plan to warehouse a lot of my stuff at one of the schools is an attractive possibility, as in that context I could let go of a lot of it.  I'm also storing for others, mostly in my garage, but also in the basement.

Mel and Lindsey used to live in the basement (as house guests, not renters), per a previous chapter.  I have mostly Mel's stuff by now, and a box or two from Sunanda.  Lindsey did a good job cleaning out when she moved to Corvallis.  I keep her altar going in the back office.  Mel helps tend my altar for Dawn when they swing through.  I've lost touch with Micheal S. (that's how he spells it).

Everyone faces these same questions, about how best to archive stuff in time capsules.  Some stuff we destroy. 

I've sensed the internet was more secure than my personal circumstances so most of my writings and digital pictures went to the cloud.  These blogs for example.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Intellectual Property


Corporations have made it harder, not easier, to share.  Geeks had to fight back by inventing copyleft, which in various derivative forms kept the economy going in spite of itself.  But the FBI still put warnings all over the DVDs saying "no sharing, or else!".

What if you're ideologically opposed to content A, but A is being pumped out to the world by Obnoxico and to counter it, you need to see it.  Are you obligated to give money to those pumping out said content?  That's more of an ethical question than a legal one.

On the legal front, of course you can't show Disney cartoons to Syrian refugees or to Mexican families camped along the border, because the UN and/or USG has no budget for entering the tightly controlled movie business.  Moving digital content around is under the control of LAWCAP, we all know that.  The FBI tells us so.

As engineers, some of us feel leery about artificially creating scarcity where none exists.  It's like Jesus doing the miracle of loaves and fishes, but then the loaf and fish people come in and fine everyone because miracles are not allowed.  The electronic revolution has created a number of miracles, such as perfect, low-cost copying, that are an anathema to those growing up using "private property" as their metaphor for anything intellectual.

My general sense is Anglophone law, i.e. law cast in the English language, has a half life, which could be a lot shorter than predicted given how slowly LAWCAP has been able to adjust in the face of GRUNCH.  That's code language, obviously.  If you've done any homework at all, you know what I'm talking about.  If not, get an education?


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Village Lore


The GST PWS (personal workspace) is typified by researchers comparing notes on telemedia, with Youtube providing the early sandbox for many, who then move on to more virtual environments. I've followed essentially this same path, uploading to Google early (Alphabet) and later giving my Synergetics lectures.

In researcher mode, we go back to Greenwich Village.  My core question is whether Bucky's term there had anything to do with Bohemians using "square" to insult other social classes. Philosophically, that would make sense, while journalistically it's somewhat too good to be true, which is why I'm compelled to play the skeptic.

Lets be clear that I'm not operating entirely outside the realm of possibility, as Fuller was a one of the "village idiots" (meant affectionately) along with "Will and Ariel Durant, e.e. cummings, Theodore Dreiser, John Sloan, Burl Ives, Zero Mostel, Edgar Varese, Brancusi, Isamu Noguchi, Diego Rivera and hundreds of other shining lights of literature, art, theater and academia" (I'm quoting from a blurb on Amazon).  He and Isamu got along famously.  I would later visit the Best of Friends exhibit, set up to memorialize their relationship. We also visited Kenneth Snelson on that trip.

But what about the Ginsberg crowd i.e. William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith and like that? Neal Cassady definitely talked about "squares" but where had that started?

Romany Marie, the Queen, established her centers, one might say prototypical of Centers Network (for which I volunteered, later in New York's history), which influenced my marketing around Coffee Shops Network (CSN).  How these centers served more than one generation of "beatnik" is the documentary focus of my research this morning.  I'm not making a podcast out of it, but others might. The radio audience is especially receptive to Village Lore given how much of the output was audio to begin with.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cracking Down on Civil Rights

Freedom of assembly, for the purpose of making views public, by carrying signs, making speeches and so on, is protected by precedent, by the Bill of Rights (US) and so on.  However, the political climate in North America is such that xenophobes get everyone nodding in agreement that a political event is somehow "fake" or "inauthentic" if organized in collaboration with groups not based inside North America.

For example, we Quakers have a close-knit set of relationships connecting the Federated States meetings with those in the United Kingdom.  We might get support from English Friends to divest of our slaves for example.  This happened before the Civil War. 

Many Quakers felt uncomfortable in areas where slavery was still legal in the eyes of the Supreme Court.  They were coached not to tell neighbors what to do, but the neighbors couldn't help but feel some "holier than thou" attitude emanating from Friends in their midst.

By today's standards, if English Friends wanted to help organize an anti-slavery rally in Boston, and set up a Facebook account to help bring that about, the heavy hand of a censor might come along and report the transgression to authorities, and to the media.  Listeners and viewers would learn to vilify anyone colluding on a global basis, rather than on a more narrowly constrained geographic basis. 

Somehow it was to be made illegal for Ukrainians to fund protests in DC regarding their treatment, despite large numbers of Ukrainians enjoying Federation citizenship.

None of this made any sense, as the USG itself was highly leveraged and in debt, needing to collaborate and collude daily just to stay afloat.  Trying to keep its citizens from using social media to organize public protests, while meanwhile engaging in international intrigue itself, was too much of a double standard for brave Americans to take seriously. 

If Facebook wasn't going to champion our rights, we had other options.

We also knew it was our business to protect our right to collude.  The dimwits in DC had picked the wrong friends and enemies too many times to exert much leadership in that regard.  Telling Americans what to do and whom to trade with, was no longer the business of the bankrupt bosses with their obsolete forms of organized gangsterism.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

GST for Truckers

How many long haul truckers listen to podcasts?  I imagine myself chugging along I-whatever listening to satellite radio, but maybe also to some Russian classics, maybe Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy. Having some literary criticism, philosophy, biography, history, mixed in, would count towards my PhD.  Driverless trucks don't support learning in this way.  My fleet is dual purpose, in providing truckers with personal workspaces (PWSs).

What is GST again?  That depends whom you ask.  Out there in the wild, these three letters match a lot of strings.  However, I'm following my Quaker heritage to some degree and connecting with Kenneth Boulding, the economist, and the general systems theory he wrote about.  My spin:  lets compete with economics as a discipline, since economics itself suggests that monopolies give rise to lots of inefficiencies.  Why give economics as a discourse any monopoly say over any aspect of planetary affairs?

Of course my detractors point out that inside economics we have Georgists, Marxists, the Chicago School and so on.  If you're driving right now, maybe punch up a podcast on Henry George after awhile?  OK, we're talking semantics at this point.  If you want to inject GST into the economic sphere as another competing economics, that's fine.  As long as you stay competitive.

What happened next in my story, is Buckminster Fuller came along with his Spaceship Earth meme, and his practice of thinking globally while acting locally.  His idea of "systems" was very structural and geometric, as demonstrated by his elaborations on the octet-truss, a fascination for Alexander Graham Bell as well.  He got his truss to curve and make the triangular panels of a geodesic dome.

At the heart of Fuller's thinking was a shape we all probably recognize when we see it, but might not have its name handy: the tetrahedron.  Fuller went so far as to imagine a civilization which had shifted its weight from the cube to the tetrahedron to such an extent that it often measured units of volume using tetrahedral shapes (four faces, six points, six edges).  He wrote two whole volumes (Synergetics and Synergetics 2) exploring this alternative Universe.

The "Sesame Street" of Synergetics, meaning the core neighborhood wherein we might revisit a lot of partially overlapping topics (much as Children's Television Workshop explored the letters and numbers necessary for cultural literacy) is known as the Concentric Hierarchy, a nesting of well-known polyhedrons.  As a former high school teacher, and computer language teacher to this day, I've devoted a lot of resources towards communicating about this Concentric Hierarchy.  The topic lends itself to sculpture and modeling.  When sharing about it with kids, I'll sometimes use C6XTY, Sam Lanahan's flextegrity construction kit.  I have other kits as well, which I truck out during workshops.

What got me interested in trucking?  Not so long ago, I used a computer language called Visual FoxPro to make my way in the world.  I programmed for hospitals, nonprofits, various clients.  However, that work dried up, partly because FoxPro was shelved by Microsoft and taken off the market.  Meanwhile, thanks to my interest in geometry and Synergetics, I'd been building up my Python skills.  What happened next is I met a transportation engineer whose whole business was about using Visual FoxPro to support scheduling and routing in Trucker World.  He had a thriving business.  He was also interested in using more Python in complement with his Visual FoxPro.  He started contracting with me on the side for some apprentice level coding, and giving me insights into the trucking industry from an applications developer viewpoint.

Another aspect of my childhood and young adulthood, was growing up in areas where Peace Corps volunteers might serve, the Philippines especially.  The whole idea of going to distant lands not as a tourist, but as a worker seeking to develop one's skills, was attractive to me.  I recall my friend Hugh Thomford going to Fiji to help establish growing pearls as an industry.  That might not have been with the Peace Corps, but the idea was similar.  Our family was engaged in a similar business.  My dad was a planner, urban and regional, who worked with various sovereignties on their long term development plans.  These sovereignties included Libya, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt, Bhutan, Lesotho.

What if truckers had a way to swap routes.  As a driver, I could apprentice in someone else's rig until I got the hang of it.  We might have more team driving.  You get to know the other person in your cab.  You're a diplomat, bringing your ideas and viewpoints into the situation.  You're learning about another culture, and another system of roads.  Such work wouldn't be for everyone.  However, I could see where it might be attractive to some.  What better test of GST as a discipline than to apply it to something concrete like this?

That gives you some background on the various Medium writings, podcasts and whatever, that you may stumble across as a trucker, whether in the Trucker Exchange or not.  We also call it Truckers for Peace sometimes.

As I mentioned above, I'm extending a Quaker lineage in my writings about GST and the Quakers are always looking to remove the causes of war before things get out of hand.  Having truckers become more empowered and adept at diplomacy and job sharing is a way of building our shared planetary immune system against meme viruses that lead to outward wars.

We still suffer from inward wars, psychological battles, so in terms of being a warrior and a hero, that's still a calling.  We could use your skills and services.  We just hope you'll not have to fall back on using obsolete outward weapons that have nothing to do with improving your psychological health. Many still make a career out of outward weapons but would prefer to do something more creative.  My advice:  study GST.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Martian Math @ OSCON


During the hallway track (what we call people milling about, randomly engaging one another), I had a couple of opportunities to chat up Martian Math.

I was wearing my 4D Solutions name tag.  One guy asked what additional dimension I brought to the table, clearly thinking in terms of "3D + what?".  We're of course trained to answer "time" and that's legit, however my readers know I go in another direction.

My other discussion was with Peter Scott who wrote the Perl curriculum for O'Reilly School (which exists no longer).  Perl 6 is finally available for download, and is a whole different language.  This year's OSCON was not a catapult for specific languages, except maybe Rust.

Sponsors wanted to talk about what they're doing (often collaboratively) around blockchains and such.  IBM has been working on several flavors of hyperledger.

I told both my first inquisitor, and Peter, about Caltrop Coordinates.  Rays emanate from a common origin, with unit vectors being of definite length i.e. like rays but short.  We have a way to reach points by cloning, scaling and adding unit vectors, sticking them end to end.

In XYZ, the three basis vectors i, j, k define like an eighth octahedron, a volume, and through cloning, scaling and concatenation, they span much of space.  I think of any three non-coplanar edges of a tetrahedron, a zig-zag:  that's 3D too, with the complementary zig-zag implicit.

Just looking at a tetrahedron (of two complementary 3-vector zig-zags), do we want to call that 3D or 4D?

The four tips and four faces suggest "four directional" but then all these directions are codependent if we think of the tetrahedron is a symbol for "any containment".  In the philosophical language of Synergetics, height, width and depth only coexist as contained within an a priori 4D space.  That's before we add time (frequency, subdivisions).

Best practice within the XYZ language game is to admit a kind of rotation called negation which begets 180 degree mirror vectors -i, -j, -k.  Now we have the customary eight octants of XYZ space.

XYZ is more like a jack, with six vectors emanating from a common origin.

Quadrays are similar to XYZ except instead of admitting rotation (negation) so soon, we add one more basis vector to the initial three and adjust their respective directions to define four quadrants (versus XYZ's eight octants).

Instead of a jack, we get the caltrop.  The basis vectors go from (0,0,0,0) to the four corners of a tetrahedron: (1,0,0,0), (0,1,0,0), (0, 0,1,0) and (0,0,0,1).  Space is 4D in this sense.

Linear combinations (cloning and scaling) now reach all the same points XYZ does, but with positive 4-tuples e.g. (2,1,1,0) (1,2,1,0) (1,1,2,0)... all twelve permutations of those numbers define the twelve corners of a cuboctahedon.

Because we're using four basis vectors instead of three, we tend to say space is 4D.  We might say 3D too though, as XYZ language is not out of bounds. We may rely on context, using customary locutions to convey our meanings.

In XYZ language, we would not say all four quadrays are "basis vectors" because one of them (any one) is a linear combination of the the other three.  If, that is, we allow negation as a part of our cloning, scaling and tip-to-tail addition process.

Add any three quadrays and flip the result to get the fourth.  In other words:

(1,0,0,0) +
(0,1,0,0) +
(0,0,1,0) =


-(1,1,1,0) =
(-1,-1,-1,0) =

In the shoptalk of Quadrays, negation (flipping direction) is certainly defined and allowed, but is not required to span space (by means of cloning, scaling, adding) nor to augment the basis vector set.

Scaling without negation just means adjusting a length, making it longer or shorter but with no change in direction.  Negation adds the directional flip.

We can flip Quadrays, however the four basis rays are independent of one another in the sense that no three create the fourth without flipping i.e. through scaling and adding alone.

On the other hand, we may say four quadrays are "codependent" in that the tetrahedron is our primitive conceptual beginning, a first otherness begetting awareness.  Conceptualization begins with containment, a sense of being "within" or "without" (cite Plato's Cave).  XYZ uses a cube as its corresponding hallmark.

"That's a really geeky answer" said the geek by the food truck, awaiting his burrito (as I was).  I nodded.  We were there to geek out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Codes of Conduct

I'd say a lot of energy is going into socializing geeks, and lets not pretend that's a new thing.  Engineers tend to have awesome responsibilities and our justified fears of bad engineering encourage society to put them through rigorous training in people skills, starting with the handicap that they don't have any (that's the stereotype to begin with).

In actuality, engineers end up with lots of people skills, rivaling lawyers, which accounts for some of the contention in the area of licenses.  How do we collaborate on the basis of a clear understanding of the intellectual property rules.  The NSA was at OSCON this year to tell us about it, and to specifically solicit the input of "big companies" whose province our little Portland Hub has become.  This talk, which I attended, was more reflective of Washington, DC's ways of thinking than anything else.  We at OSCON maybe didn't appreciate the growing pains, when it comes to USG mandates (plans to run on 20% open source code is commendable, if maybe an awkward codification of the principle).

More worrisome than the social skills of GRUNCH workers, are the hard coded biases that may sneak into conditioned reflexes we have little control over, always the Terminator Scenario.  Lets step back from nuclear war (the debate team favorite) and just talk about simple face recognition, accepting you're human.  On Planet of the Apes, our AI bots may have a hard time treating us as human, Global U students though we be.

IBM is encouraging us to focus on natural disasters, if not their prevention, the management of their consequences.  China has some cities waiting for transplants, were the infrastructure in place for population upheavals.  But they're not.  Rubber boats.  Uncooled trucks.  Refugees are not accustomed to much appropriate technology in their camp.  The technology is so far ahead of its deployment potential, and therefore languishes for lack of use.  Prophecies are self-fulfilling.

Translating human language using state of the art deep (or not so deep) neural nets is helping scrub some forms of bias from the stack, versus hard-wiring it in.  That's the good news.  As humans get better at thinking "cross platform", they'll block less on differences that don't make a difference.  That's a kind of "freezing" in thinking we want to root out.  The Narnia book Ice Queen was such an inducer of semi-paralysis.  You'd stop improving your thinking and get lazy relying on what always worked in the past.  Learning is life long now.

The icosahedron is big this year.  I see it in Onnx, Cognitive Toolkit, and I believe HyperLedger, a reference blockchain.  That's good news for Synergetics (an outgrowth of New England Transcendentalism) wherein the Icosahedron symbolizes a kind of Apollonian braininess associated with geeks, software engineers.

"AI Should be Open" is the theme of the talk I'm in.  Blogging while taking in a talk is not considered rude in this culture.  Lots of geeks have their laptops open besides me.  ONNX version 1 would be my slide of the moment, but I've got the camera packed away, having pigged out on photo ops in the booth crawl this morning.

Data sets that pretend to know what "people of color" means without the services of a translator, are pushing it, in terms of thinking they know what the bias is.  One of our keynotes was by a speaker identifying with her female black student labels, and she eldered our group to improve our social skills, not just as individuals, but as managers of data sets.

Don't go home to your insurance company or Capital One (or Home Depot) thinking that just because you're an engineer, you have no standards when it comes to social engineering.  On the contrary, engineers have their guilds with reputations.  If you have unwanted biases, you will need to look at them first.

Left at the WWC booth

Monday, July 16, 2018

Greek Mythology

My standard rap when it comes to marketing and Python, is the Monty Python angle is certainly edgy, a stroke of brilliance on Guido's part, to go with something both snarky, contemporary, and with longevity, as even without the troupe of comedians in the foreground, we have an informative and entertaining backdrop in Greek mythology, with its Python.

I speak, of course, of Mt. Parnassus and the story of the Delphic Oracle.  She and her Cult of Athena temple nymphs were able to prophesy thanks to Python running inside their Virtual Machine (how I think of whatever VM their Python is running on -- a kind of mountain).  Apollo sought to impose rationality on the beast (meant kindly), to slay in the sense of dominate, not render useless (closer to "harness" in English).

People will take it in different directions.  I'm at OSCON again, which I've linked to Gibson Guitar (actually Gibson sent a bizmo some years back, so I'm not saying I acted alone) and the Nashville music scene, noting the proud Temple to Athena in that city, her Python curled in her shield, Nike in hand.

"Just Use It" is one of our slogans, testing reader understanding of the allusions.  I've posted about a sign or poster in the Iceland airport, or somewhere else along a moving sidewalk.  PSF would need to sign off in this use of the logo.